Open your kitchen drawer. Glare at that [insert useless piece of crap here] tool. Grab it. Toss it. Belt out a victory scream and pump your fist in the air. Try to high-five your cat. Give up on that too. Woo-hoo!

What freedom, what space … now what will you do with all that room in your kitchen drawer? Please don’t buy more junk — especially this banana slicer:


True, there are so many times you’ve been slicing your banana with a plain ol’ knife, and bemoaned the drudgery, the time, the struggle it takes to slog through the dauntless task. You’ve prayed to the heavens for an answer, and while online shopping at 1 a.m., you see this glorious piece of crap in all its yellow, banana-shaped glory, and it looks like the solution to your life’s biggest problem.

Sure, that’s what happens.

Or your friends/family give you this junk as a joke or because they know you love to cook. There’s a statute of limitations on how long you have to keep gifts you don’t like.

In the world of pointless kitchen gadgets, single-food-specific slicers comprise a huge share. Many non-banana foods that have slicers (other than knives) crafted specifically for them:

  • Strawberries
  • Eggs
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapples
  • Apples
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Corn
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Kiwi


Just use a knife, people. Take a knife skills class if it’s so hard, or watch an instructional video like the rest of us. Mango-slicing techniques aren’t intuitive. We get it.

This brings home another rule: Avoid tools that have one use only. Joseph Joseph, Fred, and Chef’d are guilty of many of these gadgets. Some of them are funny. But efficient? Often, no. More helpful than the traditional way? Nada.

Although, our informal, unscientific survey (via Twitter and Facebook) reveals that this cliché holds true: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Our survey showed these items had both lovers and haters: egg slicer, cherry pitter, apple slicer, garlic smasher, corn cutter, corn-on-the-cob skewer handles, and yes, that mango slicer.


Eggs get the most votes for stupidity. You’ve got your egg slicer, cooker, sheller, poacher, and separator for starters.

Other hated items: Pickle forks, avocado storage containers, spiralizers, citrus zesters that aren’t made by Microplane, DeLonghi espresso makers, silicone baking forms, turkey basters, pizza stones, Foreman grills, Keurig coffee makers, cast iron grill pans, and baby spoons.

Then again, some people think any utensils, smoke alarms, and ovens (it’s not just for shoe storage, you know) are useless. Oh, and exes. Those can be useless tools too.

We love our friends.

— Head image: LiveByDesigns.

Amy Sowder is a writer and editor based in NYC, covering food and wellness in publications such as Bon Appétit, Women's Health, Eat This, Not That!, Upworthy/GOOD, Brooklyn Magazine, and Westchester Magazine. She loves to run races, but her favorite finish lines are gelato shops. Learn more at
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