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A mandoline is a magical tool in the kitchen – creating precise slice after slice of cucumbers, radishes and other root vegetables, cheese, and more. Some will even form a julienne or baton, making quick and easy french fries or salad toppings.
But for all its ease, a mandoline can be a danger as well. If you don’t tread carefully, the sharp blade can slice through a finger as swiftly as it does a potato. For this reason, it is vital to look for a high quality product, one that slices with minimal force and provides proficient safety mechanisms.
We’ve researched dozens of models to help you discern which brand to buy. In purchasing a slicer, it is important to note that price is not necessarily reflective of quality.
While the shiny contraption that costs upwards of a hundred dollars might appear to be the pinnacle of kitchen beauty, even professionals oftentimes turn to the reliable compact plastic form instead.
When choosing your mandoline, it is helpful to decipher what your primary needs will be. Are you looking for a basic blade to simplify slicing? Or are you on the hunt for a multi-use machine to julienne, crinkle and waffle cut, and more?
Since your desired use will determine whether you prioritize an efficient size or a wide array of capabilities, we’ve divided our reviews into two different categories: basic and multi-use.
Table of Contents
- Blade Shape
- Basic Models
- Tips for Using Your Mandoline
But before we dig in to our in-depth reviews, let’s first consider a few notes about style:
Three main blade shapes are found on mandolines.
The original straight blade is still used on most French models, like the Matfer Classic Bron. A single blade runs perpendicular to the ramp, slicing straight through the ingredients you slide past it.
While this design works fine for slicing tough vegetables, it requires a lot of force and can crush softer fruits and vegetables with strong skins, like tomatoes.
The diagonal blade used on Japanese models, like the Benriner, punctures a small part of the skin before gliding through the rest of the surface. This allows tender ingredients like peppers and tomatoes to slide across easily. It also allows tougher vegetables to go through with less force – which greatly improves its safety!
Finally, the V-shaped blade – the most prevalent style among home-use mandolines – capitalizes on the benefits of the diagonal blade. Two diagonal blades slice through the food, which is particularly beneficial when you’re working with larger ingredients.
There are two basic designs for mandolines – the flat handheld, and the stand.
The handheld models typically have a handle to hold while resting the base against a counter or bowl. This allows the user to choose the angle at which they slice, and also gives more of a feeling of control. Additionally, this makes it simple to slice straight over a bowl or plate.
The stand model has legs that allow it to stand on its own. Some users feel this is safer and sturdier than the handheld, which is helpful when incorporating extra features like waffle cuts and juliennes.
Another design feature to note is whether the blade adjustments are fixed or rolling.
Some mandolines offer set slicing depths. This is helpful in that you can repeat a uniform slice width every time you pull out your tool, however, this also limits you to working within the unit’s predetermined settings.
A rolling adjustment allows you to vary the width to your precise specifications, but it might be difficult to replicate a slice down to the exact fraction of a millimeter.
As was mentioned earlier, mandolines can prove dangerous to the accident prone. I myself have suffered dozens of nicks and one serious slice of the fingertip. For this reason, the added safety features are very important.
Most mandolines come with a food holder of some sort. This functions like a handle that clips onto the food, so that you can slide your ingredient along the ramp without putting your fingers too close to the blade.
The efficacy of the model’s food holder is a vital determiner of whether or not the mandoline is a safe purchase. Some models clip into the ramp so that each slice is straight, while others are freestanding and rely on the user’s control.
The process of changing blades is another safety concern. Do the blades clip in and out easily without the need to touch sharp edges? Or is handling the blades a frightening endeavor?
A Note About Dishwashers
It might be tempting to choose a model that touts itself as dishwasher safe. While a few models claim such freedom, others specify that only the body should be run through the machine.
No matter the claims of the mandoline maker, the soaps and chemicals used in dishwashers will wear down blades and increase the speed with which they become dull. For this reason, it is always best to hand wash any sharp objects – from mandoline blades to knives.
Our Top Pick: KitchenAid V-Slicer
Our top choice for a basic model is the KitchenAid V-Slicer. This is a simple handheld unit with a V-shaped blade.
If you’re looking for something compact to quickly slice through anything from carrots to charcuterie, the KitchenAid V-Slicer cannot be beat.
The V-Slicer is made of plastic with a stainless blade. It comes with a simple hand guard to guide food along the ramp while keeping fingers away from danger.
Though it only offers three separate adjustments (0.8, 1.5, and 5 millimeters), it glides through each one with ease and consistently offers even slices. It also boasts an ergonomic handle, making it easy to grip and maintain control.
Some users on Amazoncomplain that because this pusher does not spike the ingredients, they feel less control than with the hand guards offered by larger models. But the smooth, wide ramp and dual blades do allow food to glide through with minimal friction, increasing the overall safety of the tool.
Reviewers also warn that the package does not come with instructions. Given that there is no assembly required, and the process of slicing is pretty straightforward, this should not pose an issue for most users.
The blade cannot be sharpened or replaced, but with good care it will remain in top shape. This powerful piece of kitchen equipment offers a lot of value for the money.
The Kyocera Advanced Adjustable Slicer is another high quality basic mandoline. Kyocera is known for their ceramic cutlery, which is much sharper than stainless.
This handheld model features a single Japanese-style diagonal blade that glides right through any ingredient.
The Kyocera is a compact tool that is easy to pull out for a quick slice, however, its short ramp makes it difficult to use on larger items like onions or peppers.
The Kyocera offers four different slicing widths (0.5 mm, 1.3 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm), adjusted by a rotating bar underneath the ramp. The sharp ceramic blade creates consistently precise slices on even the thinnest setting. Two notches at the base of the ramp make it easy to slice straight over a bowl.
For those that need to color coordinate, the basic kit is available in three colors including red, black, and green.
Affordably priced, the Kyocera is a good choice for those who regularly find themselves slicing smaller ingredients. It is easy to store, easy to clean, and requires no setup.
Some Amazon reviewerscomplain that the plastic felt flimsy, but others appreciate the bit of give. The small hand guard is similar to the KitchenAid, guiding the ingredients rather than spiking them.
Like the KitchenAid, this bothers some users who feel safer with thicker protection. The guard clips onto the ramp for easy storage.
For those who want a slicer that can handle more than basic cuts, Kyocera does produce a more advanced set that incorporates a julienne slicer and grater (pictured above).
The DeBuyer Kobra is a powerful handheld V-Shaped slicer with a stainless micro-serrated blade. The serration glides through tough vegetables with ease, but the cuts are not completely smooth.
The rubber anti-skid feet and the sturdy hand guard make this a very safe option. It features a rolling blade adjustment, so you can choose any depth up to 5 mm.
The Kobra receives rave reviews from almost all Amazon.com users. They laud the sharp blade, the quick slicing, and the solid hand protector.
But while the Kobra offers great safety features and lots of variety in slicing depths, it is expensive for a basic mandoline.
The Benriner slicer is ubiquitous in professional kitchens. Many cooks consider the tool one of the most important in their knife kit.
The brand that popularized Japanese-style diagonal mandolines, this razor-sharp tool can slice through anything that’s thrown its way.
The blade can be removed and sharpened on a whetstone just like a knife, but even on its own it stays sharp for years. The rolling adjustment allows slices anywhere from 0.3 mm to 8 mm.
While three widths of julienne inserts are included, they are not reported to work well. In fact, many cooks toss them straight into the trash when they arrive. For that reason, we’ve included the Benriner with our basic models, rather than multi-use.
The Benriner also comes with a hand guard but, like the julienne inserts, it seems to be an afterthought. Amazon users report that it slides off of food rather than gripping sturdily, and some believe this makes it even less safe to use.
While negative reviews of the hand guard are prevalent among many customers, the razor sharp blade secures its popularity. The other primary complaint is a lack of instructions in English. Unless you know how to read Japanese, you’ll be left to your own devices when figuring out how to use this tool!
Because of its lack of safety features, we recommend the Benriner for home use only among those prepared to practice great care. It is a powerful tool, but it will slice your finger as smoothly as it will your french fry.
Our Top Pick: Swissmar Borner V-Power V-7000
Our premium choice for multi-use mandolines goes to the Swissmar Borner V-Power, which utilizes a V-shaped blade. It is a handheld model that offers three different blade inserts for a straight cut, a 3.5 mm julienne, or a 7 mm baton.
Rather than handle small, sharp blades, the V-Power insert is both runway and blade. This allows the platforms to be changed out quickly without getting fingers too close to sharp edges.
It offers four different slicing thicknesses, which are set by locking the blade insert into different notches. The final notch on the straight insert rests the runway flat against the blade, making it safe for storage. The exact measurements of each thickness are not provided, however, the amount of pressure that the user employs determines the variance to some degree on this model.
The V-Power comes with a sturdy hand guard that spikes the food, and slowly releases it using a plunger. This allows for optimum control on every slice, while leaving minimal waste in the hand guard. All of the blades snap into the unit for easy storage.
The Borner V-Power is not only powerful and safe, it is easy on the wallet as well.
This one is also available in multiple colors including green, white, red, and orange.
Some Amazon reviewers complain that they do not like the runway and blade design, as they feel like the insert doesn’t snap easily into place. However the majority of users prefer this method to handling the small individual blades of many other multi-use mandoline designs.
Another complaint prevalent among reviewers on Amazon is that the largest baton slice is too small for making french fries. If slicing fries is your top priority, this might not be the tool for you. But if you are a fan of safety and simplicity, you won’t find anything better.
MIU France Stainless Steel
The MIU model is a straight blade, multi-use stand mandoline. It can produce a 3 mm julienne or a 10 mm baton, a ruffle or waffle cut, and offers 13 different adjustment points for straight slicing – from 10 mm down to paper thin.
The blades are all contained within the tool, and they are changed with the turn of a dial. This allows for safe transition between blades, as your fingers never have to touch a sharp edge! But this feature does make thorough cleaning a bit difficult.
The hand guard on the MIU is an effective model, similar to that of the V-Power. Spikes inside a domed handle grip the food, and a plunger releases it from the spikes one slice at a time.
The straight blade model requires more force to use than a diagonal or v-blade, which is the primary concern with this variety. Several Amazon reviewers complain that the force necessary to push produce through made it difficult to slice soft vegetables –onions and tomatoes in particular. But a sturdy hand guard and easy blade changing make this a relatively safe mandoline choice nonetheless.
Oh, and the price is nice for the gadget’s many capabilities.
OXO Good Grips V-Blade
The OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer is a multi-use, v-shaped stand model that offers several slicing variations, with two vertical inserts (a thin julienne and a thick baton), two horizontal inserts (a straight and crinkle option), and four thickness settings.
The blades all clip in underneath the runway, making for easy storage. But snapping them in and out of place requires your fingers to work dangerously close to the sharp edges. In addition, the blade clip leaves a small divot in the runway that can catch food as it slides down.
The hand guard works similarly to that of the V-Power and the MIU, and the non-slip feet and handle make this a sturdy piece of equipment.
Available affordably, the OXO might have won our affections. But ultimately, the safety in blade changing is too high of a concern.
This model is quite bulky in comparison to the V-Power, and thus might not be ideal for those with limited space. Many Amazon reviewers also find that the nooks and crannies where the blade inserts clip in tend to catch pieces of food, making cleanup difficult.
The DeBuyer Swing model is another straight blade, multi-use stand mandoline. It offers both straight and serrated cuts, along with 4 mm juliennes and 10 mm batons.
The depth adjustments are created by unscrewing the platform, lifting or lowering it, and screwing it back in at the preferred level. While this allows for a range of options like the rolling type adjustors offer, it can be awkward change the height settings and can be difficult to achieve the exact depth desired.
The Swing model includes a double-sided vertical insert and a double-sided horizontal insert. The vertical insert cuts 4 mm juliennes on one side, and 10 mm batons on the other. The horizontal insert can cut either straight or serrated.
The side of each blade has a rubber finger grip so they can be inserted, rotated, or removed from the machine safely – however, your fingers still must get much closer to the blades than with other models.
The hand guard on the Swing slides into the ramp, guiding the food in a straight line. This is a positive safety feature, however, it also limits the size of the food that may be cut with it.
While most Amazon reviewers are generally happy with the product, they acknowledge that the straight blade requires more force to use than is necessary with a diagonal or v-shaped blade, making softer produce like tomatoes difficult to slice. Additionally, many find the platform awkward to adjust.
The Swing won’t break the bank, but there are better options available for less money.
Matfer Classic Bron
The Matfer Classic Bron Mandoline is the stainless model most commonly associated with multi-use machines. Once the pinnacle of professional kitchen equipment, the Bron has since been outdone by the sleeker plastic types.
The Bron is a straight blade stand model that can slice, crinkle, julienne, and baton. It has a rolling adjustment from 12 mm down to paper thin.
However the straight blade requires extra force in slicing, and the hand guard is bulky and awkward to use. A multi-use mandoline necessitates a quality hand guard, particularly when extra effort is needed to push tough vegetables past the blade.
Amazon reviewers appreciate the variety of uses available, but many feel that the tool is clunky, potentially dangerous, and difficult to clean.
Also, many users had problems with slicing more delicate items like tomatoes. This would be an excellent tool for a professional kitchen needing to produce large amounts of shredded firm vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, and so on.
Although the Bron is arguably the best constructed bit of kit we’ve reviewed, it’s not really a general use device.
Somewhat expensive in comparison to other models, the Bron is no longer the king of the slicing world. We heartily recommend a smaller, safer plastic style for home kitchens.
Tips for Using Your Mandoline
Even if the model you choose claims to be dishwasher safe, it is always better to wash the blades by hand. The soaps used in dishwashers dull the blades, while hand washing will keep them in tip-top shape.
Use A Glove
No matter the quality of the hand guard on your mandoline, it is never a bad idea to wear a cut resistant glove.
Foodal recommendsthese cut resistant gloves from NoCry
One small slip and the mandoline can cause a serious injury. While a glove doesn’t offer complete insurance against injury, it is a helpful additional safety tool.
It might be tempting to attempt to slide every last bit of your produce past the blade. But especially as you get to the very end, your fingers must aim dangerously close to sharp edges. It’s okay to leave a bit of waste at the end – your fingers are worth it!
To keep those ends from going to waste, add them to your compost pile, save scraps for stock, or enjoy the fresh veggie nubbin as a quick snack (depending on what it is)!
If you purchase a model with a serrated or crinkle cut blade, you can cut your potatoes into waffle fries! Just set your thickness between 3 and 5 mm, and rotate the potato 90° with every slice.
It’s so easy to quick pickle vegetables when you have a mandoline to do the slicing for you. Here’s a simple and quick pickle-making procedure for you to follow with your new slicer:
1. Slice up your produce of choice – a few of my favorites are beets, grapes, radishes, and red onions – and place in a jar.
2. Boil equal parts sugar, water, and red wine vinegar with a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, star anise, and a few whole cloves.
3. Pour the mixture over the vegetables to fill up the jar.
4. Leave it uncovered until the liquid has cooled, then seal and store in the fridge.
The pickles will be ready to eat as soon as they have cooled, which should take about an hour.
A mandoline is a valuable kitchen gadget that every home cook should own. Hopefully we’ve helped to take away the daunting task of choosing which kind, now you just need to summon the bravery to put it to good use!
With proper care and safety precautions, your new slicer will transform your kitchen habits – with salads, pickles, and burger toppings galore! If you’ve been hesitating about whether or not to invest, it’s time – wait no more.
Are you thinking about purchasing a mandoline? Have you used any of the models we’ve selected as our top picks? Let us know how you use this efficient tool in your own kitchen!
“In-use” photos from Shutterstock. Product photos courtesy of KichendAid, Kyocera, DeBuyer, Benriner, Swissmar, OXO, MIU France, Matfer Bourgeat, and NoCry. © By their respective owners.
About Kendall Vanderslice
Kendall’s love of food has taken her around the world. From baking muffins on a ship in West Africa and milking cows with Tanzanian Maasai, to hunting down the finest apfelstrudel in Austria, she continually seeks to understand the global impact of food. Kendall holds a BA in Anthropology from Wheaton College and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University, and has worked in the pastry departments of many of Boston’s top kitchens. Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, Kendall helps to run a small community supported bread bakery and writes about the intersection of food, faith, and culture on her personal blog, A Vanderslice of the Sweet Life.