Top positive review
204 people found this helpful
Simply the best
on August 21, 2009
Having tried any number of wimpy french fry cutters, I finally bit the bullet (premium pricing) and ordered this one.
It is the bomb.
When I opened the box, I was stunned at the durability promised by the quality of the components. The cast iron parts (lever arm, feet and frame) are covered with a nice soft green finish so thick that I can't tell whether it's a really good powder coating or baked enamel. Most important, the cutter heads and their heavy metal frames are strong enough to cut yams with no sign of flexing that might otherwise threaten a broken frame. However, yams may mush up before they will pass through the cutter. I wound up with one yam that yielded only two-inch-long shoestrings, even when I used a series of full-body presses on the armature in trying to force the yam through. Better to use a mandoline and/or a chef's knife for yam fries, I've concluded.
But never fear: potatoes work fine in the Weston, particularly if you've left Russet spuds in a cool dark place for a month or two before cutting. That way, some of their starch will convert into sugars that will make your fries tastier and crisper.
Cutter heads are a snap to change, using three hand turned wing-nuts. The pusher head can be replaced by undoing two large and relatively accessible Phillips-head screws. Another great feature is the availability of important optional accessories, like different size cutter heads and huge suction cups that attach to all four feet for a great grip on granite counter tops. These suckers are even made of a green rubber that matches the color of the frame.
Nobody's perfect, nor is this product. The suction cup feet are attached by poking protruding bolts through the feet of the cutter and screwing on their locknuts. Trouble is, the bolts I got were too short to rise above the holes in the feet. I solved that one by shaving an eighth of an inch disk off of the top of each suction cup using a paring knife, to make the bolt protrude far enough for the nut to "grab."
Other problems were a bit more vexing. The two screws that held the pusher plate to my machine were tightened to the point where the thick lockwashers behind them had totally flattened out. These folks must have gorillas working on their assembly line. It took a brace and bit to loosen the screws to the point where I could remove them and replace the pusher head. Also, proper assembly of the unit called for the use of a couple of wrenches to properly tighten the bolts holding the armature in place.
Big deal. This product is a joy to use, really does work splendidly with spuds up to six inches long, is easy to operate and clean up when done. If you can afford it, accept no substitutes.