A mandoline is a hand-operated kitchen utensil that has several adjustable blades that allow the user to make precise cuts of firm fruits and vegetables such as carrots, radishes, zucchinis, apples, beets, and onions. The device is also capable of creating a wide range of other cuts including julienne, waffle and crinkle cut pieces of food. Mandolines are relatively safe to use when used correctly but should always be operated with extreme caution since the blades can easily cut fingers if not handled properly. Some models have built-in safety features which include a hand guard or prongs to help ensure that the user’s fingers stay safely away from the sharp blade.
Mandolines are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from simple plastic Japanese designs to very fancy French versions that can cost upwards of $100. The more basic mandolines tend to be cheaper and are easy to operate, but may have a limited number of thickness settings. More advanced models have a more complex design and can be configured with a number of different metal blades that create various cuts.
The best mandoline should be easy to set up and intuitive to use. We rated each model based on how well it performed in this regard. We also took into consideration whether the manual was helpful and clear. The winner, the Prepworks by Progressive Mandoline, is both easy to use and affordable and offers a range of thickness settings that makes it very versatile.