Thomas: The Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer

Jan. 16, 2013 @ 06:05 AM

Are you still enjoying your Christmas gifts, or have they already been banished to the closet recycle gift bin for next year?  I’m putting mine to good use, especially my favorite: the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer (Bananas Not Included).

Forget your cheese graters, lemon zesters, garlic presses, Julienne Shredders, and citrus peelers, the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer is a kitchen Godsend.

Instead of wasting some 12 seconds slicing a banana erratically with a conventional, dangerous knife, I’ve now shaved the process down to a mere 2 seconds (less with practice) with the safe Hutzler – think of the time savings when spread over a lifetime of banana slicing!

The Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer is just under 11 inches long and comes in attractive planation camouflage yellow.  Sure, it looks like a tiny, distorted ladder you might install in a birdcage, but the slicing mechanism has obviously been tirelessly refined to banana slashing precision after many years of research and development, since it has clearly evolved through 570 previously flawed versions.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should also point out that there are other commercial banana slicers on the market. For instance, Bed, Bath & Beyond sell a product that looks like a giant dog toenail clipper which you use to clip the banana slices one at a time. Yeah, right, like I want that hassle with my busy lifestyle.

Although my Slicer came without a detailed user’s guide, I was able to call the company’s toll-free emergency hotline (1-800-GO-BANANAS) for instructional guidance to talk me through the operating procedure:

“First, peel the banana,” said Chiquita, the pleasant, helpful operator. “Lay in on the countertop and place the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer on top of the banana.”

“Then what?” I asked impatiently.

“Okay, so then you gently press the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer onto your banana, resulting in perfect half-inch banana slices every time! Do you need me to repeat the instructions?”

“No,” I replied gratefully. “I’m actually recording this conversation in case I have a problem later.”

And I must say, the operator was quite accurate: consistently sized banana slices at my fingertips. Since the slicing slats are rather blunt, I agree that removing the skin first is advisable; otherwise, instant banana smoothie.

What a shame I didn’t have a Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer when my kids were in elementary school. Sending them off with school lunches consisting of uneven banana slices led to many years of lunchtime mocking by the bratty, sliced fruit purist crowd.

As further proof of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer’s appeal, we recently had neighbors to dinner and for dessert I offered up a banana cream pie made with, you guessed it, the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer.

“Oh my goodness, this is the best banana cream pie ever!” said the wife, examining the fruit pieces with her kitchen caliper. “Those slices are flawless and symmetrical. How did you do it?”

I bathed in the glow of her praise as long as I could, but eventually yielded to her interrogation. “Okay, okay,” I confessed. “It was the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer.”

My reputation as the neighborhood culinary whiz was shot.

If you need more evidence of the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer’s popularity as a must-have kitchen utensil, check out the reviewers’ comments on the Amazon web site from thousands of satisfied customers, just like me. Thanks Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer!


Thomas' features and columns have appeared in more than 270 magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Christian Science Monitor. He can be reached at his blog: