I recommend my clients get themselves a handheld mandoline.
True: If a tool does not practically leap into your hand, you won’t use it. Actually, this is true all over the house: If the ironing board is up and the iron out, clothes get ironed. If the sewing machine is out and threaded, mending gets done. If not, not. I went to visit some friends who proudly showed me their mandoline. They needed a step stool to get it down from their high shelf. How often do you suppose it gets used? Crazy as it seems, after carting my huge stainless, professional mandoline around for many years and never using it—had to get it out, set it up, remember how it worked—I gave it away. And then I bought a smaller, lighter plastic mandoline. It lived in a high cabinet until I gave it away, too.
Handheld mandolines fit in a drawer and are frighteningly sharp. The blades on these Kuhn Rikon mandolines are sharp on both edges so you slice with the down stroke and the upstroke. Double efficiency. I even do cabbage on these, cutting it into pieces that fit. And beets, radishes, whatever. It’s so easy to add variety to salads when you can just whip one of these out.
I also have a julienne handheld mandoline that I love to use for carrots, fat radishes, and zucchini.
Discosure: I’ve only used the Kuhn Rikon handheld mandolines so am useless to do a comparison with, for instance, the ones I’ve seen with ceramic blades. And I need to say that I have worked for Kuhn Rikon in the past, testing tools and writing marketing materials for them. Which is how I came to have a handheld mandoline and to learn how handy they are.