Our Guide to the Best Spiralizers

We produced oodles of zoodles to find our favorite spiralizer!

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June 04, 2019
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Whether you’re counting carbs, allergic to gluten or just really grooving on vegetables, spiralizers have emerged as the ultimate at-home answer for unlimited access to zucchini noodles. After all, they’re relatively compact and surprisingly inexpensive — especially considering how much you can spend on ready-to-eat veggie ribbons, at restaurants and grocery stores. The toughest part is navigating types: Do you want a no-frills hand-held, a high-powered electric spiralizer or a crank-operated countertop model, which grips and cuts your veggies vertically? Whatever you’re in the market for, we’ve got the ideal spiralizer for you.

Not only did the ZLEW emerge as our overall favorite by far, we’re definitely purchasing one, for use in our own home kitchen. For starters, it comes with 10 labeled, easy-to-switch-out blades — a good five more than its closest competitor. And in addition to making short work (or, should we say, long, thin and even spirals) of soft vegetables like zucchini, it was the only machine that cleanly processed tougher items like a sweet potato. This could be due to the additional side handle, which allows you to actively push the vegetables forward as you crank. The ZLEW affixes firmly to the counter, both with suction cups and a backup lever, so it’s especially stable. And it even comes with all sorts of helpful extras for making cleanup a breeze, like a mini brush for scrubbing the blades, as well as a canister for storing them (or your masses of springy veggie noodles!).

If you have a ton of beet ribbons or carrot coins to make, it's best to conserve your energy and go electric. This spiralizer operates largely like a food processor: Simply pop one of the cone-shaped blades into the base of the Hamilton Beach, use a metal-edged pusher to guide your veggies through, then let the motor do the rest. The best part is, the spirals will drop directly into a 6-cup bowl instead of on your countertop. And while the electrified body isn’t submersible, all removable parts of the machine are dishwasher safe and can be nested back inside the unit for easy storage.

Think of this as the old-school way to create new-fangled noodles. Sort of like a pencil sharpener, a hand-held spiralizer requires you to manually spin your vegetables against the blades, which means those blades better be sharp — and the build of the model needs to be sturdy, so you don’t end up with a pile of hacked-up produce and a seriously cramped hand. That’s where the OXO comes in. It boasts three (generally effective) color-coded cutters and a cap, which can be affixed to the end of the vegetables for extra support, when they get too short to hold. Granted, it’s definitely best for small jobs, but it’s also brilliant for small spaces — diminutive enough to pop in a drawer, keep in a dorm room or even stash in an overnight bag. Have on-the-go vegetable spirals, anytime or anywhere you choose!

While there’s no need to go out and buy a KitchenAid stand mixer so you can purchase the spiralizer attachment, owners may well find it a worthwhile investment to their already-established machine. Compatible with any KitchenAid model, the durable, dishwasher-safe blades use the power of the motor and the weight of the machine to quickly and evenly peel, slice and spiralize, before being unobtrusively tucked away in their very own storage case.

How We Tested

We assembled 10 different countertop, hand-held and electric spiralizers, to assess the benefits (and downsides) of each type and the performance of multiple brands. We looked through the manuals first, to see how easy they were to read, how much assembly and care each spiralizer required, and if they had any extra attachments or functions (or made any special claims that bore out during testing). Next, we attempted to spiralize both zucchini and sweet potatoes, to see how they handled both hard and soft veggies, how consistent the spirals were, how much manual pressure was required, and how much waste was left afterward. Finally, we hand-washed each machine before running all heat-safe parts through the dishwasher, to determine how simple (or difficult) the spiralizers were to clean.

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