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Should a Single Male Buy a Food Processor?

I'm on a tight budget and agonizing over this decision. Seems like you need to spend about $140 for a decent unit. I'd primarily use it for:

- chopping vegetables for a standard stew I make (not that hard currently with a mandolin slicer
- making homemade almond butter (not even sure it will work with blanched almonds, which would be my preference)
- making puree'd vegetable soups (rather than "chunky" style, which I currently do.)

Are any of these potential uses so amazing (does pureeing vegetable soup make it that much better?) that they justify the expense and having more "stuff" in my apartment?

Thanks in advance...

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  1. They come in more than one size. :)You don't have to buy a huge one if you don't need a huge one.

    I have a medium sized one for 2 of us and it's perfect.

    I puree soups with an immersion blender or a regular blender. My immersion blender is probably my favorite kitchen appliance and it fits in a drawer.

    1. I agree that an immersion blender would probably be useful enough for you, it's perfect and way easier than a processor for pureeing soups. You could also buy one of those mini processors which might work for small batches of your almond butter. Both the immersion blender and the mini processors are available for under $50 each and both are much easier to store than a big processor.

      1. I can only agree with the others that I big processor would be overkill for what you're after. Either a mini-processor or a blender sound more suited to me, a hand blender would be fine for the soup but a worktop blender should do the almond butter (which will be fine with blanched almonds) too.

        You can always spend the difference on a good knife so you can throw away the mandolin :)

        Nick

        1 Reply
        1. re: litrelord

          Well... I like my mandolin :)

          thanks for the thoughts. Could somebody recommend a good "worktop" blender." My understanding was that making nut butters required a reasonable amount of horsepower. And another issue related to size, is that when I make vegetable soup, I make 10 portions at a time using a big pressure cooker.

          So, I'm still wondering if I wanted to do the tasks I mentioned whether I need at least a 7-cup model (?) (Does that qualify as "worktop"?)

        2. I'm not sure I have much to add, except for this. I have one of those tiny 2-cup chopper/processors, and frankly it's mostly useless. I can't even make tahini in it before I start to smell the motor burning out.

          I would encourage you to try an immersion blender, regardless. I use it about 10x more than I would normally use a food processor simply due to ease of use. I have my doubts that it would work for nut butters, but it's worth a try. They're tiny, and take very little effort to assemble, use, breakdown and clean.

          2 Replies
          1. re: egit

            2C is definitely too small, I find a 4 cup is perfect and isn't a beast to clean or move around.

            Like this:
            http://www.casa.com/p/cuisinart-dlc-4...

            (I'm not endorsing this machine or this site, its just an example of the size.)

            1. re: weezieduzzit

              Just a word in favor of the small food processor - though I don't think it would help the OP with his needs.

              I have an old Oskar 2 cup processor and I use it as much as, if not more than, my larger one. It is especially useful for chopping nuts, salad dressing, herbs.

          2. Well, I like to puree, and I use a plastic Braun immersion blender I bought almost ten years ago for about $15. It is vastly easier for blending soups or sauces than either a food processor or a blender because I don't have to transfer the hot liquid! Fewer spills and burns. I use it constantly. It works fine for smoothies as well. Mine can grind up frozen whole strawberries. I am pretty ruthless with it. My husband, who is about as anti-gadget as it comes, likes it and uses it regularly. I no longer own a regular blender. I do have a KA food processor (KFP 720) but don't use it nearly as much. The main bowl is 7 cups, and it comes with a smaller bowl and blade set, which can be handy.

            The immersion blender is very compact. I bought one for my dad as a gift, and he loves it. His wore out and he replaced it. I think he uses it for smoothies and maybe whipping cream or something for use with coffee. So the men in my life seem to like and use them, so I would suggest that it might fit the bill.

            I made peanut butter at home once. I guess it was educational for my kids, but I will never bother again!

            Mandolins scare me.

            2 Replies
            1. re: willownt

              An immersion blender is also my go-to gadget for mayo. If you use the immersion blender/ jar method is turns out perfectly in seconds every time.

              1. re: weezieduzzit

                Got a recipe for us? :)

            2. Would it be possible to borrow one for a few weeks to test out if you'd really use it? I rarely use my FP for chopping veggies. The main exception is when going into full production mode in latke season (which really should be all year). Otherwise, I can chop veggies just as quickly with a knife and I don't mind that task. As for pureed soups, unless I'm doing a single veg type soup (cauliflower comes to mind), I tend to like my soups a bit chunky. A potato masher works fine for that. Otherwise, I use an immersion blender as it is MUCH EASIER than pouring hot soup into a food processor.

              Don't know nothing about making nut butters.

              1. find a garage sale.

                1 Reply
                1. re: treb

                  indeed -- or Goodwill -- it's amazing what nice stuff you can find there for a song if you're willing to haunt the place for a while.

                2. I'm not sure about for single males, but as a married woman, I'd go with a good immersion blender that's strong enough to make nut butters and puree soups. It's so much easier than transferring hot soup into a food processor. More about immersion blenders, which might help:

                  http://www.thecitycook.com/cooking/ad...

                  I rarely use my food processor--maybe for graham cracker crumbs, occasional tart shells. It was a gift and not one I'd quickly replace if it broke.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chowser

                    Funny you should mention that. The reason I was interested in this thread is I'm also a single (ish) male, so I wondered what people had to say about this.

                    As I said above, I use my immersion blender a LOT. I needed to make a batch of hummus for a party a couple of weeks ago, and when I got my food processor out, it simply failed to work. I've had it for over 15 years, and I guess it just kicked the bucket. Anyway, first I tried the tiny 2 cup chopper, and that sucked. I ended up using an immersion blender, working in batches and finally mixing the "batches" together by hand at the end.

                    The point of this long-winded tale: I don't think I'm going to replace my food processor, because the rare occasions I would use it (2x a year, max) don't outweigh the minor inconvenience of working in batches with the immersion blender. Mine is just a simple Braun, which I got for maybe $12-15 dollars about a decade ago. Works great. I've known cheap blenders to give up the ghost over a batch of hummus before.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I also HIGHLY recommend an immersion blender for the OP's uses. Mine (got it at Costco) also has a separate little food processor attachment as well as a whisk and a little container for that. I use my big one a lot but am glad I have this little one. Just made a sauce where I had cut the recipe in half at least and the immersion blender made it possible.

                    2. I agree with others that picking up an immersion blender may be a good first step for you. See how it goes with just that for a while.

                      If you're going to buy a blender for making nut butter, you'd need a pretty high-powered motor. We've burned out the motors on two cheap blenders over the years by giving them jobs they just weren't cut out for; in both cases the food was pretty dry and it was too hard for the blade to spin.

                      If you do decide to splurge on a food processor I'd encourage you to buy one with a really strong motor for the same reason -- and a wide mouth so you don't have to cut up the food too much before you put it in the food processor. I use mine several times a week and love it, but then, I'm cooking regularly for a family of four so my needs are different than yours. And like others, I don't actually use it to chop veggies all that often.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: geekmom

                        I don't use my current one for nut butters but I've had my eye on this one, which I just noticed is on sale, plus 20% off and free shipping. It is supposed to be able to handle nut butters, as well as a host of things my current one doesn't do.

                        http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                        1. re: chowser

                          Wow, that is SEVERAL steps up from my basic Braun hand blender. We've got the usual post-Christmas flat out broke thing going here, so I can't pick it up, but it's definitely a tempting item!

                      2. My problem with using my Cuisinart to puree soups or make, say sweet potato pie filling, is that liquids tend to leak out. Good blenders are better for those uses, but some are bad for making almond butter or hummus as the stuff gets caught under the blades and hence doesn't blend. I use my processor a lot, though, for making pie dough.

                        1. Yes.

                          As others have said, you can get a smaller version - I have the smallest one for quick chopping/pureeing (often use it to shred chicken for one of my cats, but would also work for shredding chicken for tacos, etc.) and the medium-sized one that gets used when I'm making a larger batch of something. Or go with the immersion blender, although I've not used mine that much.

                          1. Another vote for immersion blender. Mine is a cheap one from the drugstore and works fine for pureeing soups - in any amount. My FP is a good one but they do leak. I would only need a blender if I didn't have the IB and FP. On the other hand, if you had a FP you could expand your repertoire. It is very easy to grind your own hamburger and to make doughs and pestos if you have a FP.

                            1. Single male here as well. I bought a cheap small one, since I'm not that fast at chopping and wanted to make some custom but butters, salsas, and pie crusts.
                              I'd say go for one, but don't spend too much on one, since it seems like you would be able to do fine without one.
                              Also, as noted above go for something around 4 cups. I bought a 1.5 then realized it is way too small to do much.

                              1. Single male here. Between my Black and Decker Handy Little Chopper, my Ninja mini food processor, and my Hamilton blender, I can get everything done within my skill range, from chimichurri to duck liver pate to pureed soups to strawberry daiquiris.

                                1. My advice-make friends with someone who owns a food processor and borrow it once and awhile. Maybe they don't have a mandolin & you could swap. If you find you're borrowing it more often than you feel is polite-then invest in one.

                                  I've had a cuisinart 11cup for over a decade now, just last night I used it to make biscuit dough (which can also be done by hand but would have taken me 2x-3x as long). It's a workhorse in my kitchen for everything from biscuits and cookies to hummus and slaws.

                                  I also own a cuisinart immersion blender after burning out my 20 year old braun. http://www.amazon.ca/Cuisinart-CSB-79... This model is 200w-like the bamix someone else linked to-and handy for pureeing. I've never used the chopper attachment to make nut butters, but it goes through onion no problem. I don't know that I'd use it for chopping vege for stews because the pieces won't be as uniform as cutting them by hand/with the mandolin.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                    This Cuisinart immersion blender is so inexpensive it leaves over $100 in case you want to get a chopper as well.

                                    http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CSB-7...

                                    There is a version of this blender that also has a chopping unit as an extension, but it doesn't get as good reviews.

                                    I have this Black & Decker chopper which I really like, mostly because it's easy to clean -- the top (with motor) comes off & the bottom parts are easy to clean.

                                    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-EH...

                                    I also have a full Cuisinart food processor, but I don't use it as often because it takes longer to clean. Not by a lot -- but the chopper does 95% of what need from my food processor.

                                    You can get both for about $60 & between the two of them will have all your use cases covered. I wouldn't use my food processor to puree soups (esp. if I had even a cheap immersion blender).

                                    1. re: calumin

                                      FWIW I clean my food processor the same way I clean my blender/stick blender. Rinse it out then in the case of the blender and fp put it back on the base, add a few drops of liquid soap and about 1/2 cup to a cup of water(more for the fp because of the larger surface area) and hit pulse. In the case of the stick blender I use the tall skinny measuring cup it came with and do the same thing. Or if I'm running the dishwasher the food processor bowl/blade etc goes in the top rack.

                                      I like the cuisinart stick blender because if I opt to clean it by hand I can remove it from the handle/motor and not risk dropping it in a sink full of water. I'm pretty sure one too many baths is what shortened the life span of the braun.

                                  2. I have all of the blending/chopping gadgets people have mentioned and a few more -- all the way from handi-choppers to a Cuisinart. Each has a job it does best, and no one will do it all well.

                                    I find that I don't use my full-size Cuisinart very often. As people have noted, it's not really good for pureeing soups, because transferring the liquids is a pain and then they leak. I mostly use it for making salsa.

                                    The nutbutter is the sticky one -- you need a fairly powerful motor, but you don't need a full-sized food processor (in fact, unless you are making a huge batch of nutbutter, the full-size probably won't work that well). If you really want to make nutbutter, I'd get a good quality mini-food processor (check your local thrift stores) plus an immersion blender (I love my immersion blender!).

                                    1. I am a single male, and I have used a 7-cup Cuisinart for decades. I don't use it for slicing vegetables. I like using my knives. I've never made almond butter, but I read that it's great for doing that (google "homemade almond butter"). And I love it for making cream soups.

                                      Buy as simple a food processor as you can get. The more complex the bowl and cover apparatus people have, the less inclined they seem to use it.

                                      If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind buying used (and you did say "tight budget"), you can get a great deal on a Cuisinart CFP-5A. It's the better of the first two Cuisinarts sold in the US back in the 1970s. It's a 7-cup size. It's got a very simple bowl and lid (I bought a newer Cuisinart when mine died after 23 years of use, hated the lid, and continued using my old bowl, lid, attachments, etc.)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        We got one of these when we got married in "78 - it lasted for almost 30 years - replaced with a KitchenAid processor we are almost as happy with.

                                        Our son recently bought a food processor - he does a fair amount of cooking for company - and likes it quite a bit. They are very versatile machines for grating cheese, carrots, slicing, making pastry or cookie base, chopping up nuts, onions and other veg, salsa, etc. etc I would recommend this over a conventional blender or mini-chopper for general tasks (though we did enjoy the cheap mini-chopper we had briefly, until the top melted in the dishwasher for chopping herbs).

                                        the processor works fine for pureeing soup but you have to be careful not to overfill. We recently got a vintage braun immersion blender and I am starting to appreciate it.

                                        Id say if you dont intend to expand your cooking repetoire and you like using your knife and mandoline, you may not want/need any more than the immersion blender, if that. As you do expand, a food processor can be a big help in a multitude of tasks. Id say its the only one on your list I would try to make nut butter with.Having had conventional blenders for years, Ive found them fussy to use and hard to clean.

                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                          I started learning to cook when the Cuisinart first came out. I subscribed to Bon Appetit at the time, so I bought one right away, and I used it so much, for so many things, it's hard to conceive of not having a food processor.

                                          I've never bought an immersion blender, though I hear they're nice. And easier. And neater. I tell myself "Someday, when I really *need* one," but until then, Cuising, as I call it, is second nature.

                                          I feel the same way about blenders. I bought one for making smoothies about ten years ago, and it's the most stop-start-insert tool-start-stop process ever. I nearly never use it.

                                          1. re: Jay F

                                            and I feel that way about a full-size processor. I bought the 7-cup Cuisinart years ago, and spent more time taking it out, taking it apart, washing it, putting it back together, and putting it away than I ever spent using it.

                                      2. FWIW - if I was a single girl and I met a guy with a food processor, he would get extra points for food processor ownership! something to consider...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: lyndak

                                          I'm actually more impressed by the mandolin!

                                        2. Garage sales, CRaigslist, thrift stores, friends, etc can get you an older, not made in China , item that will probably outlast you, I found 3 Braun immersion blenders-single speed,2 speed, and a variable - for around $5 ea. at a SAVERS.

                                          Perpetual bachelor here that loves to cook.

                                          I made the big step up to used Hobart gear-gotta love Craigslist, and auctions! 12 qt mixer, auto meat slicer, 14" buffalo chopper, power unit, VS-9 slicer, etc..

                                          1. Hi, Jason:

                                            I wouldn't do a FP. Your mandoline is a better slicer/julienne. A blender/IB is better for purees. If you do much in the way of nut butters, you will kill the FP (and pretty much anything else other than a dedicated nut grinder).

                                            You have the mand. Get a decent immersion blender for purees. Or even a bar blender if you hate IBs. If you're mad for nut butters, save up for an Electrolux DLX or a Kitchenaid with a grinder attachment. That's my advice.

                                            Aloha,
                                            Kaleo

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                              He'd have to really love nut butters to buy a DLX + grinder just for almond butter. How about those cool grind-to-order machines at a health food store? I have always loved to watch them. Cheaper to outsource in that case.

                                              My elderly aunt had a handcranked grinder/chopper thing she used on nuts and fruit. I think I have seen something similar at some local stores. That would be a cheaper, non-electric alternative too.

                                            2. In my opinion, a food processor is one of the least necessary common kitchen appliances. If you want to puree things, buy a blender or immersion blender.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                Simple but true. I've owned one for two years and used it for .... pesto and breadcrumbs. It gets used about 4 times a year.

                                                But when I finally get around to making pizzas... (been saying that for awhile).

                                              2. I have a mini-food processor, and I don't use it very often, and I use it entirely for baking tasks, not cooking tasks.

                                                1. Don't take it too seriously. The original poster probably mean nothing more than the fact that he is single, and not that he is a male. Even then, one can ask what does being single has anything to do with it.

                                                  However, we are often taught that it is better to provide slightly more information than less. I often provide more information than I really believe is necessary just in case it may matter. For example, i recently went to Canada for a trip, and I had to call my credit card companies to let them know ahead. Beside telling them of my duration (which they need to know), I also told them that this will be for pleasure and not for business (which they probably did not need to know).

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    ...or what being male has to do with it.....

                                                    I bought an immersion blender that has a mini-chop attachment (the handle is just the motor, you attach the blender or the mini-chop attachment). Used it for my holiday chopping/pureeing/etc -- and it rocks -- does a huge array of tasks, and it's only the handheld motor and a few smallish attachment.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      I was responding to a previous post by someone (I forgot who), but that post was removed, so now my post looks stupid. Yes, the previous post I responded to was able "what being male has to do with it"

                                                      Maybe I should think about an immersion blender one day. I don't have one, and I have never used one.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        I bought a Cuisinart basic model that was on final-final clearance ($12.99), thinking, well, at least if I don't use it and it ends up at Goodwill, I'm not out much.

                                                        I ended up loving the thing. For soups and pureeing pumpkin for pies, especially, but also for homemade mayonnaise, whipped cream...all kinds of weird little jobs that are a pita to do by hand.

                                                        That one is a 110v model, and I got tired of dragging out the converter every time I used it, so picked up the multi-attachment model when I found one on sale. Much bigger, more powerful motor, and really like the ability to do even more weird little jobs (the chopper makes good salsa, by the way....)

                                                        They don't have to be expensive...I think even the bigger model set me back less than US$20.

                                                  2. Sure, buy one. But only if you have an electric dishwasher. Washing the parts by hand is enough trouble to discourage you from using it much. At least if you're as lazy as me. They make neat little ones that are handy for very small jobs like chopping parsley, but a medium or large one is a more useful and versatile buy ... you can always process a small amount in a larger machine, but you can't process a larger amount in a small machine.

                                                    1. I didn't read through all the replies, but I'd suggest a Ninja Prep Pro (not the blender style Ninja, but the food processor style). It will process, chop, puree - whatever you want it to do. and it's much easier to clean than my full size food processor bowl so I usually choose it over my fp (it was way cheaper than my fp too).

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Patrincia

                                                        The only thing the NInja Pro doesn't do is shred. Other than that, it's very comparable to a regular food processor.

                                                        1. re: Patrincia

                                                          Single male here, just ordered one. We pay £60/$92 here in the UK, but it's still vastly cheaper than the £400-500 / $613-$766 they're looking for the Vitamix.

                                                        2. Food processors are totally convenience...a good sharp knife, a box grater, and a sieve/strainer will do it all but demand elbow grease. I find that a decent blender will take care of pureeing. Oster used to make a chopper that fit on their blenders that was dang handy...I think you can still get one.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: MikeB3542

                                                            And so much elbow grease saved! I used to be tasked with grating the carrots for my grandmother's carrot cake and I do believe there was more of my blood in the cake from my knuckles than carrot. I'd never make it now but for the Cuisinart that zips through the carrots in a few minutes. And then I take it apart and put the pieces in the dishwasher. Have done so for decades.

                                                            1. re: rccola

                                                              Shredding carrots...yes, that's a great thing to do in the Cuisinart.

                                                              1. re: rccola

                                                                Definitely--if anyone makes carrot cake or zucchini bread/cake often, it's worth getting one. I don't know if anything does a quicker job. Well, other than buying shredded carrots.

                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  Grating cheese too! I use the grating dish for softer cheeses like cheddar and gruyere, and I use the regular chopping blade for hard cheeses parmesan and romano (roughly chopped into 1-inch chunks before processing).

                                                            2. I love my Cuisinart. I don't use it that often because I don't cook that much but when I do it does the job better and faster than I could. Pie dough, cookie dough, bread dough, soups (in batches), pesto, hummus, salsa, coleslaw, sauerkraut, puddings,etc. Worth it for the pie dough and bread dough alone! I got a basic 7 C model on sale at Macy's for I think $90 maybe 12 years ago, still going strong. I would be very impressed by any single male who had one!

                                                              1. I'm a single male, and I have 2 food processors, a 7C and a 1.5C unit. The smaller one is used for fine grating hard cheeses, making small batches of pesto, and other small chores. The bigger one handles the rest including some slicing and course grating details.

                                                                1. I would suggest a dual use machine, or an immersion blender.

                                                                  I've had a version ofthis blender/food processor for ten years, and it is the perfect size for a single person or couple. http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-BFP-1.... It's smaller, so , you have to puree/chop/etc. in two batches, but it's relatively compact for all the function you get out of it. I wouldn't buy a bigger machine just for your soup. Just puree it in a few batches instead of all at once. A bigger machine will take up alot of space, and you don't really need it.

                                                                  I also just got this immersion blender from Kohl's and really like it: https://www.kohls.com/product/prd-924.... It is incredibly easy to use, most of it is dishwasher safe, and if you buy it on sale with one of their 30% off coupons, I think it ended up being $55. It has a mini-food processor attachment and a whisk attachment. For the things you want to use it for (chopping veggies, blending, almond butter), it might be a better option than a food processor. The immersion part has a removable silicon protector, so you can use it in any pan.

                                                                  Good luck!

                                                                  1. Regarding the immersion blender, allow me to offer a small bit of advice. You don't need to spend much on this item, in fact the less-expensive, plastic-housed immersion blenders are an asset. They don't scratch up your cookware, unlike the stainless steel versions.

                                                                    1. I am a single male, I own a FP (a gift), and I hardly ever use it. Mostly good for chopping/slicing large quantities, for small quantities the cleanup may take longer than doing it with a knife. Or a mandolin, of which I am jealous. As noted, better ways of pureeing soup, I use an old Waring blender. (But this is the only thing I use the Waring for, again hardly ever, so don't get one just for soup.)

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                        Don't be jealous. OXO makes a perfectly fine mandolin retails<$100

                                                                        1. re: rccola

                                                                          That's what I have and love it.

                                                                      2. If you like to cook, you have counter top available, and you can afford it, I'd buy a good food processor. There are smaller and larger ones available, so you might want to consider the size you think you would use the most.

                                                                        You will use this in ways you don't anticipate. I'd buy a processor before a blender, but I'd probably buy a good mixer before either. But a cook needs his tools.

                                                                        1. Mostly, one good knife suffices. But a small food processor is nice for a couple of things. 1. chopping onion fine for use in a dip. 2. making a purée of some of the beans to thicken the base of a bean (or vegetable) soup.

                                                                          As for a mandoline, I thought about getting one awhile back during a frenzy of upgrading my kitchen, but eventually decided there was no point to it.

                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                            agreed -- I've bought two mandolines over the years, because all serious cooks have a mandoline, right?

                                                                            Both times, I've donated them to charity after several years of pulling them out of the cupboard....to dust them.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              I love my mandoline for thinly slicing lots of onions for caramelization. Mine is relatively inexpensive and even tho I mostly use it just for ^that^, I think it's worth it.

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                Agree, Linda. I mostly use mine for thinly slicing potatoes for a particular recipe. But I'd not be able to get them that thin otherwise and I love the recipe, so it's worth it. It's an OXO and even has an adjustment for the thickness, 1/16, 1/8 or 1/4". I love it.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Forgot about potatoes for a gratin or scalloped dish. It ensures even slicing of a *lot* of vegetable done very quickly. And as long as you use the finger guard, no sliced fingers. :-)

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    Finger guards. Which have you found work? I've lost a sliver of my thumb to a mandoline.

                                                                                    BTW, off topic but glad to see you're still around c_oliver. It could be that I've missed your posts but I don't remember seeing you recently.

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      Yes, when you're moving the onion or potato down the blade, you can protect your finger with the thingie that attaches to the top of the veggie. Gives you a better grip on the veggie as well, especially when you get down to that last bit.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        You mean the regular holder that punctures the produce with prongs? Mine never seems to hold it well.

                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                          Yup, that. I make sure I push it in well enough so it holds as run the veggie over the slicer blade. Caveat: I usually wait until I get about halfway done with the veggie before using the finger guard. Seems to help with getting the onion or potato "set" on the blade, if that makes sense.

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            It could be that I don't have a great quality one but my vegetables seem to slip right off of it. If I push it on deep, then that part doesn't get sliced.

                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                              Mine's called "The Original V-Slicer" - I have no idea how much I paid for it. Probably got it at Bed Bath & Beyond with one of their 20% coupons. :-)

                                                                                              http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Borner...

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                Mine is an old Pampered Chef and I always wondered if I should upgrade. I have my husband do it for now.;-)

                                                                                          2. re: chowser

                                                                                            Sometimes I have to put the veg back on a time or two to get it 'seated' just right. But my one slicing accident made a believer out of me :(

                                                                                            Thanks for missing me. A little involuntary hiatus where I learned to mind my p's and q's :)

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              Maybe I need to play with mine more. I get impatient and do it by hand--saves time in slicing but those hours wasted in the ER, though...

                                                                                              Hmm, mandatory time outs? I'm surprised I've never been put in the corner. I don't remember ever reading anything questionable from you.

                                                                            2. Black & Decker's mini (only $14 on Amazon) is perfect for a small batch of pesto. Never tried it for nut butter, however.

                                                                              1. Stay with the mandolin until you need to make large quantities of thinks for soups, and fricassees, and bisques. When you get one, get the largest available (I have the professional14 that was my mother's) so you can then make large quantities of hot liquids.

                                                                                I also have two smaller ones that I use for grinding spices and herbs, and one for small quantities of veggies. You don't need to go there until you are doing lots of special dishes.