I've bought two mandolines recently and I've returned the first and will return the second. The first was a stainless steel contraption that:
- Broke my food instead of slicing it.
- Was ever so hard to clean. At first I thought this was because the blade was perpendicular to the food and so wouldn't slice it correctly. But on closer examination, it was because the food would bump against the plastic casing of the knife.
The second mandoline has a V-shaped knife. The blades are not adjustable. My issues with this apparatus are:
- The smallest blade will not cut straw potatoes.
- The next blade will cut French fries but won't cut through so I have to waste time loosening the cuts.
- On cleaning, the V-shaped knife will cut a slice of the sponge and it will stick there, and I don't want to find sponge in my next batch of cuts.
So, for my next mandoline, I'll be looking for a mandoline that's:
- Easy to clean.
- Has adjustable blades.
- Made of dishwasher-proof plastic (as opposed to stainless steel?).
- Economical in a sense that you don't end up with leftover cuts.
- Extractable blades so they can be sharpened.
- Size, I just got the Benriner and I should have bought the super. Three sizes, small = too small, medium (super) is good I hope.
What else should I be looking for?
Edit: Economical. The current mandoline doesn't cut the last slice so I end up throwing pieces of food away (recycle for other dishes, really).
Edit (update): Thanks for all the input. As only one answer can be accepted, I've accepted the Benriner, I bought it. Too small for me. I'll have to buy another one. :)