Julienne/ Matchstick Mandoline Review

Up until recently there have been two mandolines (a device used to cut food that is a cross between a cheese grater and a razor blade that, while very effective, it might be intimidating and/or dangerous without the right amount of experience and concentration):

Despite the limitations of the much more affordable hand slicer, it is a tool that I use 5-10 times a week.  I tend to use the Mandoline around 5 times a year (typically when preparing a large batch of preserves).

A few months ago I decided to buy this modified mandoline which cuts matchstick/ julienne style cuts:

Julienne/ Matchstick Mandoline Review gadget equipment

Despite looking (and sometimes feeling like) a cruel trap for ones fingers, I’ve found it extremely useful although there are a few significant negatives that one should account for.

The Good

  • It’s very efficient.  You can knock a carrot into matchsticks in seconds.
  • It’s relatively small.
  • It eliminates the need to pull my large mandoline out if I want matchsticks (the hand-slicer won’t do that).
  • It’s extremely sharp.
  • It’s affordable (around $12).
  • It sits on top of a bowl fairly well and stable.

Julienne/ Matchstick Mandoline Review gadget equipment

The Bad

  • Despite being small, it still takes up room in our very limited cupboard.
  • It’s another piece of plastic in our kitchen.
  • It’s a single use tool that could be replaced with a knife and some time.
  • It takes more pressure to cut than the straight mandoline which makes errors easier.
  • The more pressure can add to the mess when shredding.
  • It looks scary (imagine wrapping your knuckles across its surface when a carrot slips!)
  • It’s difficult to use a guard as much of the cutting is vertical (i..e. a carrot would be held vertically, not horizontally).  I tend to cut half a carrot with it and use the rest for something else.

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The Interesting

  • It’s not horrible to clean but it’s more difficult that a straight edge as small pieces of vegetables can get stuck in it.
  • This one didn’t come with a guard.
  • Quartering a carrot (to make long sticks) makes this incrementally easier to use – but it also makes the matchsticks much shorter.
  • It’s not adjustable – this is a negative because it’s not flexible but a positive because it is very stable.
  • At times the force needed to make a cut appears to tear tougher vegetables (like carrots) and softer fruit wouldn’t stand a chance (it would be turned to pulp).  A knife would create consistently prettier result (but add considerable time).

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Summary: there is nothing this device can do that you can’t accomplish with a knife or a more expensive mandoline if you already have one.  It’s not an ideal device if you aren’t already comfortable using a mandoline and, even then, it’s a little scary!  Having said that, it is a decent luxury product that can drastically speed up this specialized cut while being easy to use and clean and I’ve found myself using far more julienne cuts than I would if I were cutting them with a knife..

Do you (or would you) us this?

Comments

  1. It would be very instructive (to me at least) to see photos of the same food cut with each device. Thank you!

  2. I use the OXO, but with great care. This summer, before pickle season, I am going to get myself some cut resistant gloves for use with the mandoline. there are a couple of blogs I read that have been rather graphic about the bad cuts folks have received, I think I have taken my chances long enough! here is a good article about the gloves (which you can find on amazon, I am sure) http://www.mandolines.com/articles/safety-gloves.php .

  3. I was thinking about buying one of the hand julienne peelers… like this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Julienne-Protector-Stainless/dp/B0000CEWJD/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=16NGHP0IREG9U&coliid=IJQ3WFONPMZWM

    It might not be as good as using the julienne mandoline for larger projects, but this seemed simple and easy to store in the cupboard.

  4. So what’s the name of that tool? Do you have a link to the product page?

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