Unitasker Wednesday: BeanSlice

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

It is rare that someone submits a unitasker and my first thought is, “I want that!” But this week, that was my response. Even I, the UNCLUTTERER, am tempted by plastic doodads that do the exact same thing as the knives I already own. Oh, sweet temptation! Introducing the BeanSlice:

It is strange to me that this shoe-horn looking device is something I want to own. But, French-cut green beans are my favorite style for preparing long beans. And, it took me awhile to perfect cutting them by hand with a knife (beans are pesky and move around). I will refrain from buying this, though, since it’s not something I need and I’ve become someone actually quite fast at cutting beans with a knife.

Now, if someone were to buy it for me …

Thanks go to reader Hannah for finding this unitasker.

23 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: BeanSlice”

  1. posted by Gumnos on

    While it wasn’t fancy green plastic and shoe-horn shaped, my mother has owned a green-bean frencher as long as I can remember. Additionally, I can remember exactly once in the last 30-mumble yrs that it was used—she handed it to me as a tween and instructed me to french-cut a pile of beans primarily to keep me out of her hair. 🙂

    Now we both just buy frozen french-cut green beans.

  2. posted by Lyn on

    I have to confess, I just ordered a different one, I feel foolish, but I only like green beans frenched, and I hate doing it! What I thought was really funny, was the Amazon ‘Buy 3 things together’ deal – they were ALL bean frenchers! How many do they think we could want?

  3. posted by Helen on

    Yes, Lyn! I was coming to comment on that as well…”Frequently Bought Together” and they are 3 of the same thing! LOL

  4. posted by Allison on

    I don’t think uni-taskers are inherently bad, if they’re good at the one task and it’s a task you a) find important and b) do frequently or c) the multi-tasker way of doing it is impractical or more difficult or somehow not very good.

    I think it’s important to limit unitaskers, but most people I know own one or two that for them are valuable. Which ones are useful is a highly subjective, individual preference, but for someone who loves french cut beans and would rather not do them with a knife, I don’t think this is that ridiculous a product. It wouldn’t be useful for me, but then, someone else might not think a pasta roller or an ice cream maker were useful items, and I am very happy to give them space.

  5. posted by whyawhelk on

    I don’t own this one, but I have two other green bean slicers in my drawer, and I’m happy to have them. They only do one thing, yes, but I happen to be very fond of the thing they do, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to replicate what they do with any knife. They also slice off a paper thin bit of both edges of the bean, the bit that’s not very nice. I specifically got someone to buy me more than one, from another country, and bring them to me in Holland so I could have French cut beans without spending 40 minutes cutting them. I would happily throw away about 30 other multitasking utensils in my kitchen before even considering getting rid of either of my bean slicers.

  6. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Allison — Single-purpose items (like fire extinguishers and toilets) aren’t unitaskers because they have high utility. The term unitasker is more derogatory, implying that the object doesn’t even have utility or has extremely low utility. So, if you use an object often and that object is perfectly suited to your needs (like your pasta roller or ice cream maker), it’s a single-purpose item instead of a unitasker.

    In this case, I don’t have a need for the object since I can quickly and easily use a knife instead. It would likely just sit in my drawer, creating clutter. Hence, unitasker.

  7. posted by Living the Balanced Life on

    It is just a shame that people go thru the trouble to create and produce and distribute this stuff! But I guess if people are actually BUYING it, oh well…

  8. posted by Isara on

    My parents have got something similar – different shape, same purpose – that they bought for making thinly sliced spring onions for peking duck rolls. The one you’ve pictured is MUCH cuter though!

  9. posted by Lynne on

    The one I have is a potato peeler at one end with a bean frencher on the other end. I had it for years before I knew why my potato peeler had this funny thing on the opposite end!

  10. posted by Rebecca on

    This is one that I wouldn’t mind having. Frenching beans by hand (that sounds naughty) is such a pain, but I love them prepared that way!

  11. posted by Val on

    I do agree that in the kitchen, some single task items can have very high utility. (You’d have to pry the electric kettle out of my hands to get me to stop using it)
    It can be hard to decide what you need. I’m “building” my first kitchen of supplies right now and some items are obviously very useful, like the aforementioned kettle or my cast iron frying pan, but I’m still trying to work out which other items I need.

  12. posted by priest's wife on

    actually- I guess I am weird- I hate my green beans french-sliced (don’t ask me why- I have no idea)

  13. posted by priest's wife on

    Val- search the blog “simple bites”- she has a few lists of kitchen stuff that are useful

  14. posted by Sam on

    My parents got good use out of their bean slicer. It was safer and easier to use than a knife so quite small children could be sat next to a big bowl of beans and put to work in helping to prepare dinner.

  15. posted by Ruth on

    Wonder if this would also do skinny carrot sticks? I love carrot sticks and don’t ever take time to make them.

  16. posted by Jen on

    @Allison and Erin – I agree that there are many single-task items that are useful and necessary in our lives (though they vary by person). In fact, if one item tries to do too many things, it often ends up not doing any of them very well – the printer/copier/scanner/fax dilemma. Sometimes it’s better to own just a printer that prints high quality photos if that’s what is important to you. (Or maybe you just need one item that gets the job done and a mediocre job on all of those things is just fine, as it is in my house.) But this general principle applies to many different types of items in the house – I recently bought a new microwave and came across a couple of models that were toaster ovens AND microwaves in one and thought I’d like to combine the two to gain the counter space. But I read the reviews and found that these units neither toasted nor microwaved very well.

  17. posted by Amy on

    @Val, Just start with the absolute basics. There is no harm in struggling in the kitchen for a while until you decide that you cannot live with out an item. By the time you break down and buy the needed item, you will know what you are looking for in that product. It is amazing how even when you have something basic, like a can opener or potato masher you think, Oh, I wish I had one that has rubber grips or I wish I had one that is longer. At least you’ll know how it will really be used.

  18. posted by Janelle on

    This is so funny because when I saw this on Real Simple’s website last week, I almost sent this to you for a unitasker! I’m sure others had the same idea as me.

  19. posted by NeenaJ on

    I like my green beans straight out of the can. Problem solved.

  20. posted by Alix on

    A slicer? Why, it juliennes! If I liked green beans I, too, would be sorely tempted. It’s cute.

  21. posted by Rachel on

    Haha, my first thought when I saw this post was, “wow, I kind of want one of those…” I can eat my green beans any which way, so I think I’ll stick to just trimming the ends for now 🙂

  22. posted by Jacquie on

    I am not sure which beans the US call green beans. In the UK green beans are the round ones, also known as french beans. I would never think of slicing these as they are usually very skinny anyway – less than a 1/4″ across.

    Runner beans on the other hand, which are much wider than they are deep, should always be (in my view)sliced. All my nearly 60 years of life there has been a bean slicer in the drawer wherever I live; why slice with a knife when you can cut the bean just by pulling it through. Way quicker. But they are small rectangular cutters and much less cumbersome than this.

    If you need to cut the sides off, they are about two days too old, which is why many, many people in the UK grow their own; often the only vegetable they do grow. For sale they wait until they are much bigger, but then you need to throw the sides away and they are a much bigger hassle to prepare. Picked small they have a lovely flavour.

    When my SIL first emigrated to Canada her neighbour was growing them as an ornamental plant over the adjoining fence, and thought SIL very strange when she asked if she could pick the beans, then found it a good idea as they flowered for longer. She never did try eating them.

  23. posted by Malcolm on

    For once, a unitasker which I would never be without. Our bean slicer is a bit different from this one; it has a blade on the outside of it for topping and tailing the beans. This summer, lots of runner beans – the old one was getting blunt after 20 years – so we bought a new one very willingly. Essential in our kitchen.

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