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Mandoline or v-slicer recommendation

I am looking to purchase an inexpensive mandoline or a v-slicer. I want it mainly for thinly slicing potatoes (like for au-gratin dishes). I was going to get the Progressive Mandoline or V-slicer that Cook's Illustrated recommends, but it doesn't get great reviews on Amazon. So now I'm looking at either the Swissmar Borner or a Benriner (it seems like the Benriner gets mentioned quite a bit on this site). Does anyone have any input on either of these?

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  1. As an aside, I have never found cooks illustrated to be particularly accurate, and find that the reviews on Amazon are usually right on. I bought a cheapo mandoline about 4 years ago, and I have never used it since improving my knife skills and learning how to sharpen my knives more accurately <G>

    1. I have had my Benriner for about 15 years. I love it. For the home cook, I don't see any reason to go to a more higher priced mandoline.

      1. If you decide on the Benriner, be sure to find a finger guard. This baby is super sharp! I don't have a guard and don't know where to get one, so this stays in the cabinet while I use a plastic Hoan brand that I bought in the 1970's for about $30. It's still sufficiently sharp for gratin slices, shredding and juliennes. I definitely will replace it when dull. I like the looks of the OXO, but have read that it doesn't shred or julienne. Since I already own it, maybe I'll try to "Rube Goldberg" a guard for the Benriner.

        3 Replies
        1. re: amazinc

          >> If you decide on the Benriner, be sure to find a finger guard.

          I often just use a thick oven mitt to protect my hand. I can never find the finger guard in my drawer of kitchen doodads.

          1. re: amazinc

            You could get a cut resistant glove - either as kitchenware or probably cheaper as fishing gear. I can say from experience they protect against fairly firm brushes against a Benriner blade though they're not actually cut "proof." You have to be careful, but another advantage is they give you grip and finer control than you'd have with something like a mitt. I think mine (a fish "fileting glove") was ~$15.

            FWIW, they do sell replacement blades for the Benriners, so they probably sell the guards, too. You could check www.korin.com, I've bought blades from their brick&mortar store, or just google it.

            1. re: MikeG

              cut resistant gloves are beauty for this device. Much better than the guard that comes with it that most cooks throw away as soon as the box is opened. A simple towel also works.

          2. I've had one of these for close to 20 years and it's still going strong.
            http://www.epinions.com/reviews/Borne...

            1. I have used a mandoline for slicing potatoes and it is great. For everything else is there really an advantage over a knife. Remember a knife is really easy to clean.

              2 Replies
              1. re: wdames

                Michel Richards shows a neat way to get a perfect micro dice using the benriners. It's something I can do with a knife (though not as perfect) but it's much faster with the mandoline.

                1. re: vanillagorilla

                  I saw him do that brunoise on Chef's Story. It was pretty cool. I think he made an apple risotto using brunoise of apple.