I thought I was the only one, but I too was afraid of the food processor
before I learned to use it :) We got a mini-cuisinart for our wedding
and it took me about 2 years to try it...only after I saw my husband
using it and he showed me how. The safety feature is that it will not
work unless it is assembled correctly. So there's no way you can slice
your fingers (assuming you handle the blade carefully, of course) which
is what I was worried about. The mini size is great for chopping onions,
A couple of years ago we got the 11-cup cuisinart, and I love that one too.
It came with a video, which I'm almost embarassed to say I watched, but
it increased my comfort level tremendously. Again, it won't run
unless it's assembled correctly.
Also, these both are dishwasher safe - important for my lazy soul.
And I'm pretty sensitive to noise and they've never bothered me.
My advise - give it a try. It will be well worth it! :)
Good luck, Laurel