Benriner Mandoline

Purchasing

Please help support our ability to produce these reviews by purchasing your equipment through one of our trusted affiliate retailers. The Benriner Mandoline (2 1/2″ wide cutting deck) is available at Amazon for under $25. The “Super Benriner” (see our review) has a 3 3/4″ wide cutting deck: it is available at Sur La Table or Amazon for approximately $50. Largest of all is the “Jumbo Benriner,” (4 3/4″ wide cutting deck) which performs slicing only: we have yet to review this model.

Design & Operation

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The Benriner has a long rectangular shaped frame molded of sturdy green plastic. Overall, the unit measures 12 5/8″ by 3 9/16″ and its cutting deck is a mere 2 1/2″ (click here to see a size comparison with the Super Benriner). The removable slicing blade is installed at approximately 44° in relation to the cutting surface.

The depth of slices is adjusted by turning a plastic screw underneath the cutting deck to raise and lower it. Compared to some other mandolines, this method increases set-up time, but offers the advantage of continuous adjustability: thickness of slices can be fine-tuned down to the sub-millimeter.

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The central screw adjusts the height of the cutting deck (shown tilted up here), while the two knobs on the sides lock the julienne blades into place in front of the slicing blade.

Three julienne blades of graduated size are slide into slots underneath the Benriner’s frame. They are locked into place by tightening knobs on either side, as seen in the photo above. It is recommended that these be removed for cleaning after each use. Replacement julienne blades are available.

The main slicing blade can also be removed from the frame of the device, which facilitates sharpening on a whetstone should the blade grow dull. For the average household user this may be unnecessary, but the option to sharpen the blade is a nice one for those planning frequent and extended use. Replacement slicing blades are available, but hard to find.

Performance Tests
Slicing
Potato

The Benriner excels at slicing potatoes, provided they are not so large that they cannot fit within the cutting deck. The cuts were extremely consistent in thickness and extraordinarily clean.

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From left are 6mm, 4mm, 2.5mm and 1mm slices.

Zucchini

As with potatoes, slices of zucchini were perfectly straight, with smooth surfaces and skins left intact.

From L: 5mm, 3mm, 2mm and 1mm slices.

From left are 5mm, 3mm, 2mm and 1mm slices.

Tomato

The narrow cutting deck of the Benriner limited us to fairly small slicer tomatoes. If the tomato fits, the Benriner produces clean slices down to approximately 2mm, which is about the limit for any device we have tested. Almost all slices, even at this thinnest setting were excellent, although we did notice that the Benriner occasionally tore the trailing edge of tomato skin.

From left are 6mm, 3.5mm, and 2mm tomato slices.

From left are 6mm, 3.5mm, and 2mm tomato slices.

Cabbage

The width of the Benriner is the only limitation here. We used a quarter of a smallish red cabbage and it just fit within the 2 1/2″ deck (click here to see a size comparison with the Super Benriner). The ability to continuously adjust thickness is a great asset with cabbage and we were able to produce everything from thick ribbons to very fine strands for “Japanese” style coleslaw.

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Lemon

The Benriner was among the top performers in our lemon cutting challenge, creating precise slices with no broken edges down to an incredibly thin 2mm (the slices below were measured at 3mm). Only a moderate amount of force was required, but for safety we used the Borner hand guard and wore a cut-resistant glove.

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Julienning
Potato

We found that the Benriner required a considerable amount of force feed the potato through the blades and that the surface of the processed potato was jagged and rough. We protected ourselves using a cut-resistant glove and the Borner hand guard. We don’t recommend trying this with the Benriner hand guard.

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Carrot

We tested the smaller two of the three julienne blades included with the Benriner. The larger of the two (the medium julienne blade) produced a very good ‘standard size’ julienne (for a comparison of the julienne produced by different mandolines, click here). The smaller julienne blade produced incredibly fine strands. Both required moderate to heavy pressure.

Fine julienne on the left and medium on the right.

Fine julienne on the left and medium on the right.

Safety Features

During our testing, we found that the single greatest factor in determining mandoline safety was how much pressure was required to feed produce through the blades. Fortunately, the Benriner is armed with such a sharp blade that very little force is required for slicing jobs.

But safety is not a strong point of the Benriner. Once any of the julienne blades are installed in front of the slicing blade, the Benriner requires significantly greater force to push carrots or potatoes through (far more than our “Top Pick,” the Borner V-Slicer). Here, the Benriner’s hand guard is not adequate for safe operation, as the thin piece of transparent plastic is difficult to grip and proves incapable of securing ingredients. For the julienne tests, we borrowed the excellent Borner food pusher (which can be purchased for around $7 here) with good results.

As with all mandolines, we recommend the use of a cut-resistant glove.

Conclusion
Pros:
  • Excellent slicer: creates even cuts with glassy-smooth surfaces
  • Continuously adjustable depth options
  • Slicing blade can be removed for sharpening
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • Ineffective hand guard
  • Julienning requires substantial force; poor results with potatoes
  • Screw-type depth adjustment increases set up time
  • 2 1/2″ wide (6.5cm) cutting surface limits the kinds of produce that can be processed

The Benriner is, first and foremost, an outstanding slicer, and an incredible value at under $25. Its razor sharp blade produced slices that were consistent in thickness and had glassy-smooth surfaces. For readers looking for a mandoline to do mostly slicing, the compact Benriner makes an outstanding choice.

Beyond slicing, the inclusion of three graduated julienne blades offers some attractive possibilities, but we found that the Benriner demanded quite a bit of force to feed ingredients. Julienning also highlighted the inadequacy of the Benriner’s smallish hand guard, which was unable to grip food securely.  We found it difficult to pass potatoes through the large julienne teeth, while very good results were obtained when processing carrots with both the medium and small julienne blades. Compared to the Borner V-slicer, the Benriner’s medium julienne of carrot was not as cleanly cut but its slightly narrower dimensions were slightly preferred, as can be seen in this comparison.

Most reviews of the Benriner (including this one) have drawn attention to the poor hand guard design. However, an easy fix is available. During our testing, we found that using the hand guard for the Borner V-Slicer, which can be purchased separately of the slicer for around $7 (Amazon), made many operations safer.

Finally, while we reviewed the Benriner in the context of other replaceable blade mandolines, readers looking for a simple hand-held-slicer may also wish to consider the Benriner. Compared to our “Top Pick” in that category, the Kyocera Adjustable Mandoline Slicer, the Benriner offers slightly better across-the-board slicing performance and its longer cutting deck allows the user to process bulky ingredients like cabbage. However, the Benriner is definitely more time consuming to set up and clean.

Recommended

Please help support our ability to produce these reviews by purchasing your equipment through one of our trusted affiliate retailers. The Benriner Mandoline (2 1/2″ cutting deck) is available at Amazon for under $25. The Super Benriner (3 3/4″ wide cutting deck) is available at Sur La Table or Amazon for approximately $50. Largest of all is the Jumbo Benriner (4 3/4″ wide cutting deck) and performs slicing only. We have yet to review this model.