Because of their ability to slice meats and cheeses, a commercial slicer is a very important part of your kitchen. They deliver a much more even slice than what can be done by hand and can produce a more consistent size. By having an even, consistent slice, you can save money by increasing production while also presenting a neat appearance to customers. There is a variety of different models available, so it is important to find the one that is right for your business. This guide should help make your decision a little easier. More
Commercial slicers are available in both manual and automatic varieties. With a manual model, the operator must move the cutter back and forth consistently to produce the desired product. These are frequently found in sandwich shops, small delis, or restaurants as they give a precise cut that is dictated by the operator. Automatic models feature an electric motor to move the cutter back and forth, thus eliminating the time, labor, and safety risk that comes with the manual ones. These are best for bulk cutting. Because of this, they are typically found in grocery stores. If a need arises where a precise cut is necessary, an automatic model can turn off the electric motor and let you cut manually. Automatic units tend to be more expensive than manual models.
There are three ranges of blade size available: 9 inch small models, 10 inch medium models, and 12 to 14 inch large models. The blade size is a good indicator what the model will be good at cutting. Smaller 9 inch models can cut for less than a half hour at a time and are a good choice for fresh meats. They are typically found in manual slicers at small delis. The slightly larger 10 inch models can cut for more extended times than the 9 inch models, typically a half hour to a full hour. Many models can slice softer types of cheese for a brief amount of time but are not recommended for heavier cheeses or for cutting for long amounts of time. The 12 to 14 inch blades are the toughest and strongest and are designed to cut dense items such as frozen meats. These blades are found on the most powerful models and allow them to cut for multiple hours at a time. If you will be frequently slicing cheese, these blades are the only way to go. Because of their strength, 12 inch blades are the most popular blade choice.
Depending on what the user is cutting, the amount of horsepower the motor has can be very important. Lower-powered models have 1/5 horsepower. While this is plenty for a small deli, this would be very underpowered for a high-volume restaurant or a grocery store. More powerful models have either a 1/4 horsepower or 1/3 horsepower motor. These motors can be found in units designed for more frequent use. The most powerful models have 1/2 horsepower and are found in the strongest models.
All models are either driven by a gear or a belt. Belt driven models are the most popular and can be found in everything from the least powerful models to the most. These are less expensive than models with a gear drive. The trade-off is that eventually the belt will need to be serviced. Gear-driven models are only found in the most expensive and strongest models. While not requiring service as frequently as a model with a belt, when something does goes wrong with the drive system, it does cost significantly more to repair them.
All models are made from either stainless steel or aluminum. Many models are made of aluminum. These are less expensive than stainless steel but are not as strong or as durable. Besides being stronger, stainless steel models are also easier to clean. Because of the added costs, stainless steel construction is reserved for only the most expensive models.
New NSF Standards
If you are replacing an older model, you will find that NSF Certified new models come with several features your old one didn’t have in order to keep your unit safer. For example, the sharpener, screws, and end weights are all easily removable to encourage cleaning of these items. Also, you will find controls such as power button and knobs have been encased to prevent bacteria from entering the areas around these controls.