dealshoffritz mandoline slicer for $22.00


30$ on Amazon, with three stars. Although at least one of the reviews seems to be by someone who doesn't actually have the thing, since he says the blade is straight, when it's obviously angled in the picture. The integrated bowl looks cool.

To prevent the problems with the handguard, get yourself a cut resistant kevlar glove. Makes it a lot easier to handle stuff like carrots that won't fit in the guard.