7 Images

Tool test results

Flower arrangement: Calphalon’s dishwasher-safe scooper, the 3-Way, introduced this year, has a stainless-steel spoon that resembles a flower with petals. The handle is made of easy-grip nylon and soft silicone.

What’s the difference: The unique shape allows the tool to extract ice cream in three directions from any kind of container. The goal here: no lick left behind.

What we thought: This scoop has an elegant look and a comfortable handle, but requires some force to use. Its carving action forms attractive curls of ice cream.

How much: About $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond and (Eric Boyd / LAT)
Get a grip: The new KitchenArt Gel Grip, available in lime green and blue, looks and feels like a toy with its colorful, pliable silicon handle. The dishwasher-safe scoop is made of die-cast zinc.

What’s the difference: The squishy handle molds to the hand. The deep spoon is tapered for sphere-shaping.

What we thought: This well-designed scoop is fun to look at and use. Grasping the unique handle gives you the leverage to barrel into rock-solid ice cream and end up with nice orbs.

How much: About $12 at Crate & Barrel and Amazon.com (Eric Boyd / LAT)
Midcentury marvel: This new edition of the classic 1930s Zeroll is made of high-grade aluminum. The same design also is available coated in nonstick Teflon. Hand wash only.

What’s the difference: The handle contains nontoxic self-defrosting fluid. In theory, your hand instantly activates this liquid, which heats up the interior of the spoon portion (it doesn’t feel warm to the touch).

What we thought: The handle is thick and comfortable, but our results weren’t great. We ended up with slivery slabs instead of spheres, which is a mouthful to say but not to eat. Also, does “antifreeze” — even if it’s nontoxic and sealed — belong in a kitchen?

How much: About $17 at Crate & Barrel. The Teflon-coated version is $28 at Williams-Sonoma. (Eric Boyd / LAT)
Globule warming: The Deni Electric Ice Cream Scoop, introduced in 2005, is a one-piece stand-up unit that looks like a giant spoon in a hooded cape. The aluminum scooper is covered with nonstick coating; the ergonomic handle has santoprene grip strips. The cord is 76 inches long. Only the spoon portion can be washed (by hand).

What’s the difference: Plug it in and the spoon gets warm in minutes. The plastic collar keep drips from traveling down your hands.

What we thought: More of a novelty act than a practical tool. The warmed spoon melts the ice cream. That’s not only cheating, but it’s also messy.

How much: About $15 at; $24 at Target.com and (Eric Boyd / LAT)
A cute triangle: Wilton’s Incredible Ice Cream Scoop, introduced in 2004, has a triangle-shaped stainless-steel spoon and a handle covered in light blue silicone. There’s a hole for hanging, and it’s dishwasher safe.

What’s the difference: The points of the triangular spoon are designed to pierce and slice through ice cream. There’s a ridge on the back of the ergonomic handle for your index finger, and a little thumb rest on the other side.

What we thought: Nice to hold, but a little awkward to use. When a lot of force was exerted in digging, the ice cream almost went flying out of the carton.

How much: About $7 at Williams-Sonoma and Amazon.com. (Eric Boyd / LAT)
Clever lever: OXO currently has six ice cream scoops on the market, including this 9-year-old design that uses a pop-up lever to eject the ice cream. The spoon is round, stainless steel, and the black soft grip handle is rubbery santoprene. You can put it in the dishwasher, and there’s a hole in the handle for hanging.

What’s the difference: There are little finger-friendly fin-like ridges on the handle. Although this scooper has been around for a while, the catapulting mechanism is unique, kind of like one of those rock-hurling weapons from the Middle Ages.

What we thought: You need to exert some force for effective digging. But once you get the spoon filled, the lever works really well in gently releasing rounds of ice cream. The little fins are nice to grasp.

How much: About $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond and  (Eric Boyd / LAT)
Size matters: The dishwasher-safe Cuisinart Ice Cream Scoop, introduced in 2004, has a large chrome-plated zinc spoon and a rounded handle of ABS plastic (the stuff used in football helmets). It’s available in pink, black or red.

What’s the difference: The spoon capacity makes it easy to form large, round scoops of ice cream without exerting a lot of strength.

What we thought: Really gets the job done. The sleek handle has nice indentations for your palm and thumb. It looks cool and is comfortable to use.

How much: About $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Macy’s and (Eric Boyd / LAT)