Best Salad Spinner of 2021
The Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer performed well in the battery of tests that we threw at it. Though it is 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. After two consecutive five-second spins, it averaged 96.5% water removal across the four types of plants tested. We especially appreciated the ability of this model with freshly rinsed kale and blackberries. 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're after an excellent spinner, this might be the answer.
The Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS was surprisingly impressive, given its small size. Though it is smaller than many other choices in this review, it removed water and dirt well. 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. 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. All of these factors 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 dealbreaker. This product won't let you down, especially if you want to save a little space in your kitchen for other appliances.
The OXO Good Grips is one of the best push-button style models in our fleet. The push-button fits nicely into the palm of our hand, and the downward force made the spinning operation very simple. Cleaning up was relatively easy because, unlike other units that require you to remove a screw, this product's lid simply pulls apart. The included brake button worked well and did not need excessive force to stop. In our water and dirt removal tests, this unit performed above average. The colander did not have sharp edges making it easier to clean.
In future iterations of this model, it would be nice to see anti-slip pads on the bottom of the unit. The colander failed to stay in place at higher speeds; this creates a wobble in the unit, which can scuff salad bowls. Unfortunately, our lead reviewer's favorite salad bowl fell victim to this imperfection. We also believe the product would benefit from a redesign of how the colander fits between the bowl and lid. Though these factors are worth being aware of, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks of this model.
The OXO Good Grips Little Salad and Herb Spinner 4.0 brings the same high-quality design of the OXO Good Grips but in a much smaller package. The larger model has a 4.95-quart capacity basket, while this version's basket only has a 2.44-quart capacity. Besides the obvious reduction in volume, what this really translates to is a much smaller storage footprint—which in a world full of kitchen gadgets is a huge plus. If you are a single person or don't find yourself washing large quantities of greens all at once, we found this device's size ideal for our salad and greens consumption. As with the other Good Grips spinner, this device has a comfortable and easy-to-operate push button and a highly effective brake that takes minimal effort to engage. Spinning off both water and dirt with ease, this OXO model left us with few complaints.
One of the few design flaws we found with this little spinner was a sticky storage latch. To make storage even easier, you can depress the push button and lock the button flush with the top. While this is a handy function, we found that the latch would occasionally get stuck and would need to be fiddled with to release. If you are looking for a high-quality option that won't take up large amounts of precious storage space, look no further.
The OVOS 5-Quart was very similar to the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS in many ways. 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 undoubtedly contributed to its higher marks for water and dirt removal. This product did exceptionally 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. We 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 somewhat challenging to clean because of several sharp edges. The lid, with its two latches, also proved to be a bit challenging 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. We 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 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 could remove water and dirt at an above-average level.
We 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 clean-up process. The brake button on this unit proved to be the most difficult to operate due to the force required to use 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 functioned 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 exceptionally 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 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 design kinks would help the Brieftons BR-SS-02 place much better in future reviews.
The Farberware salad spinner is a push-powered and brake-equipped option, with an internal basket with a 5.25-quart capacity. With more than adequate functionality, this spinner is a mid-level performer in removing both water and dirt. It isn't the absolute best performer in either metric but, for the most part, left our greens plenty dry and clean. The rubberized bottom keeps the device from wiggling across the counter while in use, and the brake, while not instantaneous, works well enough.
While this spinner, without a doubt, can get the job done, the design isn't as polished as some of the more premium options. The top seriously rattles when in use, and the thin plastic bowl has a concerning amount of flex to it. Given the large capacity, average performance, and low price, this salad spinner is a good choice for someone looking to wash large amounts of greens without spending too much money in the process.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our salad spinning expert team is lead by Adam Minich with assistance from Buck Yedor. Adam is an avid home gardener that uses each product daily. For years, he has been using a salad spinner to clean and dry his store-bought and garden greens. Every spring, he and his partner set up raised beds of arugula, kale, lettuce, collard greens, and all sorts of herbs. Sometimes, however, a home garden can bring with it spider webs, aphids, and dirt. Using one for this clean-up of his homegrown veggies proves to be a daily occurrence. Buck has expertise in various commercial kitchens, and his input has helped assess each product.
During our tests, we evaluated several products that are designed to dry and clean veggies. We chose options ranging from small and compact to large and voluminous. In addition to evaluating the functionality of each, we designed objective tests to look at how well each cleans fine particulates and dries. We also look at the capacity and ease of use. After hours of spinning veggies, we gather our data for a well-rounded look at what the best salad spinners on the market have to offer.
Analysis and Test Results
Our lead tester identified five categories of importance to contrast performance and features between the ten spinners. The five metrics used were water removal, dirt removal, ease of spinning, ease of braking, and ease of cleaning. These factors helped to create a holistic appraisal and understanding of each product.
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 and the Brieftons BR-SS-02 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 ten 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 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.
The OXO Steel was victorious in this metric category, 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 removed 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, specifically the Breifton, which only removed 67% of the dirt water, and the Mueller, which only removed 70% of the dirt 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, four use a push button, and one uses a pull handle/arm. 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 with 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. However, it is worth saying 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 we tested did what a salad spinner is supposed to do — spin easily and spin quickly. The colanders and bowls on the Brieftons BR-SS-02 and OVOS 5-Quart slipped during operation, resulting in lower scores.
The top spinners for this metric were the Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer, OXO Steel, and Cuisinart's CTG-00-SSAS and SAS models. The standard 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 these spinners are designed for. However, not all of the units were able to brake well. Some models include a brake button in their design, while others 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.
The units with a brake button were hit or miss. The Brieftons BR-SS-02 and OXO Good Grips both had brake buttons that worked well. The Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer had the best functioning break.
The OXO Steel Salad Spinner, however, 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'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.
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 were 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, Cuisinart CTG-00-SAS, OXO Good Grips, OXO Steel, Mueller 5-Liter Vegetable Washer, and Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Spinner 3-Quart.
The OXO Good Grips and the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS received high marks for their easy-to-clean colanders, as our sponge didn't get caught up on sharp edges. The progressive collapsible's colander was also easy to clean because solid silicone comprises 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's colander was flimsier, which resulted in a slightly lower score.
The OXO models ultimately came out on top here for their similar easy-to-disassemble lids. Nothing to unscrew; just pull away the lid pieces to clean underneath. The OVOS 5-Quart Salad Spinner, Cuisinart CTG-00-SAS, 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 Brieftons BR-SS-02 had a lid that our reviewer decided not to remove due to how involved the process would have been.
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.
Three models, the Cuisinart CTG-00-SSAS, Cuisinart CTG-00-SAS, 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 could 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, it's constructed out of durable and classy stainless steel. Although it's somewhat subjective, our reviewer found the bowl to be the most attractive for serving purposes.
There could be only one winner in this shootout when the lettuce settled, but several models impressed our team. We hope that by putting these ten 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.
— Buck Yedor & Adam Minich