At PJP, we are always looking for ways to add value to our customer’s experience. One of the many ways we try to accomplish this is through a series of helpful blog posts that you have probably seen before. That’s right, our “Questions You Should Ask” series is back for a second week in a row! Is that lucky or what? This week, you’re in for a thinly sliced treat, because we’re talking about Slicers. Are we masters of wordplay or what?
So, without further ado, here are 7 questions you should ask yourself before buying a new slicer.
1) What will you be slicing?
Understanding how you plan to use the slicer is just the first step in narrowing down your choices.
2) How many hours per day will you be using the slicer?
Most commercial slicers are designed for light, medium, or heavy duty use. Light duty units typically feature a ¼ HP motor and are fine for one to two hours of slicing daily. Medium duty machines typically feature a ½ HP motor and are designed for 2 to 6 hour of slicing per day. Heavy duty machines will likely feature a ½ -3/4 HP motor and are designed for continuous use.
3) Will you be slicing Cheese?
The moisture and consistency of cheese makes it difficult to slice. Light Duty slicers are NOT recommended for cheese. Medium duty slicers should be able to handle 1 to 3 hours of cheese slicing per day. Check the manufacturer’s specifications. Heavy duty slicers are recommended if you plan to do more than 2 or 3 hours of cheese slicing daily.
4) What is the largest diameter you will be slicing?
You need to make sure the slicer blade and carriage are large enough for the intended application. Most are designed to handle products from 7.5″ up to 12″ in diameter.
5) What is the thinnest slice you need?
Most commercial slicers will adjust to satisfy any customer’s needs. But if you plan to serve a large volume of paper thin artisan meats like salami, prosciutto, and pancetta, then consider a specialty slicer designed for that application.
6) Do you need manual or automatic slicing?
Automatic slicers are more expensive, but can pay for themselves in labor savings. They can also prevent repetitive motion injuries. High volume delis and supermarkets often use automatic slicers. Most automatic slicers will have a manual override for versatility and convenience.
7) What other features do you like?
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to those commercial slicers that match your size and power requirements, you may want to look for a few other desirable features and benefits.
All commercial slicers come with safety features such as a blade guard and a pusher to hold the product while slicing. These protect fingers and hands. Some slicers may also include:
- A feature that requires the blade to be zeroed before the pusher or carriage can be tilted or removed,
- A safety restart switch.
Features that make cleaning and sanitation easier are also very desirable. Look for:
- a kick stand that holds the slicer up while cleaning beneath it,
- a carriage that tilts for easy cleaning,
- any removable parts that make cleaning easier (removable carriage, blade guard, blade and blade sharpener)
- switches and controls that are located outside of the area where meat juices can drip on them while slicing.
With answers to these questions you should feel better prepared to shop and select the commercial slicer that is right for your operation. If you need more information, visit the websites of the following manufacturers.