Slicing foods evenly is a skill that chefs learn in school and perfect over time. Some home cooks can handle a knife skillfully, though most don’t have as much practice as professional chefs, so their cuts are less likely to be identical. While uniform cuts make food look more presentable, it also means that the food will cook evenly, so some bits won’t be soft while others are still crunchy.
A mandoline replaces a knife for making those perfectly even cuts, and it’s particularly useful for... making super-thin cuts for potato chips that are difficult with a knife. Many mandolines come with additional blades for making wavy and waffle cuts, and others have blades for cutting the food into julienne strips.
Most mandolines come with a food holder that serves as a hand guard for safety—mandoline blades are sharp and the cutting is most effective when done briskly. If a food holder seems awkward, there are cut-resistant gloves that can be purchased for use with the mandoline. Some mandolines have legs that hold the cutting surface at a comfortable angle (but they usually can also rest across a bowl with the legs folded). Hand-held models are designed to be used with the end resting on the work surface, or they are used while resting across a bowl to catch the cut pieces. WIth those tips in mind, here are the best mandolines on the market.
01 of 09
This single unit does everything you’d want a mandoline to do—straight cuts, waffle and wavy cuts, small julienne cuts, and larger French fry cuts. There is a straight blade for cutting through hard foods like carrots or potatoes, and a serrated blade that’s better for tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. The cutting thickness is adjustable with the turn of a knob, and the julienne and French fry cutters stay covered when out of use.
This model is made from stainless steel, so it’s built to last,... and comes with a hand guard for safety and has sturdy legs to hold it at a comfortable angle while slicing. The blades are easy to remove for cleaning. It can all be washed in the dishwasher, but might be easier and safer to wash by hand rather than have the sharp blades loose in the silverware basket in the dishwasher.
02 of 09
Sometimes the best mandoline is a set rather than a single unit. This hand-held set includes a mandoline that’s adjustable to four different thicknesses, a julienne slicer, and a coarse grater, along with a storage container that holds all of pieces. While it’s three separate cutting units, it doesn’t take a lot of storage space, or at least not more than some of the larger mandolines. If you regularly have helpers in the kitchen, this set might make sense. However, it only comes with one hand... guard, so cut-resistant gloves are a good investment. These are dishwasher safe, but easy to wash by hand.
03 of 09
If you don’t need a lot of fancy options, this inexpensive mandoline will make short work of vegetables. It adjusts to three different thicknesses, and has julienne blades that pop up for cutting zucchini, carrots, and other vegetables for salads and stir fry. This comes with a hand guard. It is dishwasher safe, but it might be easier to hand wash to clean all the nooks and crannies.
04 of 09
This hand-held mandoline adjusts to three different thicknesses for slicing fruits and vegetables. It has a non-slip handle and the non-slip “foot” on the end keeps it from slipping around on the work surface. Since part of the mandoline is clear, you can see slices below so you know how much you’ve cut. It is dishwasher safe and comes with a hand guard. Unlike other models, this one does not make julienne, wavy, or French fry cuts.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Produced by the company that created the original mandoline, this can make straight, wavy, and julienne cuts from paper thin to 1/2-inch thick. There are additional blades available separately for making julienne cuts of different sizes. This is a large, sturdy unit that weighs five pounds, so it might be a little bit too large for some folks who want a more compact unit. The sturdy legs fold flat for more compact storage.
The included hand guard is made from stainless steel and rides on rails on... the mandoline, so it’s very safe. However, if you want to make waffle cuts, you can’t use the guard since you can’t turn the vegetable to make the second cut, so extreme care should be taken or cut-resistant gloves should be used. Since this is stainless steel, it should be dishwasher safe, but hand washing is likely to be easier.
06 of 09
This has a straight blade for hard foods like carrots as well as a serrated blade that is better for tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. It can also make julienne and wavy cuts. The blades are integrated into the machine and the blade selection and the thickness are adjusted with the turn of a dial on the side of the mandoline. The legs fold up for storage, and a hand guard is included. This is dishwasher safe, but hand washing might be easier, to get into all of the nooks.
07 of 09
If you’re looking for one tool that can slice, julienne, and do a whole lot more, this is the one you want. It’s adjustable for different thicknesses, and can make the usual straight, wavy, julienne, and French fry cuts, but it also has cutters for fine and coarse grating. A citrus juicer fits on top of the hand guard for even more versatility. This is made primarily from plastic with stainless steel blades. The legs fold for compact storage. Hand washing is recommended.
08 of 09
This V-slice mandoline has reversible blades for two different slicing thicknesses as well as different blades for julienne and French fry cuts. V-slicers tend to be better at cutting softer foods, like tomatoes, than mandolines with straight blades, but they work well for other types of food as well. This mandoline is made primarily from plastic with stainless steel blades. It includes a hand guard, but does not have legs. All four of the pieces fit together in a compact holder for easy... storage. It should be washed by hand.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
If you’re more likely to cut large potatoes, melons, eggplants, or even small cabbages, this wide-bodied mandoline will be able to handle those large vegetables with ease on its 6 ½-inch wide cutting surface. It is made from plastic with a stainless steel blade and includes a hand guard. It has a fixed straight blade that makes thick slices. If you need more versatility, Benriner also makes similar mandolines with multiple blades and adjustable cutting thicknesses, but they aren’t this wide.... This is top-rack dishwasher-safe.