There are many kinds of rolling pins. I’m showing you the ones I own. From the bottom up:
- French pin
- Straight pin
- Measuring pin
- Imprinted pin
- Tortellini pin
- Silicone pin
- Pin with ball bearings
The French pin is tapered on the ends to prevent you from rolling your edges too thin. I don’t use this one much as I roll with even pressure and I don’t need this adaptation.
The straight pin is the one I use the most, perhaps out of nostalgia, it’s the one my grandpa made for my grandma. She used it almost exclusively for rolling out fettuccini and ravioli and fried bread.
The measuring pin has handles that are thicker than body of the pin the difference in depth being 1/8”. I also have another pin where the depth is 1/4”. These pins allow you to roll a precise thickness, either 1/8” or 1/4”. They work best on rectangular shapes but are long enough to roll out a 14” circle if your careful to keep the edge of your dough away from the thicker handles.
The imprinted pin allows you to imprint dough with a design. Make sure it’s well floured so the dough doesn’t stick in the crevices.
The silicone pin is good for rolling out nougatine and other super sticky items.
The pin on ball bearings gives you a bit of an assist for rolling out really big pieces of dough.
If I were to buy one pin, I suppose it would be the straight pin. Mine is a bit short. I’d get one that is about 20”. I do like the measuring pin, not being good at eyeballing thickness. I’d buy 1/8” and 1/4”, those being the most common widths for tart and pie dough and cookies.