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
- Used commercial meat slicers — worth considering?
- Frequently asked questions
- Meat slicer glossary
- Keep your cash, use ours!
The unassuming commercial meat slicer might not be the star of your kitchen, but it guarantees precision and efficiency in every cut.
Whether running a bustling deli, a high-end restaurant, or a butcher shop, a commercial meat slicer can help you save time and money while delivering consistent cuts.
Apart from different types of meat, many meat slicing machines can also cut cheese, vegetables, fruit, and bread with precision.
This guide aims to help you navigate the world of meat slicers, providing valuable insights into types, features, and best brands, ensuring that you make an informed decision that will perfectly suit your needs.
How to choose the right meat slicer for your needs?
When selecting a commercial deli slicer or meat slicer, it's crucial to consider what and how much you'll be slicing with the machine.
If you want to cut more than just meat, like vegetables, bread, or cheese, you'll need a more adaptable (and likely costlier) model than one solely for meat slicing.
There are various types of commercial meat cutting machines available in the market, and it's essential to choose a model that will effectively serve your specific purpose.
Meat slicer machines are categorized into three types, depending on their capacity and performance.
Entry-level commercial meat slicers are for low-intensity tasks, capable of operating optimally for up to one to two hours daily.
These manual models are suitable for both back and front-of-house use in smaller food establishments like cafes, delis, and niche eateries with less demand.
These starter models are generally compact, accommodating a motor between 0.06hp to 0.3hp, along with a 9-inch to 10-inch blade.
They are budget-friendly and storage-efficient but do not offer advanced safety features, power, or adaptability like the higher models.
They work well for slicing room-temperature meat in limited quantities but are not meant for processing frozen goods or cheese.
The mid-level commercial meat slicer machines are more powerful and efficient than entry-level models.
They are suitable for medium-duty applications in cafeterias, restaurants, and delis and can operate for two to three hours a day.
They can be manual or automatic, providing more flexibility.
With motors typically ranging from 0.3hp to 0.5hp and blades sized between 10 to 12 inches, these machines provide greater safety and convenience features, though at a higher price point.
While capable of cheese slicing for 1-2 hours a day, they are primarily designed for vegetable and meat slicing.
Premium commercial electric meat slicers are robust and built for uninterrupted usage in larger dining venues, butcher shops, and other food-related businesses.
They blend top-tier safety and convenience features, ensuring smooth and precise operations.
These high-end models usually come with a 12 to 14-inch blade and a motor with a minimum power of 0.5hp.
They may be manual or automatic, subject to the specific model and brand.
As expected, premium meat slicers carry a higher price tag but can consistently slice a range of foods, including frozen meat, veggies, bread, and cheese.
Beyond these three categories, there are specialty slicers primarily utilized for processing prosciutto or producing ultra-thin meat slices.
Parts of a meat slicer
Most commercial meat slicers have these standard parts:
The product table, often referred to as the product tray or carriage, is where you position the item to be sliced, be it meat, veggies or cheese.
The tray is typically grooved and inclined towards the blade for effortless sliding of the food.
The pusher, also known as the meat grip, stays attached to the product table and holds the food in the correct position during slicing.
This component might be detachable for cleaning based on the slicer's specific model and make.
The gauge plate surrounds the slicer's knife.
When you manipulate the thickness control knob, this part facilitates the necessary adjustment.
Blade and blade guard
The blade is the most crucial part of any meat cutting machine. It may be permanently fixed or removable with a tool.
The blade guard, or ring guard, protects the blade and can be partially or entirely removed for cleaning.
Other features to consider
Recognizing your needs is crucial in choosing the perfect meat slicer.
The following features should be considered to ensure your chosen device ticks all the boxes.
More horsepower signifies a more powerful machine.
Therefore, if you plan to use the slicer extensively and for extended periods, opt for a model with higher horsepower. Generally, meat slicer motors range between 0.06 to 0.5hp, with premium models having the most powerful motors.
The blade size influences the amount a meat slicer can slice.
Mid-level and premium models, aimed at medium and heavy-duty tasks, typically incorporate larger blades between 12 and 14 inches.
Light-duty models usually feature blades measuring approximately 9 to 10 inches.
Product tray size
The product tray size determines the diameter of the food that the slicer can hold and process.
Typical meat slicer product tables can hold food between 7.5 to 12 inches in diameter. If you need to slice items exceeding 12 inches, seek a model with an adequately sized tray.
Manual vs automatic
In automatic deli slicers, the product tray is motorized, enabling rapid and continuous slicing with minimal supervision.
Most automatic slicers also offer manual operation.
Purely manual slicers, however, require more supervision and are suitable for low-volume demands.
Belt-driven vs gear-drive
Commercial deli meat slicers can either be belt-driven or gear-driven.
Belt-driven slicers employ a belt to power the slicing blade, while gear-driven slicers use mechanical gears connected to the motor shaft and blade.
Although gear-driven models manage heavy workloads and need less maintenance, they can be costlier to repair in case of a breakdown.
Ease of cleaning
Regular cleaning and sanitizing of the slicer are vital for maintaining food safety standards and equipment durability.
Look for a model that can be disassembled easily for cleaning.
Some models feature prop-up legs that allow the machine to be elevated for cleaning.
Scales measure the weight of the meat being sliced.
In commercial settings, scales ensure the appropriate amount of food is processed according to the requirements.
When it comes to commercial meat slicers, safety features take centre stage.
Mid-tier and premium models from well-known brands integrate various safety measures for secure operation.
Conversely, entry-level models may have fewer safety enhancements, necessitating more cautious operation.
Here are some safety features to consider when selecting a meat slicer.
A fundamental security measure in all commercial meat slicers is the knife or blade guard.
It shields the rotating blade and minimizes exposure, thereby lessening the risk of mishaps.
Some models might feature removable knife guards, which is helpful for cleaning.
The no-volt release system is engineered to stop the slicer from automatically restarting after a power outage.
Users must manually press a button to restart the slicer once power is restored.
Gauge plate interlock
This safety measure prevents the slicer from functioning unless the gauge plate is securely positioned.
This locking system ensures that you set the gauge plate to ‘zero’ before detaching the product tray.
Some meat slicer models have an automatic switch-off feature designed to turn off the slicer after a certain period of inactivity or under certain conditions, such as overheating.
This feature prevents accidental injury from an unattended running slicer and saves electricity.
Best commercial meat slicers
Established in 1898 by W.A. Van Berkel in the Netherlands, Berkel is a company with a prominent history and a pioneering role in the meat slicer industry.
Today, Berkel is renowned for its premium quality, precision, and craftsmanship. Their meat slicers are synonymous with durability and elegant design, reflecting over a century of refinement and evolution.
Berkel slicers are designed with the highest safety standards, ensuring ease of operation.
Their slicer range has three lineups – the B-series gravity-feed slicers, X13-PLUS premier series slicers and the fly wheel slicers.
Popular models include the Berkel 330M with a 13” chrome plated steel knife.
This automatic feed prosciutto slicer is ideal for small to medium operations.
The Berkel X13A-Plus with three stroke lengths is another popular model, noted for its ability to deliver in heavy-duty environments.
Omcan Inc. is a leading supplier of commercial food machinery with a rich history dating back to 1951.
Founded as a small company in Toronto, Canada, Omcan has grown into an international brand, offering a wide range of kitchen and food service equipment.
Renowned for its affordability and reliability, Omcan's meat slicers are a popular choice.
They offer a variety of slicers that cater to diverse needs, from entry-level models for lighter workloads to heavy-duty models for larger operations.
The collection also covers both manual and automatic slicers as well as belt-driven and gear-driven models.
Popular models in Canada include the Omcan MS-IT-220-U, a 9-inch, belt-driven meat slicer known for its compact size, cutting consistency and durability, and the MS-IT-0300-I, featuring a 12” blade and 0.35hp motor valued for its high slicing power, ease of use and cleaning.
Hobart, a prominent player in the commercial food equipment industry, was established in 1897 in Troy, Ohio.
Their extensive product line encompasses a wide collection of equipment, ranging from steamers to dishwashers and mixers, catering to the diverse culinary needs of small to large-sized businesses worldwide.
Since 1910, Hobart has fostered a proud and enduring presence in Canada.
Renowned worldwide for their durability and precision, Hobart meat slicers have earned a stellar reputation.
These slicers are meticulously designed to effortlessly slice delicate meats, cheeses, and even denser products, ensuring the seamless operation and efficiency demanded by busy commercial kitchens.
While Hobart deli meat slicers may come with a higher price tag, their exceptional quality justifies the investment, making them a worthwhile choice.
The Hobart Centerline Edge13A single-speed, automatic carriage belt-driven slicer, featuring a 13” knife diameter and 0.5hp knife drive motor, is a popular choice for heavy-duty applications.
The HS9 automatic slicer is another favourite, offering advanced features like a variable four-speed automatic product carriage and a removable 13” knife.
Eurodib, established in 1996, is a respected name in the food service equipment industry.
The international distributor and manufacturer have a vast collection of commercial kitchen products to serve businesses of every size.
Eurodib's meat slicers are widely used in various settings, from small delis to large-scale meat processing plants.
The company's commitment to quality and innovation has made it a leader in the meat slicer industry, and its products are trusted by professionals worldwide.
Some of the popular models include the HBS-250L electric meat slicer with a 10” blade, designed for low-volume needs of cutting meat and vegetables.
The HBS-350L featuring a 14” slicing blade and belt-driven electrical operations, is a more powerful option.
Waring, with over 80 years of experience in manufacturing professional appliances for the food service industry, stands as a trusted name, celebrated for its innovative designs, quality craftsmanship, and reliable performance.
Blending solutions to cooking appliances like fryers and grills, Waring's commitment to excellence helps empower professional kitchens worldwide.
Waring meat slicers are known for reliability and user-friendliness.
These appliances embody a blend of power, precision, and simplicity, helping culinary professionals achieve excellent results consistently.
Waring WCS220SV professional food slicer with an 8.5” blade is appreciated for its compact design and precision slicing, making it ideal for small to medium establishments.
The 12” blade, Waring WCS300SV is another sought-after model, designed for heavier use, with a larger cutting capacity and robust motor.
Used commercial meat slicers — worth considering?
Spending thousands of dollars on a new commercial meat slicer can put a strain on your budget and cash flow.
If you’d prefer not to invest a lot of money in a meat slicer, a cheaper, pre-owned appliance might be the solution you’re looking for.
SilverChef’s range of ‘Certified Used’ commercial equipment is mostly ex-rental equipment sourced from businesses we know and trust.
The equipment is typically less than two-and-a-half years old, has been fully refurbished by us, and is backed by a three-month parts-and-labour warranty.
Considering the effective, or useful, life of a commercial meat slicer is around 5 to 10 years, you can be sure our Certified Used commercial meat slicers have plenty of life left in it.
You can either buy or finance the ‘Certified Used’ (and clearance) equipment on our website. (We’re one of the few financiers, if not the only one, in Canada that funds second-hand commercial kitchen equipment.)
Read more about ‘Certified Used’ equipment
Frequently asked questions
Where can I buy a high-quality commercial meat slicer for sale in Canada?
If you're looking to buy a high-quality commercial meat slicer in Canada, there are several options available to you.
We recommend visiting the website or the local branches of trusted commercial kitchen equipment retailers in Canada.
If you're considering a used commercial meat slicer or prefer an affordable monthly rental for a new one, we invite you to explore the collection on our website.
How can I ensure the safe use of a meat slicer in my commercial kitchen?
To ensure the safe use of a deli slicer in your commercial kitchen, there are several important steps to follow.
Firstly, it's crucial to provide proper training to all staff who will be using the meat slicer.
This training should cover how to adjust the thickness, start and stop the machine, and safely feed the product.
Additionally, it's essential to keep the area around the meat slicing machine free of any obstructions and make sure that all safety features are working correctly.
Proper handling of the blade and wearing cut-resistant gloves while operating are also important safety measures.
It's recommended to always follow the manufacturer's instructions for operating your slicer to ensure safe and efficient use.
How do I maintain a commercial meat slicer for my restaurant in Canada?
Proper maintenance of a commercial deli meat slicer is crucial for ensuring its longevity and safety.
To keep the slicer in top condition, it's essential to clean and sanitize it with the appropriate products after each use.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for dismantling and reassembling the equipment after each cleaning cycle.
Additionally, it's recommended to lubricate the sliding parts and sharpen the blades at regular intervals to ensure smooth operation.
Regular inspection for any signs of wear and tear is also necessary.
Professional servicing should be arranged as needed.
Commercial meat slicer glossary
Some deli slicers have a built-in device to keep the blade sharp, promoting long-lasting functionality.
This term implies that the slicer is engineered to function for long durations without needing a cooling-off period.
Gravity feed slicer
A gravity feed slicer is a type of slicer where the carriage is angled, allowing gravity to assist in moving the food item toward the blade.
Intermittent duty slicers are meant to be used for a period and then allowed to rest and cool down to prevent overheating.
Non-slip feet are present in many slicers to keep the machine stable and locked in place during operation.
Overload protection is a feature that prevents the motor from overheating and burning out.
It may automatically shut off the slicer if the motor gets too hot.
A serrated blade has a toothed or saw-like edge.
It is the perfect choice for cutting through hard crusts or tough-skinned produce.
Ideal for slicing meats and cheeses, this blade type ensures neat and smooth cuts.
Safety interlock is a feature that prevents the slicer from operating under certain conditions, such as when the gauge plate is open or when certain parts are removed.
These are buttons designed to resist the entry of water, food debris, or other potential contaminants into the machine.
In this kind of slicer, the food item is placed vertically on the blade.
These are commonly 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 unrivalled 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.
Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.