Vintage utensils and gadgets are good examples of how things used to be made to last which is probably why many have survived so long despite heavy use over years or decades. And a high survival rate translates into lower costs for the beginner collector. Collecting need not be limited to fans of kitchen items, either; many of the older gadgets are mechanical in nature and so may be of interest to those who collect hand tools or other mechanical items who are looking to branch out their collections.
One thing is for sure - it seems that even back in the day, ladies of the house had a gadget for just about everything. There were flour sifters, apple corers, potato ricers, pasta cutters, tomato slicers, cake breakers, cake servers, graters, mashers, egg beaters, egg scramblers, pastry blenders, and pastry wheels, in addition to peelers, grinders, scoops, whisks, and choppers. And that doesn't even include spatulas, ladles, tongs, flatware, knives, etc.!
Given the variety, you have the option of collecting all of one piece (e.g., all rotary beaters), all pieces of one era (anything from the 1950s), pieces of similar color despite the type or age (all green handled items you can find), or pieces made from the same material (tin measuring cups or melamine spatulas). As with many people who start a collection, you may initially buy whatever you find as you find it and then decide what you like best and narrow your focus from there.
Following are a few of my favorites from Etsy to whet your appetite for these great items:
Le Petite Flea is featuring these lovely green handled pieces
REtroGalore has this SUPER cool egg timer gadget
Vintage & Co is featuring this great flour sifter