Vegetable Slicer Green (Old Version)
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When I first got this mandoline, I was as disappointed with the finger guard as many other people. It simply doesn't work. Plus it takes too much muscles and elbow grease to get the job done, because of the awkward ergonomics of angled motion. On the bright side, the blades are all razor sharp. So the slicer itself is still a keeper. I researched a bit on the Internet and saw people use those cut proof gloves. Yes they are awesome and keep you safe. But for the fellow minimalists out there, here's what you need --
As ridiculous as it sounds, this is all you need. Just stab a stainless steel fork onto the top part of whatever you're slicing, have those fork teeth parallel to the blade, and start rolling! (As opposed to positioning on the side of the veggies when using the default finger guard, you want to insert the fork on the top. Say you're slicing a carrot, you would leave the fork into where the leafy part of the plant goes. I should have took a picture to make this easier but oh well...) It's so much easier, faster and safer. Angle the fork smartly and you'll get a metal shield from the natural curve of the fork. And it requires so much less strength. I mean, if a 5'3 110lbs Asian girl can do it, I don't see any reason you can't.
*** Size doesn't always matter ***
Some people mention the size of the mandoline. I haven't found this to be an issue. American vegetables are notoriously large in size. But you can always cut things in half to fit the working area. Especially for veggies like cabbage and onion, they are going to be in slices or strips or ribbons anyway. I've julienned half of a medium sized butternut squash (pictured) without any problem.
*** Mandoline vs spiralizer vs food processor ***
If you want to make things like zucchini noodles, this mandoline is proved to work well. You will get straight noodles instead of curly spaghetti, which could be great depending on your preference. Plus you could do a lot of other stuff with this slicer. Chips, paper thin ribbons, lasagna sheets, you name it. Spiralizers look a little stupid anyway... Food processor is another workhorse in the kitchen. But it doesn't julienne veggies as beautifully as a mandoline or a spiralizer. The match sticks tend to be shorter...than a match stick.
*** Waste ***
Yeah there will be a little chuck that won't go into the blade at the end. It's more wasteful compared to using a knife. But it doesn't bother me that much as I get so much out of the slicer already. Plus you run into the same problem with a food processor as well.
The mandolin is a tool that will teach you a lot about yourself.
The first rule of using the mandolin is that you are going to cut yourself on the mandolin, and you are going to bleed.
Every time you touch the mandolin, you need to be thinking about this rule.
When you slice cucumbers, when you cut carrots, when you slaw cabbage, when you shave cheese, and especially when you're trying to clean the stupid thing.. you need understand that one false move will turn your dinner prep into a gore-soaked kitchen for you to clean up once you return from getting stitches at the hospital.
You can use the little guard- it will do the trick, unless you get too cocky, or drink too much wine.
You can use a chainmail glove- it will protect you, and it will also dull the blade. Then, the next time you're in a hurry for some daikon slaw, and you bare-hand it.. the root will stick and you will slip and then you're missing half your fingernail.
What could make this product better? Explicit warnings.
Dire threats, with photos and testimonials, like they put on cigarette packs in Europe.
Actually, I just wish it had some rubber nubs to keep it from sliding on the cutting board, or (better yet) little legs that let me sort of set it into place over a bowl.
So far, my little green mandolin has not tasted my blood... but it is only a matter of time.
Only complaint (aside from this inspiring mild fear in me) is that you need to be careful about drying the blades off after you rinse it clean. It will rust in like....30 minutes. DONT AIR DRY, unless you live in a fantasy warm land of warmth.
TL;DR: It inspires a little fear for my finger, dry it off after use or risk a little rust.