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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. Mandoline blades are sharp, and the cutting is most effective when done briskly, so safety is an important feature to keep in mind. Some come with food holders that serve as a handguard and some models 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 styles for every preference, here are the best mandolines on the market.
Best Overall: Progressive International Prepworks Adjust-A-Slice and Julienne Hand-Held Mandoline
Easily adjustable thickness
Includes julienne blade
Hand guard that stabilizes food
Julienne blade may need hand washing
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.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: OXO Good Grips Chef's Mandoline Slicer 2.0
Stable tabletop design
Straight and julienne blade
Wide range of thickness settings
Slight learning curve
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. In total there are 17 different thickness cuts ranging from 1 millimeter to 9 millimeters, in half-millimeter increments. 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 of angled Japanese stainless steel, so it’s built to last, comes with a handguard for safety, and has sturdy legs to hold it at a comfortable angle while slicing. The blades are easy to remove for cleaning. Handwashing is recommended.
Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Adjustable Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer
Nonslip handle and "foot"
Hand guard that stabilizes food
Great for quick small projects
No julienne or French fry cutting options
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 handguard. Unlike other models, this one does not make julienne, wavy, or French fry cuts.
Best High-End: Bron Coucke Original Stainless Steel Classic Chef's Mandoline
Very sturdy stainless steel design
Multiple cutting blades
Folds flat for easier storage
Slight learning curve
Risk of injury making waffle cuts
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 5 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.
Best Ceramic: Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Adjustable Vegetable Slicer Set
Ceramic blade stays sharper longer
Rustproof and acid resistant
Four cutting thicknesses
Hand guard is small for some hands
Kyocera is one of the recognized names when it comes to ceramic knives, so it’s no surprise it also makes a variety of mandolines with ceramic blades made from its proprietary zirconia material. This one is adjustable for cuts of .5, 1.3, 2, and 3 millimeters for wafer thin slices for homemade potato chips, or thicker slices for sautés and salads. The ceramic blade starts off ultra-sharp for easy cutting and it will maintain its edge for longer than similar metal blades. It’s also rustproof and resistant to acids, so it will look good and work well for a long time.
The mandoline includes a hand guard that grips food, keeping fingers away from the sharp blade for safe cutting every time, and the handle is easy to hold for comfortable slicing. A hole at the end of the handle means this can be hung on a hook for convenient storage, or it can fit in a drawer easily.
Best Multi-Function: fullstar Deluxe Mandoline Slicer, Grater, Shredder with Safety Guard
Great multi-purpose tool
All parts are dishwasher safe
Convenient drawer catches vegetables
Reviewers comment that dicer requires extra strength
Not just a mandoline, this can also chop, grate, spiralize, and store, so it’s a great tool for cooks who love their vegetables. There are five interchangeable blades and an easy dial that adjusts the cutting thickness, so the vegetables are the right size, whether they’re for salads, soups, or stews. The standalone spiralizer can cut large or small julienne strips or ribbon slices, while the dicer blades offer two different sizes. The mandoline can do julienne cuts or straight cuts, along with grating.
The mandoline and dicers fit on top of a catch tray inside a nonslip base that keeps it stable during cutting. The catch tray is removable and can be used for storing foods that have been prepped ahead. When cutting is done, all the parts are top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Best Wide-Body: Benriner Jumbo Hand-Held 13 x 6.5 Mandoline
Safety hand guard
Fixed blade doesn't allow for multiple thicknesses
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.
Best Compact: Swissmar Borner V-Slicer Hand-Held Mandoline
Multiple slicing blades and thicknesses
Style better for softer foods
Compact holder for storage
Should be washed by hand
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.
Best for Safe Cutting: DASH Safe Slice Mandoline
Safer design for those worried about injury
30 different cuts and thicknesses
Foldable for easy drawer storage
Multiple parts should be hand washed
Most mandolines have an exposed blade that the food travels over for cutting, but that can be dangerous if cooks forget to use a hand guard. This mandoline is designed differently, with a feed tube that leads to the blade and a push-handle that moves the blade against the food. The handle pops up automatically, thanks to a spring, ready for the next slice, and a pusher that fits into the tube makes sure the food makes correct contact with the blade.
The cutting can be set for thicknesses from .5 to 8 millimeters, so it’s great for salads, slaws, soups, and stews. A julienne knob and a matchstick knob engage those blades, offering even more versatility. A catcher container holds the cut food, keeping the work surface neat. A small brush is included for safe and easy cleaning of the blades, but it is also dishwasher safe if desired. The legs lock into place during use and fold down for compact storage in a drawer or on a shelf.
Best for Neat Storage: KitchenAid Mandoline Slicer
Legs keep mandoline at comfortable slicing angle
10 different cuts and thicknesses
More expensive option
There’s no need to keep track of separate pieces when this slicer has done its job. A shield covers the blade so it’s safe in a drawer or on a shelf, while the extra blade and oversized pusher nestle neatly under the mandoline so everything stays together. The legs fold down for storage and fold up easily to keep the mandoline at a comfortable angle for cutting.
This mandoline cuts both straight and julienne slices in five different thicknesses: 1/16 inch, 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch, 1/4 inch, and 5/16 inch, so you’ll always have the right size for salads, soups, and stews. The slicing table and blades are cutlery-grade stainless steel for long life and an attractive appearance. While the julienne storage case and blade cover should be washed by hand, all the other components are top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning when their job is done.
The Progressive International Prepworks Adjust-A-Slice and Julienne Hand-Held Mandoline claims the top spot because of how effortless and precise its sharp blade slices—especially when compared with pricier models we tested. Our budget pick? The OXO Good Grips Adjustable Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer. It's easy and comfortable to use and can save you time when you want to slice up your veggies uniformly.
What to Look for When Buying a Mandoline
By Sara Tane
The most important feature of any mandoline is, of course, its blade. The three-blade varieties are French, Japanese, and V-shaped (described below under Types of Mandolines), and they all offer different capabilities. The types of food you’ll be cutting, how frequently you’ll use the tool, and if you plan to use specialty shaped blades (like julienne or waffle-cut) will determine which blade type to look for.
While having extra blades certainly isn’t necessary, it’s a fun way to find more exciting uses for this tool and breathe new life into your fruit and vegetable prep. It’s always a bonus if you pick a mandoline that has a removable and replaceable blade: You won’t need to replace your entire mandoline when the blade dulls. Keep in mind that some mandolines are designed at a fixed thickness while others are adjustable. If you want control over the range of thickness that you can slice, make sure to look for a model that's adjustable.
Handheld vs. Kickstand
One design feature to make note of is whether the mandoline is handheld or if it has a kickstand. These two options typically lend themselves to personal preferences. Some cooks prefer to hold the tool in their non-dominant hand while others prefer to prop up a stand that supports the mandoline. Handheld mandolines typically offer more control because you can decide the angle at which you want to slice. Plus, you can position it directly over a bowl to avoiding having to transfer your sliced product from cutting board to bowl.
The kickstand model (which is often offered in a French mandoline) allows your non-dominant hand to be free while slicing. Many feel this is safer, but ultimately, this design feature is something to feel out for yourself. Some cooks feel that the rubber stand that secures the kickstand can be a little faulty, which is why handheld can offer more control.
If there is one tool that a home cook is most likely to shy away from, it is definitely a mandoline, just because of all the horror stories out there. Fear not: This tool is designed with a handful of safety features. Most mandolines offer some sort of food holder or handguard, which clips onto the food you’re slicing to avoid unwanted slippage when you’re sending food through the blade. Plus, this allows your fingers to stay inches away from the blade. Handguards come in plastic, rubber, and metal; however, the simpler plastic ones seem to do the trick because the metal ones can be a bit cumbersome.
If a mandoline doesn’t come with a handguard, you can always swap in a clean kitchen towel or a mesh, protective glove. Either way, it bears repeating that a mandoline blade is extremely sharp. Even if you’re comfortable with the tool, it’s never a bad idea to take extra precaution.
When it comes to a mandoline, wider and smaller models are typically better because they’re easier to store and handle. The larger a mandoline, the more difficult it can be to navigate, increasing the chances of an accident. A wide blade will accommodate most vegetables; however, if the vegetable is larger than the blade, you’ll need to cut it down. And if you’re buying a mandoline that comes with a variety of interchangeable blades, you’ll want a low-traffic place to store the mandoline, so the blades aren’t knocked around.
A mandoline can run anywhere from $15 to $300, so what’s the difference? Cheaper models are likely to have a blade that will dull quicker. French mandolines, the most expensive variety, are made of stainless steel and are much larger. If this is a new tool for you, start with something cheaper to see if you like it and to make sure you’re actually using it. If this is going to be a tool in your kitchen that’s frequently used, investing in something a bit fancier and more durable could be a great option. Pricier mandolines typically come with more blade capabilities, so if you’d like to experiment with waffle and julienne cuts, a more expensive one may be worth it.
Types of Mandolines
This is the most classic and traditional design for a mandoline. These mandolines are typically made up of several metal parts and a straight blade that needs to be assembled before use, which can prove to be a bit cumbersome at times. This is likely the variety that you might find in a restaurant or professional kitchen because it can withstand heavy usage. Because it's made of stainless steel, it will run you a bit more when it comes to price; however, it'll last a long time as its material is extremely durable. As far as home cooks, this style has been largely phased out simply because of how difficult it can be to use. That said, because the mandoline does require a bit of assembly every time it’s used, this model could be a great option if you are planning to use a wide variety of blades.
V-Shaped Slider Mandoline
French and Japanese mandolines both have one angled blade; however, a V-shaped blade is slowly growing in popularity. This version has two entry points for vegetables, which means you don’t have to apply as much pressure, making it a great option when slicing larger, rounder veggies. Plus, if the veggies and fruits are softer, it won’t completely crush them. Because of the shape of the blade, it is often not interchangeable for other shapes (like waffle-cut, julienne, etc.), but you can usually adjust the thickness of the slices. For longer, awkwardly shaped veggies, like a carrot or cucumber, this might prove to be a bit more difficult than a straight blade.
In comparison to a French mandoline, Japanese mandolines are lighter, smaller, and easier to use. The blade sits at a diagonal angle, which makes for slightly more control and accuracy. The blade is super sharp and will last you a long time, and its compact size makes it a great option for a home kitchen with limited space. While a French mandoline might be more durable, the Japanese mandoline offers more than enough durability for the average home cook. Plus, this variety can offer interchangeable blades, so you have the option to play around with thickness.
Always a great budget option, OXO makes a variety of V-shaped and Japanese mandolines that are a great starting point for a cook who is new to this tool. They offer a ton of safety features for added insurance.
Another high-quality, budget-friendly V-shaped option, these models are equipped with plenty of safety features. Unfortunately, these blades aren’t replaceable, so keep in mind that once they dull, you’ll need to replace the mandoline.
Revered as the maker of one of the best Japanese mandolines for a home cook, this brand offers models with ultra-sharp blades and compact size that are super lightweight. It also has a double-bevel blade, which makes it ideal for veggies and fruits of all textures, hardness, and sizes. The blade is also replaceable, so you don’t have to worry about buying a completely new mandoline.
Known for its V-shaped mandolines, Swissmar makes a budget-friendly option that's ideal for a person who wants to experiment with interchangeable blade shapes.
Another high-end brand, this stainless steel French mandoline would be a great splurge tool for your kitchen. It has a wide variety of cutting capabilities, and it’s super durable. While it’s on the larger, heavier side, this is the tool for anyone who will use their mandoline frequently. A handguard is included, so no need to worry about hurting yourself.
Just like a chef’s knife, these blades are super delicate, so it’s best to avoid sending them through the dishwasher. Hand-wash with hot, soapy water, but make sure to get in the blades with a gentle brush if there are residual food particles. Always wipe the blade in the opposite direction of its sharpness, just like you would a knife. Additionally, it’s important to put some thought into where you’re storing this tool. If it's stored in a place where it's constantly bumped, you risk dulling or hurting the blade. If you are disassembling a mandoline or switching out blades, work slowly and carefully, avoiding the sharp blade with your bare hands. The better you care for the blades, the longer they’ll last.
Depending on the model you select, there might be some options for you to purchase additional blades for different types of cuts, like julienne, waffle, french fry, and straight cuts.
Protective Glove or Hand Guard
If the mandoline doesn’t come with a handguard, it’s a great idea to invest in a mesh protection glove for your slicing hand. You can also buy a handguard separately.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
This article was originally written by Donna Currie, food writer, recipe developer, and all-around gadget aficionado. Donna has contributed to The Spruce and The Spruce Eats, reviewing kitchen tools since July 2016. She has a personal cooking blog, Cookistry, and published the cookbook, Make Ahead Bread.
Sara Tane expanded this article to include a buying guide for mandolines. Sara has written for The Spruce Eats since October 2020, and has also written for Good Housekeeping, Cooking Light, and Saveur. She has a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Global and Food Studies from UNC at Chapell Hill.