What is the best mandoline to buy with price, size, and safety in mind?
November 20, 2009 11:52 PM   Subscribe

What is the best mandoline to buy with price, size, and safety in mind? It will be a present for my father who likes to cook, but has not used a lot of mandolines in the past?
posted by macowell to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I have a Zyliss V-slicer that I got for around $50 and am generally happy with. It gets a lot more use since I bought a Kevlar cut resistant glove (like this, though there are many different brands that afaik for home cookery are pretty comprable).

Having the glove is the difference between my v-slicer being kind of a pain to use, not to mention a little scary, and it being a fun, useful, easy to clean tool. Also you can use it when you're grating that last bit of cheese so you don't accidentally grate a little bit of your finger! It's a multitasket! Just do it!
posted by joshuaconner at 12:20 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

I don't know if it's the best, but I got mine from Pampered Chef and I really like it. It has a little handle that the food goes into that keeps your hands well away from the blades, so it is safe. It also comes with lots of different blades to do lots of different slicing.
posted by TooFewShoes at 12:51 AM on November 21, 2009

Mine is Microplane's and it's been great. I've heard good things about the very inexpensive Kyocera models, too.

Also, joshuaconner is exactly right: you should absolutely get a Kevlar glove. Without mine, I'd probably never use the mandoline; I value my fingertips, and (for me at least) those little pronged food-holders you're supposed to use are awkward as hell to use.
posted by tangerine at 1:19 AM on November 21, 2009

I use a Japanese Benriner which as absurdly cheap and highly effective. It will not do waffle/gaufrette cuts. But it has multiple blades that you can switch out to get different cuts. You cannot do thick slices since the adjustment radius for thickness is limited but it serves as a good general, mandoline that is easy to clean and store.
posted by jadepearl at 1:33 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Benriner - combine it with a cut proof glove, and it's amazingly fast. Really easy to clean, and small, too. Scads better than the OXO mandoline, and about 1/5th the price.
posted by birdsquared at 1:52 AM on November 21, 2009

I use a Matfer mandoline, but I wouldn't recommend it for a casual cookers, I actually received mine from someone who was scared of it! It's probably high on the danger scale, but is a high-quality, lifetime piece of equipment. Regardless, the above advice of pairing whatever mandoline you choose with a glove is excellent advice.
posted by jeremias at 6:19 AM on November 21, 2009

Cook's Illustrated reviewed mandolines in May 2008:

The results are paid content, but here's their list:

Highly Recommended:
OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer $49.99
Kyocera Adjustable Ceramic Mandoline Slicer $26.96 (Their best buy)
Joyce Chen Benriner Asian Mandoline Plus $49.95
OXO Mandoline Slicer $69.99

Borner V-Slicer Prima Stainless Steel Mandoline $99.95
Zyliss Easy Slice 2 Folding Mandoline $29.99

Not Recommended:
SHUN Mandoline $379.95
Bron Couke Stainless Steel Super Pro Mandoline $179.95
De Buyer V-Pro Mandoline $199.99
Microplane V-Slicer $39.99

Notice the most expensive and "pro" ones had the lowest ratings.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:21 AM on November 21, 2009

Also, of those "Highly Recommended" above, the Joyce Chen doesn't have a julienne blade, and the Kyocera doesn't have julienne and waffle blades.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:55 AM on November 21, 2009

I'm very happy with my $19 Kyocera ceramic slicer (mentioned above by ShooBoo). Sur La Table has them, and so does Amazon.
posted by halogen at 11:50 AM on November 21, 2009

I read this as "mandolin" and puzzled for a while about mandolin safety before I realized my mistake. Be safe: use a pick!
posted by schrodycat at 2:11 PM on November 21, 2009

I own this Borner V-Slicer and I'm very happy with it. It's $37, quite a deal.
posted by peep at 2:28 PM on November 21, 2009

I don't have the Oxo, but I wish I did. I've got a De Buyer; it does its job, but is clunky and expensive without being better. The Oxo, however, is super great. And with the money you save, you can also get him a cut resistant glove. At some point, every mandoline user gets tired of the clunky hand guard and just goes to town with a potato in their bare hand. Inevitably, they end up cutting the crap out of themselves because they get cocky. Sometimes they have to go to the ER. The cut resistant glove solves that problem before it starts.
posted by mostlymartha at 5:39 PM on November 21, 2009

I'm lucky enough to have the OXO V-blade mentioned above. I got it on sale for $30 from Williams-Sonoma, and it's the best damn mandoline I've ever used. (And I've used...well, okay, a handful. Maybe half a dozen.) It cuts like crazy, and folds up flat and compact enough that I store it in the silverware drawer. Can't say enough good things about it.

That said, the stupid hand guard is worthless. Invest in the cut-proof glove.
posted by MeghanC at 10:13 PM on November 21, 2009

n-thing the Benriner, though it doesn't really provide the safety you're asking for. It's cheap, it's as adjustable as the expensive French models, and it's really easy to store. Pair it with a decent set of gloves as noted above, and you're in business.
posted by Gilbert at 10:41 PM on November 21, 2009

I've been reading Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home cookbook and he suggests the Benriner as well. He also said that mandolines that attach with one screw slice straighter than ones with two screws (which can become crooked when they slice).
posted by KathyK at 6:48 AM on November 23, 2009

Late to the party (and not sure why this thread is still open to posting), but for the record:

I looked around quite a bit before getting my Norpro Deluxe Mandoline Slicer/Grater. It seemed sturdier and easier to use than most others, with the exception of one model that was priced over 4x higher.

Have loved it ever since. Easy to use, easy to clean, reliable, stores easily without its box. $30, or free if your girlfriend is looking for a really great Xmas gift.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:34 AM on October 16, 2010

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