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Mandolines, dust collector or must have?

I've recently seen a mandolin in the store and was debating on getting one. At the same time it looked like it could easily take a finger off if your not careful. I was wondering if it was worth getting or whether it would sit in the cupboard collecting dust.

Do you own one? Do you find you use it frequently? Advantages to using it?

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  1. When I want very thin sliced of potato or such for a gratin or other dish that needs even slices, nothing beats a mandoline. Never nicked a finger, always careful and don't use the guard.

    6 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Amen to all that. I firmly recommend its CAREFUL use. I have had bloody potatoes and vegetables thinking I was better than the average user...no way! I use the guard religiously. If you are looking for better results than your knife skills will get you, then by all means, you don't have to spend alot on a mandoline to get fabulous results. I like the multiblade ones that store the extraa blade for various thickness or multiple cuts on a single pass.

      1. re: njmarshall55

        I have found that the danger of being cut depends on how adamant you are about cutting the whole item--in my case usually potatoes. So when I make a gratin of potatoes, I don't try to slice every last bit but rather save those ends in a container of salt water. Within a couple days I chop them up along with some onion and make a nice pan of home fries.

        1. re: escondido123

          Good idea. Just wondering, why the salt?

          1. re: Steve Green

            Well, if the potatoes are going to sit in water for awhile, and I know they'll need salt when I cook them, I figured I might as well get a head start. (And I couldn't find any reason not to.)

          2. re: escondido123

            I have a benriner v-slicer with a guard. I've had that thing for at least 10 years now, I use it all the time, it's still really sharp - and I can cut vegetables down to little nubs with no danger to my fingers whatsoever. I always use the guard. (I also bought a cut-resistant glove recently just as added protection.) I probably use it mostly for cutting potatoes, onions and tomatoes. I sometimes use it for shredding cabbage for slaw, but for some reason I just usually prefer to do that with a knife. I have no problem getting nice thin slices, and I just find it relaxing to do it. But cutting a whole bunch of onions is a chore I never enjoy, and cutting pounds of potatoes into really thin even rounds for gratins (which I make a lot) is just so much qucker and easier with the v-slicer that I just don't bother doing it any other way any more.

          3. re: njmarshall55

            I watch chefs slice things like aspearagus lengthwise and there is no way to use the guard for something like that. I have a glove but rarely use it. I've gotten good at curving my fingers upward when slicing something close to the blade and not going overly fast when getting near the blade

          1. I never use mine for regular cooking - only for fancy or large company dishes, and then it's indispensible, especially with arthritis.

            1. I have one that is used often, twice today for different dishes.

              The advantge is the speed and uniformity and control when slicing vegetables. I most often use mine for potatoes.

              1. <At the same time it looked like it could easily take a finger off if your not careful.>

                It is recommended to get a cut resistance glove(s) with one:

                http://www.amazon.com/Microplane-3400...

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

                <I was wondering if it was worth getting or whether it would sit in the cupboard collecting dust. >

                Depending how often you use it. You should able to project or imagine how often you would use one instead of a knife.

                <Do you own one? Do you find you use it frequently? Advantages to using it?>

                No. Because I don't have one I don't use it. I almost get one, but decided that I won't use it enough. The advantages of getting one are: (1) If you are going to use it to for very large volume of thin slices and/or (2) you need very consistent slice cut which a knife is difficult to reproduce.

                For normal to thick slices, a good knife will be faster than a mandoline.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFBQ6...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I bought one when it was a special value at HSN one day but returned it before using it as the reviews were so bad. I thought I would need it for a gratin but then I realized I've never made a gratin in my life and if I did it wouldn't be a crime if the potato was cut to fit the feed tube. Put enough cheese over it and you will never know...LOL!

                  Then I thought well, I can make a julienne but I only made one once in my life when I had a processor with that blade to see what it looked liked.

                  I'm sure I will be forgiven if the tomato slices in a salad are half round. The medium sized shredding blade makes nice veggies for salads.

                  I love kitchen equipment, but I have to admit I don't need this. They also scare me. I don't want to count my fingers when I'm done and wind up with 9 1/2!