A curly fry cutting machine works by first pushing the potato into the grip of a spiral rod that is attached to a handle. When the chef rotates the handle, the potato is turned in a spiral fashion and lowered onto a sharp blade that cuts the potato in spirals or curls.
Kitchen Emporiums and Walmart both sell the Progressive International Curly Fry Cutter, as of August 2015. This tool for the home kitchen makes curly potatoes and yams, and comes with two blades, straight and julienne. The blade is housed within a plastic container for safety purposes, and the unit holds 3 cups of spiral potatoes. The entire cutting machine can be washed on the top rack of a dishwasher. The unit is hand-operated, needing no batteries or electricity.
As of August 2015, the Progressive International Curly Fry Cutter had received over 100 customer reviews on Amazon with an average of four out of five stars. Many reviewers stated that the product was quick and easy and performed exactly as advertised. Some reviews mentioned that the instructions were difficult to understand and that the cook needed to cut large potatoes in half for the machine to work.
Restaurants and professional kitchens also use curly fry cutters, such as the Nemco N55050AN Spiral Fry Curly Fry Cutter. This cutter has a larger rod than the Progressive International model; the Nemco cutter can handle larger potatoes and make longer spiral fries than the home kitchen version. The professional chef can purchase different blade assemblies for various styles of French fries, including wavy, ribbon and chip.