Historical information

Scotch hands have also come to be known as butter beaters, butter hands, butter workers or butter pats depending on what part of the world or time period you were in. They are wooden spatulas used when making butter used to press freshly churned butter to remove the watery buttermilk during the butter finishing or working process, also as an aid to distribute salt through the butter. Removing the buttermilk and adding salt helps to prevent rancidity in finished butter, with one side of the paddle ribbed or grooved to allow the buttermilk to drain away from the butter during pressing. The ungrooved side may be used for shaping the butter into its final form. The highest quality Scotch hands are made out of sycamore wood, but they can also be made out of metal.


An everyday item in most farm households from the 17th up until the mid 20th centuries significant as it gives a snapshot into the domestic lives of people with farms or small holdings that made their own butter either for sale or for their own use.

Physical description

A pair of Butter Slices (pat) wooden flat with shaped handle. Side for shaping butter is textured

Inscriptions & markings

Textured with horizontal lines