Best Salad Spinner of 2020
Leading the pack, the Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer performed very well in the battery of tests our lead reviewer threw at it. While it's slightly above average in price, its unique benefits outweigh the added expense. The unit was a breeze to get up to a high spin rate, which allowed for an impressive amount of water removal. We especially appreciated the ability of this model with freshly rinsed kale and blackberries. After two consecutive five-second spins, it managed to average 96.5% water removal across the four types of plants tested. The lid fits securely on the bowl while offering trouble-free clean-up. Although its braking button was small, it still easily stopped after a fast-spinning operation.
Not everything was perfect, though. Perhaps this unit could benefit from a redesign on the colander. In both the dirt test and its ability to be cleaned, the colander created issues that caused it to lose points. Despite this, this product more than made up for lower scores after receiving perfect scores in the water removal, ease of spinning, and ease of braking tests. If you are looking for the best overall spinner on the market, our team believes that the Mueller Vegetable Washer is the answer!
Many factors led to this unit placing well in our review, with just a few exceptions. The OXO Good Grips proved to be the best push-button style model in our fleet. The push-button fits nicely into the palm of a hand, and the downward force tends to make spinning operation very simple. The included brake button worked well and did not require excessive force to stop. Cleaning up was relatively easy because unlike other units that require you to remove a screw, this product's lid simply pulls apart. The colander did not have sharp edges making it easier to clean. In our water and dirt removal tests, this unit performed above average.
In future iterations of this model, it would be nice to see anti-slip pads on the bottom of the unit. We also believe the product would benefit from a redesign of the way the colander fits between the bowl and lid. The anti-slip pads would help the unit to slip less on smooth surfaces. The colander failed to stay in place at higher speeds. This creates a wobble in the unit, which has the potential to scuff salad bowls. Unfortunately, our lead reviewer's favorite salad bowl fell victim to this imperfection. Though these factors are worth being aware of, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks of this unit.
The Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS was surprisingly impressive, given its small size. Though it is smaller than many of the other choices in this review, it managed to remove water and dirt very well. The colander securely fit within the bowl, and the non-slip pads on the bottom stabilized the bowl during high-speed spinning. The clip to secure the colander onto the bowl does take an extra second or two, but it fastens easily. One nice feature, which only one other appliance in our round-up has, is a hole in the top of the lid. The hole allows you to add more water during operation. Once the lid is secure, you don't need to take it off until the greens are fully cleaned. Additionally, the crank arm is ergonomic. All of these factors combined to make fast-spinning easier.
We found the main limitation of this model was its braking performance. Sometimes the unit was difficult to hold securely after spinning at higher speeds because of the smaller lid. The best way to avoid this issue is to spin the colander slightly slower than top speed. This one small issue, however, was not a deal-breaker. This product won't let you down, especially if you want to save a little space in your kitchen for other appliances.
Strangely, the OVOS 5-Quart was very similar to the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS in many ways, but a few factors prevented it from breaking into the top three. The anti-slip pads on the bottom of the bowl and the hinges that attach the lid to the bowl make for very secure operation at speed. These high speeds surely contributed to its higher marks for water and dirt removal. This product did extremely well in our blackberry water removal test; it kept the fragile berries intact while still managing to remove over 95% of the water weight. The braking on this unit was above average and did not take as much effort as some of the other crank-arm style units. Our reviewer also found it easy to add more water during the spinning process thanks to a hole in the lid.
The colander on this unit proved to be fairly difficult to clean because of several sharp edges. The lid, with its two latches, also proved to be a bit difficult to clean quickly. Fortunately, a full-scale clean is of average difficulty because the entire unit can be disassembled. The hinges are sometimes difficult to secure. Our reviewer struggled several times throughout the review process to get the latches to fit correctly. Once the hinges are on, it does operate well, especially at higher speeds. Even with its small design flaws, the OVOS 5-Quart shows itself to be a good contender that would work well enough in any kitchen.
The OXO Steel did a few things quite well. The large, rubber bottom of the bowl, coupled with a securely-fit lid and colander, meant spinning was extremely user-friendly. The most notable attribute of the product is its above-average performance in our water removal tests. One of the most positive notes is that this spinner was able to remove water and dirt at an above-average level.
They say you can't judge a book by its cover, and that sentiment held here. Our reviewer had high hopes for the OXO Steel. The more expensive price tag and classic stainless steel construction would lead one to believe that this unit would perform at a higher level; unfortunately, this was not the case. Like its sister spinner, the OXO Good Grips, clean up was easy for the most part. However, there is a glaring difference between the two. The OXO Steel has a flimsy colander with sharper edges that can complicate the cleanup process. This unit offers a brake button to slow down the colander after a quick spin. The brake button on this unit proved to be the most difficult to operate due to the necessary force on the button. All of these factors lead to a subpar showing for this product. It still does its job, just not as elegantly as some of the other models in this review.
If you are looking for a spinner with a small footprint, then the Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible 3-Quart is a good choice. Though it underperformed in many of the tests our reviewer put it through, it still functions adequately in most situations. This spinner was very easy to clean. The silicone walls of the colander may have contributed to inferior marks in the water removal and dirt removal metrics, but they did prove easy to clean. Those same silicone walls are also what allow this product to collapse and nest very efficiently.
In many of the other categories, the Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible seemed to be plagued by issues related to the fragile and cheap feeling crank arm mechanism. The inadequacies of the crank arm led to slower spinning and harder-to-brake operation. This collapsible spinner might be your best bet to add to a camping or RV setup, but it fails to stack up well against the competition.
At 6.2 quarts, the Brieftons BR-SS-02 had the most capacity for greens. This is extremely handy when entertaining for a larger dinner party. Our tester found you could fit 6 - 8 large servings of salad in this spinner. The braking button worked extremely well, despite having the largest capacity. This is where this model shined, but on other functions and features, it failed to impress our reviewer.
The spinning mechanism's large button was easy enough to push and similar to the two OXO models also tested in this review; however, the colander tended to slip often. We believe this is partly due to the questionably designed "anti-slip" ring on the bottom of the bowl. This anti-slip ring failed to stay on the bottom of the bowl after one spin. After cleaning the unit, our lead reviewer was unable to reattach the non-slip ring in a way that prevented it from falling off again in later tests. These factors contributed to a disappointing showing in its ability to remove dirt and water because anytime the unit slipped, it meant less water or dirt was being removed. We would imagine working out some of the kinks in the design would help the Brieftons BR-SS-02 place much better in future reviews.
The Prepworks by Progressive was the smallest model tested at 2.5 quarts of capacity. Our team thought that by testing a range of sizes in our review, we could see if smaller spinners excelled in any areas. It turns out that poor design causes issues, no matter the size of the product. The size of the unit is not very conducive for rinsing larger garden green varieties, so you will probably want to do prep before spinning rather than after.
Even though this unit scored well in the ease of spinning and braking categories, it failed to remove a good amount of water or dirt in the battery of tests thrown at it. Somewhat surprisingly, during the blackberry water removal test, this unit performed the worst. Our reviewer found the poor construction to be most notable in holding the unit by the handle. Since the handle is its most unique feature, we had hoped it would at least be sturdy, but it is simply just not that sturdy. The least attractive attribute of this model was its difficulty in disassembling. A small nut and bolt hold the two pieces of the lid together. One must hope that these small parts do not become loose or risk having a defective product.
The Westmark German Vegetable Spinner was far from our favorite model. The root of its many problems seemed to stem from the spinner's flimsy construction. This led to a wobbly operation, which made it difficult to spin and ultimately lead to less removal of water and dirt. The one place where this model shined was in the braking category, but sadly this was mostly due to its poor spinning performance. This unit was honestly just frustrating to use at times.
In the dirt test, this spinner was only able to remove about 53% of the dirty water after its first five-second spin and 60% after its second spin, placing it at the bottom of the testing group. Adding to its poor showing was the difficulty our reviewer had in cleaning the unit. The colander was quite flexible and had some sharp edges, which made for difficult cleaning when using a sponge. Also, the lid does not seem able to be taken apart into two pieces, which causes an issue when trying to fully clean the nitty-gritty parts of the lid. Overall, this spinner will, at times, work effectively, however it leaves much to be desired, and our reviewer felt it would be better to choose any other model in this list over the Westmark German Vegetable Spinner.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our lead reviewer, Adam Minich, is an avid home gardener with a B.S. in Sociology from Ball State University. After years of using an older model spinner to clean and dry his store-bought and garden greens, it seemed time to see if there was a better alternative out on the market now. Every spring, he and his partner set up raised beds of arugula, kale, lettuce, collard greens, and all sorts of herbs. In short, they love salads and the great benefit they bring to their health. Sometimes, however, a home garden can bring with it spider webs, aphids, and dirt. It's always great to have a trusty salad spinner on hand to ensure your hard-earned veggies and fruits get properly prepared for consumption. Even store-bought or CSA veggies are often in need of an extra rinse.
In addition to his sociology background, Adam's interests include troubleshooting a range of complex issues such as car and motorcycle mechanics, home appliance issues, and designing databases for a range of different folks, professionally. You might wonder what that has to do with a review like this. Well, it means that Adam went the distance to ensure that each contender was compared in an unbiased, investigative way. Using calculations and automated formulas, he was able to leverage his knowledge of database design to establish a range of metrics useful to contrast the sometimes subtle differences between models.
Analysis and Test Results
Our lead tester identified five categories of importance to contrast performance and features between the nine spinners. The five metrics used were water removal, dirt removal, ease of spinning, ease of braking, and ease of cleaning. After 20 hours of testing per unit, these factors helped to create a holistic appraisal and understanding.
Each unit was tested on its ability to remove water from kale, arugula, romaine, and blackberries. The process was quite similar for all of the greens. One hundred grams of greens were carefully measured on a scale. The greens were then rinsed with cold water for 15 seconds, with a five-second delay to allow excess water to drain from the colander over the sink. The weight of the just rinsed greens was then measured and recorded. This was followed by a five-second spin and then a weight measurement, followed by another five-second spin and weight measurement. The process was almost identical for the blackberries. The only difference was the blackberries received a five-second rinse.
The OXO Good Grips, Prepworks by Progressive Spinner With Handle, Brieftons BR-SS-02, and Westmark German Vegetable Spinner all fell short of averaging 90% water removal. For this reason, they each received lower marks. Certain models struggled to operate smoothly, which is more thoroughly covered in the Ease of Spinning metric. This likely contributed to a subpar showing for some of these models.
In the kale test and the arugula test, the Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer, Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS, and OVOS 5-Quart all proved to be exceptional. The romaine test saw strong showings from the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS, OVOS 5-Quart, and OXO Good Grips. Finally, the blackberry test yielded very positive results for the Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer, OVOS 5-Quart, and OXO Good Grips. As you can see, it's very clear that four of the nine models were consistently the best at removing water.
The Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer gave a remarkable performance averaging about 93.2% water removal after one five-second spin and almost 96.5% water removal on average after two five-second spins. This spinner removed 100% of the water weight from kale and the blackberries after two spins. For this reason, it is the overall winner in the water removal category.
Anyone who has grown their vegetables knows that sometimes things can get a little, well, dirty during the harvesting process. Though greens from the store or your local farmers market would, most likely, never be this dirty, our lead reviewer saw it was necessary to put the spinners through a more extreme test.
For the dirt removal test, 100 grams of romaine lettuce was combined with a "dirty water" mixture made up of 95 grams of water and five grams of carefully sifted dirt to ensure evenness over samples. Each unit was measured before an initial five-second spin, weighed, and then measured again after an additional five-second spin.
In this metric category, the OXO Steel Salad Spinner was victorious, followed closely by the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS and OVOS 5-Quart Salad Spinner models. It's worth noting, however, that we did not find any particular spinner to be perfect on this test. The highest percentage of dirty water removal came from the OXO Steel Salad Spinner, which was able to remove 76.67% of the dirty water after one five-second spin, and 83.33% of the dirty water after an added five-second spin.
Certain units performed poorly in this category. The Prepworks by Progressive Spinner With Handle was only able to remove 63.33% of the dirty water. Our lead reviewer notes that this unit's poor performance in the dirt test may be due to the large silicone band that allows for the unit to be collapsible. The lowest performer was the Westmark German Vegetable Spinner, which removed just 60% of the dirty water.
Ease of Spinning
For this metric, the first thing to note is that the mechanism to spin the colander varies across models. Five spinners use a crank arm, three use a push button, and one uses a pull handle/arm. Any of these types of mechanisms can work effectively and ergonomically, but there were certain limitations to each type. Models with a crank arm can struggle to stay in place during the spinning action because the force is not applied in a downward fashion. Models that have a push-button don't suffer from staying in place; however, the colander will sometimes slip, especially at higher spinning speeds. The one model with a pull arm in this review seemed to not suffer either of these limitations. It is worth saying, however, that the pull arm is made out of plastic, which could cause problems with durability in the future, though we were unable to test this unit long term.
Most of the models tested did what a salad spinner is supposed to do: spin easily and spin quickly. While the colanders and bowls on the Brieftons BR-SS-02 and OVOS 5-Quart Salad Spinner slipped during operation, resulting in lower scores. The most underwhelming performance went to the Westmark German Vegetable Spinner. The lack of anti-slip pads on the bowl, along with the flimsy bowl and colander, make for difficult operation. When the colander on this model spun at higher speeds, it almost always got caught on the lid or the bowl, which did not allow for smooth spinning.
The top spinners for this metric were the Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer, OXO Steel Salad Spinner, and Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS. The common features for these three spinners were anti-slip bowls, secure colanders and lids, and easy-to-use spinning mechanisms. Out of this group, the Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer separated itself to win this category, as the pull-arm mechanism for spinning was extremely easy to use and could quickly get the colander moving at a high rate of speed.
Ease of Braking
It should be easy enough to get your veggies spinning because that's what they are designed for. However, not all of the units proved to be able to brake well. Four models include a brake button in their design, while the five with crank arm spinning mechanisms do not include a separate braking feature. Each braking system has its advantages and disadvantages. For the crank arm models, the brake is the crank arm. This style tended to be more challenging to slow than the button-style brakes when attempting to stop colanders moving at a higher speed. The button-style brakes were usually a bit more effective at braking, but the small buttons are not very ergonomic, and one unit, in particular, had a fairly useless brake button.
Throughout the testing process, our reviewer found that crank arms were fairly easy to stop, but not overly impressive in this regard. One unit, the Westmark German Vegetable Spinner, did shine here. Where this model failed in the ease of spinning category, it did make up for it with easier braking. We found this salad spinner to be far easier to stop than any of the other crank arm style units.
The units with a brake button were hit or miss. The OXO Steel Salad Spinner underperformed in this category. Despite having a very similar design theme to the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner, which worked fine here, the OXO Steel Salad Spinner's brake button consistently failed to "bite." Even after pressing the button with considerable pressure, the colander would still struggle to come to a complete stop. However, the Brieftons BR-SS-02 and OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner both had brake buttons that worked well. The Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer ended up sharing the best at braking title with the Westmark German Vegetable Spinner because the brake button did not require much force to bring the colander quickly to a stop.
Ease of Cleaning
The cleaning metric involved a few components. In most cases, one would not need to take the unit apart completely; however, this was remarkably difficult on certain spinners, while others showed themselves to be better designed.
Additionally, some units had a colander that was more difficult to clean for one reason or another. We attempted to take apart, clean, and prepare to dry each unit in under five minutes. All of the contenders proved to be able to be cleaned within this timeframe, but some were easier than others. Five of the models impressed us throughout the cleaning process. These were the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS Salad, OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner, OXO Steel Salad Spinner, Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer, and Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Spinner 3-Quart.
The Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS and OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner both received high marks for their easy to clean colanders, as our sponge failed to get caught up on sharp edges. The progressive collapsible's colander was also easy to clean, seeing as solid silicone makes up a large part of the colander's wall. Certain colanders had sharp edges or flimsy construction, which made them tougher to clean. One particular note here is that the OXO models are quite similar in many ways, but our reviewer found the OXO Steel Salad Spinner's colander to be noticeably more flimsy, which resulted in a slightly lower score.
Both of the OXO models ultimately came out on top here for their similar easy-to-disassemble lids. Nothing to unscrew, just pull away the two lid pieces to clean underneath. The OVOS 5-Quart Salad Spinner, Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS, and Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer spinners each had similar plastic screws holding their lids together, which were almost as easy to take apart as the OXO models. The Prepworks by Progressive Spinner With Handle has a nut and bolt that make for a secure, but, unfortunately, very difficult to disassemble lid. The Westmark German Vegetable Spinner and Brieftons BR-SS-02 models both had lids that our reviewer decided not to remove due to their seeming lack of ability to do so.
Only one model offered the ability to collapse into a smaller footprint. This was the Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Spinner 3-Quart. This option presented itself as a potentially great choice for folks with less cabinet space in their kitchens, or those who may want to bring this kitchen appliance in their RV or camping setup. Both the bowl and colander on the Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Spinner 3-Quart proved to be sturdier than expected.
Two models, the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS and the OVOS 5-Quart Salad Spinner, had a hole in the top of the lid. This is a nice feature that allows for more water to be added while spinning. The OVOS 5-Quart Salad Spinner has two clips/buckles while the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS has one clip/buckle that secures the lid to the bowl. This made for both desirable and negative outcomes. It's desirable because it means the lid is very secure, making for easy spinning without any wobbling, but other models were able to accomplish this without any clips. Conversely, it's a negative because it means you have to take extra time to secure the buckles.
The singular model to have a bowl made out of material other than plastic is the OXO Steel Salad Spinner. As the name implies, the bowl is constructed out of durablei and classy, stainless steel. Although it's somewhat subjective, our reviewer found the bowl to be the most attractive for serving purposes.
When the lettuce settled, there could be only one winner in this shootout, but several models impressed our team. We hope that by putting these nine models through an array of tests, we were able to help guide you toward a clear choice. No matter what you ultimately choose, pat yourself on the back for eating healthy and clean!
— Adam Minich