I had some zucchini angel hair with pesto at a potluck and was so amazed by it, I have been seeking the right tool for the job ever since. The little Joyce Chen gadget many seem to rave about gets such mixed reviews, I was afraid to try it. When I came upon the Benriner, I was sure I knew which brand I wanted - but was not sure whether I should go with the cook help (upright) model or the horizontal model.
I couldn't really find anything comparing the two. Best I could tell, they were the same, but one you pushed down on, and the other you pushed sideways one. The most compelling reasons to go with the upright model seemed to be cost and it seems like it should be easier to push down, than sideways. The most compelling reason to go with the horizontal model were the pile could grow bigger as you worked and you wouldn't have to move the unit, you could use bigger chunks of vegetables, and it seemed you could do a cabbage. I could not find a picture of cabbage being done on the upright one. For some reason I really want to do a cabbage on this thing so I got very hung up on that idea.
I'll spare you the details of HOW I ended up with 2 of them... but I did. The Cook Help we were going to return but ended up giving it to my mother in law and in the interest of science we tested both units. So now I can write what may be the lone review comparing the two units. (She was here while we did this, it wasn't a case of we used it and then said "Hey, here's a present for ya!" - just so I don't sound rude or anything here, LOL)
I did some zucchini on mine, with the medium blade. It worked GREAT. Yes, it does feel like the Play Doh Fun Factory for adults. Yes, the blades are very sharp. Yes the unit seems awfully expensive for what it is but it seems pretty sturdy - time will tell. What sold me on this brand over other brands is the ability to buy replacement brands.
When you use the horizontal model, you end up with a pile of "pasta" as well as a nail-shaped thing, a round disk of vegetable with a core about as thick as a pencil. This works it's way through a hole near the blade. For some veggies, like zucchini or cucumber, this is good - as this is the wet, seedy, messy part of the veggie. For others, like carrot, I think this model just wastes a lot. (BUT if you have kids who like carrot sticks, it's good... really, there are things you can do with the "waste" so it's not REALLY wasted - smoothies, veggie stock, etc)
The upright model does not have the hole to make this core. Instead it just grinds up the whole veggie, with the seedy stuff getting really mashed and wet near the center of the device, where the hole would be in the other one.
By the time we decide to try the upright model, instead of send it back, we were out of zucchini, so we used cucumber in both. The horizontal model makes drier, neater "pasta," I think due to the elimination of the core. The upright model makes wetter, slightly messier "pasta." Not super disgusting messy or anything, but you will see a difference if you compare both machines.
The downside of this is, we think - though we didn't try - the upright machine may be better for veggies like carrots, daikon, etc where you could use the whole thing. No waste.
So which is better? For zucchini and cukes, the horizontal machine is a little better. For carrots, we think the upright is better. Both will suffice for either - though I still don't know about cabbage! I am happy I bought my horizontal model, and my mother in law is happy so far with her freebie upright. The blades are the same between the two machines, it's just that lack of a hole that is different. I guess it comes down to budget and what veggies you think you will do most of. (And you can't just drill a hole in the upright model!!! It's really a hole with a round metal blade in it, like an apple corer)
So there you have it. A review finally comparing the two. I hope this helps some people out. Maybe I will update when my mother in law actually gives zucchini a go on her machine.