If you want a professional-grade mandoline, experts say the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer is the one to choose. However, be warned, this is a mandoline for expert, attentive cooks, not for those who are less-experienced, easily-distracted or accident-prone. It does come with a hand guard, but it's awkward to use, reviewers say. However, if you have the skills, this mandoline slicer is a top performer and particularly excels at julienne cuts. We see some complaints about its narrow base, but it now also available with a wider body as the Benriner Wide-Body Large Slicer (Est. $35).
Pro-grade slicing. In comparison tests, the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer delivers straight and julienne cuts as well as much more expensive mandolines. Blade height can be set for thick slices of cabbage or tomatoes, or to deliver some of the thinnest slivers of cucumbers. After thorough testing, one expert source calls the Benriner one of the best mandolines for julienne cuts (long thin strips), though in one professional test it's noted that potatoes and carrots require more pressure. At about 3.5 inches wide, some reviews find the Benriner too narrow for large produce, requiring extra trimming for wide foods. However, it's also available in a wider model, the Benriner Wide-Body Large Slicer (Est. $35).
Precise cutting height selection. The blade dial on the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer features continuous adjustability and slice thickness can be fine-tuned down to extremely thin slices, say reviewers, and its adjustments are intuitive and simple to do. In one test, setup took a little longer than with preset height increments, and users agree, saying it can be confusing to put together, and the instructions are not very clear. However, once this mandoline is assembled, the sharpness of the blade makes slicing through practically anything a breeze, owners say. They love how much it has helped them to cut back on time spent preparing food for cooking.
Durable construction and an excellent value. Both experts and owners say the Benriner Japanese Mandoline a great value. Its replaceable blade means that it can last for years, and it's reported as durable and well built. The one issue is the hand guard -- several expert reviewers say that it's small and awkward, so it's tempting to not use it. While we don't see very many reports of injuries, there are some. We also saw a few reviews where new users were so terrified of this mandoline slicer that they quit using it. The extremely sharp blade of the Benriner means it's crucial to either keep the hand guard in place or start using a pair of cut-resistant gloves, such as the NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves (Est. $12).
Lesley Stockton tests eight mandolines, including the wide-body version of the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer. She notes that it's a favorite of many professional chefs, and is best for the experienced cook. She doesn't recommend it for the general public, though, due to safety issues with the super-sharp blade.
Review: The Best Mandoline, Lesley Stockton, May 1, 2014
2. Good Housekeeping
Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute include the Benriner Japanese Mandoline in their mandoline roundup. The Benriner earns an A-minus grade. Editors say it's inexpensive, lightweight and a good value, though they add it isn't as user-friendly as other top models and can tear delicate tomato skin.
Review: Benriner Japanese Mandoline #101-10, Editors of Good Housekeeping, August 2013
Editors list the Benriner Japanese Mandoline as one of the top three mandolines they recommend. They praise its low price, "flawless" slicing performance and three included blades. They say the inadequate hand guard and longer set-up time are disadvantages. Editors also review the wider body version elsewhere on this site.
Review: Benriner Mandoline, Editors of KitchenAudition.com, Not Dated
The Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer receives an average 4.3-star score from more than 670 reviewers, but that includes reviews of the wider version and a version with a tray. Most say it slices a variety of foods evenly and adjusts easily between cutting heights. Some owners of the original, narrower version say that the cutting surface is too narrow.
Review: Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer, Green, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2014