Read our pick of the five best gadgets for creating fruit and vegetable ribbons, from heavy-duty stand spiralizers to budget-friendly julienne peelers.
Best... all rounder
German brand Lurch is a leading European spiralizer manufacturer, and this adaptation of the company's classic model was designed in collaboration with vegan chef Attila Hildmann. Slightly smaller than other models we tested, it has the easiest handle function and requires the least amount of pressure to horizontally feed the fruit and veg through the blade. The spiked pad has great grip, and the suction feet prevent wobble, plus it has a little ledge for catching the ribbons. It comes with three attachments that are stored in drawers in the foot of the spiralizer – ideal for those who tend to misplace little kitchen tidbits – and the ribbons come out nice and long.
£34.95, from UK Juicers
Best... hand-held spiralizer
If you think a hefty stand spiralizer would only gather dust in the back of your cupboard, a diminutive hand-held version is the best choice for you. Of all the ones we tested, this was most impressive. We're big fans of OXO Good Grips anyway, but this inexpensive contraption would convert the most hardened of spiralizer sceptics. The twist action makes light work of courgettes, and the spiked pad prevents finger injury peril as you get close to the nub of your vegetable. Harder vegetables take much longer to feed through than they would on a stand spiralizer, but when you're dealing with something that washes easily and has a tiny kitchen footprint, who cares?
Best... affordable stand spiralizer
At under £30, this basic Lurch model is good value for money. Slightly bigger and more retro-looking than the Attila Hildmann special edition, it nonetheless creates spirals, spaghetti or slices with help from the three blades – again stored in little drawers – plus it features suction pads and a washable, removable base. As it's really intuitive to use, this is a good choice if you’re buying a spiralizer for the first time, although it's perhaps best for those with a large kitchen as it's not collapsible.
£29.95 from Kitchens Cookshop
Best... for storage
What this bolt-shaped contraption lacks in choice of blade size it makes up for in affordability, smart design and ease of storage. Originally designed for a cucumber, you can also use this for courgettes, and while the spiral effect is thick and wide, it’s a good choice for salads, garnishes and slaw.
£6.69 from Lakeland
This remarkably reasonably-priced gadget looks like your average vegetable peeler, but in fact it serves to create thin, evenly-sized strips, bypassing the need for fiddly chopping. The blades are super-sharp to allow for the precise finish, so it should be used with care, but for a thrifty, time-saving vegetable gadget, it can't be beaten.
£3.99, from Lakeland
If you want to cut back on carbs, pack in your five-a-day and on occasion swap pasta, potato and noodles with ribbons of fruit or vegetables, then the spiralizing trend is for you. Find out more by reading our guide to getting the best results from spiralizing.
What should I buy?
Hand-held julienne peelers require a little elbow grease but win on the price and storage front. Heavy-duty stand spiralizers are easier and quicker to use, and while imported versions from the gadget’s birthplace – Japan – can cost a pretty penny, there are now several European spiralizers on the UK market and tend to carry more budget-friendly price tags.
What we looked for:
Ease of use: In the case of stand and hand-held spiralizers, we wanted to be able to attach our fruit and vegetables easily, then use a simple lever or twist motion to speedily create ribbons without having to exert too much force. We looked for julienne peelers that were safe – open blades are necessary but are best shielded with a guard – with a wide surface area and easy-to-grip handle.
Resilience: As we were looking to shred and spiralize harder vegetables, it was important the gadgets were strong and durable – a wobbly handle or flimsy blade won't cut the mustard when it comes to creating sweet potato or celeriac matchsticks.
Ease of cleaning: We looked for stand spiralizers with removable components that can be washed in a dishwasher or with an old-fashioned manual scrub.
Ease of storage: While flat mandolines and pint-sized peelers will always have the edge when it comes to the size factor, we looked for compact stand and hand-held spiralizers than can be tucked away neatly.
Features: Any added bonuses, like different shaped blades to allow for various ribbon thicknesses, were taken into account – ideally a spiralizer can create thin spirals, slices and spaghetti shapes and has attachments that are easy to affix, remove and store.
What we tested:
6 x stand spiralizers
3 x hand-held spiralizers
4 x hand-held vegetable slicers, including two juliennes
This review was last updated in January 2017. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
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Have you tried making courgetti yet? Will you be investing in a stand spiralizer or will a manual julienne peeler and a bit of elbow grease suffice? We'd like to hear your thoughts...