A Tip about Tips

Did you know that not all icing tips are created equal?  I didn’t until I stared at them for  few years.

I have always bought three brands of icing tips…Wilton, Ateco, and PME {I’ve yet to see a Beckenal in real life}. I’m no expert, of course, but I always assumed that if the tips were the same number, they would be the same size {meaning a #2 is always a #2 or #3 a #3} no matter what brand they were. However, this isn’t the case.

I looked all over the Internet trying to find some sort of solid info or standard for how these things are sized, but I didn’t have a lot of luck.  If someone else out there knows, PLEASE point me in the right direction.  In the meantime here are my observations.  I will try not to confuse everyone.

When compared side by side, #2 Ateco tips are actually larger than #2 Wilton tips.

They aren’t bigger than PME #2.5 tips, however.  Here is a shot of all three together.  As you can see the Ateco is bigger than the Wilton, but a bit smaller than the PME.  The good thing about this is you can get away with buying the much cheaper Ateco #2’s in place of the PME’s because the Ateco is about the equivalent of a Wilton #2.5, if there were such a thing.  Are you confused yet?

Here’s how an Ateco #2 compares to a Wilton #3.  See what I mean?  Right between a #2 and #3.

Now for an even more shocking comparison.  Would you believe an Ateco #1 is actually bigger than a Wilton #2?  Weird huh?

Now here’s an Ateco #1 compared to similar tubes.

And finally, the Wilton and Ateco #2 and #3 tips side by side.  As you can see, there is a huge gap between Wilton sizes while the Atecos change more gradually.

I’ve even noticed a change in size between the same sizes of Wilton tips in recent years.  It’s so tiny it’s hard to capture in a photograph, but I’d almost swear it’s true…or maybe I am just crazy, who knows?

Although I’ll never abandon my trusty old Wilton tips, I find myself buying a lot of Ateco #1 and #2’s these days.  Besides being larger than Wilton’s, they are also a bit longer, which I like, because it allows me more control over my piping.

As for the more expensive PME’s, the only size I regularly invest in are the #1.5’s.  They truly are miracle tips.  However, aside from the #1.5’s, the Atecos are so similar to PME’s half sizes, I just cannot justify spending the extra money.

This is all personal preference of course, and you should always do what works for you, but my point is this…KNOW your options.  Even if you cannot afford PME’s, {which usually run about $4-$5} there are quality tips that will work for you.

While we’re on the subject of tips and such, I have one other tidbit that I wanted to share.  Have you ever wondered why Wilton couplers have notches in them but Ateco do not?  My guess would be that you didn’t, but I’ll tell ya anyway.

The Wilton couplers have notches for tips like this one.

There is a little wire that keeps the middle of the flower perfectly centered inside the tip, so they put a little notch there to accommodate it.

If you found that interesting, you might also like to know that there are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.  Just kidding…

Another thing you might be wondering is how in the heck to pronounce Ateco.  It’s A-TECH-OH.  How do I know?  Because Karen, who orders from them often, said that’s how they answer their phone when she calls.  Works for me!

Anyway, these are my tips about tips.  In the meantime I’ll work on finding out how these things are sized.

If you’re in the market for icing tips, check out these places:

Have an exciting weekend.  See ya back here soon!