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Benriner BN7 Cook Helper Slicer, Cooker
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- Japanese style slicer
- Turns fruits and vegetables into long, curly garnishes
- Includes fine, medium and course blades
- Durable and long lasting; made of molded ABS plastic
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With the Benriner Cook Helper Slicer you can easily and safely turn fruits and vegetables into long, curly garnishes. Slicer includes fine, medium and course blades. Made of durable and long lasting nylon and molded ABS plastic, this tool will last for years.
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First, the Benriner is sturdy, despite the fact that it's plastic. I've cranked on it pretty ruthlessly, and I'm sure it will hold up to years of use. It does a good job making raw pasta from zucchini and squash. Carrots are tricky because of the size--play around with the way you slice them first, and you'll get it to work. One of my favorite uses for the Benriner is spiralizing beets. It makes quick work of an otherwise messy job, and a spiral-sliced beet salad is one of the sexiest summer meals you'll ever meet.
You'll have to play with the blade attachments to find the one that works for each veggie: sometimes on harder veggies, the smaller size works best. Just be patient, and you'll learn to play well with your new kitchen helper.
The Benriner doesn't speak English too fluently--the box and the directions are unclear, but they're so darn cute that it's ok. You don't need the directions anyway--this tool is easy to use, the blades swap out easily, and it's easy to clean.
I use the slicer at least once a day, so clean up must be easy, fast and able to get completely clean. There are no little cracks or pockets for food an water to get stuck in with this brand. This slicer makes all the others look like pieces of junk!!
I couldn't really find anything comparing the two. Best I could tell, they were the same, but one you pushed down on, and the other you pushed sideways one. The most compelling reasons to go with the upright model seemed to be cost and it seems like it should be easier to push down, than sideways. The most compelling reason to go with the horizontal model were the pile could grow bigger as you worked and you wouldn't have to move the unit, you could use bigger chunks of vegetables, and it seemed you could do a cabbage. I could not find a picture of cabbage being done on the upright one. For some reason I really want to do a cabbage on this thing so I got very hung up on that idea.
I'll spare you the details of HOW I ended up with 2 of them... but I did. The Cook Help we were going to return but ended up giving it to my mother in law and in the interest of science we tested both units. So now I can write what may be the lone review comparing the two units. (She was here while we did this, it wasn't a case of we used it and then said "Hey, here's a present for ya!" - just so I don't sound rude or anything here, LOL)
I did some zucchini on mine, with the medium blade. It worked GREAT. Yes, it does feel like the Play Doh Fun Factory for adults. Yes, the blades are very sharp. Yes the unit seems awfully expensive for what it is but it seems pretty sturdy - time will tell. What sold me on this brand over other brands is the ability to buy replacement brands.
When you use the horizontal model, you end up with a pile of "pasta" as well as a nail-shaped thing, a round disk of vegetable with a core about as thick as a pencil. This works it's way through a hole near the blade. For some veggies, like zucchini or cucumber, this is good - as this is the wet, seedy, messy part of the veggie. For others, like carrot, I think this model just wastes a lot. (BUT if you have kids who like carrot sticks, it's good... really, there are things you can do with the "waste" so it's not REALLY wasted - smoothies, veggie stock, etc)
The upright model does not have the hole to make this core. Instead it just grinds up the whole veggie, with the seedy stuff getting really mashed and wet near the center of the device, where the hole would be in the other one.
By the time we decide to try the upright model, instead of send it back, we were out of zucchini, so we used cucumber in both. The horizontal model makes drier, neater "pasta," I think due to the elimination of the core. The upright model makes wetter, slightly messier "pasta." Not super disgusting messy or anything, but you will see a difference if you compare both machines.
The downside of this is, we think - though we didn't try - the upright machine may be better for veggies like carrots, daikon, etc where you could use the whole thing. No waste.
So which is better? For zucchini and cukes, the horizontal machine is a little better. For carrots, we think the upright is better. Both will suffice for either - though I still don't know about cabbage! I am happy I bought my horizontal model, and my mother in law is happy so far with her freebie upright. The blades are the same between the two machines, it's just that lack of a hole that is different. I guess it comes down to budget and what veggies you think you will do most of. (And you can't just drill a hole in the upright model!!! It's really a hole with a round metal blade in it, like an apple corer)
So there you have it. A review finally comparing the two. I hope this helps some people out. Maybe I will update when my mother in law actually gives zucchini a go on her machine.