Easiest overall: Shrimp deveiner
Our kitchen usually gives the side-eye to single-purpose tools, but this gem won them over. The tapered plastic point practically does the work for you—insert it under the shell, push to split the shell (making it easier to pull off) and remove the vein in one swift motion. (Shrimp Cleaner, $7, oxo.com)
Chef’s go-to: Paring knife
That little guy in your knife block is the perfect size for shrimp prep and the weapon of choice for most cooking pros. Peel off the legs and shell by hand, starting from the underside of the shrimp. Then make a cut along the back and remove the vein with the knife tip.
Most Macgyver-y: Toothpick
Keep these multitaskers around—they’re surprisingly effective! Peel off the legs and shell by hand, starting from the underside of the shrimp. Poke a toothpick crosswise through the shrimp about 1/2 inch up from the tail so it is just under the vein (almost touching). Gently pull the toothpick up and out of the shrimp, bringing the vein along with it.