As much as I love cooking, sometimes after a long day at work I don’t even want to think about food prep. I just wish it could be done instantly! And as someone who is trying to eat more fruits, vegetables and a healthier diet in general, preparing all of this food can be a hassle.
It is times like these that I am so glad that I have my mandoline slicer. A mandoline slicer is a tool that is designed to help you slice or julienne your food. It consists of an interchangeable blade on a slanted surface. You simply move the food up and down across the surface of the blade and the food slices come out from the bottom.
As efficient as a mandoline slicer is, many people are nervous about this product. After all, it has a certain medieval look to it and the large blade can be intimidating as well. A cutting tool like this is bound to cause people to have some reservations. Is a mandoline slicer a product that should be included in your kitchen? Keep reading to find out.
Benefits of Mandoline Slicers
With a mandoline slicer, you can increase your efficiency in the kitchen. Especially if you are not the most skilled person with a blade, there are numerous benefits for you to experience.
I consider myself to be pretty good with a knife. But when I’m tired it can be really hard to cut as consistently as I want to. I’ll end up with thin shavings or big chunks when I slice or julienne veggies. This is a problem when I am cooking the vegetables. The thin pieces will be get overcooked and the thicker pieces will still be raw in the middle.
With a mandoline slicer, you can set the thickness of the blade, and each slice you make will be exactly the same size. This is great for baking or roasting veggies in a gratin, or any meal where it is ideal to have all the foods be the same thickness. Not only that, but your dish will look much more professional as well.
If I am cooking for myself, I can take my time. If I am cooking for a crowd, then I need to go fast. With a mandoline slicer, I am able to process hard, tough vegetables like potatoes or squash really quickly. Even if I could match the speed of a mandoline slicer using my knife, I guarantee I am sacrificing safety and consistency for that extra speed.
With a mandoline slicer, there is no compromise. You can have it all. It’s safe to go fast until you’ve sliced the vegetable down to the very end, in which case you slow down just a bit for the final slices. You can decrease your prep time by 50% once you get better at using it.
Good mandoline slicers have many interchangeable blades for you to slice your food into the shapes you want. You can make regular slices, fry shapes, juliennes, and so on. By changing the blades, you are able to prepare different styles of food without the need for multiple specialized cutting tools in your kitchen, or know any complicated knife work.
At the end of the day, a mandoline slicer is basically a plank with a blade in the middle. Using any sharp tool requires focus, otherwise you might cut yourself by accident. This is most likely to occur when you are at the end bits of a potato or zucchini, for example.
When going for that last little nub, be sure to use the included protective handle that holds onto the food in place of your fingers. You can then safely slice the last little bits without fear of cutting your fingers. Don’t get lazy, use it every time to prevent injuries!
Furthermore, you should be careful handling the mandoline even when you’re not cutting anything. Any exposed blade can be dangerous, so be extra vigilant when handling it, such as when you are cleaning or storing it. Make sure any protective covers are locked on when especially if you have pets or children.
What to Look for in a Mandoline Slicer
The three most popular styles of mandolin slicers are straight blade, v-shaped blade, and diagonal blade.
These are the most traditional blades and generally used on French slicers. As the name suggests, the blade lies horizontally across the platform, and slices straight through the food that’s swiped over it. This style is great for slicing tough veggies like butternut squash and sweet potatoes. However, it struggles with slicing softer foods like tomatoes.
Most mandoline slicers come with the V-shaped blade. It is good for cutting large, unusually shaped ingredients and can handle even the toughest of vegetables.
A diagonal blade is secured on an angle on the ramp and is better at handling softer skinned veggies and fruits like peppers and tomatoes. The angle of the blade creates a better angle of incision against the skin of the food, allowing it to be cut with less force required.
We mentioned earlier that increased safety is one of the benefits that a mandoline slicer provides. This is because high-quality mandoline slicers are designed with lots of safety features that ensures the only thing that will be cut is the food.
Look for a slicer with a food holder so that you don’t have to always hold the food directly with your hands. This lets you have a better grip while keeping your fingers far away from the blade. You can then cut even more efficiently, since you do not have to worry about cutting yourself. You will also be able to cut the vegetable all the way down to the end, so you don’t waste any food.
Next, pay attention to how the interchangeable blades are supposed to be removed. Does the blade have any guards, or do you have to touch any sharp edges? Of course, if you don’t normally cook, you may not be experienced with handling kitchen equipment. When in doubt, look for more safety features to keep yourself safe.
A tool that is used often is the one with the least hassles. It doesn’t matter how quickly the mandoline slicer cuts your food if you waste time cleaning it up afterwards. A long clean-up would also be tedious and tiring.
Fortunately, most mandolines are dishwasher-safe so you don’t have to worry about manually cleaning it yourself. If you cannot find one that is dishwasher compatible, then look for one that is easy to clean by hand and has a guard on the blade so you can wash it safely.
Top Rated Mandoline Slicers
Now that you know the benefits and features that a mandoline slicer has to offer, we can finally get to reviewing some products. Each product we cover has been tested with the above criteria in mind. Without any further ado, let’s begin.
OXO Good Grips V
The OXO Good Grips V features a V-shaped blade that can quickly cut both soft and hard vegetables and fruits.
This slicer offers a wide range of customizations that will make it a versatile tool in your kitchen. For example, it comes with both wavy and straight blades for crinkle and straight cuts respectively, and also a julienne blade for more precise shreds.
Not only that, but the entire unit is adjustable, allowing you to change the width of your cuts to be thinner or thicker as needed.
In addition to that, OXO’s Good Grips V also has fantastic safety features. The food holder that it comes with helps you get a firm grip on vegetables and fruits while keeping your fingers free and clear from the sharp blades. The bottom of the unit has non-slip feet to ensure it doesn’t wobble or slide as you are slicing.
One issue we found is that it can feel somewhat bulky and difficult to operate unless you have some decent hand strength. Those with joint issues, such as the elderly, should consider another unit.
Lastly, this unit is dishwasher safe to make the clean-up process smoother. Overall, for the price the OXO slicer provides numerous options for customization which is great if you perform multiple cutting jobs. For a starting slicer, it is hard to beat the value and quality you are getting.
KitchenAid Mandoline Slicer
KitchenAid is a well-known name in the kitchen appliance industry, and it is no surprise that their mandoline slicer is a solid product.
No features are missing when it comes to this unit. Immediately you’ll see that the food guard and comfort grip handle ensures easy and sanitary operation. The non-slip feet will keep the unit firmly on the counter, and the V-shaped blades will make quick work of most fruits and vegetables.
If you want customization, the KitchenAid Slicer will not disappoint. You can select from three specialized blades, and you can adjust the thickness of the cut itself. For those who plan to cut a variety of foods to make an array of exotic dishes, know that the KitchenAid mandoline slicer is up to the task.
Not only does the slicer come with a protective food gripper, it also has a retractable blade so that you can store it safely. Have peace of mind knowing that you are not at risk of injury when putting or retrieving your mandoline slicer from storage as a result of the blade cover and retraction. For households with small children or pets, this feature is fantastic.
With that said, this unit is not without flaws. The food holder has an unusual shape and sometimes has trouble holding onto foods. For maximum protection, we recommend you wear slicing gloves in the off chance that the holder loses its grip.
Overall, we love how the KitchenAid slicer can slice so finely and evenly. You can expect to turn foods like cucumbers and tomatoes into papery-thin slices, instead of mush. It is fantastic if you plan on cutting a lot of delicate foods.
Cuisinart Graphite Mandoline
The Cuisinart Graphite Mandoline offers the most options for cutting food into specific shapes. It does this through four separate stainless steel blades: crinkle cut or shredding, straight edge, or fine and thick juliennes. You can also adjust the body of the slicer to change the thickness of the cuts.
The design of the Cuisinart mandoline is intuitive and comfortable to use. The soft-grip handle is easy on your hands, and the non-slip feet keep the slicer anchored to your counter. Even the slicing runway is adjustable, allowing you to lock it into upper and lower locations.
Storing the Cuisinart mandoline is both safe and convenient. It includes a cut-resistant glove to keep you safe while you are cutting, but there are also safety features for storage. For example, the storage slots and safety cover will guard against injuries from the blades, and the legs are collapsible to keep its size to the absolute minimum.
One issue we had with this mandoline slicer from Cuisinart is that, though it has excellent cutting power initially, the blades dull rather quickly. A dull blade can cause more injuries if you are not careful, so stay vigilant.
Maintenance and cleaning is a breeze. Both the runway and blades are dishwasher friendly, and the cut resistant glove can be machine washed as well.
People who already own the Cuisinart mandoline rave about how much more efficient they are in the kitchen using this tool for food prep. The blades are very sharp which makes cutting your food effortless. Customers also love the julienne blade, which you can use to make delicious filling for spring rolls!
Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer
You can expect the Benriner Jumbo Mandoline slicer to slice through even the largest of fruits and vegetables, creating consistent, evenly cut piece that will cook uniformly and taste fantastic.
This particular mandoline is made from BPA-free plastic and includes a handcrafted, stainless steel Japanese blade. The large open handle on the Benriner mandoline slicer is designed with comfort in mind, and the non-skid rubber base provides extra stability.
The fixed straight-edge blade found on this mandoline slicer can cut through larger foods like melon and cabbage like a hot knife through butter. Despite not being able to replace the blade, it does an unbeatable job at the task it was made for. If you frequently prepare lots of larger fruits and vegetables, then this is the slicer for you.
As for safety, the Benriner has a safety guard to keep your fingers away while slicing. Since it is a straight blade as opposed to a V-blade, you must be extra careful to not force ingredients over the blades.
This mandoline slicer is simple to use, and it even has an apparatus that attaches to the slicer and collects the food slices as you are cutting. This reduces the overall clutter and mess that you might otherwise make. You can disassemble the unit easily and each component is dishwasher safe.
Overall, the model is easy to store and care for. The blades are sharp enough to make quick work of bigger fruits and vegetables. The Benriner Japanese mandoline slicer is both durable and light. It is a quality product that can withstand constant use for a long time before you need to replace it.
Which Is the Best Mandoline Slicer for You?
If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables and are looking for an easier way to prepare that food every day, consider investing in a mandoline slicer for your kitchen.
Many people are turned off by mandoline slicers because they are intimidated by how it looks. But when used properly, a mandoline slicer can be more efficient and safer than a chef’s knife. When selecting the top mandoline slicer, look for a model that has a safety apparatus included such as a cut resistant glove or protective food gripper.
By adding a mandoline slicer to your kitchen, you can expect to skyrocket your efficiency and cook for even large crowds in record time and minimal effort. If you cook often, you should just add this nifty tool into your kitchen collection and get slicing!