Several features can help a person decide which salad spinner is the best. One of the first things to look at is the design of the handle or turning mechanism for the inner bowl, because it should be easy to use and not overly complex. The inner bowl of the spinner should be sturdy, with openings that are not overly large and not so small that water will not be able to escape. Some optional features, such as a non-slip base, weighted bowl or even a tight-fitting lid so the bowl can immediately be used as a storage container, can be important in some kitchens. The overall appearance and design of the bowl also should be looked at, because a salad spinner can be constructed of many materials, from plastic to stainless steel, each giving the device a different overall aesthetic.
It is directly related to the functionality of the salad spinner, so the design of the spinning mechanism and the way in which it is used is important. Models that include a handle to directly spin the bowl or a grip attached to a cord that is pulled out from the machine both work well and are solid, but they require more effort to use than other types. A popular variation is a salad spinner with a large button-like cylinder on top; pushing the cylinder down spins the inner bowl. There also are electric salad spinners that come with a small motor to automatically spin the bowl when activated.
Beyond the spinning mechanism, the inner bowl of a salad spinner should be looked at. The inner bowl holds the vegetables or herbs being crisped and should have openings that are not so large that leaves will fly through them or so small that water has no way to escape. The bowl also should be easy to clean and easy to take in and out of the larger spinner.
The outer design of the salad spinner can be important, especially if it will be used regularly and might be in plain view on a counter at all times. Basic spinners are made from plastic, sometimes transparent and sometimes opaque. Some models make the outer bowl from thick glass so it can double as a serving dish. A few types of salad spinner actually have a stainless steel bowl for durability and for a more elegant appearance in some kitchen settings.
Other features that can be helpful include grips on the bottom of the salad spinner to prevent it from spinning on slippery countertops. Many designs come with lids that fit tightly on top of the container so freshly spun salad can be quickly stored in a refrigerator for later use. One last consideration should be the size of the spinner, because large models might be useful but hard to store, while a bowl that is too small might require several separate batches to make large salads for a group.