By Shelley Wiseman and Julissa Roberts
If you need to slice a lot of vegetables, a mandoline can come in handy. It cuts quickly and evenly, especially for very thin slices, and requires less clean up than a food processor. Most models will also julienne, and larger models will waffle-cut french fries and vegetables. While there are many mandolines on the market, and a restaurant version can cost up to $200, we recommend the following three for home use based on their compact sizes and affordable prices.
Oxo chef's mandoline slicer If you slice, julienne, or waffle-cut vegetables on a regular basis and versatility is more important than small size, this mandoline, with a retractable stand that keeps it stable, is worth the investment of $69.99.
Benriner mandoline slicer We like this mandoline because it's small enough to fit in a drawer yet able to do most of the jobs that larger models do (except a waffle cut). It has a sturdy plastic body and an adjustable slicing blade along with three easy-to-insert julienne cutters of various thicknesses. It can slice, cut fries, cut julienne strips, and even shred vegetables as thinly as the delicate decorations found on sushi plates. One drawback is that large vegetables, like potatoes, often have to be cut down to fit on the 3-1/2-inch-wide slicing area of the regular model ($39.95), but Benriner also makes a model with a 5-1/2-inch-wide slicing area ($54.95).
Kyocera adjustable mandoline slicer For straightforward slicing, the smallest among our favorites has the advantage of a ceramic blade, which will stay sharp longer than steel blades, and a nifty cube mechanism on the back that adjusts the blade to four thicknesses. This model ($24.95) doesn't julienne or waffle cut.