Mandolines can seem intimidating, but they’re the best at precisely and consistently slicing fruits and veggies. Your dreams of thinly-shaved cucumber salad, a delicate French apple tart, or potato gratin will come true once you decide it’s time for a mandoline in your life. With so many mandoline sizes and designs out there, here’s a guide to point you in the right direction.
Best Mandoline for Thinly Sliced Garlic
If you find yourself cooking with garlic all the time, but also find it time-consuming and imprecise (or downright nerve-wracking) to slice it by hand (and don’t want your fingers always smelling like garlic), this little mandoline has your name all over it. It slices garlic into delicate, paper-thin slices so you get a milder, sweeter flavor in sauces and stir-fries than you would from mincing or chopping garlic. This mandoline is also a great size for ginger or shallots. In either scenario, you won’t have to fumble around with a knife or try to keep the slippery knob or clove in place. Also nice: it tucks nicely into any kitchen drawer given its smaller size.
Best Hand-Held Mandolines to Save Drawer Space
If you want a mandoline but don’t really have the drawer space for it—or don’t even know how often you’ll use it—the adjustable hand-held mandoline is the way to go. It’s not too big or bulky but gets the job done, slicing directly over a plate or bowl (without a kickstand). It's great for slicing zucchini, peppers, or potatoes—and once again, you won’t end up in the ER because of that plastic food holder (which you should always use, even when you don’t think you need it!).
Best Multipurpose Mandoline
This is a solid starter mandoline if you’re looking for one that can handle most fruits and veggies and achieve basic slices. The simple mandoline has three different thickness options as well as a julienne setting. Just prop it up on its stand, which grips safely onto your countertop, and use the spring-loaded food holder (aka hand protector) to push zucchini, cucumbers, apples, or whatever else across the blade. Like the other mandolines, the food holder slides neatly over the blade to protect you while storing it.
Best V-Blade Mandoline for Making Fun Shapes
This one can bust out all the fancy moves: wavy cut, crinkle cut, french fry-cut, and of course the classic julienne. It’s a very versatile slicer. Slice some tomatoes for your burger, fancy-shaped potato chips, or Thai papaya salad.
Best Mandoline for Chef-Level Precision
Want a professional-level mandoline that can do it all? OXO sliced over 100 pounds of potatoes to test the many different settings featured in the Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0. It’s an updated version of OXO's original Chef’s Mandoline, first released in 2004. It can do anything you’ve ever wanted a mandoline to do, with 21 settings (!) from 0-9mm thickness, going up every ½ mm. If you use your mandoline pretty often and really want to show off your mandoline moves, this one is for you. Did someone say waffle fries? And crinkle cut? And julienne carrots? And all the other veggie chips of your dreams?