Hi - I have a mandolin which works well for me but is a bit dangerous for some
We have just started Lite n Easy which has components that need slicing -
Have seen a mandolin that has a tube to to feed food into and the blade is used like a guillotine - the one we have uses a slide but the temptation is there to just ignore using the protective slide
Would appreciate your opinion
I have a number of graters and slicers that are Microplane brand. They are very sharp and efficient. You can cut yourself on those with larger blades if you are not careful. Getting a brand that is not sharp is not a solution as this will just slow you down and force you to push harder. If you think you are at risk of cuts there are several ways to avoid problems.
For larger quantities use a food processor. Depending on the model the slices may not be perfectly even and it is more washing up.
For smaller quantities use a knife. With practice and the right knife you can slice quickly and accurately and not risk cuts.
If you must have perfect even slices and find a knife too slow use a mandolin with a butcher’s glove for the cutting hand.
I used a Bergner Mandolin for some years . Was given a Genius Brand Nicer Slicer Plus as a present . I feel more confident in using the Genius brand product .
I would second the use of a food processor. The Breville we have has a adjustable blade to create slices of varying thickness, unlike most mandolins which have fixed slide thicknesses.
A food processor is possibly no different to a mandolin when washing up…maybe more care is needed with a mandolin due to its exposed blades. A good food processor is easy to clean. A food processor does take up considerably more room in the kitchen.
The downside with a food processor is the maximum slice size is dependent on the chute diameter. This might mean some slices are too small for some applications (such as potatoes for a potato bake).
Good to know its not just me who has an issue with the dangerous features of some mandolines. I bought an IKEA mandoline and managed to cut myself within a day. They were happy to take it back but methinks they shouldn’t be selling them at all.
Is one of the concerns with safe use of a mandolin for food prep a lack of familiarity and practice?
There are other kitchen aids that are equally capable, if not more able to inflict serious injury. The perfectly sharp large knife used to cut large fruit, melons and pumpkin. The flame from the wok burner on the gas BBQ or camping cooker. The steam from the manual coffee machine as you flush the nozzle. That metal handled fry pan one placed in the oven to finish cooking the wavy steak.
Distraction slicing and dicing vegetables with added finger, or forgetting to use the oven mitts on the hot pan or bake ware. Lessons learnt by most of us. Is a mandolin any different? Just don’t let me near the 4 string versions would be all I ask.
(Edit - 4 pairs of strings actually, @crb ‘s wisdom per following post)
I have a Wildwood Mandolin hand made in Castlemaine VIC.
It is great!
Depending on what you want to spend when looking around prices vary. The mandolin I have has, a guard and flip /slide section that protects oneself. As other members mention a, sharp knife is, far better as it will not cut you u if one curves fingers under and uses the blade of the knife as, a guide. I always curve my fingers less chance of cutting or nicking skin. Or as mentioned a food processor… I commonly prefer manual chopping… I sometimes use the mandolin