Benriner / Japanese Slicer


Several folks emailed asking about the slicer I used for the apples in this post a few days ago. I used a Japanese slicer, which I thought I had featured previously, but I was mistaken. I own a couple of really top-of-the-line mandolines in stainless steel, fancy french slicing contraptions that are a “must have” in fancy kitchens, like this one (oops, just realized I haven’t featured a mandoline as well, and I use it often). However, I have always heard about the Japanese Benriners that were supposed to be much simpler, cheaper and easier to use and clean. Every Japanese kitchen or most of them at least, have this tool as it is essential for many of the wonderful garnishes used with sushi and other dishes. From my minimal understanding of the tools, there are several types – those that slice thinly, shred, julienne, or make those long spaghetti like curls of carrots and radishes. At any rate, the last time we were in Hong Kong, we dropped by a large Muji store with all things Japanese, and I was THRILLED to find several slicers for just $3 or 4 a piece, a huge bargain when compared with a say $150 mandoline. I bought several, the slicer in these photos and a julienne slicer. What is amazing is that they are so lightweight and easy to use, they have a dual blade so they slice on the way down AND back up and the resulting slices are uniformly thin. But be careful, as with a mandoline, they are dangerous if not used properly – you could shave off your fingertips and take a quick trip to the emergency room…



25 Responses

  1. Gosh!! $180 for the Mandoline Pro?

    Hmmmm… I wonder if I can find these in Japan Home? for 88 pesos?

    I’ll find out tomorrow

  2. MM, I bought one years ago from Home TV shopping and it looks similar to the Jap Benriner. I got scared with the thought of slicing my finger so I used it only once and just kept it in the cabinet. I think it was more of a salad slicer.

  3. We have one of these … hauled back from when we lived in Tokyo (but probably not the Benriner brand). These Japanese slicers usually come with another piece of plastic to put over the fruit or vegetable (as you are slicing it) in order to protect your fingers. Ours also came with a bowl that had specific indentations to put the slicer over and thereby conveniently catching all the sliced fruit or vegetable.

  4. MM, I am totally surprised that yours didn’t come with the safeguard thingy?!? I just went in the kitchen now and took a look at my Benriner to check for the safeguard. Mine has one….hmmmm Did they forget to include it in your box?

    Also you guys in the States, check out Winners. I’ve always wanted to buy a mandoline much like the one we used in the restaurant I used to work at. But I figured my husband would hit the roof if I spent a lot of moolah on such a contraption!!!A few years ago (about 2 years ago) I saw a MANDOLINE stainless steel one for get this…$29.99 or was it $39.99. They only had 1 and they were clearing it….”It was calling me…” I told my husband!!!….heheheh..So it pays to check out the clearance section once in a while.

  5. They’re quite handy for making home-made potatoe chips. I got mine from Zellers when they used to carry Martha Stewart stuff. We usually buy a big bag of patotoes because they’re cheaper compare to buying per lb, but we only use a few of them, and I don’t want them to go to waste, so I’ll make home-made potatoe chips pr french fries!

  6. I want one!!!!No I need one to make eggplant, ampalaya and okra chips! :) Where can I get one in the Philppines? I actually saw one in Shoe Mart onone of tose infomercial stands in the departmaent store. You think those are ok?

  7. i find the benriner much easier to use than the conventional, expensive stainless steel mandoline as the former is lighter and smaller. and the japanese version is just as sharp. anyway, i’m surprised you don’t have a handguard. having seen a co-worker’s bloodied hand as a result of using the mandoline, i am now more inclined to use the knife at home.

  8. gemma, betty, ECC et al, yes, I do have several of the fancy stainless mandolines, but the handguards are a royal pain in the neck. They restrict the size of the vegetable you cut and generally are a nusance, so I don’t use it. I have never hurt myself, but it is dangerous. As for the benriner, I am finding myself liking it a lot more than my fancy mandolines. They are very flexible, easy to handle and quickly washed and stored. My $3 benriner has no handguards. Actually, what I really need are those tough gloves that will prevent a cut, then I can slice, and shred and NOT be worried about taking my fingertips off when using either my benriner or mandoline… :) KittyM, I bought one of those shoemart versions years ago and the blade got dull in less than a month, I threw it out. Not sure if the new ones are better. dhayL, yes, I have made fries with them, yum.

  9. It slices thin like fancy mandolines
    Shred. slice, and julienne to smithereens.
    Thank your wife and keep the knife
    Now slice, slice all your life.
    I want to cut some carrots today
    Is that my DNA in the salad tray?
    A little blood and skin
    Mixed with some mandarin.
    All thanks to Benriner
    The Food and Finger…. Slicer!!!

  10. KittyM…If you’re not in so much of a hurry to own a Benriner, I can give you mine. It’s still in the box, never been used. I am in the process of DE-CLUTTERING! I can’t believe how many gadgets I’ve found that I haven’t used…But here’s the problem…I am in no position to do any travelling at the moment (am awaiting knee replacement surgery next month). I am hoping to go back home for a visit maybe in December 2008. I’ll bring it anyway with me for I am sure someone can give my Benriner and other gadgets a good home!!!!

  11. Hi MM,
    Thanks for featuring the Japanese slicer. The one I have is similar to yours except for the colour and that it’s a much older version and I bought it as a set (slicer, julienne slicer, wasabi/ginger grater) and together with a catch-all and a finger-guard. Thought in the beginning that it was going to be one of those pantry warmers but was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which to use it. I agree with you that it’s much easier and more convenient to use than the pricier mandoline.

  12. I’m catching up late in this post. I am wondering if one of the MM reader, the lady who sells the Global and Kyocera knives, may actually have these useful tool in her stock?

    MM, what was the date of the post listing all the products and services on your post readers. Help..

  13. Teresa, google What do you sell Marketmanila and the post should come up… that’s the easiest way to search this site… key word or phrase and marketmanila on GOOGLE… I hope that helps…

  14. ester, I don’t think this particular blade is strong enough for cabbage but it may be… I would use a more heavy duty blade/mandoline/benriner for cabbage…

  15. my sister had one of those, but she sliced off a little part of her thumb. she didn’t need a trip to the ER, but the said thumb is now a teeny bit “slimmer” than the other one…(this is the same sister who got a fistful of ash in her face using the palayok…i must remember to tell her about your site – it might help avert other cooking disasters!)

  16. Mandolins have always frustrated and frightened me. Using the handguard is inconvenient when it comes to the last end bits, and it is so dangerous not to use the vergetable holders.
    An ideal solution was with the discovery of a Moulinex “mouli-julienne” “avec 5 disques” you fit a cutting disc to the bottom of a semicircular holder, close the lid and rotate the top handle, It is totally safe, efficient, portable and easy to clean.
    I cannot recall how much it cost

  17. I’ve had one of these for the last 15 years. Nothing but nothing beats its efficiency. I’ve tried several others, including Moulinex, and even some professional chef brands but always come back to this one. Yes it is DANGEROUS, SO TAKE CARE, do not use if you drink a glass a wine while you are cooking, otherwise it’s total genius.

  18. A month later and the wound on my poor thumb is finally healed. Took a good slice out – had it sown back on… it fell off… ack… and yes, I was using the “safety attachment”… its not enough – throw a towel on top of the safety attachment or wear a steel glove.

    I went and spent $150 on a De Buyer… much better… faster… easier to clean… and a pretty good deal considering the $250 in copays and deductables for getting my thumb sown back together.



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