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Safe Alternative to a Mandoline Slicer?

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Chispa Jul 4, 2012 09:32 PM

I'm looking for something to give as a gift to my young adult children - who are second generation "foodies".

I've had so many near-misses with a mandoline that could've sent me to the ER...

Is there a safer tool out these days?

Many thanks.

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  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: Chispa Jul 4, 2012 10:18 PM

    How young are the young adult? 18? 22?

    I guess you can get one of those food processors (like Robot Coupe), but I also think those are overkilled unless you are in the restaurant business.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRjx6y...

    I could say a good knife, but that requires more skill than a mandoline (though I think a knife is safer). I suppose the easiest solution is to buy him/her a cut resistance glove like these:

    http://www.amazon.com/BladeX5-Classic...

    Of course, some of the mandolines have build-in holder, so your hand won't have to directly touch most of the food items.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BXX0_...

    http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Int...

    1. Kris in Beijing RE: Chispa Jul 4, 2012 11:00 PM

      Two other choices that are both "modified Mandolines"

      Manual
      http://m.dhgate.com/prodetail.do?item...

      Electric
      http://m.dhgate.com/prodetail.do?item...

      1. scubadoo97 RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 09:29 AM

        Chenicalkinetics wrote "I suppose the easiest solution is to buy him/her a cut resistance glove like these:"

        I think this is your best option. Get the mandoline with the glove.

        5 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97
          coll RE: scubadoo97 Jul 5, 2012 09:33 AM

          The only gloves I would trust are the chain metal ones but they cost around $100, about the same as the mandoline!

          1. re: coll
            Chemicalkinetics RE: coll Jul 5, 2012 10:14 AM

            The chain metal ones are not just cut-resistance, they are battle ready :) The problem with the chainmail ones is that you will seriously lose your dexterity.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              coll RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 5, 2012 12:43 PM

              You're probably right, I only use them for cleaning. But those cloth ones, at least the ones I've seen in stores, don't seem that protective; they even say something on them like they don't prevent cuts?

              1. re: coll
                Chemicalkinetics RE: coll Jul 5, 2012 02:32 PM

                <they even say something on them like they don't prevent cuts?>

                No, they don't. They just make it a bit harder. Think of it like you get skin as thick as a bufflao. A lion claw can still can cut through the bufflao skin, but it will take much more effort than comparing to cutting through a human skin. Or better yet, think of it like wearing leather jacket when riding a motocycle. It help reduce injury if you ever fall off the bike.

                <I only use them for cleaning>

                What did you clean which requires a metal chainmail protection?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  coll RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 5, 2012 04:14 PM

                  Professional slicers, at a deli. They provide them, so I use them, although most don't.

        2. c
          Chispa RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 09:45 AM

          Thanks for all the responses. I may get some gloves, too!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chispa
            Chemicalkinetics RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 10:17 AM

            Yeah, I think the gloves are probably the best option (out of the ones I have mentioned -- agree with scubadoo). This is because it is the most flexible option. A minor detail, but for a mandoline, all you need is one glove. So if cost is an issue, just get one (for the hand which hold the food against the blade).

          2. Midlife RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 10:23 AM

            My Japanese mandoline was only $25 and came with a plastic 'holder' to keep your fingers away from the smaller items you're slicing. The holder isn't the easiest thing to work with on odd shapes, but it DOES the job well.

            http://www.amazon.com/Harold-Import-C...

            1. f
              FrankJBN RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 10:30 AM

              "I've had so many near-misses with a mandoline that could've sent me to the ER.."

              You've probably almost cut yourself with knives and almost been burned badly by hot stove ware.

              You could be more careful.

              A "safe" alternative to a device that has so far proved safe in your use of it. As the saying goes "near-misses" only count in horseshoes and hand grenades.

              How about a take-out menu?

              1 Reply
              1. re: FrankJBN
                c
                Chispa RE: FrankJBN Jul 5, 2012 11:09 AM

                Thank you.

                I'm not sure if you've used a mandoline, but some foods are tricky. For example, a persian cucumber - which won't fit on the typical guard tool - gets very slippery and can unexpectedly get away from you.

                Mindful use of the mandoline does, of course, cut down on injuries. But there are accidents that are going to happen anyway. That's what I'm trying to find help with here.

              2. a
                acgold7 RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 11:23 AM

                Believe it or not -- and don't laugh -- there is a new version of the old as-seen-on-TV Veg-O-Matic that is basically a mandoline with a self-feed mechanism. I'll try to find a link and the actual name.

                Found it: Slice-o-matic. All reports is it's safe and is pretty good for kids. Not a pro kitchen tool by any means but cheap and safe and disposable if it turns out to be a piece of junk.

                https://www.ordersliceomatic.com/?tag...

                Further edit: Reviews are scathing. Probably best to avoid.

                6 Replies
                1. re: acgold7
                  c
                  Chispa RE: acgold7 Jul 5, 2012 12:10 PM

                  The Amazon reviews are hilariously entertaining...

                  "WOW this is bad. I got the sliceomatic delivered for $3.16. At that price I still feel ripped off."

                  "TeleBrands stole my money."

                  "This was an impulse buy. Not sure what I was thinking. I'm usually a smarter shopper."

                  "I feel guilty giving this thing as good as a 1 star rating. ... I woud have gotten more for my money buying real estate on the moon."

                  Thank you. :-)

                  1. re: Chispa
                    a
                    acgold7 RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 12:35 PM

                    Yeah.

                    But at least no one cut their fingers off ;-)

                  2. re: acgold7
                    coll RE: acgold7 Jul 5, 2012 12:45 PM

                    There's a website somewhere that just has people's reviews of "As Seen on TV" products, pretty useful when you get that urge to splurge.

                    1. re: acgold7
                      scubadoo97 RE: acgold7 Jul 5, 2012 04:11 PM

                      I still have a veg-o-matic. Gave to my mom way back when and she gave it back to me several years ago. Don't use it but it's a sign of times past

                      1. re: scubadoo97
                        coll RE: scubadoo97 Jul 5, 2012 04:15 PM

                        I have a salad shooter my friend gave me when she was moving cross country, we laughed hysterically when she demonstated it, shooting stuff all over the kitchen. I still use it to grate large amounts of cheese though, and think of her fondly.

                        1. re: coll
                          Chemicalkinetics RE: coll Jul 5, 2012 04:20 PM

                          More like a toy..... like potato cannon (spud gun).

                    2. eclecticsynergy RE: Chispa Jul 5, 2012 12:07 PM

                      Kevlar gloves can be found much cheaper at a hardware store than a fancy kitchen place. About $10 at Home Depot. Also a good source for other handy items: fine rasp to use as microplane, magnetic strips for knife storage, etc.

                      1. n
                        Ninevah RE: Chispa Jul 6, 2012 09:12 AM

                        I just purchased a Pampered Chef 'Ultimate Mandoline', and am really enjoying it. It's got some safety features that seem to work well. Obviously, there are limitations to what you can do with it; it's not as versatile as a 'real' mandoline. I don't feel like I'm going to be having fingers in my salad with this one though. :)

                        Also, as a disclaimer: I paid $4 for mine at a thrift shop, so I'm not heavily invested. Its a cool gadget to play around with, but I doubt it passes for a serious culinary tool.

                        http://www.amazon.com/Pampered-Chef-U...

                        1. e
                          ellaf RE: Chispa Jul 7, 2012 11:56 AM

                          whoa, these are young adult children, not children? All or some of the below
                          - a food processor
                          - a good knife
                          - a good mandoline with directions on how to use it safely.
                          If they are young adults they should be mature enough and careful enough to use any of these safely. Are you saying that they are careless - I'm not sure what this post is all about. Personally, I think a good knife would be great if they tend towards carelessness.

                          1. k
                            kseiverd RE: Chispa Jul 7, 2012 01:55 PM

                            I'm NOT trying to be a SA... tell kids to be CAREFUL... it's SHARP?!? I have an inexpensive mandoline... Mouli, I think. It has inserts for 3 different thicknesses of slices, a juilliene and a "frendch fry" cut. It also has a guard that I stick on top of food when I'm getting near a nub... carrot, onion, etc.

                            Still have a scar on tip of middle finger from a slicer thingie we had as kids. It attached to smooth surface with suction cup & had 2-3 cone-shaped attachments for different jobs. It was SHARP and cut a flap about the size of end of pencil eraser off tip of middle finger... which had NO business being near that blade to begin with! Bled like crazy for what seemed to be forever. BUT I NEVER put my finger tips in harms way again with that gizmo!?!

                            1. KitchenBarbarian RE: Chispa Jul 7, 2012 11:05 PM

                              I'm over 50, have some pretty definite, if not yet serious, dexterity issues, I'm short of energy/fatigue easily - and I LOVE my Borner V-slicer. The guard that comes with it is genius. There are a few things it doesn't handle very well - lengthwise slicing of a cucumber would be one of those, but if you REALLY want to do that there is a hand tool you can do that with. But for the sort of cooking I do, it does pretty close to everything I need, easily, and safely.

                              As long as I clean it up when I'm done, there's no problem cleaning it, either - I run some water over it, sploosh some dish soap on a long-handled scrub brush, scrub out the nooks and crannys (careful to scrub UP the blade instead of INTO it so you don't slice of some brush bristles), rinse off the soap bubbles - done in 30 seconds. And since it stores neatly into it's carrier, even when wet (it drains out the bottom), no danger of sticking your hand in the drawer to get something and finding that what you REALLY need to get out of the drawer is the finger tip you just sliced off. In fact I store mine in it's carrier standing upright in that little space behind the microwave that's not good for anything else.

                              Stores safely and easily, unlike my salad shooter (which I basically got to grate mozzarella), which, just a couple of days ago, while trying to figure out a way to safely store those cones, I managed to slice a good ways into my index finger trying to pick one up.

                              But I digress. No such problems with the Borner V-slicer. I've never so much as nicked myself on it. And I'm pretty clumsy and dropsy these days. As long as you're smart enough to USE THE HAND GUARD!

                              It's not as versatile as a full blown mandoline, but it's also nowhere near as expensive. I even manage carrots with it. In fact I can get pretty good "matchstick" approximations using the small julienne blade and a giant carrot from the Asian market. There are also ways to affix carrots and other longish veggies like cucumbers and sort of cut "on the diagonal" to get longish cuts. I've seen OTHER people do it so I know it can be done but when I try it its pretty awkward. Probably practice would help.

                              There are a couple of specialty blades you can get to complement it - they're sort of standalone units but you still need the handguard. The ones they make with the metal blades are OK, but stay away from the all-plastic ones (which unfortunately ALSO say they have all metal blades in their descriptions on Amazon). The ones to avoid are the "Twin Grater" and the "Hash Brown Grater". The first is totally useless and has actually been discontinued, the second is barely useable but not worth having. There are 4 others that really do have metal blades and should be alright - I just got the "thin julienne slicer" but haven't had a chance to try it out, it looks like it should be OK though.

                              Some people complain that the Borner doesn't slice easily. There are a couple things you need to be aware of with this slicer. First, the natural inclination is to push down on whatever you're trying to slice. If you do that (and I used to do it a LOT til I trained myself not to, most of the time anyway) whatever you are trying to cut WILL bind, because you are causing just enough flex in the blade that it will not give you a straight even cut straight through. So it binds.

                              The other thing is, it is MUCH easier to slice correctly if you hold the slicer sticking out IN FRONT of you (so you would be slicing away from your body) than if you hold it so it is sideways, that is, you would be slicing with a left to right motion. I don't know why; it just works. One of these days I need to do a video and stick it up on youtube. Whatever the dynamic is, I get absolutely no binding any more, with no conscious effort on my part.

                              So. Safe, effective, affordable, great safety guard, not quite as versatile as a "real" mandoline but still pretty good, and comes with it's own safe storage solution. I think the Borner V-slicer is a good possibility for you.

                              *NO, I don't work for Swissmar/Borner, I just like my V-slicer, LOL!*

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                                Thanks4Food RE: KitchenBarbarian Jun 8, 2013 11:16 AM

                                Which Bonner V-slicer do you have, this one http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Borner... or maybe this one http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Borner...

                                I'm having an awful time deciding...

                              2. p
                                PatsyWalker RE: Chispa Oct 8, 2012 11:53 AM

                                Get a stainless steel glove. It got rid of all my near misses.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: PatsyWalker
                                  SWISSAIRE RE: PatsyWalker Oct 8, 2012 10:19 PM

                                  One possible safe solution for your consideration:

                                  A Rösle 17-in V-Slicer w/ Vegetable Grip, V-shape Blade. Stainless steel, 5 position adjustments. $ 50+ USD. Available in North America.

                                  Training and oversight with children in the kitchen is a great practice. This will pass on cooking recipes, being frugal with junk food as opposed to healthy meals, and general kitchen skills, but cuts will still happen, as they do with us big kids, too.

                                  I would also show the kids where the first aid kit is (hopefully nearby and stocked), and how to address cuts big, small, and deep, and burns. Working with a Kevlar glove is an excellent suggestion if the kids are also going to fillet and debone fish and other meats.

                                  I do not personally use this item, having a mandoline, a separate vegetable grip, and a collection of knives over a few decades. However I have seen hands on a demonstration of this item, and it looks like it might work for your situation.

                                   
                                   
                                2. JayL RE: Chispa Jun 8, 2013 12:23 PM

                                  Keep the stainless gloves away from my thin, sharp mandolin blades...please...

                                  1. SWISSAIRE RE: Chispa Jun 8, 2013 02:05 PM

                                    If you already have a Mandoline, or are considering one, attached is a photo of what our family uses to avoid accidents.

                                    This is a small tool that Rösle manufactures just for that purpose. It allows safe cutting and slicing of vegetables on our large Mandoline. You place the vegetable against the side with the small teeth, and use the other side to press and slice the vegetable across the blades safely. I've brightened up the photo a bit so you can see the teeth that secure the vegetables to be sliced.

                                    No cuts ever, easy to clean, and dries fast hanging on our kitchen rail. We keep it inside the case that came with our Mandoline, ready to go.

                                    I used to think that we should carry band-aids in the Mandoline case: No need with this tool on-board.

                                     
                                     
                                    1. monavano RE: Chispa Jun 8, 2013 02:13 PM

                                      I'd give them a mandoline with a guard, which I always use. My knife skills could never replicate what the mandolin does. I think mine is a Wolfgang Puck and it's pretty good!

                                      1. DuffyH RE: Chispa Jun 9, 2013 07:19 PM

                                        I've got a Borner and find it's pretty handy, but I've got some quibbles with it. The blade housings are huge, and you've got to flip the straight cut plate over to adjust the size of the slice. Blade changing on the older units was much easier than on the newer ones, too, which I find particularly annoying.

                                        Oxo has a unit that addresses these issues pretty handily. It won CI's mandolin test, but of course they tested a limited number. If you go for a conventional steel mandoline, I highly recommend an angled or v-blade design, they seem to cut with less force, IME.

                                        I also concur with Kitchen Barbarian on the best way to use one of the plastic v-slicer units like the Borner or Oxo.

                                        http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-V-Bla...

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