What’s inside this buyer’s guide
- How to choose the right meat slicer for your needs?
- Parts of a meat slicer
- Other features to consider
- Safety features
- Best commercial meat slicers
- Frequently asked questions
- Meat slicer glossary
- Keep your cash, use ours!
Slicing meat without the right commercial meat slicer is like trying to cut through a thick steak with a butter knife.
It's frustrating, time-consuming, and the end result is far from perfect.
Operating a busy sandwich shop, a premium dining establishment, or a butcher shop demands efficiency and precision.
A well-designed deli meat slicer becomes your ally in achieving this, promising both time and cost savings.
However, without proper guidance, you may find yourself lost in a maze of countless brands, varied sizes, and distinctive features.
That’s where this guide comes in.
It will slice through the noise and help you make the right choice.
How to choose the right meat slicer for your needs?
To find out the best commercial meat slicer for your needs, first, decide the variety and volume of items you plan to slice with it.
If your menu demands slicing more than just meats - think veggies, bread, or cheese - your search should be geared towards a versatile (and potentially pricier) unit rather than a meat-only slicer.
There's an array of commercial meat slicing machines on the market, and the secret to a successful purchase lies in opting for a model that caters to your particular needs.
Commercial meat slicers can be segregated into three main categories based on their operational capacity and performance.
Ideal for lighter tasks, entry-level commercial meat slicers can perform up to one to two hours daily, making them fit for small-scale eateries like cafes, delis, and boutique restaurants.
Compact and budget-friendly, these slicers generally feature a motor ranging from 0.06HP to 0.3HP and a 9-inch to 10-inch blade, offering an efficient solution for slicing room-temperature meats in smaller quantities.
However, they lack advanced safety measures and may be unable to process cheese or frozen items.
The mid-level commercial deli slicers have increased power and efficiency compared to the base models.
These machines, tailored for medium-duty applications, can easily cater to a diverse array of establishments, including restaurants, cafeterias, and delis, efficiently running for two to three hours a day.
Available in both manual and automatic versions, these machines typically sport a motor power between 0.3HP to 0.5HP, with a 10 to 12-inch blade.
While their added safety and convenience come with a heftier price, they can usually handle cheese slicing for a couple of hours a day, in addition to slicing vegetables and meats.
Premium commercial meat slicers are designed for high-volume, continuous use in bigger restaurants, butcher shops, and other culinary businesses.
Offering advanced safety and convenience features, these slicers assure seamless and precise operations.
These top-tier models, manual or automatic, generally include a 12 to 14-inch blade and a motor with a minimum of 0.5HP power.
Despite their higher price, they offer unmatched performance and can slice frozen meats, vegetables, bread, and cheese.
Aside from these three classes, there are specialty slicers tailored for specialized tasks, such as cutting paper-thin prosciutto slices.
Parts of a meat slicer
The following parts are typically found in most commercial deli slicers:
Often called the product tray or carriage, this is where you position the food that needs slicing, such as meats, vegetables, or cheeses.
The table generally has a grooved design and is angled towards the blade to allow the food to glide smoothly.
Also known as the meat grip, this component remains attached to the product table and secures the food in place while it's being sliced.
Depending on the model and brand, it may be removable for cleaning.
This component surrounds the blade of the slicer.
When you tweak the thickness control knob to set the desired slice thickness, this component moves, allowing the required adjustments.
Blade and blade guard
The blade is the heart of any deli slicer.
It could be a fixed part of the machine or a detachable element that requires a tool for removal.
The safety cover, often called the blade guard or ring guard, protects the blade and can be partially or wholly detached for cleaning.
Other features to consider
Understanding your requirements is vital when selecting the best meat slicer for your business.
Consider the following features to ensure the slicer meets your specific needs.
Higher horsepower denotes a more powerful slicer.
If you anticipate heavy-duty, prolonged use of the machine, go for an electric meat slicer with more horsepower.
Typically, deli slicer motors can range from 0.06 to 0.5HP, with top-tier models boasting the most powerful motors.
Some high-end models can house more than one motor to deliver maximum power.
The size of the blade determines the slicing capacity of the machine.
Medium and heavy-duty models, like mid-level and premium ones, usually feature larger blades ranging from 10 to 14 inches.
Light-duty models tend to sport blades approximately 9 to 10 inches in diameter. However, it may vary depending on the particular make and model.
Product tray size
The size of the product tray or carriage dictates the diameter of the food that the slicer can accommodate and process.
Typical commercial meat slicer product trays can fit food items ranging from 7.5 to 12 inches in diameter.
For larger items over 12 inches, choose a model with a suitably large carriage.
Manual vs automatic
In automatic meat cutting machines, the carriage is motorized, which is perfect for fast and continuous slicing, with little monitoring.
Some automatic slicers also provide a manual operation mode.
Pure manual slicers, on the other hand, need more supervision and cater well only to lower-volume needs.
Belt-driven vs gear-driven
Commercial deli meat slicer machines can be either belt-driven or gear-driven.
Belt-operated slicers use a belt to drive the blade, whereas gear-operated slicers utilize mechanical gears linked to the motor shaft and blade.
Though gear-driven models can handle heavier loads and require less upkeep, they tend to be more expensive to fix if they malfunction.
Ease of cleaning
Daily cleaning and sanitization of the deli slicer are crucial to uphold food safety norms and extending the lifespan of the equipment.
Look for a model that can be easily dismantled for cleaning.
Some models come with lift-up legs that enable the machine to be raised for quick cleaning of the area underneath.
Scales are weighing mechanisms used to determine the weight of the meat being sliced.
In commercial environments, the scales help to ensure the correct amount of food is processed as per the needs.
Safety features are vital when it comes to commercial meat slicers.
All renowned brands tend to equip their mid-range and high-end models with an array of features for safe usage.
However, base models might offer fewer safety enhancements, making careful operation even more critical.
Let's look at some security aspects you should keep in mind when choosing a commercial meat slicer machine.
One fundamental protective feature in all commercial meat cutting machines is the blade safety cover or knife guard.
It covers the spinning blade, limits its exposure, and reduces the chance of accidents.
Some versions may include detachable covers, for easy cleaning.
This feature is designed to prevent the slicer from resuming operations automatically after a power cut.
Users must manually activate a switch to reboot the slicer once the power supply is restored.
Gauge plate interlock
This safety feature stops the slicer from operating unless the gauge plate is securely fixed at the right position.
This interlock ensures that you reset the gauge plate to 'zero' before removing the carriage.
Some deli slicers come with an auto shut-off feature engineered to power down the slicer after a set period of non-use or under certain conditions like overheating.
This function prevents unintentional injuries from a forgotten, still-running slicer and also contributes to energy savings.
Best commercial meat slicers
W.A. Van Berkel founded Berkel in the Netherlands in 1898, marking the beginning of a long-standing legacy and significant influence in the field of commercial meat slicers.
Presently, Berkel meat slicers are celebrated for superior quality, meticulousness, and artisanship.
The durability and distinctive design of their meat slicer machine range are a testament to over a hundred years of refinement and evolution.
All Berkel slicers are developed with the most rigorous safety protocols in mind, making their operation a breeze.
The commercial slicer offerings from Berkel feature three primary lines: the B-series gravity-feed slicers, the X13-PLUS advanced series slicers, and the manually-operated flywheel slicers.
The Berkel red line 250 electric meat slicer featuring a 10" blade and adjustable thickness is a popular model.
Though designed for home applications, it may work for small restaurants and delis with limited requirements.
Another crowd-favorite is the Berkel X13A-Plus, recognized for its capacity to perform in high-intensity environments.
It has three slicing speeds and stroke lengths, complete with an automatic product carriage.
Established in 1951, Omcan Inc. has carved a name for itself as a premier provider of commercial kitchen equipment.
Originating as a modest venture in Toronto, USA, Omcan has evolved into a global name, extending a broad spectrum of culinary and food service solutions.
Omcan meat slicers, known for their cost-effectiveness and dependability, are a preferred choice among many.
They present an array of slicers designed to accommodate various needs, from basic models suitable for lighter tasks to robust models engineered for large-scale operations.
Their range encompasses both manually operated and automated slicers, plus models driven by belts and gears.
The MS-IT-220-U, a 9-inch belt-driven slicer, enjoys popularity due to its compact design, cutting precision, and longevity.
Another model well-received by the customers is the MS-IT-0330-A. With a 13" blade, an automatic slide carriage, and dual 0.5 HP fan-cooled motors, this model is esteemed for its impressive slicing capability, user-friendliness, and easy cleaning.
Hobart, a distinguished name in the commercial kitchen equipment market, was founded in Troy, Ohio, in 1897.
Their broad product range includes a variety of tools from steamers and dishwashers to mixers, effectively serving a vast range of culinary requirements of businesses, small to large, across the globe.
Recognized for their robustness and accuracy, Hobart meat slicers have carved a strong reputation.
These slicers are meticulously engineered to easily cut through different types of meats, cheeses, and even denser substances, offering the smooth operation and efficiency needed by bustling commercial kitchens.
Though Hobart meat slicers may command a higher price, the exceptional quality they offer is worth the investment.
The Hobart Centerline Edge13, a single-speed, manual carriage, belt-driven slicer furnished with a 13” blade and a 0.5HP blade drive motor, is a preferred option for heavy-duty tasks.
The HS9-1 automatic slicer also enjoys wide popularity. It comes with enhanced features like four slicing speeds and a unique stone sharpening system complete with a 13” blade.
Founded in 1921 in Dayton, Ohio, the company has a long history of providing high-quality slicing equipment to the food service industry.
The company's commitment to quality, value, and customer service has earned it a reputation as a reliable partner for food service professionals.
Globe deli slicers are renowned for precision and durability and are used in a variety of settings, from delis and restaurants to supermarkets and food processing plants.
Notable models include the Globe Chefmate C10, a gravity feed manual slicer with a 10” blade and anodized aluminum construction designed for operations that need occasional slicing in low volumes.
The other popular model is the SG13A, a heavy-duty food slicer capable of all-day-long meat and cheese slicing.
This top-of-the-line machine combines a bunch of advanced and automatic features to ensure perfect slice quality, ease of use, and quick cleaning.
Founded in 1874 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Vollrath has been a long-standing pillar in the food service industry, providing high-quality commercial equipment for over a century.
The company is celebrated for its innovation, quality, and extensive product offerings.
Vollrath's commercial meat slicers exemplify the brand's commitment to functionality, durability, and user-friendly operation, equipping kitchens with dependable tools that deliver precise results.
They continue to be a go-to choice for professionals seeking reliable and high-performing kitchen solutions.
The Vollrath 40954 heavy-duty slicer is a standout model, praised for its robust motor, optional automatic or manual slicing setting, and high torque.
With a 12” blade, this model is ideal for high-volume tasks.
Another sought-after model is the Vollrath 40950 medium-duty electric meat slicer, appreciated for its consistent performance and compact design, making it suitable for smaller operations.
Frequently asked questions
Where can I buy a commercial meat slicer for sale?
You can find commercial meat slicers for sale through various channels.
Many towns and cities have brick-and-mortar stores selling restaurant and kitchen equipment, where you can see the product before buying.
There are also several marketplaces and specialized commercial kitchen equipment retailers that provide a wide selection of brands and models of the best meat slicers.
How to use a commercial meat slicer safely in my kitchen?
To promote the safe operation of a deli slicer in your commercial kitchen, certain guidelines should be followed.
The initial step is to guarantee that all team members who will be handling the slicer undergo comprehensive training.
This training must cover instructions on blade thickness calibration, the safe starting and stopping procedure, and safe methods for product placement.
It's also important to keep the surroundings of the meat cutting machine clear of any potential obstructions and verify that all safety mechanisms are functioning before starting operation.
Proper blade handling techniques and the use of cut-protective gloves during operation are also key to maintaining safety.
Strictly adhere to the manufacturer-provided guidelines to guarantee safe and effective use.
What is the best commercial meat slicer?
Determining the "best" commercial meat slicer depends largely on the specific needs of your business.
Factors such as volume, frequency of use, types of products to be sliced, and budget all play a role.
Hobart meat slicers are well-regarded for their robustness and endurance. Berkel meat slicers also have a reputation for durability and are noted for their precision.
Globe provides a range of slicers suitable for different needs.
Refer to the best commercial meat slicers section above for some of the best commercial meat slicer recommendations in the USA.
How do I maintain a commercial meat slicer?
You can preserve the operational efficiency of a commercial meat slicer with a diligent maintenance schedule.
Proper cleaning and sterilization after every use, utilizing suitable cleaning agents, are key to this.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for disassembling the machine for cleaning and reassembling it post-cleaning.
Additionally, periodic lubrication of the moving parts and honing the blades are important to maintain seamless functionality.
Routinely check for any signs of damage or deterioration.
Get help from a professional technician if there’s a drop in performance or if something looks amiss.
Commercial meat slicer glossary
Many meat slicing machines come equipped with an internal part specifically designed to keep the blade sharp, ensuring better performance for a long time.
This term refers to a slicer that's been engineered to operate for extensive durations without needing a break to cool down.
Gravity feed slicer
This design of a deli meat slicer incorporates an angled carriage, utilizing gravity to aid in guiding the food toward the blade.
Intermittent duty deli slicers are designed to work for a certain duration, then need a cool-down period to avoid overheating.
Most commercial meat slicers incorporate non-slip feet to ensure stability and keep the machine secure during operation.
This is a protective feature that safeguards the motor from overheating and burning out.
It may automatically shut off if the motor temperature crosses a specific limit.
A serrated blade features a notched or saw-toothed edge.
It's the perfect choice for slicing through tough crusts or meat with tough skins.
This blade type guarantees precise and smooth cuts for slicing delicate meats and cheeses.
This feature inhibits the slicer from working under specific circumstances, like when the gauge plate is improperly positioned or when certain components have been removed.
These are specially designed buttons that resist the entry of water, food particles, or other potential contaminants into the machine.
In this style of slicer, the food is set vertically onto the blade.
It's typically used for slicing denser items, such as cheese.
Keep your cash. Use ours!
We hope this guide has helped you better understand what you need to look for in a commercial meat slicer and how to choose the right model for your needs. If you want to know more, you can always reach out to the SilverChef team.
Hospitality equipment can be expensive and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.
Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it generates for you.
Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it gives you unrivaled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.
You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.
If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 60% of the net rent you paid in the first year and 20% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.