The best mandolines are more than just sharp slicers. Experts say fast cleanup, convenient height adjustments and a comfortable hand guard that grips food securely are all important features in a mandoline slicer. The best mandolines will also be versatile, with the ability to slice a variety of thicknesses, dice, julienne and even cube. Some can make waffle cuts as well. If you want to go above and beyond slicing veggies, see our discussion of spiralizers elsewhere in this report.
No other mandoline slicer gets the kind of love that the Swissmar Bšrner V Power Mandoline, V-7000 (Est. $50) does. It excels in professional tests and in real-world kitchens, with an extremely easy-to-use design, a safe, ambidextrous hand guard, and a sturdy, durable construction.
Best of all, it's a top performer in all slicing tasks. It comes with four thickness settings (1 mm, 3 mm, 5 mm, and 7 mm) and includes four different blades. Altogether, there are enough adjustments for up to 10 different cuts and each blade has markings to guide you to the correct setting. It's reported as very simple and safe to swap out the inserts and to adjust them. In addition to slicing, The V Power V-7000 dices, juliennes, shreds and cubes. It's said to be very sharp, making precise cuts quickly, cleanly and consistently. It even works well on very thin tomato slices, something other mandoline slicers struggle with.
Safety is where the Swissmar Bšrner V Power Mandoline, V-7000 really shines, however. It has a hand guard that experts and owners say offers enough coverage to fully protect your hands, yet glides smoothly and leaves almost no waste. The storage feature includes a blade guard that snaps together with all the other pieces to make a single, compact unit for storage and it has a safety setting that recesses the blade. One caveat: The blade guard is removable and we did read reports of people cutting themselves when they weren't using it. It's very important to keep the blade guard in place when slicing vegetables with the V-7000 to avoid injury.
Another top performer for basic mandolines is the OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer (Est. $40), which is a favorite of owners and experts. It offers four thickness settings (1.5mm, 3mm, 4.5mm and 6mm), and it can create crisp, consistent straight slices, crinkle cuts, French fries and julienne strips. Experts say the OXO Good Grips V-Blade's biggest asset is its thickness dial, where each setting is clearly marked in both millimeters and inches. It also has a fold-down stand that allows the user to set the slicer upright on a cutting board -- alternatively, it can be used over a bowl with the legs folded down. The blades must be hand-washed, but the mandoline body and food holder are dishwasher-safe. The OXO Good Grips V-Blade has a broad, easy-to-grasp hand guard, but some users warn that it's tricky to switch out the blades, and the food holder sometimes doesn't grip vegetables well. Overall, though, users and experts say this is a sturdily built, useful mandoline slicer.
Let's say you haven't committed to the idea of dropping $50 on a mandoline slicer, and you're looking for a usable, entry-level slicer for under $30. The good news is that there are a number of affordable, perfectly reliable options at a lower price point; the bad news is that cheaper slicers usually cannot do fancy cuts like julienne and waffle.
The KitchenAid Hand-Held V-Blade Mandoline (Est. $20) is a well-designed, compact little unit, and it's a great choice for everyday use. However, as is the case with most mandolines at this price point, its only adjustment is its thickness settings, of which there are three.
Experts at Good Housekeeping say the KitchenAid is particularly great at slicing tomatoes, and that it cuts with uniform precision. Experts and owners say that, although the hand guard is on the smaller side, it's soft, comfortable and easy to grip, and it guides the blade efficiently. A number of users comment on the stainless steel blade's razor-sharpness, and they say it's easy to wipe down and feels safe to operate. The slicer is dishwasher safe and is compact enough to easily fit in kitchen drawers.
The Kyocera CSN-202-RD Adjustable Mandoline Slicer (Est. $25) is another top pick among experts and owners as a good, affordable slicer. It has a straight blade as opposed to a v-shaped blade, but reviewers say the blade is very sharp and performs as well as v-shaped models. The ceramic blade excels at paper-thin slivers, and users find it handles both soft and firm vegetables with ease. An easy-to-use bar rotates underneath the blade to adjust cutting height. The thickest setting is a half-inch, which many like for thicker slices of tomatoes or onions. Some say the lightweight plastic surface can flex under pressure, producing uneven cuts and occasionally breaking. The Kyocera also gets slightly lower marks for safety because of its small, rather flimsy hand guard -- you may want to consider either replacing it with a larger, studier hand guard or using cut-resistant gloves.
The OXO Good Grips Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer (Est. $15) is another go-to budget mandoline option among experts and owner reviewers. Although it lacks the versatility of OXO's v-blade model, it's a dependable choice for quick, basic slicing. In expert testing, it receives middling marks for performance: its cuts can be inconsistent and it doesn't create clean edges on tomatoes. The standard model is adjustable for three thickness settings, but for a slightly higher price you can buy the OXO Good Grips Large Mandoline Slicer (Est. $25), which features a wider ramp and seven different thickness settings. It is meant to be used either onto a cutting board, onto a plate or over a bowl -- it features a curved, non-stick handle that can hook onto a bowl's rim. It also has a viewing window so you can keep an eye on your vegetables as you slice. The finger guard receives mixed reviews among users; some say it's tempting to forgo using it because the slicer doesn't grip food well, and this detracts from the product's overall safety.
Walk into any professional kitchen and you're likely to find a few "Bennie's" lying around. That's what many chefs affectionately call the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer (Est. $25). It gets top reviews from both professionals and experts for its great performance and user-friendly design. An adjustable knob changes blade height quickly and precisely, and the slim hand-held body style stores easily in most kitchen drawers or cabinets.
The Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer's performance is first-class; reviewers say it slices thinner than most mandolines and also produces excellent julienne cuts. It comes with three interchangeable blades, fine, medium and coarse, but does not include a blade for crinkle or waffle cuts. Some say it's too narrow for their purposes, but it can be purchased in a wide body design as the Benriner Wide-Body Large Slicer (Est. $45).
Keep in mind that this is considered a slicer for professional or experienced cooks. As a result, its small hand guard is easy to remove and doesn't provide much protection. We read plenty of stories of people who cut the heck out of their hands -- or even sliced off the tip of a finger -- because they become distracted or misjudged the distance to the blade. Even experienced chefs bear the scars of using this sharp slicer. If you do opt for this professional-grade mandoline, consider investing in a pair of cut-resistant gloves as well.
Also classified as a pro-grade slicer, the Progressive PL8 Professional Mandoline Slicer PL8 1000 (Est. $60) features four thickness settings (1mm, 3.5mm, 5.5mm and 7.5mm), and it comes with slice, julienne and waffle cutting options. The PL8 also comes in a "Cubing" model, the PL8 Professional Cubing Mandoline Slicer PL8 1050 (Est. $90).
Most users are happy with how the PL8 performs, saying the blade is razor-sharp and can easily cut paper-thin slices. This is a larger slicer, and it's effective for slicing high volumes of vegetables, which is what lands it in the professional category. Owners especially love this slicer's all-in-one functionality; its integrated blades eliminate loose parts. Some reviewers did say the PL8 is tricky to clean, although it is technically dishwasher-safe. The PL8 seems to offer more protection than the Benriner -- users repeatedly praise its safety features and call it less dangerous than other mandolines they've tried, and we certainly came across fewer grisly accounts of finger mutilation.
All of the products in this report have one thing in common: sharp blades. Sometimes people opt to remove the hand guard from mandolines, and may suffer the consequences; spiralizers also have very sharp blades. One tip that we're seeing more frequently is to buy a pair of cut-resistant gloves, like NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves (Est. $15).
Cut-resistant gloves have been around for a long time, but were mostly found in the hardware aisle for those who work with sharp tools, now they've come to the kitchen and may be a life-saver -- or, at the very least, a finger-saver -- for home cooks.
Elsewhere in this report: