A speedier way to meal prep produce.

By Sarah Karnasiewicz and Emily Belfiore
Updated May 19, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Best Spiralizers
Credit: Phoebe Melnick

The best spiral vegetable slicer should do more than just crank out zucchini noodles—it should marry design and function so seamlessly that you find yourself looking for excuses to add spiralized vegetables to every meal. We found one model that did just that, as well as a bargain model that's ideal for compact kitchens.

Originally invented in Japan, the specialized slicer has gone from being a niche gadget beloved by vegans and nutritionists to a mainstream kitchen device in only a matter of years. Trying to cut carbs from your diet? Spiralizers make it a cinch to create vegetable ribbons for stir-frys, salads, stews, and low-carb "pastas." Depending on the type of blade you use, it can also make quick work of basic prep tasks like slicing, grating, and shredding. There's even a whole cookbook genre devoted to spiralizing and an army of bloggers dedicated to coming up with imaginative new ways to put the tools to use.

If you already have a food processor or mandoline in your arsenal, is it really worth making room in your budget—not to mention on your kitchen counter—for another piece of gear to the same job? We set out to survey the spiralizer landscape, hoping to identify the best value and which model, if any, was worth a permanent place in a modern cook's kitchen. Here are the ones that won us over.

The Best Spiralizers of 2021, According to Our Editors

Best Overall: Oxo Good Grips 3-Blade Spiralizer

Oxo Good Grips Spiralizer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The Oxo brand has made a name for itself by redefining the standards for common kitchen devices through smart design upgrades—and the Good Grips 3-Blade Spiralizer definitely carries on that tradition. While the basic elements of the Oxo apparatus were the same as the other models we tested—molded plastic construction, a hand crank, suction cup stabilization, three blades—when it came to function, it outperformed every competitor. It was easy to assemble, the base felt sturdier, the suction grip held tighter, the crank held firmly to every sort of produce we threw at it, and it turned more smoothly and with less force.

What's the design tweak that accounts for the improved suction? Rather than one small suction cup at each corner of the base, the Oxo model uses a supersized suction cup on the bottom that attaches and releases using a lever and gives a stronger hold.

The Oxo blades are sharp and come color-coded, which makes it easy to know which blade you are grabbing for at a glance. A small plastic case is also provided for safely stashing the blades when not in use, and it tucks neatly inside the box if you're storing the whole apparatus together.While the price was a step up from the other models tested, ultimately the Oxo kit made me want to keep finding new ingredients to slice, and new ways to use them. And we'd gladly pay an extra $10 (and make some room in our cupboards) for that.

To buy: $40 (originally $42) at amazon.com

Other Spiralizers We Tried

Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiralizer 

Vegetable Spiral Slicer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Sturdy, with good suction to keep it in place on the counter and sharp blades, the Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiralizer was a solid contender, and we could see why reviewers on Amazon and the cooks at America's Test Kitchen have given it high marks. If space is not an issue in your kitchen, it would be a solid competitor to the Oxo Good Grips 3-Blade Spiralizer. A couple of caveats: the suction, while strong, still needed occasional readjustment and the blades sometimes clogged after lengthy use, requiring a little extra cleaning.

To buy: $19 at amazon.com

Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer

Vegetable Spiral Slicer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer gets a lot of love on Amazon and was the favorite of culinary expert and former The New York Times columnist Martha Rose Shulman, who used it extensively when developing and testing recipes for her new book, Spiralize This. While certainly serviceable, we found that it didn't perform as consistently well—firm vegetables like carrots and beets sometimes wobbled out of place during cranking, and the suction cup feet invariably needed reattaching.

To buy: $25 (originally $28) at amazon.com

Mueller Pro Multi-Blade Spiralizer

Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

The new-and-improved Mueller Pro Multi-Blade Spiralizer is the latest innovation from the brand and replaces its Mueller Spiral Ultra 4-Blade Spiralizer, which felt a little overly complicated in previous test trials due to its complex design. But here, the device spiralizes your produce using four stainless steel blades and is operated by a convenient crank handle. Choose from straight accordion style, angel hair, finely shredded, or thick chipping style spirals. While it simplifies the spiralizing process and works well with a variety of vegetable widths, it has a reputation for being hard to clean and having suction cups don't always stay in place on countertops.

To buy: $20 at amazon.com

Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer

Vegetable Spiral Slicer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Though very similar in appearance to the Paderno and Spiralizer models, the Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer fell short in performance. The tooth grip on the handle tends to lose hold on firmer vegetables, resulting in uneven cuts and the inconvenience stopping and starting repeatedly. The blades were sometimes extremely hard to change. Toward the end of testing, one became so stuck in place that we eventually just abandoned it for our safety. 

To buy: $19 at amazon.com

Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Electric Vegetable Spiralizer

Vegetable Spiralizer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to the best electric spiralizer, the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Electric Vegetable Spiralizer takes the cake. Its advanced and streamlined design resembles that of a juice with its long chute and pusher tool—only this one is equipped with a metal grip to hold your vegetables in place. It has three cutting cone blades to create uniform sized noodles, which range from spaghetti, linguine, and traditional spirals. Aside from its electric motor, its catch-all bowl is what makes it a must-have. It's able to hold six cups' worth of spirals and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. For an electric model, it has a quiet motor and it is able to handle zucchini and other thin pieces of produce, but it has a reputation for being particularly finicky with tougher foods like sweet potatoes and carrots.

To buy: $40 (originally $45) at amazon.com or target.com

Oxo Good Grips 3-Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer

Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Dubbed the best handheld spiralizer by Amazon reviewers, the Oxo Good Grips 3-Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer is ideal for small spiralizing tasks. It's compactly designed and has a nonslip grip for comfortable control over your spirals while also protecting you from its stainless steel blades. You have three choices of noodle sizes and the blades are color-coated to simplify the process. Though it offers a stable grip, you get the best spirals when using zucchinis with thicker widths. If it's not the right girth, it will result in some mushy noodles, according to reviewers.

To buy: $25 at amazon.com

In Search of the Best Spiralizer

The Field

To assemble the list of contenders and determine best-designed spiralizer on the market, we dove headfirst into the thriving spiralizer media marketplace, poring over cooking manuals like The Spiralized Kitchen and Inspiralized, as well blogs like Pinch of Yum, Skinny Taste, and Nom Nom Paleo. We spoke to the nutrition-minded cooking authority Shulman and consulted user reviews on Amazon and roundups on other established culinary and consumer websites including The Kitchn, Cooks Illustrated, The Telegraph, Good Housekeeping and The Sweethome.

The Requirements 

Design: As the demand for spiralizers has exploded, so has the supply: Shoppers now have more than a dozen models from which to choose. At first glance, many of them look nearly identical. Luckily most machines fall into two general categories: countertop models and handheld models. Countertop models are about the size of a large shoebox and operate in much the same manner as an old-fashioned apple peeler, with a toothed grip to the produce and a crank handle that guides the fruit or vegetable against the blade. Handheld spiralizers are much more compact and are designed to fit in the palm of your hand. They require the cook to put more muscle into the job—which is fine when you're working with tender produce like zucchini or cucumbers, but can end in tears with something firmer like butternut squash, turnips, or beets. Finally, because handheld spiralizers generally have only one fixed blade, the variety of shapes they put at your disposal is necessarily limited. Ultimately, the main selling point of handheld spiralizers is their convenient, compact size. If you suspect you might reach for the gadget on a less regular basis—or, if kitchen real estate is at a premium—a handheld slicer might be the right choice for you. 

Blades: All the spiralizers we surveyed included the three most common blades: a flat one designed for wide "fettuccine"-type slices and vegetable chips, plus both small and large julienne blades, capable of producing delicate "angel hair" and all-purpose "spaghetti" vegetable noodle shapes. A couple of the models tested include additional blades for coarse and fine shredding. Moderately inexpensive but not super cheap, all the handheld models fall, generally, in the $25 to $45 price range, and are constructed from a similar molded white plastic.

Sturdiness: Considering the central element of a spiralizer is a sharp blade, the relative stability and sturdiness of each model was also a prime consideration. Most countertop spiralizers rely on a system of suction cups to affix to a work surface for wobble-free cranking. Models that dislodged during use were automatically downgraded (though ones that were impossible to remove after the work was finished also lost a point for minor annoyance). Another factor that seemed essential to stability was the weightiness of the base: models with smaller, lighter bases tended to feel off balance in comparison to their heftier counterparts.

The Tests

A worthy spiralizer should do more than just crank out zucchini noodles—it should marry design and function so seamlessly that you find yourself looking for excuses to swirl, shred, and slice, adding vegetables to every meal just for the fun of it. And we found one model that did just that, as well as a bargain model that's ideal for compact kitchens.

Over the course of three days, we sliced and swirled our way through a variety of fruits and vegetables, including tender zucchini and squash, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and Granny Smith apples. (And afterwards, used the haul to make big batches of vegetable chips, frittatas and grated salads). With all the models, we paid close attention to the smoothness of the cutting action, the sharpness of the blades, the size and sturdiness of the overall apparatus, and the ease of cleanup.

When it came time to slice, the best models sliced both softer and firmer items evenly without requiring a lot of stopping and starting. Their crank system turned smoothly, and didn't drop the produce or wobble out of position. (Or, our pet peeve: squeak). We also considered the sharpness and variety of the blades. All of the models we tested came with the three "essential" blades—but having more options wasn't necessarily a plus.

Clever blade storage also won points. To prevent accidental injuries, we looked for spiralizers that provided somewhere safe and convenient to stash the blades when not in use—preferably on the body of the base. While rinsing and cleaning the blades was invariably fussy, no matter the model, we evaluated how easy the crevices were to clear and how well the blade's plastic surrounds withstood staining and scratching.