There are several mini choppers on the market that are designed for smaller, simpler tasks, such as mincing garlic. Cuisinart dominates this mini-machine market even more so than the full-sized food processors category. In fact, all recommended choppers we found are Cuisinarts. The best-rated mini chopper is the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus DLC-2A (*Est. $40). In professional tests, this 3-cup machine does very well at grating and chopping and moderately well at puréeing. Its controls are simple -- one button to chop and one to grind -- but users say there's a trick to using them; if you pulse too long, the chopper turns everything to purée. A larger version, the 4-cup Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus DLC-4CHB (*Est. $50), gets similar results in professional tests and home use. The more basic Cuisinart Mini-Prep DLC-1 (*Est. $30) works much like the Mini-Prep Plus, but its performance is less consistent. We saw some complaints that when chopping, it produces a mixture of chunks and slush, rather than an evenly chopped mixture.
Like other mini choppers, all three Cuisinart Mini-Prep models are noisier than a full-sized food processor. Some reviewers find the noise level bothersome, while others say it's not a problem because each use is so brief. Also, all three machines get some complaints about durability. Some had motor failures, but the most common problem is broken blade housings -- which can create a serious hazard if they break during use. We read accounts for all three models of blades that came loose and sliced clean through the plastic bowl. A broken blade can be costly to replace, too, and these little Cuisinarts come with a limited 18-month warranty. Durability problems appear to be most prevalent with the inexpensive DLC-1 and least common with the DLC-2A.