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Mandolines


Banco
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What's the best mandoline? Bron, Benriner, others? Has anyone tried the new Oxo? I took a look at it at Sur la Table a few days ago and was not impressed. Nice concept, but not very keen blades and build quality seemed a bit cheesy. The Benriner for 20 bucks less was far sharper, if less convenient to use. I've heard bad things about the expensive French models. Since I don't use waffle cuts, I figure the Benriner (which lacks that feature) would be a good choice. But I'd like your thoughts.

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What's the best mandoline? Bron, Benriner, others? Has anyone tried the new Oxo? I took a look at it at Sur la Table a few days ago and was not impressed. Nice concept, but not very keen blades and build quality seemed a bit cheesy. The Benriner for 20 bucks less was far sharper, if less convenient to use. I've heard bad things about the expensive French models. Since I don't use waffle cuts, I figure the Benriner (which lacks that feature) would be a good choice. But I'd like your thoughts.

I have one of those expensive French mandolines. If I were in the market for another one, I would go with the OXO. I have heard nothing but good things about that one and it costs less than half what I paid.
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What's the best mandoline? Bron, Benriner, others? Has anyone tried the new Oxo? I took a look at it at Sur la Table a few days ago and was not impressed. Nice concept, but not very keen blades and build quality seemed a bit cheesy. The Benriner for 20 bucks less was far sharper, if less convenient to use. I've heard bad things about the expensive French models. Since I don't use waffle cuts, I figure the Benriner (which lacks that feature) would be a good choice. But I'd like your thoughts.

I got the Oxo for Christmas, but have not used it yet. I will have to take a close look at it before I use it incase it needs to be exchanged.

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I received an OXO mandoline as a gift last year and have been pretty happy with it. True, the blades aren't quite as sharp as a Japanese one (some of those are a bit scary-- I'm always afraid I'm going to really cut myself good one time), but I find that it does most jobs fine. The design is clever. All the different blades rotate into position, and thus are always attached to the mandoline (hard to explain-- you have to see it) so you don't have to hunt around for them in a drawer (and the 'food pusher' or whatever you call it attaches on the underside during storage as well).

Edited by cjsadler
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I have a cheap(er) "V Slicer" that I have had for years and use a lot. If I was in the market for a new one, I would be getting the OXO or a French slicer with adjustable blades. Alton Brown and I believe Cooks Illustrative have reviewed slicers. My blades have not gotten dull, if and when they do I will be throwing the thing out.

Gosh, maybe we should have a online place to sell used cooking items in the DC area. I guess Craigslist would work.

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First, let me put in a plug for safety devices. From first hand knowledge, I can attest that the mandolin is one of the more dangerous kitchen implements. Never, and I mean never, ever use one without using the food holder. I managed to shave off a slice of finger using a mandolin without the holder. I'm almost scared of the damned things.

I have a mandolin type device that came with a stainless steel bowl. The slicer is set into a plastic lid that fits over the top. Your sliced stuff goes right into the bowl. It came with interchangeable blades for different thicknesses and julienne sizes.

Here it is.

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux
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I believe my mandolin is the OXO/Good Grips, available at Crate & Barrel (and elsewhere) for about $70. I asked for it for a gift last Christmas to make shredded brussels sprouts, but have figured out that it is actually easier to do those with a sharp knife. Still, it's great for onions, apples, potatoes, julienned carrots, etc. That thing can make an whole onion into 1/8" onion strings in 20 seconds flat. Sweet.

I, like others here, am (quite rightly) terrified of slicing off part of my hand whenever I use it. I'm thinking of asking for a chain mail glove as a gift, because the food guard is nice, but sometimes the food slides around on those little spikes. That's why it doesn't work well for the sprouts, but great on large, soft items.

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I occationally assist at a cooking school, where there are very sharp mandolines and no food guards anywhere. I usually grab an old, thick oven mitt, which allows you to hold the food pretty well with your palm (better than a guard as it doesn't slip) and provides adequate protection (still gotta be very careful of course) And then the chef calls me a pansy...

I do this at home now too, instead of using the guard.

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I have a very nice and equaly as expensive French made mandoline. i use it for certain chores, however, for most needs, I use an inexpensive Kyocera Double-Edged Straight Slicer. It makes quick work out of almost any vegetable I throw at it. But as others have said you need to use something to protect your hand. I have yet to find a guard that i like (most mar the food I am slicing - the V-Slicer is the worst for this), so instead, I use a Mesh Cut-Resistant Glove it works much better than the guards.

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I have a Kyocera too -- cost about $25 at Williams-Sonoma. You can hook it on a bowl so your slices drop right in, which is very handy; also you can run it through the dishwasher. Love it but I find I don't use it as much as I thought I would when I was lusting for a mandoline. It does come with a food-holder thingie, but that's kind of useless most of the time -- if you're making crosswise slices on a cucumber, you can't control the cuke with this plastic doodad 8 inches from the bed of the slicer; you just need to hold it with your fingers till it gets down to the last inch or two, PAY ATTENTION, and then switch over to the holder-thingie at that point.

Given that I don't really use it all that much, I'm very glad I didn't pay more for a fancier one - would rather have a new knife.

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I have the oxo. The blade is nothing to write home about... and this can be very dangerous with mandolines (having to exert more manual force etc). It's kind of awkward to store, the handguard attaches to the bottom. I've also found the handguard lacking and frequently run its metal tangs into the blade when I am slicing onions. It also provides more slicing options than I will probably ever need to worry about - however, I do look forward to cutting fries with it :)

In hindsight I wish I had gone with the Kyocera - I think it fits my usage profile a little better.

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I have the de Buyer Mandoline. I bought it from a French Website a few years ago when the exchange was awesome. It does just about everything a mandoline can do, waffle slices, moderating thickness, etc. But I haven't used it in years! Like Jacque, I am a little scared of it also, plus cleaning those things is even scarier!

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Some of the technique is a little strange (i.e. using a cucumber as a base to build a potato bowl which you dunk in hot oil to fry). Also uses the madeline alot, as well as the crank style fruit peeler. But I've been looking for an excuse to buy a good madeline.
I bought one of those expensive ($150+) French, metal ones many years ago. However, the OXO ($60 or so) is supposed to be superior, according to a couple of tests. I'm thinking of getting an OXO because the expensive one is difficult to use.
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I bought one of those expensive ($150+) French, metal ones many years ago. However, the OXO ($60 or so) is supposed to be superior, according to a couple of tests. I'm thinking of getting an OXO because the expensive one is difficult to use.

I have the OXO at home and have used the metal French ones many, many times as well. The control for setting blade is not as fine or easy to control. The rubber feet on the OXO are nice for keeping things stable, but there is really no need to buy another if you already have one. If you don't have one and are going to use it occassionaly the OXO would be a good choice.

Not sure why they say they are superior. Probably because they are cheaper and you can throw the OXO in the dishwasher.

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