Choose the Right Slicer for your Needs

Before purchasing your slicer, it’s important that to take into consideration what you intend to use your slicer for. Manufacturers make slicers for specific products, such as, meats, cheeses, or vegetables.

You will also need to take into consideration how much you will be using your slicer. Slicers vary from light to heavy duty, but if pushed beyond their capacity, can burn out quickly.


Here are some quick guidelines to follow, when finding your slicer:

Light Duty

Light Duty Slicers have up to a 1/3 HP and a blade diameter that is typically 9-12”. They are best for light use, an hour or two at most per day. These are typically not meant for slicing cheese and are the basic model level. These are perfect for small operations that slice for 1-2 hours a day.

Medium Duty

Medium Duty Slicers have 1/3 or ½ HP and a blade diameter that is typically 11-12”. Some models can slice cheese occasionally, but should be mainly used for deli meat and vegetables. These typically have more safety features and can be used up to a few hours a day. These are perfect for restaurants and smaller sandwich shops.

Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty Slicers  have ½ HP motors or better and a blade diameter that is typically 12-14”. They are designed to be used all day and can also slice cheese. These will typically be found in large restaurants, delis, and supermarkets.


Additional Features to consider:

Manual is where the product sits on the carriage and the operator manually pushes the product past the rotating blade.

Semi-automatic is when the slicer can be operated manually, but also have the option to choose the thickness of the slicing, stroke length, and the speed. This allows you to accommodate different types of foods, while letting the slicer run on its own.

Fully automatic can be programmed to continuously slice a specific number of slices, and then be placed on a belt or in a specific pattern. Typically for shingling slices of cheese for deli trays or packaging. Mainly used in supermarkets, or high-volume resorts or casinos.

Cleanability (Kickstand) allows for you to prop your slicer with the kickstand, so that it’s easier to clean all the parts.

Keep your Slicer Sharp

Keeping your blade or knife sharp on your slicer is important. The sharper the blade is, the better it performs, and the safer it is.  If the blade starts to break, tear, or cut your product inconsistently, this means it’s time to sharpen it. When considering your blade or knife, look for the Rockwell rating, it usually ranges from 50-62. The higher the rating number, the longer it holds its edge.

Safety First

When any type of equipment has a knife or blade, it is important to take steps to ensure safety. Firstly, making sure that your employees are properly educated on how to operate the machine is the most important step.

No-volt release is a safety feature that requires the user to push the power button again, after the slicer has been unplugged for cleaning or interrupted from a power outage.

Knife guards are designed to expose as little blade as possible. Some knife guards are removable, to allow for cleaning, others are permanently attached.

Gauge plate interlock is a safety feature that requires the gauge plate to be set at zero, so that the carriage can be tilted or removed for cleaning.

Last Slice of Advice

A few last tips to keep in mind, when using a slicer.

  • Slicers perform the best when the foods they're cutting are around 32ºF
  • Serrated blades should be used if you will be cutting anything that is frozen
  • Use manufacturer recommended oil only. Vegetableoil should never be used, the friction will create a sticky mess.
  • Slicers should be on a stand that is no higher than 31-1/2" high. When the price tray is counter height, this allows for the most comfort for the operator.

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