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Cherries are a popular fruit—but those pits! They can be a choking hazard for small children, and for sure you wouldn’t want a beautiful cherry pie filled with hard pits. While there are methods for pitting cherries using common household or office supplies, it’s a lot easier—and probably safer—to use a tool designed specifically for the task. Plus, olives and cherries are about the same size, shape, and texture, so you can use most cherry pitters to pit your olives, as well. We’ve compiled our favorites, whether you just need to pit a few cherries for snacking or you’ve got a tree full of fruit that’s ready for canning.
To help you find the best cherry pitters for perfectly enjoyable cherries, we sent top-rated pitters to our experienced product tester. Each one was used to pit both cherries and olives. Then, the cherry pitters were all rated on performance, design, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
Read on to discover the best cherry pitters, chosen after careful research and testing.
Best Overall: OXO Good Grips Cherry and Olive Pitter
For cherries and olives of various sizes
Does not require a lot of pressure
Plastic hinge is delicate
Still some splash from juice
While this cherry pitter looks simple, it’s got features that boost its performance. The clear shroud keeps cherry juice from splattering sideways, so the kitchen counter won’t look like a crime scene. The holder contains large Bing cherries easily, while the recessed area cradles small cherries or olives securely. The curved spike moves easily in an arc to slide through the pitter and the cherry for clean pit removal, and the handle is comfortable to hold, no matter how many cherries need pitting for your pies.
Our tester reported the grip on this pitter remained comfortable across 12 tests of large cherries with no hand fatigue. She noted the splatter shield completely contained juices while operating, and the flesh of the cherries remained pristine after pitting. Across all tests, the cherries pitted with ease, but when she tried Castelvetrano olives, the pit was a bit large and the pitter tore the flesh two out of four times. When switched to smaller Kalamata olives, she recorded complete success with no marring or tearing of olive flesh.
The plastic shroud is removable for easier hand washing, and the whole tool is dishwasher safe. Our tester warned the shroud is small, and best loaded in the utensil caddy when running in the dishwasher. For storage, the pitter locks closed, and our tester appreciated the compact design.
Dimensions: 5.75 x 1.25 x 4.75 inches | Cherry Capacity: 1 at a time | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"This pitter was so easy to use, comfortable to grip, and didn't take much pressure to quickly work through six cherries and six olives. It would make a worthy addition to anybody's kitchen collection."
Best for Large Quantities: Leifheit Cherry Pitter with Stone Catcher Container
Easy to operate
Pits large quantities at once
Attached container keeps mess away
Easy to clean
Cherries sometimes stick
Requires heavy pressure to pit
Great for pitting a lot of cherries for jams, pies, and salads, the Leifheit is designed to make it easy to keep pitting without stopping. The plunger pits the cherries with a simple push. Those pits fall into the large clear container, while the cherries roll out the chute where they can be caught in your favorite bowl. Our tester noted a learning curve when first setting up this cherry pitter. Instructions come in multiple languages, but English is not one. Fortunately, pictures of the process on the box and in the instruction manual walked her through set up and operation.
The highlight of this pitter for our tester was the no-mess performance. She pitted all 34 cherries without juice splash, and every pit collected in the large clear container that did not have to be emptied until she finished. She did note that the cherries had to be manually removed from the dowel each time, but the spout design directed them straight into an awaiting bowl she positioned below. She did attempt testing of olives, but after 10 Castelvetranos, she found though pitted, five were mangled from the amount of pressure required. And the nonslip base kept the Leifheit from moving around the counter during testing.
Our tester noted the Leifheit stood out in large batch pitting because of the top shelf where de-stemmed cherries can be loaded to await pitting. Once finished, she took it apart and put it into the dishwasher for cleaning. She did warn to put the smaller parts (spring and coil) in the utensil caddy to keep from losing them, but reported all components came out completely clean and intact.
Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 12 inches | Cherry Capacity: 1 at a time | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"I loved the anti-slip base that kept this secure while assembling and operating. It also really wins in the large batch pitting because of the top shelf where you can de-stem your cherries ahead and load them to await pitting."
Best Budget: Westmark Kernex Cherry Stoner
Doesn't cause hand fatigue
Accurate cherry pitting
No splatter shield
This lightweight model effortlessly pits cherries at an affordable price. The durable aluminum construction promises long life, and the compact size makes for easy storage. Our tester noted the pitter was quite sturdy in her hands, and she felt no fatigue across testing six large cherries.
Even when cherries were askew during testing, the pit came out cleanly with the simple scissor-action of the pitter. Across all tests, the cherries remained unmarred, and the operation of the pitter required little pressure. When our tester switched to olives, she had less success—neither Kalamatas nor Castelvetranos yielded their pits. The olives remained fully intact with pit, or tore apart completely. But this pitter is worth it for the easy and accurate cherry-pitting capabilities.
The pitter locks with a simple latch on the end of the handles, so it will stay neatly closed in the gadget drawer. It’s not dishwasher safe, but our tester noted it washed up easily in a basin of hot, soapy water. You'll be cleaning the sink anyway since this model has no splatter shield so all our tests needed to be performed over the sink to contain mess.
Dimensions: 6.5 x 2 x 1 inches | Cherry Capacity: 1 at a time | Dishwasher Safe: No
"I loved how cleanly the Westmark pitted large cherries across all six trials. Each test the dowel plunged the pit accurately, it released cleanly, and the fruit remained pristine."
Best for Manual Pitting: Triangle Germany Cherry Pitter
Doesn't crush or break the fruit
Compact and easy to store
Can be messy with extraction
Sometimes difficult to gain purchase on pit
When you’re pitting cherries for snacking, for jam, or for a pie, they don’t need to be pretty—they just need to have the pit removed. But when you want a pretty cherry for a garnish or an elegant dessert, you want a nicer-looking fruit. That requires a bit more manual work. This pitter makes that work a bit easier, since it’s designed to neatly cut out the pit without crushing, bruising, or breaking the fruit, and it leaves a neat hole.
Our tester appreciated the straightforward operation, and level of control this manual pitter afforded. Across 10 large cherries, she noted the pitter was lightweight, caused no hand fatigue, and produced pristine cherries each time. She did report her hands became quite messy during the process as she had to hold each cherry while digging out the pit—processing over a sink is paramount. She also found equal success when pitting larger olives, except she did have to work harder to separate the pit from the skin, but again, the olives were unmarred when complete.
Whether you plan on stuffing the cherries or leaving them whole, they will look attractive on the plate. When you’re done pitting, this tool is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and as our tester noted, quite compact for easy storage in her gadget drawer.
Dimensions: 5.12 x 0.8 x 0.47 inches | Cherry Capacity: 1 at a time | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"This model offers compact size and utile function. The manual operation offered a lot of control over pitting across 10 large cherries, and six Castelvetrano olives. Each test I was able to accurately dig around the pit and release the fruit with no damage."
Best for Kids: Talisman Designs Chomper Cherry Pitter
Container to catch pit and residual juices
Easily pits cherries, even when they're askew
Completely disassembles and is dishwasher safe
A little bulky when storing
A friendly pitter that kids will love, the Talisman Designs Chomper helps keep them safe from accidental pinches since the plunger is hidden, while the front tooth on the chomper acts as an extra guard to keep fingers out of the way. It’s easy for kids or adults to place a cherry in the chomper’s mouth before pushing down on the top of its head to pit the cherry and watching the pit fall into the clean base.
The illustrated instructions on the box thrilled our tester, which made assembly and operation a cinch. She tested six large cherries, both askew and upright, and didn't encounter any issues removing the pit. Required pressure was very light, making this an easy tool for kids to operate. And she noted the pits released cleanly in each test, depositing them in the awaiting bottom chamber. Our tester also tried four Castelvetrano and two Kalamata olives with marginal success. The Castelvetranos proved unpittable, but the Kalamatas released the pits after a great deal of pressure and torn flesh.
This device comes apart easily to empty the accumulated pits, and our tester appreciated the no-mess operation it afforded. Cleanup is as simple as detaching the bottom, throwing the pits away, and putting the whole thing in the dishwasher. Even though this one had lots of nooks and crannies, she noted everything came out clean after a cycle in the dishwasher. This is somewhat bulky to store, even disassembled, but would appeal to children dipping their feet in cooking.
Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.75 x 6 inches | Cherry Capacity: 1 at a time | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best for Small Cherries: Cuisipro Cherry Pitter
Can be with one hand
Mess-free and splatter-proof design
Ineffective at olive pitting
Cherries have to be placed nearly perfect for pitting
The Cuisipro pitter features a silicone cup that accommodates cherries of any shape or size, while the scoop front allows one-handed use. Just scoop a cherry from the bowl and tilt it into the cup, squeeze to push the plunger to send the pit out of the bottom, and tip the pitter to drop the pitted cherry into a bowl. The deep bottom and splatter shield keeps cherry juice from splattering, for neater pitting.
After six rounds of trials with cherries, our tester reported once placed directly below the dowel, cherries pitted cleanly. She did appreciate the size and comfort of the pitter for longer periods of use, though cherries had to be placed exactly below dowel, not askew, for the pitter to operate. When testing it with olives, the Castelvetrano olives were met with no success. It either wouldn't push the pit, even with excessive pressure, or completely tore them. She also unsuccessful with smaller Kalamata olives, where the flesh of the olives completely tore.
This is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning when the pitting is done. Our tester put it through two dishwasher cycles, and noted it came out pristine both times. Once dry, it locked for compact storage.
Dimensions: 8 x 3.25 x 1.5 inches | Cherry Capacity: 1 at a time | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
The pitter was a good size and comfortable to hold, though slightly slippery to grip. I appreciated the splatter shield which efficiently kept messy juices at bay."
Best Design: OXO Good Grips Multiple Cherry Pitter
Expandable base fits most bowls
Pits up to 6 cherries at once
Cherries don’t always release automatically
Gripped cherry pitters can be hard for some to operate, and often cause a mess for kids, which is why we like this pitter. It operates like a wide stapler; you compress the top to pit up to six cherries at a time, and the pits deposit into a removable receptacle for mess-free, easy collection.
After going over the visual and written instructions that clearly explained how to operate and clean the pitter, our test appreciated the stable, expandable base that easily fits any bowl. She reported the dowels cleanly pitted cherries every time she placed six cherries inside, and even when placed askew and off-kilter. She did note she had to manually remove the pitted cherries from the dowels, but reasoned the quantity it did in one operation made up for the time it took to collect them. She also found the pit chamber adequately contained juice and pits, but had to be emptied after each plunge.
In another round of trials, she tested two loads of six Castelvetrano olives with mixed results. Half of each test released the pits, but the flesh was mangled on a few. She successfully pitted a round of six Kalamata olives with ease and no marring of flesh. Throughout both types of testing the pitter remained secure on the bowl, no matter how much pressure she applied.
When finished testing, it easily came apart for thorough washing in the dishwasher, and it folded up into a slim rectangle that fit in her gadget drawer right next to the mandoline. The compact design belies the incredible efficiency of this model.
Dimensions: 8.5 x 4 x 2 inches | Cherry Capacity: 6 at a time | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"This was my favorite pitter of all the ones I tested. It worked through an entire bag of large cherries quickly with little-to-no mess."
How We Tested
Our selected cherry pitters were tested for hours by our product tester for the most authentic results. We paid close attention to each pitter's design and performance, assessing how well they pit cherries and olives. We also made note of how easy it was to clean each pitter. Each cherry pitter was given a rating for performance, design, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
What to Look for in a Cherry Pitter
Handheld: These work very much like a stapler or one-hole punch. They have minimal parts and are easy to use. Usually, you can only pit one cherry at a time.
Tabletop: These models are placed on a table or counter and often have non-slip attachments to secure them during the process. Rather than a squeeze, these typically require a hand plunge to operate. Most can accommodate multiple cherries at a time.
An important consideration is the number of cherries you will destone. If you're an avid baker that pits pounds of cherries to store for pies and preserves, you want a pitter that does multiple cherries at a time. This will decrease prep time considerably. If you only want enough cherries for a single pie or some other discrete product, a handheld option is more than adequate. With a handheld pitter, you also have more control over quality. Another factor may be the size of the foods you plan to destone, as some pitters can only handle small cherries and olives, while others can take on the bigger ones.
Ease of Use and Cleaning
It is always important to consider how easy the cleanup will be when embarking on a kitchen tool purchase. Many of the tabletop systems have attached containers or guards that contain the juice spillage to those areas. There's also the consideration of how quickly something disassembles for cleaning and whether it's dishwasher safe. The handheld pitters are small and easy to give a quick hand wash, while the tabletop varieties have separate parts, but are mostly dishwasher safe.
This is really a question of whether the quantity or quality is most important to you. If you're destoning 5 pounds of cherries for a neighborhood pie swap, you want the fastest, most efficient model—probably a tabletop design. If you're more concerned with aesthetically pleasing cherries for garnishing plates or topping cakes, you need a tool that has optimal control. This is where the compact handheld models perform best. You can easily decide where to plunge the pitter and adjust pressure if they're smushing.
Are cherry pits harmful?
The answer is more nuanced than just a simple yes or no. If the pit is whole, they are rarely poisonous, but a broken pit can be dangerous. Inside the pit is a “nut” that contains amygdalin, which the body converts into cyanide—a very dangerous substance to the human body. Don’t worry if you swallow some whole pits, but make sure you don’t crunch or nosh them and expose yourself to the poison inside the nut of the pit. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it's always best to call your doctor.
Can you use a cherry pitter to pit olives?
Yes, you can pit olives with a cherry pitter. The only caveat is the size the pitter can hold. Some pitters are only designed to destone smaller cherries and would not work on a Spanish queen olive or other large variety. If you want a tool that will be versatile enough to use for multiple types of stone foods, check the capacity of the pitter.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Carrie Honaker tested all seven products in this roundup, and updated the article for key specs, what to look for when buying, and frequently asked questions. As a food writer, restaurateur and avid home cook, she knows the importance of finding the right tool for the right job. She loves her OXO Good Grips Cherry Pitter for its comfortable grip, mess-free operation, and dependable performance when pitting an entire bag of cherries for summer cobbler. Her work has appeared in many publications including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.
Donna Currie is a cookbook author, food writer, and product tester for The Spruce Eats. From garlic presses to food processors, she has always loved to tinker with all the kitchen gadgets, testing their pros and cons, and always looking for the best of the best even before she started writing about food. Her love of gadgets and cooking led to a recipe blog, Cookistry, and a cookbook, "Make Ahead Bread."