Metcalfe Catering Equipment reveals the essential elements of commercial slicers a dealer should keep a look out for upon specification:
A good commercial slicer will have a powerful motor, gear driven transmission or twin belt drives, high quality, stainless steel hollow ground blades and built-in safety features. If the operator is prepared to invest in a quality unit from the start then they will find that the whole life cost is much less than that of a cheaper alternative. Metcalfe now has the largest range of slicers in the UK, with over 23 different models to choose from, along with countless accessories. And all Metcalfe slicers come with a 2-year warranty.
An end user buys a meat slicer for several reasons. Efficiency – a meat slicer can produce at least five accurate slices in the time it would take the operator to cut one slice by hand. Versatility – although often referred to as a meat slicer they can be used to cut more than just meat, like bread, cheese, fruit and vegetables for example. Thinner slices: sometimes, the user wants to cut slices very thin – something that can’t really be achieved with a regular knife. However, it can be achieved with a meat slicer. Uniformity: if cutting with a knife there will always be that slice that is either too thin, too thick or has an awkward bulge. A meat slicer will ensure that everything is evened out and maximise the yield.
There are several types of meat slicers available too. Light duty slicers are best suited to operations where the unit will be used for an hour or two at most per day. Designed for simple, safe operation, they are not recommended for slicing cheese, and do not have as many features as higher-end models.
Medium duty slicers generally have larger blades, more horsepower, and can withstand more constant use than a light duty model. Some units can handle occasional slicing of cheese but are primarily intended for a few hours of vegetable or deli meat slicing per day.
Heavy duty slicers are designed for constant use and can slice cheese as well. These models offer design features that enhance the smoothness of operation, slice precision, automatic function and safe operation.
Gravity feed slicers (where the table and blade are tilted at an angle) are the most popular and designed for general use. Vertical units (where the blade and table are vertical) should be used for slicing cured meats such as salami, bresaola, parma/serrano ham etc. A vertical slicer will give much more accurate and thinner slices than can be achieved on a gravity model. An operator would consider a manual, vertical slicer if slicing high value cured meats. The flywheel operation allows the meat to be sliced very thinly and accurately whilst the slower speed of the blade preserves the fat content of the meat.
Most slicers are belt driven as these are much easier to repair than a gear-driven one and can handle most tasks. However, if the user is slicing any type of cured meats then a gear driven slicer is most definitely the one to choose.
Generally, all slicers have a knife guard to expose as little of the blade as possible, to prevent cut hazards. On some slicers, you can remove it to clean the knife; on others it is permanently attached.
Plus the no-volt release safety feature requires the user to push the power button to restart the slicer after it has been unplugged for cleaning, or if the power was interrupted.