One of my favorite scenes in Ratatouille is when Remy makes the humble title dish, creating perfectly uniform slices of eggplant, tomato, and zucchini using a mandoline slicer and placing them in a casserole dish, tossing the slices in like he’s dealing cards. The final product is a thing of beauty, and it totally made me want a mandoline.
A mandoline is a handy kitchen tool for when you want uniform slices for aesthetic or practical purposes (like if you’re making homemade french fries and want them to cook evenly), or if you’re slicing ingredients in bulk. Sure, your chef’s knife can do it all, but if consistency is the name of the game, or you’re looking to make super thin slices, it’s much easier on a mandoline.
You can find mandolines in a variety of sizes and price points, and with different types of blades that can cut fruits and vegetables into various shapes. To help you get started on your search, we asked chefs, cookbook authors, and bloggers for their favorite mandoline slicers, and they delivered with some solid recommendations.
Take a look at the mandoline slicers our pros love the most, below.
Sleek, simple, and available in a few different colors, the Kyocera mandoline is a kitchen workhorse that gets the job done. The company claims that its super sharp ceramic blades will keep their edges up to 10 times longer than steel blades and won’t rust. An adjustable dial allows you to slice foods as thin as 0.5 millimeters and as thick as 3 millimeters, and it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. Of course, there’s a hand guard so that you’re slicing vegetables only (and not your fingertips).
Odette Williams, the Brooklyn-based Australian cook, writer, and author of Simple Cake and Simple Pasta, loves her Kyocera mandoline and has had it for years––she actually has two of them. “The thing about a mandoline is it makes you look like a chef,” she says. “It elevates the presentation of food. I love fresh shaved fennel in salads.” She adds that this particular mandoline makes perfect Parmigiano-Reggiano curls and cucumber and zucchini ribbons. “Big fan!”
2. OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer, $45.95
One of the most notable features of this mandoline slicer is the V-shaped stainless-steel blades, which are said to slice everything from firm, raw potatoes to soft, perfectly ripe tomatoes. There are four thickness settings (1.5 millimeters, 3 millimeters, 4.5 millimeters, and 6 millimeters), plus straight, wavy, and julienne blades. The plastic parts are top-rack dishwasher-safe, but the blades need to be hand-washed.
“The OXO Good Grips Mandoline Slicer is my fave!” says Jason Goldstein, cookbook author, culinary television personality, and blogger behind Chop Happy. “First of all, the brand always holds up and lasts a long time. Also it’s dishwasher-safe, small (so it stores easily in my New York City apartment), and easy to use without cutting yourself.”
3. Super Benriner Mandoline, $99.99
The Benriner brand is a favorite among the chefs interviewed for this story, so much so that we’ve included three models in this roundup. These mandolines are on the pricier side, but if your mandoline will get a lot of use in your kitchen, it’s a worthwhile investment. This one has four different types of handcrafted Japanese stainless-steel blades for making wide slices, chunky cuts, and julienne strips, plus a side dial for adjusting the thickness (from 0.5 millimeters to 8 millimeters). The large handle offers a comfortable grip as you’re slicing away, and the non-skid rubber base offers extra stability. When it’s time to clean, the whole thing can be disassembled.
“At Boqueria, we love the Super Benriner mandoline because it stays sharp, is lightweight, and is easy to clean,” says Meg Grace Larcom, executive chef at Boqueria. “We use it to slice produce when we need it super thin––like the fennel in our Ensalada de Hinojo.”
Madeline Sperling, executive chef of Zou Zou’s in New York City, adds that while Benriner is a staple in the professional kitchen, most chefs and home cooks opt for the smaller size (more on that one below). “While the Super Benriner doesn’t fit as easily in a tool kit, it is useful for slicing items that don’t fit on the more petite model,” she says. “I have used it for everything from onion rings to thinly sliced watermelon radishes and have had mine since my line-cooking days at Gramercy Tavern.”
4. Classic Benriner Mandoline, $69
The shorter, narrower counterpart to the Super Benriner, the Classic Benriner gets the job done while taking up less drawer space. It comes in the same classic beige color and has three interchangeable blades (a coarse, a medium, and a fine-tooth) for making everything from wide slices to extra-narrow julienne strips. The all-important safety guard holds smaller pieces of food in place, and a notch on the bottom holds the mandoline over a bowl.
Chef-owners Bobby Little and Chad Urban at Chez Nick and Leroy’s in New York City love the versatility of the Classic Benriner. “It’s lightweight, sharp, and easy to use, and comes with combs to make juliennes and baton cuts,” they said. “It’s one of the only ones that can easily be rolled into a knife kit as well, which is always nice when you are on the go.” Some of their favorite ingredients to slice on this mandoline are radishes, potatoes, carrots, daikon, and zucchini. “You can use it on just about any sturdier vegetable or fruit!
Camilla Marcus, owner of west~bourne and co-founder of ROAR and IRC, is another fan of the Classic Benriner, citing its simplicity of design and precision in slicing vegetables as its top qualities. “A mandoline is enormously handy to make quick work of going from whole vegetable to a beautifully plated meal,” she says. “A thinly sliced vegetable garnish makes any dish feel instantly elevated, and makes an individual vegetable go a long way.”
6. Benriner Japanese Vegetable Slicer, $71.99
Dan “Grossy” Pelosi refers to his beloved mint green Benriner mandoline as Amanda Lynn. “I love a pun, and I love drag queens, so I think that naming the mandoline and giving it a fun identity within the kitchen makes it less scary,” he says. “People think they have to go down devastatingly low to their fingers, but you can actually stop when you feel uncomfortable!” Safety first! This mandoline has been a staple in Pelosi’s kitchen for more than five years, and it’s still super sharp. It’s even shorter and narrower than the Classic Benriner Mandoline, making it ideal for small kitchens.
A mandoline slicer and grater all in one, this colorful set by OXO is quite the multitasker. It comes with a slicer, a julienne slicer, a coarse grater, and a medium grater. While you can’t adjust the thickness of slices like you can with the other mandolines in this roundup, if you’re looking for something basic that covers several bases, this is a solid option. All of the surfaces nest inside the container (which comes with a lid) for easy storage. Oh, and it’s dishwasher-safe to boot.
LaMara Davidson, chef and founder of Cornbread + Kimchi, prefers this mandoline slicer to ones she’s used in a professional kitchen. “Mandolines are generally very dangerous even for chefs because of the sharp blades and how fast you can move,” she says. “This one has a hand guard and grips on the base that hold it in place.” In her kitchen, it’s getting a lot of use shredding carrots for bibimbap.
What do you slice with your mandoline? Let us know your fave recipes below!
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