After over 20 hours of research, spiralizing several pounds of vegetables, and consulting with multiple culinary professionals and chefs, we think the OXO Good Grips Spiralizer is the best for most people. The sharp stainless steel blades cut both firm and delicate vegetables with ease, creating long noodles that don’t break apart. It comes with the three most necessary blade attachments, and each can be safely stowed away in a covered compartment. The sturdy base and unique suction design means it won’t wobble while you work. Since it’s so easy to use, we’re confident it will get regular play in your kitchen.
Michael Sullivan has reviewed electric kettles, immersion blenders, and other kitchen gadgets for The Sweethome. He is a graduate of The International Culinary Center, where he also worked as an editor. For this guide, he spent over 10 hours spiralizing several pounds of vegetables.
We also spoke to food and restaurant professionals who regularly use spiralizers to see what they look for in an ideal model. This included Amanda Cohen, the chef and owner of Dirt Candy, and chef Leslie Bilderback, the author of The Spiralized Kitchen. We referred to a number of editorial reviews, including those of Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), Bon Appetit, and Foodal.com, a site dedicated to food, gadgets, and drinks. Additionally, we looked at highly-rated models on Amazon.com.
Whether you’re looking for an alternative to traditional grain-based noodles like pastas or ramen or you simply want to incorporate more veggies into your diet, spiralizers are the best tools for transforming vegetables into noodles. If you plan to use a spiralizer several times a month, you’ll probably want to invest in a hand-crank standing model. Though hand-crank spiralizers are large and hog more space on a kitchen counter or in a cupboard, they quickly and efficiently create vegetable noodles.
If you plan to make vegetable noodles only occasionally, or if you have a small kitchen and lack room for a hand-crank spiralizer, a handheld model is the way to go. While handheld spiralizers require a little elbow grease, they get the job done on the cheap and are small enough to be easily stored in a kitchen drawer. If you have hand mobility issues, we recommend choosing a standing hand-crank spiralizer, which is easier to use than a handheld model.
However, even if you’re an avid home cook, spiralizers may not be for you. Chef and author Leslie Bilderback feels that “there is a narrow market for this tool and this type of cooking—vegetarians, low-carb-ers, and the super-creative. It’s not a huge demographic, but what they lack in numbers, they make up for in enthusiasm.”
We searched for spiralizers that didn’t take up too much space, were easy to use, and could effectively produce evenly-shaped noodles that didn’t break apart. We looked at a range of standing and handheld models between $25 and $100, as well as the KitchenAid spiralizer attachment. Standing spiralizers operate using a hand crank that pushes and turns the vegetables towards the blade attachment to create the cut shapes. Most spiralizers come with removable blades that create a variety of cuts, such as thin or thick noodles or wide ribbons. Better models will have storage space to hold the extra blades while not in use.
Vertical models usually have less room to collect the cut vegetables below the base. While some vertical spiralizers include containers to hold the noodles, they fill up quickly and continuously need be emptied, creating an unnecessary step in the cutting process. Most of our testers, including The Sweethome test kitchen manager Lesley Stockton, prefer horizontal models. Horizontal spiralizers allow the vegetable noodles to pile up on a cutting board with no space limitations. Bilderback also prefers horizontal spiralizers, saying, “I know there are new vertical tabletop models now, but I have yet to try them. I don’t see the advantage.” However, depending on the task, Cohen says she uses both vertical and horizontal models at Dirt Candy. “In general, we probably use vertical more. We use the horizontal ones usually to do sheeting (cutting long flat, wide pieces of vegetables).” She explained that the blade attachment on her vertical spiralizer makes slightly sturdier, thicker noodles.
We also looked at cheap handheld spiralizers. These models require you to push and turn the vegetables towards the blade by hand. Handheld models typically only have one cutting option since their blades aren’t removable. Some handheld spiralizers come with vegetable peelers to create ribbons, but our testers found these to be cheap and unnecessary. Most people already own a good vegetable peeler, which works just as well, if not better. Though Bilderback would actually prefer a handheld spiralizer over a standing model, she admits they have limitations. “They just cannot accommodate many vegetables. [They] really work great with zucchini, and zucchini-like veggies. That’s about it.” Keep in mind that since the opening is smaller on handheld models, you can only spiralize vegetables that are between 1½ and 2½ inches in diameter.
Most people will be happy with just three blade attachments: thin and thick noodle blades and one to cut long ribbons. Bilderback says, “if it has too many parts, I’m out. I hate cumbersome kitchen gadgets.” She continued, “I really use only two blades—the thinnest holed ‘spaghetti’ blade, and the flat blade that makes spirals.” Cohen does a lot of delicate work with vegetables at Dirt Candy, so she finds she uses blades with thinner teeth most often. Cohen suggests looking for models with “enough variety in the blade attachments” but also notes that “durability and stability are very important.” We’ve found it’s better to go with a model that has fewer attachments and a sturdy base that doesn’t wobble on your counter versus one with a weak apparatus and a plethora of blades.
Aside from models with sturdy bases, we searched for spiralizers that wouldn’t slide around on the counter. “Suction cups that let it grab the counter make it amazingly easy,” says Bilderback. Ideally, we wanted models that could suction securely but also release quickly without a struggle. Cohen, who has used spiralizers for about 15 years, points out that “ones that don’t have big bases or thin bases usually aren’t stable enough to do a lot of work.”
After researching nearly 20 spiralizers, we tested five standing models: the Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer, the Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer, the Müeller Spiral-Ultra 4-Blade Spiralizer, the Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer, the Benriner Turner Slicer, and the OXO Standing Spiralizer. We also tested the KitchenAid KSM1APC Spiralizer Attachment. Additionally, we tested three handheld spiralizers: the Premium Vegetable Spiralizer Bundle, the Kitchen Supreme Spiral Slicer Spiralizer, and the OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer.
To determine the cutting ability of each spiralizer, we tested them using a variety of vegetables: delicate zucchini, fibrous carrots, awkwardly-shaped beets, tough butternut squash, and classic potatoes. We took note of how evenly the blades cut and whether the vegetable noodles were sturdy (and either held their shape or broke apart). For both the hand-crank models and the KitchenAid stand-mixer attachment, we evaluated how well the vegetables turned and whether they stayed in place or fell out of position while cutting. We also took note of how easy the extra blades were to store. For handheld spiralizers, we tested how much hand effort was required to cut each vegetable. We also evaluated how easy each model was to clean.
The unique suction mechanism on the OXO was more secure than any other model we tested. A small lever activates the wide rubber suction under the base, making it impossible to move, even while vigorously spiralizing. Some spiralizers, such as the Brieftons and the Mueller, repeatedly lost their suction, while the Benriner had no suction feet and slid all around the counter. The single rubber pull tab quickly releases the suction, unlike the four small tabs on the Paderno and Spiralizer Tri-Blade models that have to be released individually.
As with all OXO products, the spiralizer is backed by a “satisfaction guarantee.” If for some reason you aren’t happy with it or the blades become dull, you can contact OXO for repairs, replacements, or a refund.
After several months of regular use, we’re very happy with the OXO Good Grips Spiralizer. The blade attachments have remained sharp and effectively cut a variety of vegetables with ease. Though the suction mechanism is very secure on most countertops, we’ve noticed that it has some trouble catching on wood surfaces. That said, we still recommend the OXO spiralizer for most people.
Like all spiralizers, it is no easy task to clean the OXO. While the OXO blades clogged less than other models we tested, there are crevices in the blade attachments that make cleaning a chore if washing by hand. However, all of the OXO spiralizer parts and blades are dishwasher safe (except for the blade container). We found that soaking the attachments immediately after using made them easier to clean.
If you want to make carrot noodles, we recommend using wide “horse” carrots that are at least 1½ inches in diameter. Small to medium carrots aren’t capable of making long noodles using the OXO, though this was the case with every spiralizer we tested.
While we prefer the simplicity of the OXO’s suction capability, the Spiralizer Tri-Blade’s four suction feet remained secure while working. However, the small rubber tabs on the feet that release the suction didn’t seem as strong as the single large tab on the OXO.
The Spiralizer Tri-Blade looks almost identical to the Paderno and the Brieftons models except for the extended lip on the base below the blade. Our testers found that the lip was a nice feature that did a good job of catching and guiding the cut vegetable noodles onto a cutting board or into a bowl.
The Spiralizer Tri-Blade comes with a “satisfaction guarantee” and lifetime replacement warranty. If a piece breaks or the blades become dull over time, you can call 888-739-4172 ext. 201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for repairs or a replacement.
The OXO Handheld Spiralizer only comes with one built-in blade and no other attachments, but it cranks out sturdy noodles that hold their shape almost as well as our top pick, the OXO Spiralizer. The OXO Handheld Spiralizer also cut the most consistently-shaped noodles compared to other handheld models like the Kitchen Supreme and the iPerfect Kitchen, which produced uneven noodles that broke apart. Also, since the blades are so sharp, we didn’t have to apply as much force while pushing and turning vegetables. The OXO Handheld Spiralizer evenly cut zucchini and horse carrots. It was even able to cut smaller beets that fit the circumference of the spiralizer, which wasn’t possible with the other handheld spiralizers we tested.
Our testers preferred the thicker, sturdier plastic on the OXO Handheld Spiralizer, compared to the thinner, cheaper plastic of the Kitchen Supreme and iPerfect Kitchen models. The food holder cap has sharp teeth that holds vegetables securely in place and make twisting easier. The top even locks onto the base so the two pieces stay together and you don’t have to fish for them separately in a drawer. The locking lid also keeps the blade covered when not in use. Both the base and top cap are dishwasher safe (top rack recommended).
Like the OXO Spiralizer, the OXO Handheld Spiralizer comes with a “satisfaction guarantee.” If you aren’t happy with the spiralizer or the blade becomes dull, contact OXO for a replacement or refund.
All of the spiralizers we tested were tedious to clean, especially crevices in the blade attachments and the teeth in the vegetable holders. Chef and cookbook author Leslie Bilderback suggests, “as soon as you’re done, take the spiralizer apart and soak all the pieces in water. If they can sit a few minutes like that, the final clean-up is an easy rinse.” Some vegetables, such as beets and carrots, can discolor the plastic slightly, so it’s best to rinse the spiralizer and any attachments immediately after using it.
The Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer is a highly-rated model on Amazon that’s recommended by Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), but it clogged more than the Spiralizer model and is only covered by a one-year warranty.
Our testers found the Müeller Spiral-Ultra 4-Blade Spiralizer to be overly complicated, with too many attachments that weren’t necessary. The straight blade cut ribbon noodles that were too thick, while the thin noodle blade cut inconsistently.
The Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer looks similar to the Paderno and Spiralizer models, but we felt five blades was overkill. This model could only store up to three blades, an inconvenience.
The small blade on the Benriner Turner Slicer made zucchini noodles that were too delicate and fell apart. The model has no suction mechanism, which caused it to slide across the counter.
We had high hopes for the KitchenAid KSM1APC Spiralizer Attachment, but its blades produced noodles and ribbons that were too thick. Zucchini noodles cut on the thinnest blade were slightly uneven. This attachment is better suited for making large volumes of vegetable noodles.
The WonderEsque Spiralizer Tri-Blade Spiral Slicer was out of stock at the time of testing.
The vertical Cuisinart Food Spiralizer CTG-00-SPI has a large compartment to catch the vegetable noodles below the base. However, vegetables have to be cut to a specific length to fit inside the the protective cover, so we opted not to test.
The Brieftons Vertico Spiralizer doesn’t leave much room below the base for the cut vegetable noodles. Other vertical models allow more space, so we decided not to test.
The GEFU Spirelli Spiral Cutter was not recommended in a previous review by Cook’s Illustrated.
The Joyce Chen Saladacco Spiral Slicer was recommended with reservations in a previous review by Cook’s Illustrated, so we opted not to test.
The Kitchen Supreme Spiralizer Complete Bundle produced unevenly shaped vegetable noodles. The blades didn’t seem sharp, and our testers felt they had to apply more pressure than with the OXO Handheld Spiralizer.
The iPerfect Kitchen Vegetable Spiralizer Bundle was identical to the Kitchen Supreme model we tested. Three of our testers inadvertently impaled their hands with the sharp nail on the cap, so we dismissed it.
The Premium Vegetable Spiralizer Bundle looks similar to the other handheld models we tested but only comes with a 60-day return policy.
(Photos by Michael Hession.)
Originally published: May 6, 2016
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