I’ve tried four spiralizers (three lathe-type and one hand-held), and this one from OXO is the best by far.
A spiralizer cuts vegetables and some fruits into noodles or ribbons. The best, most useful spiralizers are basically mini lathes that use a hand crank to push long pieces of food through a blade. Blades come in various shapes, including various widths to create continuous noodles, and continuous flat ribbons.
You’ll want a spiralizer that is stable and doesn’t walk across the counter or rock from side to side. It should be strong enough and engineered well enough to handle tough or hard vegetables like large carrots without a struggle. It should be large enough to handle sizable foods such as cabbage and eggplant and small enough to store easily. It should be protective of your fingers and hands; the blades are razor sharp. It should offer a variety of blades that are suitable for various types of vegetables and cooking needs. It should offer a safe way to store the sharp blades. It should assemble and clean up easily and quickly.
All the lathe-type spiralizers I’ve owned have shared the same elements: hand cranks, suction-cups on the bottom, a variety of blades, pusher handles. The difference is that OXO is engineered the best so it is more powerful, safer, and easier to use.
The first thing you notice is that the color photos on the box are attractive and instructive. You get an excellent idea what the apparatus looks like and how it works.
Inside, the spiralizer is packed with the circular food holder and handle disassembled. A clear plastic, lidded box containing three blades slips on and off the base. The food holder slips through an opening on the sliding tower on the base, and the handle easily attaches to the protruding end of the food holder. You remove the protective cardboard and plastic tape protection from the blades. Glance through the six page instruction book. That’s it, you are set up and good to go.
On the bottom of this apparatus is a large, 4½” diaphragm. With the spiralizer sitting on a smooth surface, flip the grey lever on the back and the device is held firmly and solidly to the surface and will stay that way until the lever is released. You can run the oldest, most fibrous carrots through and the spiralizer will not budge.
The blades slip easily and safely in and out of a notch that also holds the blade box when not in use. There are three, color-coded blades: thin spaghetti-type cut (1/8” spiral cut or julienne), medium fettuccini-type cut (¼” spiral cut or julienne), and ribbon cut or slices. Some foods, like zucchini are firm but easy to cut. They do well with all three blades. Other foods, like large carrots, are hard and fibrous, and do best with the medium width ¼” or ribbon cut blade.
The secret to good spiralizing is to center the vegetable on the lathe. There is a circular corer or knife on the blade. Cut the ends of the food so that they are straight and even. Center one end of the food on to the circular corer and the other end of the food on to the center of the spikes on the food holder. As long as the food is centered, you will get even and continuous spirals or ribbons.
I have photographed the results of the three blades on a zucchini and a sweet potato and the two larger blades on a large carrot. All three vegetables came out wonderfully.
Every part of this OXO spiralizer is dishwasher safe. I’ve had no trouble cleaning even the blades under warm running water in the kitchen sink and letting everything air dry.
As a final treat, a small pamphlet by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has six good recipes from Mark Bittman, Tish Boyle, and Ellie Krieger.