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Safest mandolin?

I'm deadly afraid of mandolins, but I've resolved to go through some of my fears in 2014, so I need your advice: what brand is the safest?

I don't care about the price since it's a belated Christmas gift from me to me...

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  1. A friend of mine bought an electric mandolin from QVC. I am going to use/try it next Monday, I'll report back.

    I have a manual one (Emeril's), but I have to put the blade on each time I use it, so I don't think it's very safe. They kind of scare me as well and I am a seasoned cook.

    I do my potaotes in my FP, but they don't slice them as thin as I like them for my gratins this way.

    Good luck!


    1. I recommend you ask this question on the Cookware board.

      1. Have a low end mandolin that I've had for YEARS... maybe Mouli?? Has 3 snap-in things for different cuts. One does 2 different thicknesses of just slices, one does match sticks, one does sorta smallish "french fry" cut.

        Blade is still SCAREY sharp, so when food item gets even REMOTELY close to it, I pop on the guard.

        SIL used to sell Pampered Chef stuff and swears by their V-slicer.

        1. Get yourself a Kevlar glove right along with your Mandolin, it will add a lot of protection to your knuckles. You will be happy you did! :-)

          1. Many are sold with guards and gliders that attach to the food you are slicing. Coupled with a protective glove you should be well protected and prepared. Most folks make the mistake of gliding too quickly, getting over confident towards the shorter end of the food they are cutting, not wearing a protective glove or not using the glider attachment at all.

            My hands tremor and I use a mandolin with the glider attachment.

            4 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              I have a nasty scar on my left hand from getting over-confidant (read: cocky) in cutting the nub end of a potato on the mandoline, sans glove or glider. Use both. Bloody sliced potatoes are gauche.

              1. re: pine time

                "Bloody sliced potatoes are gauche."

                Pinetime, you just made my day. I can't wait use that in conversation!

                1. re: Hobbert

                  I stole it from an ER doc who was stitching up the hole in the webbing by my thumb. It was a different incident from the mandolin debacle: I was young, stupid, and couldn't find the corkscrew. Thought I could stab through the cork & pull it out. Stabbed, absolutely, but my hand. ER doc, when hearing I bled all over the cooked steak and the wine glasses, said "how gauche." I have scar covered hands. It's only in the past decade or so that I've actually acquired (a) sense, and (b) some knife skills.

                  1. re: pine time

                    pine t, you've also acquired the stories to tell. Cautionary tales are always worthwhile :)

            2. The Kevlar glove is great advice. If you do not have a Kevlar glove the glider attachment is a must. Some, like the Matfer exoglass, are just a loose fitting C shaped thing with some pointless spikes inside. The Bron is more like a car with no bottom. It is going to take more work to use it, but it should be safe.

              1. Even if you buy a mandolin with a guard, buy the Kevlar glove, too. If you develop a habit of NEVER using teh mandolin without the glove (guard or no guard), you will be glad you did.

                1. The Zyliss Easy Slice is a good choice or the Progressive International Folding Mandoline which seems to be similar.

                  I bought the Benriner Japanese Mandoline and find it works very well.
                  I bought the kevlar gloves to use with it but, to be honest, they are still in the original packaging unused. A little common sense went a long ways for me and I found the gloves were overkill FOR MY USES.

                  1. I know it has been mentioned, but I will say it again: consider to purchase a cut resistance glove, something like this:


                    1. One with a sharp blade. The simple japanese mandolines are always very sharp and long lasting. Honestly if you use a mandoline long enough you will probably sustain an injury. Just try not to be wreckless.

                      1. Kevlar glove as everyone has said. Makes all the difference.

                        Also don't try to get the last slice out of the onion. That's where you get sliced.

                        1. Hi, carollias:

                          Gosh, IMO unfortunately the most-efficient cutting mandolines are not the safest. The ones with V-shaped and angled ones cut better, but the blade shapes make cutting yourself much easier (along most of the length of the stroke). So I consider the mandolines with a perpendicular blade a little safer.

                          I have an expensive, heavy Miu with perpendicular blades that is OK cut-wise, and has an extra large pusher/holder to keep your tender bits away from the blades. I use it mostly with julienne and waffle cuts, because my uber-cheap German V-shaped one does a far better job with straight cuts. Of course it's bit me a few times...


                          1. Thanks for all your advice...

                            The idea of purchasing a glove was already on my mind, so now it's a definite yes.

                            Yesterday, while researching the subject, I saw ads for De Buyer mandolin. Do any of you have it? Recommend it?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: carolilas

                              You may want to consider the OXO:

                              I have it and like it. I never use it without using the food holder.

                            2. I do not use a glove, but ALWAYS use the guard. I think the most important thing is the style of the guard. Many brands have the style pictured here. On the underside of the cup are several spikes that are attached to the center knob of the guard. When you press the onion, for example, onto the spikes, the knob and the post below it rise up out of the top of the guard. As you slice, you press on the knob with the palm of your hand, and it keeps the onion in contact with the blades. When the knob is all the way down, you're done slicing.

                              I prefer a mandoline with notches on the bottom that allow it to snug onto the lip of a bowl or other container to catch the slices/shreds, rather than the slant-standing ones. Mine is a Boerner (Börner) V-Slicer, with which I've been happy for many years. It has inserts for thicker or ultra-thin slices, batons and julienne. There are many models which are extremely similar. You can get a quality one for $20-40.

                              1. I'm a firm believer that simple is better and like the Rosle mandolin/slicer. It's a one act pony, it only slices, no fancy cuts. The blade is replacable should it dull. With a cut resistant glove and a modicum of caution, it's quite safe. I like the simplicity, one knob with about 11 thickness settings.


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mikie

                                  Hi, mikie:

                                  I haven't used the Rosle, but if simpler is better, this one might please you. I'm amazed mine never seems to dull.


                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    That looks just like the "Miracle Chef" I bought for my mother at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver back in 1977 (The day Elvis croaked IIRC). She still uses it at least twice a week and it's still in good condition, and scarily sharp:


                                    I use a standard Benriner which seems to be a little slippy on plastic cutting boards, which has caused me a couple of exciting moments, and I do use the guard. Maybe I should lay a cloth out first:


                                    I expect a large SS professional model, with a stand and rubber feet would be much more stable and safe:


                                2. I think just about all the home versions today fall within $10.00 of each other. Safety comes with using a mandolin properly. Don't be suckered into the speed demonstrated on commercials. Buy a model with a food grip and guard and you'll be fine. They all last with care and they are all sharp as heck. If you want that super thin cut, a mandolin is your best bet. Wear a glove if you really are concerned.

                                  I have this model http://www.webstaurantstore.com/de-bu...
                                  and a Benriner. I like them both. I paid $50.00 for the DeBuyer and $37. for the Benriner at the time. They'll both outlive me.

                                  1. I've been using this one for over 20 years and it still serves me well. Use the guard! Great price on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Borner...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: grampart

                                      That's the one I have too, as mentioned upthread. Amazon's price is the best I have seen. Mine must be 15 yrs old and I think I paid $30 at Kitchen, Etc. (miss that store!)

                                    2. I have a cheap v slicer, and a mandolin...I don't believe one is safer than the other. The best advice I can give, besides using the guard is, don't be a cheap son-of-a-bitch and try to get another whack at that tiny shard of potato, carrot, or whatever. Throw it away, compost it, leave for the squirrels...your fingers will thank you