Here’s the thing, mandolines are scary, and the majority of us have our bloody tales of hit fingers or knuckles, so why do we keep using them? If you ask most Chefs, their response is simple, it’s those perfect, even cuts that can be sliced down to size, within seconds.
If you’re in the market for a new mandoline, don’t let tales of injury leave you missing out on a unique kitchen supply item that can help save time, while delivering perfect cuts for presentation.
Mandolines typically come with a hand guard, and if you’re inexperienced with them, we’d advise to always use the hand guard until you’re more familiar with how the mandoline works. Yes, each mandoline is different, so you need to get to know the one you’ll be working with.
Some people like to slice down until theirs about an 1/8 of the way through the vegetable or fruit and then just discard (or save for broths) what’s left. Other people continue to use the hand guard, while others feel comfortable slicing down to the very end. Yet, another solution is to use cut resistant gloves when slicing away. These gloves are great for all types of cuts, but make sure to look into the different cut levels before making a purchase.
Know the Blades
In case you haven’t picked it up by now, these blades are very, very sharp, but when looking to purchase a mandoline, you should definitely know more about it than just its sharpness. Our mandolines range from $6 to $150, and the biggest difference in these products is the blade length and type.
Blade length ranges from 3.63 inches to 6.5 inches wide. When trying to decide on the right length, think about what you’ll be cutting and the average width of that vegetable or fruit. Potatoes, tomatoes, and apples can easily take up the space of the larger blade, but a carrot or lime could be cut just as easily on the shorter blade.
Make sure to look at how many blades come with the mandoline and what each of those blades do:
- Are they adjustable for different size cuts?
- Do they offer a variety of cuts, like crinkle cut, waffle cut, julienne, straight?
- Are there specialty blades for tomatoes or grating cheese?
Final thoughts on picking a mandoline, is to check the warranty of the item, whether it has a stand (or if it is handheld), and if it is dishwasher safe. You could hand-wash a mandoline, but remember the safety factor behind doing this.
P.S. Do you know the difference between mandoline and mandolin?