Borner V-Slicer Pro Mandoline

Purchasing

Please help support our ability to produce these reviews by purchasing your equipment through one of our trusted affiliate retailers. The Borner V-Slicer Pro Mandoline is available at Amazon for approximately $50.

Design & Operation

The Borner V-Slicer Pro is an update to the popular V-Slicer Plus model (read our review of that model and see this page which shows various comparisons between the two). The closely related models share many important characteristics, including the 3 3/4″ wide cutting deck, the steeply angled (we measured 20°) V-shaped blades, and the two piece articulated hand guard. Appearance-wise, the more curvilinear Pro is molded of a bright white plastic which contrasts with the rather drab looking beige of the Plus.

But there are differences. First off, the Pro slices at three settings (thin, medium, thick), whereas the Plus offers just two options. Depth is adjusted by inserting the slicing tray and aligning plastic pins on the main unit with notches on the slicing tray marked 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively, with 0 for lock, and 1-3 for thin, medium, and thick slices.

The Borner V-Slicer Pro with the slicing tray inserted and set to 0, or lock. 1 is for thin slices, 2 for medium, and 3 for thick.

The second notable upgrade on the V-Slicer Pro is its ability to produce either a large or fine dice–without the need for precutting–using the two included julienne trays. When either the large or small julienne trays are inserted, the V-Slicer Pro can be set to either julienne (set at “2”), or dice (set at “1”).

The dice setting works by raising the tray so that the julienne teeth protrude above the slicing blade by half. The very first pass through the produce (executed with the hand guard rotated to 45° in relation to the cutting surface) will create a normal julienne (to be thrown away, or cut by hand), but on each successive pass the hand guard is rotated 90° (to 45° on the opposite side). Because the protruding julienne blades have already scored (but not sliced off) the bottom section of produce, the next cut passes the julienne blades through the same section at 90° and then slices it off, producing a neat dice.

The large julienne blade set to perform a standard julienne (set at “2”); by switching to setting 1 the user can dice without precutting.

Finally, the storage system of the V-slicer Pro is a definite upgrade over the older model. The Pro stores with the slicing tray housed in the main unit and set to lock: the two julienne trays slip easily in and out of a separate plastic storage sheath. This part can either be stored horizontally in a drawer (our preferred option), or stood upright on the counter top when inserted into a cup-shaped stand (seen below).

Performance Tests
Slicing
Potato

Slices were extremely clean at each of the three available depth settings and required almost no pressure from the user. Like the Plus, the V-Pro’s lack of continuous adjustability is its most serious limitation. While the thin slices below (measured at roughly 2.5mm) should be appropriate for most applications where “thinly sliced” potatoes are called for, readers looking to make even thinner slices (potato chips, for instance) may be disappointed and we reduced the model’s score by a point to reflect this.


Zucchini

Like the Plus version, the Borner V-Slicer Pro performed extremely well on this test, its V-shaped blades sliding effortlessly through the zucchini. The additional depth option (see a comparison here) is a potential asset for users of the Pro.

Tomato

The Borner produced excellent results, even when working with larger, riper fruit. Sections were consistent edge to edge and we rarely observed a torn skin.

Lemon

Along with tomatoes, lemons are a difficult challenge for many mandolines. We found that the Borner produced perfect slices at its three depth settings. Like the other top performing mandolines on this test, the Borner sliced neatly through seeds as well as skins.

Cabbage

Processing a quarter head of cabbage on the Borner was extremely quick work at either of its two finer cutting depths. We noticed that the thinnest setting on the Pro produced a slightly finer shred than the Plus.

Fine strands produced on the “1” setting (left), and thicker strands from setting “2”

Julienning
Potato

Along with the Plus, the V-Slicer Pro is one of the few mandolines that perform this task quickly and effectively. We found that the Pro enabled us to process the potatoes with an acceptably low degree of force, and its hand guard held the potato securely.

Results at the fine setting (matchsticks) were excellent. When working with the thick julienne setting we frequently encountered an issue where the julienne teeth failed to completely separate slices, as can be see in the photo below. These pieces are held together at one edge and are fairly easily pulled apart by hand, but this does slow preparation somewhat. We suspected that this problem was caused by the flexing of the julienne tray within the frame (which is molded of a softer plastic than that of the Plus version).

Three future french fries still ‘joined at the hip’, where the Borner’s julienne teeth did not totally separate a slice.

Carrot

The V-Slicer Pro performed very well on this test. The included hand guard does a good job securing the cylindrical carrots, and an acceptably low degree of force was required to feed the carrots through the fine julienne teeth. As we observed in our review of the Plus, the surfaces of the processed carrots were extremely smooth and look as if they have been cut by a knife, although the julienne produced by both Borner models is slightly larger (roughly 2.5mm square) than some other mandolines.

The yield from three medium carrots.

We were disappointed to find that in comparison to the Plus model, the Pro left a substantially larger segment of carrot as ‘waste’ which we were unable to process using the hand guard. We quickly realized that this was caused by the taller side rails on the Pro, which create a taller space between the blades and the height of the hand guard when it is resting on these rails (see comparison here).

Roughly 1/3 of each carrot could not be fed through the julienne teeth with the included hand guard.

Dicing
Potato

Once we got the hang of it, dicing potatoes was quick, easy and bizarrely satisfying. By rotating the hand guard 90° on successive passes, the user can quickly transform an entire potato into neat cubes in a manner of seconds.

Cubes, or large dice on the left, and fine dice on the right.

While the small dice was more or less perfect we did notice that when using the large julienne tray there were quite a few segments that the julienne teeth had failed to completely separate (as can be seen in the photo above). We again attributed this to the model’s flexible plastic construction. Still-joined pieces can be pulled apart fairly easily by hand, and their occurrence can be minimized by avoiding too much downward pressure; we subtracted a point for the extra work this caused.

Onion

Results here exactly mirrored those of the potato test. The Borner produced a perfect fine dice but quite a few large cubes were still attached to one another and needed to be separated by hand.

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. In this respect, the Borner was outstanding during both slicing as well as julienning and dicing operations.

The Borner hand guard is unimpressive looking, but it is our favorite of the hand guards we have tested. We found that the five metal prongs held produce securely: the base of the guard also features a channel that allows long ingredients like carrots to be held by the prongs and fed easily through the julienne blade. The piece is light (contributing to good sensory feedback) and easy to clean.

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

Conclusion
Pros
  • great all-around performer (slice, dice, julienne)
  • requires less user pressure than most other mandolines
  • easy to set up and clean
Cons
  • Only three depth settings: lack of continuous adjustability is an issue for certain applications
  • Julienning performance very good but lags the V-Slicer Plus

We are big fans of the Borner V-Slicer Plus and were curious to see how the performance of this updated–and slightly more expensive–model would stack up.

In many respects the new features of the Pro improve upon the Plus. An additional depth option makes the Pro slightly more versatile as a slicer. The storage system is a definite upgrade, as is the addition of a blade-locking feature. Finally, the ability to dice without pre-cutting is a great asset, and we were impressed, specifically, by the quality of the small dice it produced.

Along with these welcome improvements, there were some changes that negatively impacted performance. First, the Pro is constructed of a more flexible plastic than the Plus: we found that when using the large julienne tray (for dicing as well as julienning), the tray would flex such that the julienne teeth did not completely separate pieces of produce. Second, the higher side rails of the Pro mean that a thicker section of produce cannot be processed when using the hand guard. This is a particular issue when julienning, where use of the hand guard is an absolute necessity.

The other potential limitation of the Pro–shared by the Plus–is its lack of continuous adjustability. As we mentioned in our review of the older model, there are certain applications for which one three available depth settings may not be appropriate, and we advise readers to consider the tasks they are likely to perform. In particular, those intending to do lots of super-fine slicing (thinner than the 2mm or so minimum setting of this device) should clearly look elsewhere.

Like the older Plus, the Borner V-Slicer Pro brings a compelling mix of capability and performance to the table. Ultimately, the question of whether the $50 Pro presents an upgrade over the $40 Plus can only be answered in relation to personal requirements. For readers interested in the quick dicing capability of the Pro, the decision is easy. Others planning to do lots of julienning will likely be happier with the performance of the older Plus. Readers still having difficultly deciding between the two models can delve into even greater detail here.

Highly Recommended