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Packing more fruit and vegetables into our diets should be a priority for everyone, and a spiral slicer can help you achieve that goal.
Thanks to their growing popularity, you'll find a huge range of spiral slicers on today’s market. So the question is, how do you pick the best spiral slicer to fit your needs?
At BestReviews, we’re here to help you make these difficult purchasing decisions. We buy products off of store shelves and test them in our labs. We analyze mountains of data, gather opinions from existing owners, and consult experts in the know - like our culinary expert, Francois.
With all this information, we craft thorough and honest reviews that help you, the consumer, make important purchasing decisions. And to avoid bias, we never accept free products from manufacturers.
The product matrix above features our top five spiral slicers.
But before you click on these enticing wares, please read the shopping guide below to find out all you need to know about selecting the perfect spiral slicer.
Some people believe that spiral slicers - or "spiralizers," as they're also known - are simply a kitchen fad, but we think they're more than that. Here are a few reasons why you might want to buy a spiral slicer:
Spiral slicers can be used to make a range of components for dishes, including vegetable noodles, vegetable ribbons for salads, curly fries with potato or sweet potato, and spiralized apples for tarts or crumble.
You can increase the amount of vegetables in your diet by replacing some or all of the noodles or spaghetti in a dish with veggie noodles.
If you're cooking to impress, spiral slicers let you make some unique, fancy garnishes.
Many parents say the fun shapes made by spiralizers encourage their children to eat more veggies.
Born and raised in Paris, the land of unapologetic butter, Francois has spent the last 20 years shaping the American culinary world behind the scenes. He was a buyer at Williams-Sonoma, built the Food Network online store, managed product assortments for Rachael Ray's site, started two meal delivery businesses and runs a successful baking blog. When he's not baking a cake or eating his way through Europe, Francois enjoys sharing cooking skills with cooks of all levels. Rules he lives by: "Use real butter" and "Nothing beats a sharp knife."
You can find two main types of spiral slicers on the market: larger crank-style models and compact handheld models.
Crank-style spiral slicers sit on the countertop as you spiralize, usually held in place by suction cups.
You turn a handle, or crank, to spiralize your fruit and vegetables.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade
The Paderno World Cuisine spiral vegetable slicer is made of BPA-free plastic, but the blades are made of high-quality stainless steel. Four suction cups mount the unit to a smooth surface, and a hand crank delivers the power. The three interchangeable blade panels slide securely into a bracket for each slicing job. Two blade panels can be stored under the base while the third one remains on the bracket. (Owners tell us that removing the panels for maintenance or storage can require significant effort.) We like the fact that all elements of the Paderno World Cuisine spiral slicer are machine washable on the top rack.
Crank-style spiralizers tend to yield better, more consistent results.
You can spiralize your veggies and fruits much faster using a crank-style spiral slicer.
Crank-style spiralizers tend to come with a wide range of blades to create spirals of varying thicknesses.
You don't have to cut large fruits and vegetables into smaller chunks before you use a crank-style spiralizer.
Crank-style spiral slicers are larger and take up more space.
They generally cost more than handheld spiralizers.
As long as you have the space and the budget, you'll get superior results with a crank-style spiral slicer.
Generally shaped like an hourglass, handheld spiralizers are much more compact than their crank-style counterparts. To use a handheld spiral slicer, you place a piece of fruit or vegetable in the top and turn it, much like you would a handheld pencil sharpener.
Handheld spiral slicers are much smaller than crank-style spiral slicers, so they're ideal if you don't have much storage space.
If you're on a budget, handheld spiralizers are generally more affordable than their crank-style counterparts.
The core and the end of the spiralized vegetable will be all that remains after you spiralize it. Either chop the remainder and add it to your recipe or save the scraps and use them to make homemade vegetable stock.
Handheld spiralizers are trickier to use than crank-style spiralizers. They generally require more dexterity and a stronger grip. Furthermore, they produce spirals a lot slower.
You usually only get one or two blade options with handheld spiral slicers, giving limited results.
Because you have to feed the fruits and vegetables directly into the core of a handheld spiral slicer, you must cut large produce into smaller chunks before you can spiralize it.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Native Spring Handheld
The Native Spring Spiral Vegetable Slicer is a handheld option for those who don't want to commit to the higher cost and larger size of a countertop crank-style model. This includes its "pencil sharpener" rotary slicing action and two blade sizes. (The Native Spring's blades are referred to as “spaghetti” and “linguini” options.) The thinner spaghetti option yields julienne strips ideal for salads and garnishes. The thicker linguine option is used primarily to create vegetable "pasta,” since larger strips can more easily withstand the rigors of boiling water or baking.
Unless you have unlimited kitchen space, size is a concern for most consumers. Most crank-style spiralizers measure somewhere in the region of 12" x 6" x 10" – give or take a couple of inches. Most handheld models, however, are small enough to fit in a cutlery drawer.
Our expert culinary consultant, Francois, says: "Consider how much cabinet space each model requires. If this is your first time trying veggie pasta, go for an inexpensive “pencil sharpener” version that easily fits into a drawer."
The main benefit of handheld spiral slicers is their compact size, but they fall down in other areas.
Different blades create different spiral shapes and thicknesses, from thin spaghetti-style noodles to wide ribbons.
Handheld models tend to have fixed blades and give only one or two options. Crank-style spiral slicers have interchangeable blades, generally offering three to five options.
Think about what kinds of spiral shapes and styles you wish to create, and choose a spiral slicer that can accommodate your needs.
Spiralizers that come with multiple blades may or may not have built-in blade storage.
For the sake of convenience, we prefer models that have built-in storage, with blades often sliding into slots at the base of the unit.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Curly fries, decorative ribbons, and garnishes: the Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer has the capability to perform almost every vegetable and fruit-related task you could want. The Spiralizer Tri-Blade can accommodate vegetables as long as 10 inches and as wide as 7 inches. We do find there is a period of adjustment when coordinating the food pusher and crank handle. One hand must maintain a steady forward pressure on the feeder platform as the other hand maintains a steady cranking speed. We only wish the base suction cups were a little more reliable.
Adhere to the following tips, and you'll soon be spiralizing with the best of them.
Your vegetable noodles are likely to end up much longer than you want them to be. Cut or break them into more manageable pieces before cooking.
If you plan to cook your veggie noodles, make sure to dry them on paper towels or clean dish towels first to help avoid sogginess.
Center your fruits and vegetables on the spiral slicer so you get full spirals rather than half moons.
If you find you have made too many vegetable noodles – or you just want to prep them in advance – store them in the fridge in an airtight container.
Ideally, you should opt for a spiral slicer with built-in blade storage. Otherwise, it's all too easy to misplace the extra blades.
For ease of cleaning, we recommend a dishwasher safe spiralizer.
You may have to do a little searching on the internet to find spiral slicer recipes to expand your kitchen repertoire.
Make sure you wash your produce before spiralizing it. It's much easier than washing individual noodles or ribbons afterward.
A great tool for low-carb and gluten-free diets, spiralizers easily turn produce into veggie pasta.
Spiral slicers are relatively inexpensive kitchen gadgets. The main price difference is between handheld models, which usually cost $10 to $15, and crank-style models, which usually cost $20 to $35.
Within these different types, spiralizers from known brands tend to cost more, while spiralizers from unknown brands tend to cost less.
You can find some gems at a bargain price, however, so it's best to look at customer reviews rather than assuming a pricier model will do a better job.
Q. Are spiral slicers easy to clean?
A. The main downfall of spiral slicers is that they have lots of nooks and crannies and can be difficult to get totally clean, especially by hand. Some models are dishwasher safe, however, and most users report that their spiralizers come out of the dishwasher perfectly clean.
Q. Does my spiral slicer need suction feet?
A. If you plan to buy a crank-style spiralizer, definitely opt for one with suction feet, as these are what will keep the unit in place while you use it. If you're trying to hold your spiral slicer in place while spiralizing, the whole process could become more hassle than it's worth.
Q. How do I know what to make with my new spiral slicer?
A. Just like any new piece of kitchen equipment, you might encounter a bit of a learning curve when you start trying to figure out what to make with your spiral slicer. Once you've made "zoodles" (zucchini noodles) and curly fries, you may find yourself at a loss, and if you don't learn some new recipes, the spiralizer could be relegated to the back of your cupboard with all those other little-used kitchen gadgets.
Some spiral slicers come with a recipe booklet to give you some inspiration, but don't be afraid to ask the internet, as you'll find hundreds – if not thousands – of spiralizer recipes on cooking websites and blogs.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.