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Exploding Oneida Mandolin...

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A bluegrass show in New York state with David Grisman and Chris Thile as special guests with Metallica and Gwar?

Not quite.....

But my Oneida mandolin slicer sure came apart violently while I was shredding cabbage on it tonight. I've already complained to both the maker and the CPSC. I bought the Oneida because of the more reputable brand name than really cheap plastic mandolins, and used it for just over a year. Not great -- very twitchy adjustments -- but worked OK, and the blades were semi sharp.

Tonight the plastic around the holes in the flimsy plastic frame where the stand attaches cracked and popped loose in chunks. The whole thing was airborne, the stand flew into my gut under spring pressure and the blades and frame landed 10 feet away. The spring pressure is from the inside out -- you squeeze the stand legs together to pop them in the plastic holes. The plastic holes are what failed. Those little broken plastic pieces landed 20 feet across the room. I found and saved them.

And I'm not a newbie on using the always twitchy mandolin (though I prefer playing banjo ;-) -- I don't even use the included plastic gripper-pusher, but instead wear a fillet glove and use a light touch. No excessive downward pressure (the thing is fairly unstable, and would slip across the counter if I pushed down too hard anyway).

Was the plastic in the stand holes already cracked from a guest chef (I like to cook with others) pushing down too hard a few months ago? Did it slowly crack over a year's time with me pushing just slightly too hard trying to jullienne daikon and carrots with semi-sharp blades?

I have no idea. But I sure wish I'd splurged on a Cuisinart! DOH! Now I see *those* get really bad reviews on Amazon too, even worse than what I had. Forget that.

So I'm in the market for a better mandolin. I'd rather have something on a stand. Usually I am jullienne-ing veggies to make a quick stir fry for one or two, but sometimes (like tonight) I need to finely and evenly shred a couple whole heads of cabbage into long super-thin strips.

I was making Curtido de Repollo, Central American 'cole slaw' marinated overnight in vinegar with pureed hot chilis, then tossed with home-grown tomato and green onion at serving. It was almost Curtido de Sángre.

Well, I've made all my complaints to all involved. I was surprised at the force at which the mandolin broke, then lept up at me from the countertop. No harm, no blood, no foul. If Oneida gives me my 30 bucks back I'll be happy. And apply it towards a nice all-stainless-steel version.

Which one should I get? Your thoughts please.

DAN

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  1. Benriner and a bowl, forget the stand.
    If you want something STURDY, try and find a Shun mandoline. Then try and justify the $250 cost....
    Otherwise the ones they sell at Williams-Sonoma aren't too bad, but could be sharper.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ThreeGigs

      I just bought one - it was going for $200 CAN in Home Sense. I can confirm it is sturdy. That's an understatement. It's built more like a mobile missile launch platform than a mandoline. I do have some problems with it, but I shall use it for while before posting a full review somewhere. Doesn't really seem to be a suitable chow place unless I just post it in this forum. For the moment I can say...

      Cons:
      The footprint is about half the size of a cubic foot microwave.
      It's heavy.
      It has according to the instructions "easily removed feet'. This is new meaning to word 'easy' that I haven't come across before.
      The blade tends to jump out when 'returning' with sticky food. (eg ham, potatoes)
      The pakkawood on the feet is pretty but completely useless.
      Takes a while to dismantle when you clean it.
      I think it would have been better with a V-blade.
      The spring-loaded gripper is too small

      Pros:
      It's heavy - doesn't move when using it.
      It's built like (to use a rather crude yet complementary UK expression) a brick shit house.
      It's the only safe mandoline I have ever used. I would let a 12 year old use it.
      It's the only mandoline where the pusher actually works and works well
      Best, smoooothest, almost effortless sliding action I have come across.
      Will julineene / chip large veg such as a 6 inch potato.
      Very sharp blade that releases the food well.
      Base is long enough to get a large plate underneath.
      Infinitely variable height with three julienne blades
      Dish washer safe after dismantling (uh!) and removing blade, julienners, spring and legs.
      Minimal waste - the remaining sliver is small.
      It looks good. People want to have a go with it. Worth dragging out just so people can go "Oooh!".

      It is a tool for ever. The only really con to me is the blade jumping out. I will have to solve that.

      1. re: Paulustrious

        Don't bother answering my other inquiry...

    2. I got a stainless steel MIU from France--with a knob system changes cutting edges without you needing to touch the blades and remove/replace them--on Ebay for just $27. The seller has upped the price to around $49, now, but mine came with a heavy plastic carrying case, as well. I don't know much about mandolines, but I'm surely happy with this one--especially given the price.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Beckyleach

        Name of the company is MIU France, MIU products are not from France.
        I bought a MIU France thermometer and looked on the label closely and it was made in China.

        Check it out:
        http://www.miufrance.com/aboutus.html

        1. re: monku

          Thanks. I hadn't noticed.

          Still works fine...different accent, however. Now I understand why it didn't *sound* French. ;-)