on November 20, 2005
I simply can't imagine why this tool has gotten some good reviews from newspapers and magazines. My favorite locally-owned kitchen shop quit stocking it when customer after customer had exactly the same experience noted by the low-star reviewers here: The blades aren't sharp at all. It is no exaggeration to say they are as blunt as a butter knife.
You can have the straight blade sharpened, but not so with the julienne. Since a nice, even julienne is one of the only things you really can't do sufficiently with a knife, this mandoline gets a big zero from me.
It's too bad, because the body and overall design are the best I've ever seen -- much better than the French all-metal ones used in commercial kitchens. I was very disappointed to have to return this, as most OXO products are definitely best in class.
on June 19, 2005
I purchased this product and am very familiar many with kitchen "gadgets." Although the design is nice and less bulky than most, the blade makes it impossible to cut a tomato or an onion. Very hard vegetables are okay. I do not recommend it and in fact returned it. My $25 plastic model, that I've had for years, does a much superior job. The key is in the sharpeness of the blade.
on August 4, 2005
I don't know, maybe half of the reviewers got a different product than the other half, but this mandoline is horrible. The blade is incredibly dull, butter knife dull, so dull that it fails at almost every task.
Tomato Test: F
Lemon Test: F
Carrot Test: D
Gaufrette Test: F
Cuke/Zuke Test: B+
Oxo should be ashamed to sell this product.
Besides the blade, which is the whole point of the product, it is sturdy and easy to use, but that means squat.
I guess the paper thin slices I was dreaming about will have to wait until I have enough money to buy a real mandoline.
on January 14, 2006
I found this on sale and was very excited to see a mandoline in my price range. Well, you get what you pay for!
There is no manual. The blades are blunt. The knob is hard to turn. The plastic looks cheap. The finger guard only work on certain shaped objects. It just doesn't cut anything. Worse than useless.
on August 27, 2007
When we got this 'tool,' it could hardly cut butter. Before throwing it out, my husband went to work on the blade, and now it cuts onions, at least with the straight blade. We haven't worked on the other one.
We had a hard time picking stars for this review. Straight out of the box it deserved no stars, but after some work, we got at least half of it to work.
If I had it to do over again, I'd stick with the V blade design.
on January 12, 2007
My husband and I have very much enjoyed the OXO, straight from the box. So far we've only used it on firm vegetables such as potatoes and carrots but for us it's been easy to set up, easy to use, easy to clean, absolutely no waste. We've only used one other mandoline before, as well as food processors (which we haven't liked for slicing vegetables) and knives (fine but a lot slower).
on December 27, 2004
To my delight, I received the mandoline as a Christmas gift. The next day, my party menu included a tian of vegetables (zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes) which requires that all the vegetables be sliced the same thickness. The first vegetable I tried was zucchini and it worked very well. The second was the tomato. The cutting blade is so dull that it literally squished the first tomato - I finished those with a good sharp knife. While slicing the potatoes, I noticed quite a drag but the slices were uniform, except for the ends. As yet, I have not tried to julienne or crinkle cut.
While washing up, I noticed that the plastic hand protector was gouged and the cutting blade had a small dent. These injuries occurred from just one use and the slicing of only two different types of vegetables. I guess the blade gouged the bottom of the hand protector and the prongs that hold the vegetable, damaged the blade.
What I like about the mandoline is the uniformity of slices which one doesn't get with a food processor. What I don't like is the dullness of the blade (I thought it was supposed to be razor sharp) and the cumbersome cleanup (the legs on mine didn't collapse, however). These qualities may be typical of all mandolines but I have only tried this one. In short, I'm disappointed in its performance and could easily have given it just two stars.
on September 18, 2012
This is my first review, but this product was so outstanding, and the other bad reviews do not do this product justice, that I felt compelled to write a review. I read through a lot of reviews (good and bad) before making this purchase, and after using this product, I determined that the bad reviews are due to user error, not due to product being faulty.
This is also my first mandoline, but I did a lot of research before purchasing it. In the end, I was debating between the swissmar borner and this oxo mandoline. In the end, I chose the OXO and it was a great decision. The oxo is a little more expensive, but in the end I think it's worth it. One of the major deciding factors was the fact that the oxo allows me to make fine adjustments. It allows me to make a paper thin cut all the way up to 1/4 inch (i think) and all the measurements inbetwen. if I want it a hair larger than 1/8, i can adjust the knob to make it a hair larger. Unlike the Borner that only allows you to make adjustments according to the pre-made knotches.
The oxo allows me to julianne (large and small size. Think french fries and matchstick carrots) and crinkle cut (think ruffles potato chips). The only thing it doesn't do well is make waffle fries like chick fil a. But the Borner wouldn't allow me to do that either.
For people that say the blade isn't sharp enough, I was able to cut a sweet potatoe, and a tomato, and a carrot with no ease the first day I had the product. To cut a tomato you have to zig zag down the runway. Ideally, a v-shape mandoline will cut soft veggies better, but if you use a zig zag motion, it will cut a tomato no problem. I then made crinkle cut sweet potato chips no problem, and sweet potatoes are notoriously hard to cut. The blades are so sharp that you only need to put light pressure on items, and allow the sharp blade to do the work. I can only imagine that people that had problems cutting were putting too much downward pressure on the vegetable? Or I don't know because I had no problem doing that.
I like that the oxo has replacement parts available if needed. Also, the way the blade is constructed, it is easy to sharpen if you own a sharpening stone and know how to sharpen knives and blades. Everything is neat and compact in the device, and no need to own several different blades that have to be stored somewhere.
The guard is pretty useless. I ended up cutting by holding the veggies in my hand, but i was very cautious. I reccomend buying a kevlar glove.
The oxo has feet, and easily cuts over a chopping board. Versus the Borner requires you to support it up with one hand, or try to lean it on a bowl...this is dangerous to me.
on February 18, 2009
This product is not terribly useful, because it is not sharp. At all. And there is no way to sharpen it - maybe the flat blade could be sharpened (I honed it a bit which helped), but the julienne blades cannot be sharpened and are therefore mostly useless. The only thing this can successfully cut is potatoes (and it does a pretty good job at that). Anything else just doesn't work. It even has a hard time with onions. You can forget about slicing bell peppers or tomatoes with this.
This was the first mandoline I've ever tried, so I don't know if this is universal to mandolines or if this is just an exceptionally bad product. I don't see why they didn't just make all the blades razor-sharp; that would have made this a really great product. For now I'll have to stick with a chef's knife for anything but potatoes.
on December 31, 2006
We received this as a gift and really wanted it to work. It's a handsome machine endorsed by one of our favorite food TV chefs. We took another reviewer's advice and sharpened the straight blade before its first use. We lapped the back flat and ground and honed its edge. After some work, the straight blade was as sharp as all of our other kitchen knives. We read the directions for use. We practiced with carrots, potatoes, onions and celery.
Unfortunately, we experienced the same problems as other reviewers. We produced as much mush and ragged veggies as useful cuts.
We too encountered metal-to-metal contact between the prongs on the food holder the blade edge. Had the machine fundamentally worked and we decided to keep it, we would have ground those down by a 1/16th".
The resistance to cutting was strong. Often times a veggie would catch in the middle of a slice, necessitating backing up and trying again. Greater approach speed may have reduced this.
We hypothesized that the problem is inherent in the design, not the quality of materials or construction (which is very good in our opinion and one our motivations for wanting it to work well). We believe that a blade approaching a veggie perpendicular to the direction of travel chops the veggie rather than slicing it. Similar to using a knife to chop rather than slice, a 90-degree angle of attack requires more effort, allows less control, and results in poor quality slices. We chop when we care little about the uniformity or surface of the veggie, but we'll slice when we want greater precision, smoother cut surfaces, and less variance in them.
To test this, we approached the blade at an angle with a small section of onion. Indeed, the cut was cleaner and produced less resistance at any speed. The smaller the angle of attack, the easier it was to produce uniform, clean, slices. We speculate this would be true of all other veggies.
We returned the beautiful steel, plastic and rubber mandoline and are considering purchasing V-Slicer. We like the concept and it certainly preps veggies faster than when done by hand. We believe we may find satisfaction with one of the other machines with an angled slicing blade. If anyone knows of one that has this plus all of the other features of the OXO, please let us know.