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 meat slicers and spiralizers elsewhere in this report.
No other mandoline slicer gets the kind of love that the Swissmar Börner 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 has 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 Börner 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 again important to keep the blade guard in place when slicing vegetables with the V-7000 to avoid injury. Some say it's too awkward to use with smaller vegetables; in that case, we recommend a very reasonable investment in a pair of NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves, Level 5 Protection, Food Grade (Est. $12).
At about half the price of the Swissmar Börner, V-7000, the Kyocera CSN-202-RD Adjustable Mandoline Slicer (Est. $25) is another top pick among experts and owners as a good, basic slicer. It has a straight blade as opposed to the Swissmar's 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.
It's been discontinued by the manufacturer, but the KitchenAid Classic Mandoline Slicer (Est. $45) is still widely available and gets top marks in two professional tests. Good Housekeeping gives it an A+ rating, saying it's easy to use and makes uniform slices. Experts and owners also say it has an excellent hand guard. It only slices, it can' t do fancy cuts like waffles, but you may be able to pick up this compact mandoline slicer at a great price as retailers begin to close it out.
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. $23). 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. $35).
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.
Elsewhere in this Report:
Best Reviewed Mandolines and Slicer: The right slicer can make food prep so quick and easy, you'll wonder how you did without it. Here are the top mandoline slicers, meat slicers and spiralizers, plus a great pair of cut-resistant gloves to keep your hands safe.
Best Meat Slicers and Spiralizers: Want to make quick work of cutting large hunks of meat down to size, or make perfect vegetable spirals or ribbons? We found a great home meat cutter, popular for those who make their own jerky, and a fun-to-use spiral slicer that will keep you in curly fries.
Buying Guide: What kind of mandoline or slicer do you need for your kitchen tasks? Here is your guide to narrowing down your choices and finding the perfect slicer for you.
Our Sources: We used these professional and user review sites to find the best mandoline slicers, meat slicers and spiralizers. They are ranked in order of their expertise and helpfulness.