Mandoline slicers are generally made of plastic or stainless steel and have
ceramic or metal blades. The advantage of ceramic, which is second only to
diamonds in hardness, is that it retains its edge longer than metal and will
never rust. Stainless-steel mandolines are sturdy and extremely versatile,
but they're pricey.
Experts offer the following tips for choosing the best mandoline slicer:
like knives, should be handled with care. As Amanda Hesser of The New York
Times puts it, "There are hand guards on many mandolines,
but it is still a fairly barbaric contraption."
- For an extra layer of
protection, wear kitchen safety gloves. Some owners say that they wear
Kevlar gloves to protect their fingers against injury. Louisa Chu of Chow.com
recommends the Whizard Handguard II by Wells Lamont (*Est. $20). You should
not only wear gloves while slicing, she says, but also while changing and
- Cut the last section of any fruit or vegetable by
hand. For safety's
sake, you should stop using a mandoline when you reach the last quarter
of the fruit or vegetable you're cutting. Slice the last section
with a sharp kitchen knife, with your fingers curled under to prevent nicks.
food pushers with spring-loaded prongs. This type of prong can spring
back, sending food bouncing across the work surface.
- Store blades in a separate
box. Reviews say it's easy to cut yourself if you store your mandoline
in the original box along with the loose blades.
- Use a light grip when slicing. Reviews say you should never force the vegetable against the blade;
instead, grip the fruit or vegetable lightly, but firmly, and allow the
blade to do the work.
- If the flat, slicing blade becomes dull, you can sharpen it
with a sharpening stone.
- Keep screws and nuts tightened. Check the hardware
periodically to ensure that the blades and stand do not become loose.
let cuttings pile up under the slicer. If you allow sliced food to
pile up beneath the slicer, there's a danger that it may become unbalanced.
Avoid this problem by removing food to a bowl before it has a chance to