If you've never heard of a spiralizer, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a tool for cutting vegetables into long curly strands. It’s great for creating vegetable noodles as an alternative to pasta or slicing sweet potatoes to make curly fries.
These kitchen gadgets come in two categories—compact handheld models and larger countertop versions that have a hand crank like old-fashioned apple peelers or an electric motor to make the work easier. For the most part, countertop models are more convenient to use and give superior results.
After months of spiralizing zucchinis, sweet potatoes, and carrots, the OXO Tabletop Spiralizer (available at Amazon) is our top pick. While it performed similarly to some of its competitors, its design and conveniences catapulted it to the top of our list.
If you prefer a handheld model, the Veggetti (available at Amazon), which aced our tests the first time we wrote this guide several years ago, remains the easiest compact version to use. It also continues to produce results better than others in this category.
OXO Good Grips Tabletop Spiralizer
Our favorite countertop model is the OXO Tabletop, which has the cleanest design of all the countertop models we tested. It quickly and easily produces oodles of zoodles. Like other hand-cranked devices, it couldn’t spiralize the carrots we used to test, but the manual does warn that vegetables must be at least 1 ½ inches in diameter.
To spiralize using the OXO, a lever will firmly suction the device to your workspace; to release the grip, just push the lever in the opposite direction.
This spiralizer only includes three blades, for spaghetti, fettuccine, and ribbons, but we think those are the cuts you’re most likely to want, and means there are fewer blades to corral. Also, each blade is color-coded, so once you learn which shade is associated with which cut, it’s easy to select the one you want.
There’s a plastic container to hold the sharp blades when not in use and the container hooks onto the base for more compact storage. All of the removable parts can be placed in the dishwasher. There’s also a recipe booklet with appealing recipes from well-regarded food personalities.
The OXO is the most expensive countertop spiralizer we reviewed. While we prefer its design and features, it’s not significantly different in its ease of use or spiralizing results than similar models. If price is important to you or you want additional blades, consider one of the other products in this guide.
When we spied an "As Seen on TV" label on the Veggetti, we were skeptical. But the truth is, this hourglass-shaped gadget beats all the competition. For starters, it’s intuitive to use: Simply stick a vegetable in one of two ends, depending on whether you want thin or thick veggie noodles, and twist for long, continuous ribbons. There’s no need to switch blades and no extra parts to store.
Of all the handheld models, we found it the easiest to smoothly turn vegetables into long spaghetti-like strands. It also has a very effective food pusher that helps move the vegetable, leaving only a small nub unspiralized.
Hi, I'm Sharon Franke and for a foodie, I have a dream job: I test kitchen equipment for a living. For decades, I headed up the Kitchen Appliances Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Before that, I worked as a chef in New York City restaurants. When I’m not testing or writing, you can find me chopping, slicing, and grating in my own kitchen. All of my experiences come into play when I’m considering both how well tools perform and how convenient they are to use. While I pride myself on my cutting skills, it’s always fun to find new gadgets that do things like turn zucchini into spaghetti that you just can’t do with a knife.
We put each spiralizer to the test, using each of its blades to spiralize zucchini as well as carrots and sweet potatoes, which are denser vegetables and harder to cut. As we worked, we focused on how easy each model was to use and how well it spiralized. We looked for products that could cut long evenly thick vegetable noodles with clean edges and left little waste. In rating the products, we considered how easy each product was to assemble, clean, and store.
We considered whether or not to include spiralizers designed to attach to food processors and mixers, such as the popular one that attaches to a KitchenAid Stand mixer. In the end, we left them out of this guide, because they aren't a standalone tool.
What You Should Know About Buying Spiralizers
A spiralizer is a kitchen gadget that turns hard fruits and vegetables into delicious, edible strands or ribbons—everything from zucchini, to butternut squash, to carrots, and potatoes. Whether you serve them with tomato sauce instead of pasta or toss them with a salad dressing, they’re an appealing way to add more plant-based foods to your family’s diet. There are several versions on the market: Small gadgets in which you turn a vegetable against a sharp blade, larger tabletop models that you operate with a crank, and as electric appliances.
While the handheld models are inexpensive and compact, they take more effort to use. To achieve long spirals, it’s necessary to maintain steady pressure while twisting the vegetable, which can get tedious even when spiralizing a single zucchini. As you get close to the blade, there's a small pronged pusher that sticks into your food which makes twisting even more difficult. If you occasionally spiralize a single squash for your own dinner or to coax a picky child to eat her veggies, one of these small gadgets will be fine.
As you would expect, the countertop versions require storage space but are considerably easier to use. If you are committed to serving zoodles to your family on a regular basis, you’ll find it much more convenient to have a model that works with the turn of a crank or flick of a switch.
Particularly with the handheld models, don't expect to produce evenly long strands. Also, virtually all spiralizers will leave some waste. None of them spiralize down to the very end of the vegetable so there is always a little chunk leftover. Plus, most don’t spiralize the core of the vegetable leaving behind a long tube of unspiralized vegetables when you’re finished.
How To Use a Spiralizer
Before you start spiralizing, vegetables and fruits need to be cut so it's flat at each end. This is particularly important with hard veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes as they require more force to spiralize. When using handheld models, vegetables may also need to be cut into spears or wedges that fit into the spiralizer.
To get long spirals, it’s essential to exert steady pressure as you twist, which is much easier to do with a zucchini than a sweet potato. You can produce pretty even strands of zucchini but it’s hard to create mounds of carrot or sweet potato ribbons.
For countertop models, make sure the vegetable isn’t longer than the length between the blade and the prongs that hold it into place. Among all the products we tested, only the electric model was able to spiralize a carrot. In the manuals, some manufacturers specified that the diameter of a vegetable needs to be at least 1 ½ inches, which disqualifies all but the widest of carrots.
How To Safely Clean Your Spiralizer
We recommend that even if you don’t have time to clean your spiralizer blade immediately after spiralizing, that you either rinse it off or soak it in soapy water to prevent any vegetable residue from hardening and becoming difficult to remove. Like all sharp implements, the blades need to be handled with care to prevent accidental cuts; stuck-on gunk will require more effort to remove and therefore create a greater possibility of injury.
For cleaning, you are better off using a brush than a sponge as it can get under and around the blade without putting your fingers at risk. Most handheld spiralizers or the removable parts of countertop models can be popped in the dishwasher, which we found removed virtually all residue as well as orange stains from carrots or sweet potatoes.
Other Countertop Spiralizers We Tested
Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer
Although it’s a little clunkier than the OXO Tabletop model, the Brieftons 5-Blade is a close runner-up for best countertop spiralizer. Like the OXO, it has a lever to suction it on and off a work surface.
It comes with five stainless steel blades for shapes ranging from angel-hair pasta to wide ribbons. Although it can’t spiralize carrots, it does a nice job of turning sweet potatoes in a range of appealing shapes for roasting or frying. Two of the blades stash in a caddy that comes with the unit, two of them store in slots in the device, and one stays in the blade rack. The removable parts are dishwasher safe. For storage, the blade case rests on the device itself.
Bella 4-in-1 Automatic Electric Spiralizer and Slicer
Hands down (no pun intended) the Bella 4-in-1 Automatic is the easiest to use model of all the products we tested. While there are a few steps required to set it up, once you flick the “on” switch, it spiralizes automatically—there’s no need to use your fingers to twist or turn a crank.
The Bella is the only product we tested that could not only churn out piles of zucchini but also carrots and sweet potatoes as well, each in four different shapes. To change the cut from spaghetti to linguine to fettucine to ribbons, just turn a dial on the blade before putting it into position and locking it in place. A tray to catch spiralized veggies as they fall off the blade is included but you definitely have to coax the noodles onto the dish. When it’s not being used, the machine rests on the tray.
All of the removable parts can be safely placed in the dishwasher. A small brush comes with the unit for dislodging residue from the blade. Because this is the size of a larger toaster, you’ll need to find some room in a cabinet or closet to store the Bella. A booklet with enticing recipes is also provided.
Paderno World Cuisine 6-Blade Vegetable Slicer / Spiralizer
You can’t beat the price and value of the Paderno World Cuisine 6-Blade Vegetable Slicer which is similar in cost to handheld models. During our first round of testing several years ago, we named its 4-blade Folding Vegetable Slicer as the best countertop spiralizer. At that time, it was the only model with this design that we tested.
This updated device comes with six blades that can create several types of noodles, cut ribbons in two different thicknesses, and make wavy spirals. Of course, all these parts need to be managed. Two blades store on board, three can be kept in an included case, and one stays in place ready to go.
Out of the box, a bit of assembly was required. However, once it was set up, the Paderno was easy to use. Pressing down on the four top corners activates the suction feet on the bottom, each of which has a little pull tab to pull to release the grip. Also, all of the pieces, except the base, are dishwasher safe. Plus, it comes with a brush for tackling gunk under the blade.
The Farberware Vegetable Slicer is the only model we tested that comes with blades that are clearly marked—Thin Spiral, Thick Spiral, and Ribbon Cut—making it very easy to decide which to use. There are slots in the device to hold two of the blades and one rests in the blade holder for storage.
To suction the Farberware onto your countertop, press down on it and then lift the little tabs on each foot to release it. The manufacturer does not recommend washing any of the parts in the dishwasher.
Well-designed and compact, the OXO Good Grips 3-Blade was a close second to the Veggetti for our top pick. Its base, three blades, and food pusher, which serves as a lid, stack neatly on top of each other for storage.
When you want to spiralize, it couldn’t be easier to disassemble the pieces and place one of the blades on the base. As the opening is bigger than on the Veggetti, you can spiralize a slightly wider vegetable and get pretty close to the end before needing the food pusher. When you’re finished, you’re left with a thick slice and a slim core unspiralized.
As with most models, we got much better results with zucchini than with hard veggies. The OXO, however, will create thin and thick spaghetti and wide ribbons.
All of the parts are dishwasher safe. It's much pricier than most handhelds and is even more expensive than some countertop models, which are easier to use and better at spiralizing. The Oxo’s a good choice for people who are space challenged and/or not looking to often spiralize large quantities of vegetables.
Although the Fullstar Vegetable Slicer is inelegantly designed it works well at spiralizing zucchini. When we tried it with carrots and sweet potatoes, the results were shreds and slices rather than noodles and ribbons.
Next to the blade, there are three small buttons that you depress to change the cut from thin threads to thick stands to wide ribbons. As you spiralize, the pieces fall into a small container.
However, the container’s not large enough to hold an entire zucchini’s worth of noodles so as you work, you have to stop and empty the contents into a bowl.
All of the parts are dishwasher safe making this very easy to clean.
Easy to use
Produces long strands of zucchini
Doesn’t produce long strands of carrots and sweet potatoes
While the Zyliss was one of the most compact handhelds we tested, it wasn’t particularly easy to use nor very effective at spiralizing. It has one reversible blade for spaghetti or ribbons.
Using it requires squeezing the sides of its tube inward toward the inserted vegetable as you rotate it over the blade. This means you need to maintain pressure in two directions making it difficult to spiralize with the steady motion needed to produce long strands. If you are successful, the results are very thin. Our zoodles barely held their shape, even before tossing with a sauce. Carrots came out in shreds. But we were able to make sweet potato spirals.
Around the long food pusher, there are tiny ridges which are hard to clean by hand but come out spotless after a spin in the dishwasher.
Once we got the hang of using the Zwilling Z Cut, we fairly easily produced two different sizes of zucchini noodles—spaghetti, as well as ribbon spirals. However, we were unable to effectively cut carrots and sweet potatoes. Instead of long strands, the vegetables were turned into shreds.
Initially, we didn’t find the Zwilling easy to set up. The instructions that come with it aren’t in English and even an online video wasn’t helpful.
This device has only one blade but comes with three discs to create each of the shapes. These parts can be stored in the spiralizer but must be removed prior to use. We also fear these small and slim discs could easily be lost or misplaced. Combine them with a lid and a pusher and there are too many pieces to keep track of.
Pieces store in unit
Unintuitive to assemble
Ineffective at spiralizing carrots and sweet potatoes
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