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Mandoline? any suggestions

I am looking for a mandoline. I know there are so many different ones - made of either metal, plastic or both. I would like one that cuts a wide range of sizes. I have heard that some of the best ones, from Asia/Japan are also less expensive? Does anyone have a favourite brand? help!

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  1. I bought an Oxo--reasonable price, and I generally like their products--but found it completely unable to cope with slicing a raw celery root. I returned it and went back to my Benriner, which has a very limited range of thickness settings but a good sharp blade.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rootlesscosmo

      Yep, stay away from the OXO. Worst kitchen purchase I ever made. I love all their other products but this one really was not thought out well at all. Flimsy, doesn't cut well, no instructions in the box, etc.

      I still haven't replaced it, dealing w/my chef's knife for now but I'll be paying attention to this thread for suggestions.

    2. I have a Swiss Moha with which I cannot adjust slicing thickness but use several times a week and have so for 15 + years and bought a $30 Norpro at TJMAxx which hardly ever gets used, it was just too much of a PITA to take it back. I have a major number of blades for my Cuisinart so the Norpro sits in the box in the bottom of the stack.

      1. Start with a plastic Benriner (for about $30) or a cheap knock-off (for $10-$15).
        It'll give you a couple of years of tough service and at that point you'll know whether
        you want to move up to a fancy $150 french one or just replace the cheap-o thing.

        If you do plan on heavy use, a detachable blade is helpful so you can sharpen it
        occasionally.

        These things are dangerous -- the big mistake is not using the food holder and
        losing a little julienne off your fist. Be careful.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

          This is a totally sensible reply.

          By the way, you expand each reply by clicking the plus/minus sign at the right end of the compressed reply or you can expand ALL of the replies by clicking the "EXPAND ALL" at the top of the replies.

        2. I second the recommendation of the Benriner as a cheap and practical tool. And no mistake about the dangers, either; I took the most delicate and painless (at first) little wedge off the corner of my thumb while absent-mindedly gabbing with friends and creating super thin potatoes at the same time. Don't assume you can beat the odds - USE THE FOOD HOLDER.

          1. I have a Benriner and I love it. The blades are very good quality, and it's dirt cheap.

            1. Benriners rock! Definitely use the protection & put a towel down on the table to keep the mandoline from sliding as you push against it.

              1. Thank you very much for the information. Sounds like I should go for the Benriners - does anyone know how thin it will julienne or slice? Is it easy to clean? I am sorry if some people have posted these answers already - I can't figure out how to expand most of the posts.

                1. Beringer is great. Super easy to clean and can make a wide range of slices. Just be careful not to slice your finger tips off.

                  1. I have a Matfer and a deBuyer. I also bought a third which was junk and I gave it away. I like the Matfer the best but when I bought it I did not know I could get all the blades and cutters for it, so I bought a deBuyer for its specialty blades. The debuyer also collapes on its legs sometimes. The Matfer doesn't have legs and weighs less. It has grovves to rest over a bowl or rubber feet to use it on the counter at an angle. If I had it to do over I'd only buy the Matfer. Also buy a cut proof glove like a Rapala they sell at the fishing stores. It makes using a mandoline easier and safer. None of the pushers work worth a darn.

                    1. Actually I have an OXO which I didn't think was so inexpensive, and it works great.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: uman

                        I am also very happy with my Oxo -- made a tart recently that called for paper-thin apple slices, and the Oxo came through. I ALWAYS use the guard, even though it is awkward and a bit wasteful. Who wants julienned finger segments?

                      2. Notes in the thread, on how dangerous mandolines are, should be taken seriously. None of the guards I've used work well. They are safe but clumsy (probably designed by lawyers). Instead, buy a cut proof glove, use it always, and trash the guard. A glove costs about $25 and lasts forever (wash it now and then.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: GeezerGourmet

                          I absolutely agree - Sebby & I have a Benriner and mostly love it, but I wouldn't use it without our "Ove-glove" cut-resistant hand protection. The carnage potential is real, and I for one don't want any bonus meats in my meals.

                          My only annoyance with the Benriner is that it isn't capable of slicing anything other than various degrees of thin - thicker cuts aren't possible.

                          Best,
                          _Adam

                          1. re: adampaul

                            I know "thin" is a relative thing, but you raised my curiosity. I just sliced a potato on my Benriner, then inserted a metal measuring tape in one side so I could accurately measure how thick my thickest setting comes out. One quarter of an inch exactly. I consider that fairly "thick." Does great potatoes au gratin. So now I'm wondering if newer Benriners have different capabilities? Mine is forty years old. Yes, that's 40. And probably time to buy a new one. I've lost the julienne blades through the years.

                            Knock on wood, but I've yet to cut myself with it. But those can't-cut gloves sound like I could quit worrying.

                            I did buy a metal (expensive) mandoline a decade or so ago and hated it. It had legs and apparently French cooks like things at a different angle than I do. It just didn't feel that safe to me, so I gave it away. Love the Benriner, even though there are times I wish I could slice wider things with it. But I have a bunch of great knives! '-)

                          2. re: GeezerGourmet

                            I wish I had known about the glove a year ago! I ended up in the ER w/ a mandoline mishap. I'm going to look for the glove--thanks!

                          3. Benriners are easy to clean. Use them slowly until you get the hang of them. There is a place called Kamei restaurant supply on Clement Street in S.F. and you can buy different Benriners there. They keep the blades behind the counter not in the box. You can also purchase replacement blades & not have to buy a whole new set.

                            1. I tried a cheap version but eventually got myself a Bron mandolin. Cost about $100 online, but worth it if you use it often, which I do. All stainless, stable base, and has a very nice guard box (not just a handle with some spikes).

                              My girlfriend likes my hands the way they are, so she bought me a steel mesh glove for slicing items too large for the box. Very useful, and fashionable in a retro-Michael Jackson sort of way.

                              1. My mother in law got me a "professional mandoline" by "Miu French" which is a chinese company. I was excited, but quickly discovered it was crap. The blades didn't fit right,and were duller than dirt. You had to wiggle the vegetables (cucmber, yet) back and forth, and the cut was ragged, if the veggie didn't snap in half in the process. If I'm gonna wiggle something back and forth, it might as well be a knife! With a mandoline, I expect to be able to slice it by just using the holder to puch the food rapidly over the blade.

                                Obviously it came from the chep store. Why she wasted her money on that and a plethora of other silly gifts for christmas, rather than just investin the whole alloted amount for a GOOD mandoline is beyond me. Now I have a whole pile of cheap crap I can't use, taking up room in my kitchen. I didn't even get a reciept to take it back.

                                It has one redeeming value- the instructions are in "engrish" (translated for chinese the best they could, I guess) and are fun to read!

                                1. I tried a Benriner, and even with the food guard, my friend totally sliced her hand all to shreds the first time we tried to use it. The next time I used it, I gave myself a nice gash as well. My SO immediately banned it from our kitchen before anyone else could get hurt! I've been on the look out for another mandoline -- one with a better guard system and we got the MIU, although this one cost almost $100, so not exactly cheap. It's very heavy stainles steel and looked like it would do the job. It is AWFUL! Very dull blades that do not fit together correctly - the julienne blades are not even with the slicing blade, so the food is always catching. I tried to make french fries - I ended up just cutting them up by hand. I'm totally returning it. Now I'm back to looking for another mandoline. Sigh.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: grubn

                                    grubn, I have this one: (a Matfer)
                                    http://www.culinarycookware.com/catal...
                                    It was 50 bucks when I bought it a few years ago, I use it maybe once a month, it's strong grey plastic with a (never sharpened yet) good sharp blade--not fancy but works well. There may be lots of sources for this, I just linked to the 1st one I found.

                                  2. I bought Rapala gloves for all my cooking friends for Christmas at about $12 each.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: kayakado

                                      The protective gloves you speak of: Where does one find these?

                                      1. re: BKchompchomp

                                        About every decent restaurant supply store has those "cut resistance gloves". ("search words")

                                        Just remember those are not recomended for use around any powered equipment that can pull your hands into the machine.

                                        1. re: BKchompchomp

                                          I believe she got them at East Bay Restaurant Supply in Oakland, CA. The manufacturer is Whiting & Davis. Here is a link:

                                          http://www.perfectfitglove.com/produc...

                                          And the glove is reversible, so no problem for lefties. And you can turn it inside out and wear it on your weak hand when shucking oysters, if you do that sort of thing.

                                          There also are cut resistant gloves made of Kevlar, but I haven't used them.

                                        2. re: kayakado

                                          I used a "fish" gloves in the past, but I found that the kevlar Ove gloves is much superior, as I have a better grip on slippery wet veggies.

                                          Spectra yarn gloves are also very effective.

                                        3. While it is not as adjustable as most mandolines, I highly reccomend the Borner V-Slicer. Here's why:

                                          Mandolines with the diagonal blade tend to move hard-to-slice items to one side. The v-slicer, with its v-blade, draws toward the middle.

                                          The thin slice is very thin, perfect for wispy shreds of cabbage or pommes anna. The thicker slice is perfect for sliced tomatoes, etc (though I usually just use a knife for thicker stuff).

                                          The julienne blades are great. I use them for french fries and matchsticks, and I love them.

                                          The guard is very good; I have used the v-slicer for almost 20 years (replacing the first one when the blade got dull) and have never cut myself once. (I realize I have now jinxed myself. Better buy a glove)

                                          If you ever go to a state fair, search out the v-slicer booth (it will be there, trust me) in the "gadget" hall, next to the synthetic chamois and the ronco showtime. The patter is worth the price of admission. Love the slicer-dicer patter!

                                          Peter G

                                          1. I have a bron professional and it's easy enough to use and nice for special slices like waffle cuts etc, but thruthfully I get much more use from my Kyocera Ceramic Adjustable Slicer. The Kyocera is much easier to clean and it's faster to whip out and use.

                                            It really depends on how much money you have to spend and what kinds of cuts you are looking for. If you are simply planning on slicing thin potato or vegetables, then go with the Kyocera for less than $20. If you are planning on "fancy" cuts then go for a full mandoline.

                                            Either way I would highly suggest purchasing a cutting glove. The fact is a mandoline can easily rid you of those pesky finger tips.

                                            1. Mandolines serve little use in my opinion.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: TonyO

                                                I disagree. If I had to slice 20# of potatoes for gratins, I'd love to have a mandoline. If I'm doing it for my wife and myself, 3 or 4 potatoes, you got it, a knife will do the job just fine. So, as you can see, my disagreement is a bit soft, very conditional.

                                                1. re: rtmonty

                                                  Good point. I could see some applications for large volume slicing, but for the day to day family needs, it isn't very useful and not worth setting up and cleaning.

                                              2. If you are just using the madonline for slicing "thin" cuts of potato or apple etc. it's the wrong tool, a v slicer or better the kyrocera style adjustable slicer.

                                                If you are doing fancy cuts, shoestrings, fancy vegetable cuts then a mandoline is your friend.

                                                1. I have a glove made by Rapala. A company that makes fishing lures etc. It is marketed as a filet glove. I bought mine at a fishing store but I think Walmart has them too.

                                                  http://www.rapala.com/products/access...

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: kayakado

                                                    Does anyone have any inputs on V slicers? I was looking on this one on amazon that everyone liked.

                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Borner-V-1001-S...

                                                    1. re: mrpotato

                                                      We have the Borner and DH uses it almost every week. Easier to clean than the food processor and not as much work as the box grater. He uses it mainly for grating potatoes, onions and bell peppers.