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Why Are Korean Chopsticks Metal?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Korean chopsticks are metal because it’s strong and never breaks, it also is very easy to clean because it does not absorb water. Lastly, it’s lasted way longer than wooden chopsticks.

Why Are Korean Chopsticks Metal

Korean chopsticks have their pros and cons but the majority of people in Korea use metal chopsticks. If you’re wondering why Koreans use metal chopsticks then you’re in the right place.

I’m Korean myself and have been using metal chopsticks since I was born. It’s the same for many other Koreans.

There are a few reasons that I know, here are some of them.

  • Metal chopsticks are strong and never break.
  • Wooden chopsticks sometimes break when you put too much force but metal chopsticks will never break.
  • They’re easy to clean because they do not absorb water.
  • You can just wipe it with a dry towel and your chopsticks will be clean.
  • The chopsticks last way longer than wooden chopsticks.

Some cons of using metal chopsticks are that they’re quite expensive compared to wooden chopsticks and they’re harder to use than wooden chopsticks.

Korean metal chopsticks are harder than Western metal forks so it’s kind of difficult for new users, but after a while, you’ll get used to it.

Why Are Korean Chopsticks Thin?

Korean chopsticks are thin because it makes it easier to pick up food. Western chopsticks are fat and hard to use but Korean metal chopsticks are thin and made for Asians so it’s easy to hold them.

Almost all Koreans eat their meals with chopsticks except soup of course, and they use metal chopsticks.

Koreans eat almost everything with their metal chopsticks so it’s more convenient to have thin ones compared to thick ones.

If you were using thick chopsticks, it would be really hard to pick up rice and noodles and some other foods. That’s not the case for Korean metal chopsticks.

So, why are Korean chopsticks thin?

Because it makes eating with them a lot easier.

I’ve noticed that thin chopsticks require a different holding technique to wood chopsticks, but after a while, it’s much easier.

Are Metal Chopsticks Harder to Use?

No, it’s actually easier to use than wooden chopsticks because metal chopsticks are made for Asians and it fits in your hand so you won’t drop them as much.

Wooden chopsticks, however, will break if you put too much pressure on them and they might break in the middle of mealtime which is really annoying.

Using metal chopsticks is a lot easier than wooden ones because it’s harder to break and there’s no technique required at all.

The only downside of using metal chopsticks is that they’re quite expensive but it’s way better than wooden chopsticks for certain aspects.

That’s also the reason why most restaurants only sell wooden chopsticks.

On average you’re paying around $2 – $ 4 more for metal chopsticks compared to wooden ones.

The average cost of wooden chopsticks is around $2 for 2 to 3 pairs and for metal chopsticks, you’re paying $5 for 2 to 3 pairs.

But the durability of metal chopsticks outperforms wooden ones significantly.

Are Metal Chopsticks Good?

Yes, metal chopsticks are good because they’re durable and never break, plus they’re easier to use than wooden ones.

I prefer metal chopsticks over wooden ones but I still eat soup with a spoon. You can choose either one but for me, it’s metal all the way.

Metal chopsticks are very common in Korea and everyone uses them.

Most Korean restaurants use metal chopsticks and they only sell wooden chopsticks in some convenience stores.

Metal Chopsticks vs Wood

The main difference between metal chopsticks and wooden is that metal chopsticks are easier to hold and they don’t break as easily. They’re also less likely to splinter.

You can also grill meat with metal chopsticks and they’ll never break.

Wooden chopsticks aren’t as easy to use and some might find them easier than metal ones but it’s really up to you which one you prefer.

Keep in mind that you can’t grill meat with wooden chopsticks. And grilling meat in Korea is one of the best things ever.

However, if you’re looking for chopsticks and are on a budget. Then it might be worth looking into wooden chopsticks.

Other than that metal chopsticks will always be better in my opinion, but it’s up to you which ones you prefer.


All in all, metal chopsticks are better than wooden ones because they’re easier to use, don’t break easily and you can grill meat with them.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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