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Stainless Steel Mandolines vs. Plastic Mandolines

By Staff

When selecting a mandoline, one of the biggest decisions to make is in choosing between stainless steel mandolines and plastic mandolines. Mandolines made of both materials work in pretty much the same manner, although there are a few slight differences between the two. One of the biggest differences between stainless steel mandolines and plastic mandolines is the price, but depending on what your needs are you can find stainless steel mandolines that are in the same price range as some plastic mandolines. Determining which one to purchase is a matter of what you plan on doing with the gadget, how often it will be used, how easy it is to clean and what type of mandoline fits within your budget.

Stainless Steel Mandolines vs. Plastic Mandolines

Most professional model mandolines are constructed from stainless steel. This is because stainless steel mandolines hold up better over time than plastic mandolines do. They are stronger, usually more stable and able to take the constant wear and tear that professional chefs, or amateur chefs that will use their mandoline slicer a lot, dole out.

Plastic mandolines, on the other hand, are usually less expensive than stainless steel mandolines. Plastic mandolines cannot hold up as well in the long term as stainless steel models can, but for the most part, if you only use your plastic mandoline for specific tasks at home, it should be more than sturdy enough to do just what it is meant to do. One drawback to plastic mandolines is that the plastic can sometimes get discolored from using certain vegetables or fruits on it (such as tomatoes). This is more of an aesthetic issue than anything and doesn’t affect the usage of the utensil.

Smaller models of stainless steel mandolines can be cleaned in the dishwasher but some of the larger and more complex models cannot fit in the dishwasher so they must be cleaned by hand with soap, water and a rag. In fact, even for the stainless steel mandolines that claim to be dishwasher safe, it is best to clean them by hand to avoid breaking any fragile glassware that the mandoline or blade may come in contact with or to dull the blade.

It is very important that stainless steel mandoline slicers be thoroughly cleaned after each use and then thoroughly dried before storage to keep the utensil in top working order. Some stainless steel mandolines also require that oil be occasionally rubbed on the slicer to maintain it. Plastic mandolines can be cleaned in the dishwasher or by hand.

They are less likely to cause breakage of other fragile objects in the dishwasher than stainless steel mandolines and using a dishwasher to clean them is recommended to thoroughly remove any food left on the plastic. No oil is needed to maintain plastic mandolines. Like stainless steel mandolines, it is very important to make sure that plastic mandolines are completely dry prior to storage to keep them working at their best.
Most stainless steel mandolines come with a longer warranty than plastic models. This is usually due to the fact that the stainless steel models are of a higher quality than plastic mandolines. Plastic can break over time and a mandoline constructed of stainless steel should hold up for a much longer time.

Whether you select a stainless steel mandoline or a plastic mandoline, keep in mind that the blades on both models are all stainless steel, so they both cut the same way. There are different qualities of cutting blades but that is more accurately determined by the price or quality of the model, rather than the makeup of the rest of the unit. Since most stainless steel mandolines are a bit pricier than plastic mandolines, they may have higher quality cutting blades, but that is not always the case.

When choosing a mandoline, deciding whether to buy a stainless steel model or one made of plastic should be dependent on factors such as what you intend to use the mandoline for, how often you expect to use it, how many years of use you are hoping to get out of it, and what your budget allows. In some cases, you may want to opt for the quality that stainless steel mandolines offer. But often you can get high quality plastic mandolines that will do the job equally as well and may offer all of the accessories and options that a stainless steel model will, so either way you can’t go wrong.

Published: May 16, 2012

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