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Whether you’re a seasoned pro behind the bar or an enthusiastic home bartender, having the right tools can transform your cocktail crafting process.
To ensure you serve your drinks cool, refreshing, and hygienically, the choice of ice tongs is as vital as your shaker, muddler, or strainer.
It’s not just about moving ice cubes from point A to point B. It’s about precision, control, hygiene, and yes, a bit of style too.
From stainless steel to silicone-tipped, spring-loaded to scalloped edges, there’s a range of options out there, each offering unique features to cater to various bartending needs.
We’ve done the hard work of sifting through the crowd and have lined up the seven best ice tongs for bartenders in this post.
So whether you’re looking for cheap and cheerful or something with a little more flair, we’ve got you covered.
1. Sierral 4 Piece Ice Tongs and Scoops
Having spent numerous evenings crafting cocktails, I found this 4 piece ice tong set to be an amazing companion behind the bar, which is why it’s our top pick for this post.
For any fellow bartender who knows their way around a jigger and muddler, this set is a blend of utility and aesthetic charm. Not only do you get various ice tongs, but also a scoop too.
The value for more here is excellent, and if you’re unsure which type of tongs you need – go with this set as you’ll receive many different types to try.
In my experience, these tongs offered an excellent grip, thanks to the strategically designed teeth. Ice, whether regular cubes or fancier spheres, was held securely, making the transfer from the ice bucket to glassware a breeze.
Those mishaps we all dread – when ice cubes slip and splash onto the bar top, became a rarity.
Now, let’s talk about their multipurpose aspect. I loved that these tongs could double as candy scoops – a feature that came in handy when garnishing my Old Fashioneds with candied orange peel or maraschino cherries.
Crafted from durable stainless steel, they stood up to the rigors of constant use and maintained their sleek appearance. Plus, their ease of cleaning was a time-saver during those busy periods in the bar.
Despite this, I must mention one downside. For those of you dealing with larger artisanal ice shapes, these tongs might feel a bit on the smaller side. I found myself reaching for a different tool when dealing with heftier ice blocks.
- Excellent grip with teeth design.
- Multipurpose use as candy scoop.
- Durable and easy to clean.
- Not ideal for larger ice shapes.
2. HINMAY Ice Tongs
In my years as a bartender, I’ve tried various tools promising to revolutionize my drink-making process. Among the most recent I’ve put to the test is the HINMAY Ice Tongs, a set of two 6-3/4 Inch tongs.
Constructed from premium 18/8 stainless steel, these tongs were a delightful addition to my toolkit. First, let’s talk about their grip. Each piece in this set is equipped with a set of teeth designed to hold onto ice cubes securely.
During my time crafting mojitos and margaritas, they performed very well, giving me a level of control and precision I thoroughly enjoyed. Their design seemed to prioritize functionality without compromising style.
This set particularly shone in the durability department. Constructed from 18/8 stainless steel, they stood up impressively well to rigorous use.
They showed no signs of bending or damage, even after weeks of constant use. Their resistance to rust was another positive aspect, ensuring they remained sleek and shiny behind the bar.
I was seriously impressed with these tongs, but have to say they’re a bit awkward when trying to pick up sugar cubes for certain cocktails.
- Exceptional grip and control.
- Durable 18/8 stainless steel construction.
- Resistant to rust.
- Not great with sugar cubes.
3. MASSJOY Eagle Claw Shape Ice Tongs
Stepping away from classic tools, I decided to give the MASSJOY Eagle Claw Shape Ice Tongs a spin. Quite the statement piece, these tongs with their unique eagle claw shape turned out to be more than just a conversation starter.
It’s always a challenge when working with those elusive ice spheres – a standard for anyone dabbling in premium whiskey service.
With these eagle claw tongs, though, maneuvering those ice globes became less of a juggling act. Their curved design wrapped around the spheres perfectly, providing an impressive grip and a significant drop in mishaps.
But functionality isn’t the only thing they’ve got going for them. Crafted from stainless steel, they maintained their striking appearance, even after being subject to the bar environment and countless dishwasher cycles.
These tongs brought a balance of durability and aesthetic appeal that’s not easy to find.
Yet, they did have their limitations. While the eagle claw design was perfect for ice spheres, it was less effective with standard ice cubes and crushed ice.
So, while they shined in a high-end whiskey service, they might not be your go-to for a summer day Mojito crafting session.
- Unique and appealing design.
- Perfect for handling ice spheres.
- Durable and maintains its appearance.
- Not as effective with regular ice cubes or crushed ice.
4. HINMAY Small Silicone Tongs 7-Inch
Next on the list is the HINMAY Small Silicone Tongs, a 7-inch mini serving set of three. While stainless steel has been my go-to material, I was intrigued by the silicone design of these tongs and decided to put them to the test.
Right away, I enjoyed the grip these tongs offered. Whether I was dealing with the regular ice cubes or the crushed ice for that perfect mint julep, these silicone tongs were on point.
Their rubbery grip ensured fewer accidents and more precision when crafting various cocktails.
Another sweet point of interest was their color scheme – black, gray, and white. But they also have various other colors such as green, red, yellow, and blue to match any bar decor.
Now, onto the con – their size. While their 7-inch length worked well with standard glasses, they were less efficient when I was mixing up drinks in larger pitchers or punch bowls. Reaching down to scoop up ice was a bit more difficult.
Despite this, these tongs made a strong case for themselves. If your bar setup leans more towards standard glassware and regular or crushed ice, this set could be an excellent addition to your toolkit.
- Excellent grip with silicone design.
- Color variety.
- Suitable for regular and crushed ice.
- Not ideal for larger pitchers or bowls.
5. DUGATO Ice Tongs
While exploring ice tongs to review for this post, I came across the DUGATO Ice Tongs, a set of 2 small 6.3-inch tongs. Armed with sharp teeth and a promise to make ice-grabbing easy, I was keen to test them out.
First things first, I put their sharp teeth to the test. They truly did make grabbing ice a more straightforward task, significantly reducing the notorious ice slippage we bartenders are all too familiar with.
Whether it was ice cubes or sugar cubes for a classic Sazerac, the DUGATO Ice Tongs performed with notable precision.
Their size also turned out to be a benefit. Being smaller, they were easy to maneuver, especially when working in a fast-paced environment or tight spaces. They proved to be an excellent tool for those quick, precision-demanding tasks.
However, every rose has its thorn, and for these tongs, it was handling larger ice shapes. If your cocktails involve those fancy large ice spheres or blocks, you might find these tongs somewhat limited.
All in all, for those cocktail enthusiasts working with standard ice cubes or sugar cubes, and in need of a compact, precise tool, the DUGATO Ice Tongs could be a solid choice.
- Sharp teeth for precise grabbing.
- Compact size for easy maneuvering.
- Good for both ice and sugar cubes.
- Not ideal for larger ice shapes.
6. MSY BIGSUNNY Ice Tongs
With a promise of durability and precision, I was keen to see how these stainless steel tongs would fare during my usual cocktail-making sessions.
Right out of the gate, I was impressed with their ice-handling capabilities. Thanks to their toothed design, these tongs were great at securing ice cubes, which proved especially helpful during those busy Friday nights when precision and speed are key.
Their 7-inch size was another win. It provided a good balance, allowing for easy handling and sufficient reach for standard ice buckets and most glassware.
Now, the stainless steel design not only ensured durability but also added a professional touch to my bar setup.
But they weren’t without shortcomings. While they worked well with standard ice cubes, their performance wavered with larger ice shapes. Those bespoke whiskey ice spheres proved a bit challenging to handle with these tongs.
- Toothed design for secure ice handling.
- Ideal size for ease of use and sufficient reach.
- Durable and aesthetic stainless steel design.
- Not ideal for larger ice shapes.
7. Alessi 6-1/4-Inch Ice Tongs
While exploring top-tier tools for ice handling, I couldn’t resist the allure of the Alessi 6-1/4-Inch Ice Tongs. As someone who understands the difference a premium tool can make in the bartending world, I was excited to give these a whirl.
Immediately, what caught my eye was the unique design of these tongs. Alessi has managed to create a piece that stands out, bringing an artistic touch to my bartending routine.
They were not just functional; they were a talking point, an accessory that added a bit of elegance to the overall ambience of my bar.
Their functionality was no less impressive. The design ensured a firm grip on the ice, making serving a more fluid process. The 6-1/4-inch size struck a balance between ease of use and reach, allowing me to easily maneuver ice cubes into my glasses.
Crafted from stainless steel, they demonstrated remarkable durability, holding up to the relentless rigors of my busy shifts. Yet, their sleek design didn’t fade, adding a touch of timeless elegance to my toolkit.
Of course, a premium product like this comes with a price tag to match. However, I’d argue that for those who appreciate the blend of aesthetics and functionality, these tongs are worth the investment.
But, I found a minor issue. When handling larger, artisanal ice cubes, their grip wasn’t as secure. It’s a small caveat in an otherwise stellar performance.
Ultimately, if you’re happy to shell out a little more on ice tongs, I’d highly recommend this set. They look great and do an excellent job at moving the ice around, but you may want a different set for larger ice cubes.
- Unique, artistic design.
- Secure grip on ice cubes.
- Durable and sleek stainless steel construction.
- Not as secure with larger ice cubes.
- Higher price point than most other options.
What To Look For In Ice Tongs
When you’re searching for the perfect ice tongs, here are a few key factors to consider:
Ice tongs are typically made from stainless steel, which is both durable and rust-resistant.
But they can also come in other materials like wood or plastic, often for aesthetic purposes. Stainless steel tongs are generally preferred for their durability and for maintaining cold temperatures.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Beer Coolers To Keep Beers Frosty
You want to make sure the tongs have a good grip on the ice to avoid dropping cubes or crushing them unnecessarily.
Look for tongs with teeth or claws at the ends, or those with silicone or rubber tips, as they are generally good at securing ice without applying too much pressure.
>> Read more: 6 BEST Whiskey Decanters For Home Bars
The size of the tongs matters, particularly in relation to the ice you’re using. If your bar typically uses larger, craft ice cubes or spheres, you’ll want a pair of tongs that can easily handle those without slipping.
Smaller tongs might be sufficient for standard ice cubes or crushed ice.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Ice Makers For Home Bars
Consider how the tongs feel in your hand. If they’re uncomfortable or awkward to use, it could lead to slower service or even accidents.
Look for tongs with ergonomic designs or comfortable handles to make the task of moving ice easier.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Ice Molds For Bartenders
The best ice tongs will be durable enough to stand up to heavy use without bending or breaking. So look for high-quality materials and good construction.
>> Read more: 8 BEST Ice Buckets To Keep Beverages Cool
Although this is secondary to function, the style of your ice tongs can reflect on your overall presentation. Sleek, well-designed tongs can add a touch of class to your bartending setup.
>> Read more: 7 BEST Bartender Bags To Stay Organized
Why do bartenders use ice tongs?
Bartenders use ice tongs primarily for hygiene and safety, ensuring ice is transferred to drinks without direct hand contact. They also use tongs for precision and control, reducing the risk of dropping or mishandling ice.
Instead of picking ice up with your hands, which is…gross. Bartenders use ice tongs to add ice to customers’ drinks in a hygienic and clean way.
Do bartenders need ice tongs?
Absolutely, bartenders do need ice tongs. This tool is critical not just for upholding high standards of hygiene by avoiding direct hand contact with ice, but also for ensuring precision when placing ice in glassware, particularly when dealing with larger or uniquely shaped ice cubes.
The use of ice tongs conveys a sense of professionalism and meticulousness in drink preparation, enhancing the overall experience for patrons. So, for health, efficiency, and aesthetic reasons, ice tongs are indeed an indispensable part of a bartender’s toolkit.
Can you use ice tongs to handle dry ice?
No, it’s not safe to use typical ice tongs to handle dry ice. Dry ice is extremely cold and can cause severe frostbite. It’s recommended to use insulated gloves or specific tools designed for handling dry ice.
Ice tongs are ice tongs at the end of the day, we’re not talking about a world-changing tool here. However, it is important to ensure you get tongs that work with the type of drinks you frequently create.
Navigating the world of bartending tools can be a daunting task, but finding the right ice tongs is an investment in quality, hygiene, and professionalism that no bartender should overlook.
Whether you’re crafting cocktails in a commercial bar or in the comfort of your home, the perfect pair of ice tongs are key to ensuring precision, safety, and a touch of flair in your presentation.
Choosing the right pair allows for precise ice handling, improves hygiene, and adds a dash of professional flair to your work. But remember to consider factors like material, grip, size, comfort, and aesthetics when making your choice.
If you’re unsure, go with our top pick as you’ll have four options to choose from. But if you’ve got a bit of a budget, I’d recommend our premium pick as these are truly excellent ice tongs and were my favorite to review and test.
Catch you in the next one!