A compact, hand-operated slicing machine with various adjustable blades or inserts for thin to thick slicing and for julienne and french-fry cutting. Mandolines have folding legs and come in plastic, wood- or stainless steel-frame models. They’re used to cut firm vegetables and fruits (such as potatoes and apples) with uniformity and precision. On most machines, the food is held in a metal carriage on guides so that fingers aren’t in danger. V-slicers are a less expensive alternative for the home cook.