Best Vegetable Spiralizer/Spiral Slicer 2017 (Buying Guide)
The internet’s love for spiral slicers only gets more intense by the day - and with good reason! These appliances create everything from spaghetti substitutes to curly fries out of healthy vegetables and fruits.
Of all the spiral slicers out there, the Paderno Four-Blade Spiralizer Pro [Amazon] is the one I would recommend to my friends. It’s also the spiralizer that I own and use on a daily basis. Easy to use, gentle on hands, and easy to clean, it meets all my criteria for a great kitchen tool.
If the Paderno is out of your price range, the SpiraLife Vegetable Slicer [Amazon] is my recommendation for a more budget-friendly model. Reasonably priced and easy to use, the SpiraLife is also compact enough to fit in your silverware drawer. Best of all? It can be run through your dishwasher for easy cleanup.
But you don’t have to take my word for it! Read on to learn more about spiral slicers and our favorite products.
You Need a Spiral Slicer!
Besides helping you up your veggie intake, vegetable spiralizers are easy to use and take up little space. Plus, I don't know any kid (or adult) who doesn't want to eat a curly vegetable!
Paleo and the rise of gluten intolerance catapulted these tools into the limelight. Even so, spiral slicers have a variety of benefits, regardless of dietary restrictions.
Every parent knows it's tough to get kids excited about eating vegetables. Even good eaters can turn their noses up at foods like parsnips and zucchini.
A quick run through the spiralizer turns these vegetables into fun, bouncy corkscrews. These are easy for little fingers to pick up and eat, as well as fun to look at.
Giving ingredients a spiral upgrade can help little ones try new foods without the fight.
Reach Your Weight Loss Goals
No one wants to feel hungry and deprived when they're trying to lose weight.
A vegetable spiralizer can help you make good choices in your menu. Filling your plate with spiralized veggies instead of pasta gives you the same satisfying volume with a fraction of the calories.
Instead of ordering greasy french fries, you can make healthy baked curly fries at home (yum!). Plenty of vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, and cucumber, can become veggie ribbons. As well as containing fewer calories, spiral-cut veggies have way more nutrients than plain old pasta.
The spiral slicer makes it easier to stick to your diet, which means you can effortlessly reach your weight loss goals. Tracking calories becomes that much easier when you can still eat a large volume of food.
Side Note* - If you want to make curly fries at home, but you want to skip the oil, an air fryer might be for you! You get the same texture and crispiness as a deep fryer but without the oil.
Avoid Wheat and Gluten
The past few years have seen an unprecedented rise in food intolerance. Celiac and wheat sensitivities are at the forefront of this movement. As a result, the gluten-free market has exploded.
Gluten-free products have come a long way, but certain foods like pasta leave a lot to be desired.
If you or a loved one can't eat wheat or gluten products, a spiral slicer is a must-have. While gluten-free pasta can be mushy, zucchini noodles make a perfect substitute.
You can also spiralize vegetables like beets and sweet potato, which become colorful pasta after a quick blanch in boiling water. Vegetable noodles are a delicious and allergen-friendly alternative to wheat pasta.
Buying a Spiral Slicer
There are so many ways a spiral slicer could make your life easier - but how to choose the perfect one?
Spiral cutters are available in a multitude of options, from power to functionality. A college student in a dorm room will have different needs than a mom cooking for four.
Do yourself a favor and consider your preferences and cooking style before you buy. Getting a spiral slicer that's best suited for what you need means you'll be more likely to use it. Plus, when you do use it, it'll be a better experience.
Here are the considerations you should make when buying your spiral slicer.
1 - Style
Spiral slicers generally come in two styles: portable compact and crank-style.
- Portable Compact Slicers
Portable slicers are small enough to fit in your hand and look like hourglasses. Most models have two size options - one for a thin julienne, and one for thicker ribbons.
When a vegetable is inserted into one end and twisted by hand, the blade cuts it into thin ribbons or strips. Most include a small disk with teeth that helps rotate the vegetable into the blade.
These types of slicers are best suited for people in small spaces, like apartments or dorm rooms. The slicers take up very little space, and you can store them in silverware drawers or cupboards.
They're also ideal for camping or RVs, where a power outlet isn't an option. These slicers also clean off with a simple rinse.
However, there is a lot of manual labor involved to get veggie spirals from this style slicer.
Even with the help of the gripper disk, turning a whole vegetable into ribbons can be exhausting. Because of this, compact slicers are best for those cooking for 1-2 people. I don't recommend them for people with arthritis or joint problems.
Compact spiral slicers are great for softer veggies like zucchini and cucumbers. They are much harder to use with tougher vegetables like potatoes, beets, and carrots.
Only use these types of slicers for tough veggies if you want a really great forearm workout!
- Crank Style
Crank style spiral slicers operate like the pencil sharpeners you may have used as a kid. These models use a turning handle to spin the veggies against the blades.
It's unbelievable how fast these slicers turn whole vegetables into ribbons. This style of slicer is ideal for those cooking for a crowd, and don't have hours before dinner to prep veggies. Even tough tubers transform into ribbons in a matter of seconds.
The crank style is also gentle on hands. The ease of use of these slicers makes them suitable for little kids and those with arthritis or joint pain.
Some crank style slicers come with a variety of blade options - sometimes as many as five or six. These allow for ultimate customization in your meal and ensures you won't get bored. Some slicers have every option from angel hair to wide, flat slices.
These are best suited for those with ample storage in their kitchen, as most models are about the size of a toaster. Their strange shape can also make them difficult to fit in tight spaces.
Due to their design, crank style slicers are the more expensive option. However, like most things, you get what you pay for.
Your cooking volume, and the amount of effort and cash you're willing to spend will lead you to your ideal style.
2 - Easy to Clean
I don't know about you, but for me, the maintenance of a product can be more important than how good it is.
Hear me out!
I've used great, helpful, easy kitchen tools in the past. However, nothing turns me off faster than a tool that's difficult to clean. Because I know it's going to be a pain to wash, I think twice about using it in the first place - which is a waste!
Think about how much effort you're willing to put into keeping your spiral slicer clean.
For me? That's little to no effort.
If you have a dishwasher, finding a product that's dishwasher safe takes all the work out of clean up. At the very least, the blades should be removable and able to go in the dishwasher.
Even if you don't have a dishwasher, look for a product that's easy to clean. The last thing you want to do after cooking is stand over the sink scrubbing bits of peel out of the blade.
This is also necessary for safety. Because spiral slicers use teeth to create ribbons, bits of food that get stuck inside can result in bacteria growth. This can make your family sick, so an easy-to-clean tool is your best bet.
3 - Number of Blades
One to two blades will be enough to substitute your traditional pasta with zoodles. But if you want to incorporate a variety of shapes and spirals into your menu, you need more blades.
Four blades is an optimal amount for the home chef. This tends to include an angel hair, regular, thick, and flat ribbon option. Between these four blades, you should be able to create ribbons for every dish possible.
I own a four-blade spiralizer myself. I feel it provides enough options without being unmanageable. The angel hair and pasta settings are perfect with tomato sauce. When I make a stir fry, the thicker noodles remind me of fat udon noodles. The flat ribbons make perfect shaved cucumber for summer salads.
That being said, I love to cook and enjoy the variety, so it makes sense for me to invest in more blades.
However, it's a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. If you're tight on money or storage space, a basic two-blade slicer will get the job done.
4 - BPA-Free
I bring up BPA a lot in my articles, but that's because it's important!
While the jury is still out, I do my best to avoid products with BPA.
BPA, also known as bisphenol-A, is an industrial chemical used to make plastics. Research shows that BPA can leach into food and cause health problems. Most notably, issues related to the brain and prostate development of fetuses, as well as behavior issues in children.
I don't know about you, but I'm not a risk-taker when it comes to my health or the health of my loved ones. It's easy to avoid BPA, especially in spiral slicers. There is no kitchen product to great that it's worth gambling with health.
Put your family's best interests first and choose a spiral slicer that is free of BPA. Most companies will advertise this on their site, as it's a hot-button issue these days. Of course, if you're unsure, don't be afraid to call or email the company to get the scoop.
Spiralizer Comparison - Top 5 Brands
# of Blades
Paderno 4-Blade Pro (Best Overall)
When I got married, I received a small mountain of kitchen appliances as gifts. Among them was a Paderno 4-Blade slicer. Of all the appliances I received, the Paderno is one of the only tools I still use on a regular basis, years after my bridal shower.
Every aspect of the Paderno’s design makes it stand out. The machine includes four blades that stow away in the body of the slicer. A metal skewer keeps zucchini and carrots in line with the blades, ensuring you get long, beautiful spirals instead of a bowl of half-moons. The thing even has little suction cup “feet” that keeps it anchored to my counter top!
The model can be used by both left- and right-handed users - an easy-to-overlook detail! Paderno has left no stone unturned with this slicer.
Of course, the thing that keeps me using this tool is how easy it is to clean - not only can the blades go through the dishwasher, but the entire BPA-free body can be disassembled and placed on the top rack. When you’re done slicing, simply fold the body for easy storage.
The Paderno allows me to process vegetables with lightning speed, helping me make low-calorie dishes and add colorful spirals to salads and stir-fries. Everything about the model is easy to use, high-quality, and a breeze to clean.
What We Love
The Paderno slicer uses a small corer to utilize as much of the vegetable as possible during processing. When you’re done running the vegetable through the slicer, you’re left with minimal waste, that can easily be sliced up and added to the dish. The four blades also allow for complete customizability, so you can create every dish you can think of.
What We Didn't Like
The Downside: Some users found that the metal corer popped out of the machine after a few uses. To prevent anyone from biting down on the metal tube, always make sure it’s still in the machine after processing.
SpiraLife Vegetable Spiralizer (Best Budget)
The SpiraLife Vegetable Spiralizer is a no-frills, budget friendly tool that everyone should keep in their kitchen. For less money than you might spend on a meal at a restaurant, you can arm yourself with a reliable little tool that doesn’t clog or jam.
The SpiraLife features two blades - a spaghetti blade and a wide ribbon blade. Unlike many hand-held spiralizers out there, the veggies will glide through the blades with ease.
There are plenty of portable compact slicers on the market right now, but the SpiraLife is the one I recommend to friends. First, the SpiraLife’s gripper disk is designed to use as much of the vegetable as possible. Less waste means more veggies in your belly and more money in your pocket.
Cleanup is also super convenient with this model. In addition to being dishwasher-safe, the SpiraLife comes with a cleaning brush to get any stubborn bits out from the blades.
It comes with an extra handheld slicer, bag, recipe book, and instructional videos. A high-quality product for the money, this little slicer bundle really stretches your dollar.
What We Love
Reviewers love the versatility of the two blades. With one for spaghetti and one for flat ribbons, a small purchase price covers most of your vegetable noodle needs with these two shapes. Those who purchased this slicer also appreciate the amount of instructions and tips, as well as how easy it is to clean this thing.
What We Didn't Like
While perfect for those with limited budgets, who those looking for a backup, this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for. Some reviewers found that the blades became dull after a few uses, and others noted that it takes a looooooooong time to spiralize a single vegetable with this tool. It’s good quality for what it is, but don’t expect to receive a top-of-the-line product here.
Food blogger Ali Maffucci has made a living off of healthy recipes based around spiralized vegetables (inspiralized.com). Because of this, she’s something of an authority on spiral slicers.
The Inspiralizer is the result of Ali’s experiences and expertise with spiralized veggies. The Inspiralizer includes four blades to create ribbons, fettuccine, linguine, and spaghetti. Reviewers have great success with soft veggies like cucumber and zucchini, but the appliance struggles with things like potatoes and beets.
The model utilizes a vacuum base to suction to your countertop and keep it from slipping while you spiralize. However, some reviewers noted the suction lets go after a few minutes, which can be problematic if you’ve got a lot of veggies to process.
The tool includes a safety cover that protects fingers from the sharp blades, allowing children to help in the kitchen with supervision. It also helps you from spiralizing your own fingertips after an exhausting day!
The body of the spiral slicer is BPA-free and comes with a one-year warranty.
What We Love
This appliance feels extremely sturdy for being made of plastic. Many users have found that it’s as solid after months of use as it was on the day they purchased it. Additionally, it’s extremely easy to change the blades in this slicer. Overall, it’s a very convenient and intuitive tool.
What We Didn't Like
Some purchasers noted disappointment with how the Inspiralizer handles tough foods like apples and beets. Since it’s priced about the same as top-of-the-line products, they felt it was overpriced for its abilities.
Mueller Spiral-Ultra 4-Blade Spiralizer
The Mueller Spiral-Ultra shines when it comes to mess management. As easy as some spiral slicers are to operate, they can make a big mess. Even when you put a bowl under the blades, they can create a mess when the vegetable pieces overshoot it.
The Spiral-Ultra addresses this by catching veggie ribbons in a container attached to the slicer. While this is convenient and helps manage cleanup, the container is on the small side. You’ll need to break now and then to empty the container if you have lots of veggies to process.
This model makes easy work of even tough vegetables like butternut squash. Despite this, some reviewers were disappointed with how much of the vegetable went to waste, as the Spiral-Ultra doesn’t cut all the way down to the base.
The Spiral-Ultra is also different in that it uses gravity to process vegetables, instead of sliding the veggies in horizontally. This makes it a good option for those with arthritis or joint pain. However, the vertical nature of the tool does make it hard to store, especially in short cabinets.
On the plus side, the cutting blades store inside the unit itself, so that does help minimize the amount of required storage space.
The unit is made in Austria, and uses BPA-free plastic.
What We Love
There is so much less mess! This is particularly important for busy parents, or those with small shared kitchen areas. Just a little mess can make a small space look cluttered, so having all the ribbons land in the container makes cleaning as you go simple and easy.
What We Didn't Like
The Spiral-Ultra doesn’t come with instructions. This can be problematic, considering how many parts the slicer comes with. If you don’t like solving puzzles or putting together IKEA furniture, this is probably not the unit for you.
Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer
With the most blades available of our recommended products, the Spiralizer 5-blade allows for the most customizability possible. You can create everything from delicate angel hair to wide, flat ribbons for salads.
This veggie spiralizer uses an easy-to-turn crank for processing and suction cup feet that keep this anchored to your countertop while you process. However, some users noted that while the cups stay attached to the counter, the unit itself slides around.
This model is the company’s third iteration of the tool and is 30-35% stronger than previous models.
It uses 420 high carbon stainless steel blades to process tough root vegetables and crunchy fruits. While it’s not the firmness of the veggie that affects processing, the width of your ingredient can severely impact the efficiency. Long, thinner veggies like zucchini and carrots are shredded with ease, but reviewers ran into difficulty with stout ingredients like onions and turnips.
Overall, the Spiralizer is a good-quality product. However, for the price, many purchasers did not feel the features and customer service were up to par. Because of this, it’s an honorable mention on this list and not our #1 recommendation for spiral slicers.
While you won’t be disappointed with this purchase, there are better options out there.
What We Love
Among all the spiralizers, this one is the easiest to use. The strong plastic and food-grade steel blades allow even tough vegetables to slide through without a hint of hesitation. Those with limited time or hand strength will be well-served by this slicer.
What We Didn't Like
For the amount of money, this spiralizer struggles with vegetables that aren’t long and thin. Additionally, some reviewers thought the corer took out too much of the usable vegetable, resulting in a lot of waste.
Spiral Slicers: for Health, Color, and Fun!
A spiral slicer can serve a wide population of home cooks. It can help you decrease calories, increase veggies, and add a serious amount of color to dishes.
Among the many options for spiral slicers, the Paderno [Amazon] is my top recommendation. In addition to the high ratings it gets from reviewers, it's also the one I use in my own kitchen. Easy to use and easier to clean, I recommend this model to my friends and family - and you!
For those with more limited budgets or storage constraints, I recommend the SpiraLife [Amazon]. With noodle and ribbon options, this is an affordable, no-frills tool to keep on hand. Of all the veggie slicers I've used, this one is gentlest on hands and makes the best quality result.
If you're even considering a spiral slicer, I highly recommend going for it. Even the highest quality slicers don't cost a lot.
They can also make a huge impact on your health, helping you replace calorie-dense foods. You'll be upping your nutrient intake and still eating a satisfying volume of food.
Any of the products on our list will help you make good choices in the kitchen. Consider adding a spiral slicer to your collection to boost the nutrients, color, and fun in your meals.