Please help support our ability to produce these reviews by purchasing your equipment through one of our trusted affiliate retailers. The Super Benriner Mandoline (3 3/4″ wide cutting deck) is available at Amazon or Sur La Table for approximately $50. The smaller, ‘original’ (usually green) Benriner has a 2 1/2″ wide cutting deck and is available for under $25 at Amazon. Largest of all is the “Jumbo Benriner,” which has a 4 3/4″ wide cutting deck and performs slicing only ($49.50 at Pearl River): we have not yet reviewed the Jumbo model.
Design & Operation
The Super Benriner has a rectangular shaped frame molded of sturdy beige plastic. This model is very similar to the ‘original’ or small Benriner (see our review) in many respects, but its dimensions are considerably larger: the Super Benriner measures 13 1/2″ by 5″ overall, with a 3 3/4″ cutting surface, while the Benriner is 12 5/8″ by 3 9/16″ with a narrow 2 1/2″ cutting surface. Click here to see a size comparison. Apart from size, perhaps the most significant difference between the two models is that the slicing blade of the Super Benriner is set at a roughly 50°, whereas the blade on the smaller version is steeper, at 44° (more on this later).
Slicing depth is adjusted by turning a pair of brass screws underneath the cutting deck to raise (clockwise) and lower this surface: this contrasts to the smaller Benriner, which uses a single plastic screw. The Super Benriner’s two screws must be set at identical heights in order for the cutting surface to be supported properly, meaning that setting and changing depth is more time consuming.
Meanwhile, a pair of brass knobs mounted on either side of the unit are used to lock each of the three included julienne blades into position (these knobs are made of plastic on the small Benriner).
As with the smaller Benriner, the slicing blade of the Super Benriner can be removed for sharpening. After removing two screws, the blade can slid out through a slot in either side of the unit. We found that the factory edge was generally effective (we conducted all the Performance Tests with the factory edge), but further sharpening on a series of waterstones produced a noticeably sharper edge.
Most mandolines have no problem slicing potatoes, and the Super Benriner was no exception. We particularly liked the fact that even the largest, roundest potatoes like big Yukon Golds were accommodated by the unit’s capacious cutting deck. Slices were consistent edge-to-edge and had perfectly smooth surfaces.
The Super Benriner also performed well on our zucchini test, producing consistent slices with clean surfaces.
The Super Benriner turned in disappointing results on our tomato slicing test. We found that most tomatoes needed to be ‘sawed’ across the blade by the user to initiate the cut, something similar to what we experienced with the Oxo Mandoline. Results were acceptable at the thickest settings, but we were unable to produce intact slices thinner than 3mm. We tested the same tomatoes with the small Benriner and found that it produced far superior results (although it can handle only smallish tomatoes).
The large cutting surface of the Super Benriner and its continuous adjustability make it an extremely useful tool for creating delicate strands of cabbage. In contrast to the smaller Benriner, which can barely accommodate a quarter of a small cabbage, the Super Benriner performs this job with ample room to spare.
The Super Benriner did not perform nearly as well as the smaller Benriner in our lemon slicing test. Perhaps due to the flatter angle (approximately 50° vs. 44° for the smaller Benriner), we found that the lemons ‘bumped’ into the blade, often resulting in torn skins, even when slicing firm, thick skinned lemons.
When softer lemons were used, results were poor, as shown in the photo below. We took the same lemons used for this test and produced perfect slices with both the smaller Benriner, and the Borner V-Slicer.
The Super Benriner required a significant amount of force to feed potatoes through the large julienne teeth. Results were generally good, though potatoes occasionally got stuck in the blades, or broke into pieces. Cut surfaces were rather jagged.
Using the medium julienne blade to produce matchsticks was problematic. Feeding the potatoes required a great amount of force and we found that the potatoes were continually getting trapped in the unit’s teeth.
Like the smaller Benriner, the Super Benriner can produce a ‘standard’ julienne of carrot with its medium julienne blade, or ultra-fine strands using the smallest blade. The model’s lack of visual indicators for adjusting the depth of slices means that it takes time to square the depth of cuts with the width of the teeth in order to produce square (or roughly square) sections. We found that a considerable amount of pressure was required to pass carrots through the julienne teeth, and the cut surfaces were not completely smooth.
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. During most slicing operations, the Super Benriner performed well in this regard, although it required more pressure than some of our favorite models. Additionally, we found it necessary to hand feed tomatoes and use an up-and-down sawing motion across the blade to produce clean slices.
Once any of the julienne blades are installed in front of the slicing blade, the Super Benriner requires significantly greater force to feed carrots or potatoes through the blades. 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.
- Wide cutting surface accommodates larger produce, including the largest tomatoes and up to a half of small cabbage
- Blade is removable and can be resharpened, extending the effective lifespan of the unit
- Mediocre performance when slicing tomatoes and lemons
- Twin depth adjustment screws increase set up time
- Julienning performance was mixed
- Included hand guard is ineffective
At first glance the Super Benriner appears to be simply a larger version of the ‘classic’ (usually green) Benriner, one of our Recommended models. In our testing, however, we found that two crucial differences made the Super version a less effective and less user-friendly device.
First, the Super Benriner’s performance slicing lemons and tomatoes was markedly inferior to the small Benriner (among others). Considering that the blade profile of both Benriner models is identical, we were left to attribute this difference in performance to the flatter angle of the Super Benriner’s blade. In contrast to the 44° of the Benriner, the Super Benriner’s blade is set at approximately 50°.
The wide cutting deck of the Super Benriner is a great asset when slicing bulky produce like cabbage or the largest potatoes. However, the fact that the Super Benriner requires two depth adjustment screws to support the cutting surface makes set up more time consuming, as both need to be set to the desired thickness.
The julienning performance of the Super Benriner was inconsistent, much as was the case with the smaller Benriner. The Super Benriner produced an attractive ‘standard’ julienne as well as ultra fine strands using the smallest julienne blade, but processing required more pressure than with some of our favorite models, and cut surfaces were less than perfectly clean. The included hand guard was judged to be completely ineffective in securing produce, a real problem during julienne operations.
Compared to the smaller Benriner, the Super Benriner is an example of how bigger does not always better. At roughly twice the cost of its smaller sibling, the Super Benriner’s greater capacity comes at the expense of performance. Used as a dedicated slicer for larger produce, the Super Benriner might make sense for some, but for users intending to perform a variety of tasks the model is likely to disappoint.