Culina Space Saving Salad Spinner, 5-Quart: Kitchen & Dining

Our 8-year-old Oxo (push down "plunger") died, so, before automatically replacing it, I decided to try the competition. I didn't want a pull-string model (too much work). I thought a horizontal crank (on top of the lid) might be a good alternative, but the ones I tried felt like they required too much effort vis-à-vis how effectively they worked. There were lots of variations; e.g., Cuisinart makes one with locking tabs that were, for us, a pain in the neck. And the capacity was too small. And other variations on the theme.So I got another OXO at BB&B. It has a concave bowl (the old bowl was convex), and I don't know if that made/makes any difference in terms of functionality. The basket seemed to be made of a heavier plastic than the old one. It worked fine, although it made a funny squeaking noise when "up to speed."At the same time, I got this highly rated Culina from Amazon, because the cranking mechanism--on the side--seemed very logical to me. (FYI: I'm in good shape and relatively strong, so it's not like ANY of these was "difficult" to turn/work. It's just that I appreciate good design, things that are simply made, intuitive, and work the way they're supposed to.) The Culina IS beautifully designed, ergonomic, and VERY easy to turn the crank. It has 4 rubber feet to hold it in place... which is nice, but not absolutely necessary. Given the physics of the cranking motion, you could put the product on a dish towel and it would work fine (i.e., it won't spin away from you, because you're, in effect, pushing down on it with the cranking motion). Oxo has a rubber ring on the bottom, btw, if that makes any difference to you.I noticed that the basket has an interesting criss-crossing/diagonal design; most baskets are a simple grid. I don't know if this helps repel the water--or it's the amount of centrifugal force generated by the crank that's most important--but it works exceptionally well.I also noticed that the little inverted "cone" in the middle of the bowl--on which the basket sits--seemed to be higher/more pointy than the ones in other spinners. Again, I don't know if it IS higher (tough to measure) or if it makes a difference in terms of water dispersal. But there it is.

Whatever, we love the Culina. It does the best job in the easiest way. My only negative: it's taller than the others; there's no way to fold the crank or invert the top to store it in a shallow shelf. So whatever they say the height is, THAT's the height. In our case, we have adjustable shelves, so no problem raising the shelf one notch up. I returned the Oxo and kept the Culina.

Category: Personal Finance

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