Spatula vs. Turner

Spatula vs. Turner: Which One Should Use for Which Purposes?

Both the spatula and turner are exceptionally versatile tools for the kitchen. They are present in most kitchens. And you might have even used one of them to mix and flip the pancakes this morning. Yes, both of them are for mixing and flipping.

Are spatula and turner just different names for the same thing? You came to the right place if you want to know all about turner vs spatula. We will simplify the information and make things a piece of cake for you.

What Is a Spatula?

What Is a Spatula

When talking about a cooking spatula, you will be referring to a kitchen tool that you can mix, flip, or scrape other ingredients with. The word "spatula" comes from the Greek word "spathe” which means "blade" in English.

However, spatulas are less intimidating and less metallic than the word's actual meaning suggests. You will not have to work hard to find a full silicone or rubber scraper on the shelves. In some cases, it will be of wood or metal.

What Is a Spatula Used For?

The primary task of the spatula is to mix, scrape, and flip. You can even use the spatula to lift and spread food around. That certainly comes in handy when making gravy or frying foods on the pan.

Types of Spatulas

Other than the regular kind, there are two types of spatulas out there. And here is a brief description of each of them:

Fish Spatula

The fish spatula has a slotted and flexible blade for cradling a fish slice or fish fillet. However, that does not mean that you can only use it to handle fish around. It will also be possible to do all of the other things that spatulas can do.

Icing Spatula

Icing spatulas are rubber or metallic scrapers for distributing or spreading frosting or icing on the baking products. You might also see people referring to them as offset spatula or palette knife spatula.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Spatula

You can use a spatula to mix dry and wet ingredients without facing any issues. Furthermore, the thin nature of the head is used to scrape food off the sides and surface of mixing bowls.

Regarding the disadvantages, the spatulas will react to heat pretty quickly. These are not that resistant to heat. Even the rubber or the silicone ones will start to melt when you introduce them to heat. The ones made of metal will heat up quickly.

What Is a Turner?

What Is a Turner

Otherwise known as a kitchen flipper, kitchen turner is a tool you would use exclusively to flip the food items on the pan. Even though these have the same shape and size as spatulas, people do not consider a food turner a true spatula. Again, the reason is because of the name.

Nonetheless, the tool will have a long handle and a flat flexible part. And for the long handle, it becomes easy to handle hot food on top of the pans. You will even see these used by people to serve hot food properly.

What is a Turner Used for?

As mentioned earlier, the turner is all about turning food around. The flexible nature of the head makes it easier to stick it under the food. And after that, all it takes is one turn of the hand to turn the food to the other side.

You will see that some kitchens have a pancake-turner, which turn pancakes around. But you can use the same turner to turn omelets and crepes around. Also, as the turners have similar size and body as a spatula, you can use them to mix, scrape, and stir foods around if you want to.

Types of Spatulas

There are two different types of turners out in the market. To give you a good idea regarding this kitchen utensil, let us go through each of the types:

Slotted Turner

The slotted turner is exceptionally versatile, and you can use it for almost all types of food handling tasks if you want to. It will have a flexible head with long slops that will run from the top to the bottom of the blade. Those slots will make the juice and other ingredients seep through.

Solid Turner

You will usually find long handles on the solid turners. The reason behind the long handles will come in handy when you are flipping food from a hot pot or pan. It will keep your hands safe. And as these do not have any slots, they are the best for turning pancakes. Everything that you will lift will remain on the top of the head.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Turner

The first advantage that makes the turners stand out the most is the heat resistivity. In other words, the construction material of the turner will be highly resistant to extreme heat. That would allow you to handle food on top of a heat source. Secondly, it makes turning the food around a breeze.

The turners are not that useful if you plan to spread food around. Its heads will primarily be stainless steel or nylon, which are not flexible.

Difference Between Turner And Spatula

Spatula and Turner

The words turner and spatula have become interchangeable nouns for many people. However, even if you call one by the other or call both by the same name, they are not the same. Some things make each of them distinct. And in this segment, we will get in-depth with the topic of spatula vs. flipper:

Heat Resistance

Turners have high overall resistance. They are meant for handling hot foods on top of pans and pots. And for that reason, you will not have to worry about anything melting when making a yummy hot dish with a turner.

On that note, the spatulas are generally for non-heat-related foods. It is for mixing, scraping, and spreading. However, some of the units can handle hot food reasonably well. But again, that is only applicable for some of the units. Usually, spatulas are for wet and cold food.


Usually, most of the spatulas will be made of rubber or silicone. That material makes them flexible and allows them to scrape through the sides of the bowl easily. On the other hand, the turners will mainly be made of stainless steel and metalwhich gives them a higher resistance than the spatula.


The spatulas will come in different kinds of sturdy surfaces. The surfaces reflect how many other things you can do with the kitchen utensil. Some might even have a notch in the middle where the handle attaches, or the region can be flat.

In comparison, the turns will always have a flat surface. Without having a flat surface, they will not be capable of serving their core function, which is to get under the food and turn them around.


As you might have guessed, there is some overlap in the use case of the turner and the spatula. People have been using one for the other or using one for both. You can undoubtedly use the turner for mixing, scraping, and stirring in a general sense. However, the turners are mostly for turning food around.

Nonetheless, even if you can use turners for most tasks, you can not use scrapers for everything. The main reason behind that is heat resistivity. Usually, the typical materials of the spatula will not be capable of resisting the heat. For that reason, you will not be capable of handling hot foods with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do spatulas have long handles?

Generally, the spatulas have medium-sized handles. However, if you look hard enough, you will find long-sized handles.

Are all spatulas made of rubber or silicone?

Usually, the spatulas' handles will be made of metal or wood, while the head of the utensil will be of rubber or silicone. However, there are all-metal spatulas in the market.

Can I handle hot foods using a turner?

Yes! The main goal of a turner is to handle hot food. Its construction material can take high-temperature food without worrying about the utensil deforming.

Final Words

To recapitulate, you will need to look at the material, heat resistivity, surface, and use case when it comes to spatula vs turner. You can understand what makes these two kitchen utensils stand out by keeping them in mind. is a participant in the Amazon Associate program and will earn from qualifying purchases.