Choosing the Right Meat Slicing Machine

A meat slicing machine, or meat slicer, allows you to cut a wide variety and quantity of meats quickly and easily. It allows you to obtain regular slices almost instantly. Meat slicing machines are equipped with a large adjustable rotary blade or other cutting tools and a sliding tray to ensure that each slice is cut evenly. This allows you to precisely control portion thickness, improve the end product and reduce costs while ensuring the safety of your employees.

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  • How to choose a meat slicing machine?

    There are several criteria to wonsider when choosing a meat slicer:

    • The products to be sliced
    • Frequency of use
    • Cut diameter
    • The blade
    • Rotation speed
    • Cut thickness
    • Power
    • Manual vs. automatic

    It’s important to take into account the products to be sliced. You need to ask yourself what type of meat you intend to slice (pieces of fresh meat, deli meats, etc.) as well as what size pieces and quantities you will need. Meat slicing machines can also be used to cut bread or cheese, or even frozen foods. To switch from one product to another, all you have to do is change the blade.

    Another factor to consider is the frequency of use. For recurring use, you should choose a meat slicer made of durable and sturdy materials.

    It’s also important to be vigilant about the cutting height. The larger the meat you want to slice, the bigger the blade you will need.

    You should also choose a blade diameter that matches the maximum size of product you need to slice. The most common blade sizes range from 250 to 370 mm: these cover most of the slicing needs of small and large businesses. If you use your meat slicing machine for anything other than meat, you will need to change the blade (i.e. a serrated blade for bread, a non-stick blade for cheese and cold cuts, etc.).

    The rotation speed affects the cleanness of the cut. The higher the speed, the cleaner the cut. A large blade induces a lower rotation speed, but modern electric slicing machines are equipped with high-performance motors for precise cutting quality.

    The cutting thickness is also part of the selection criteria for a meat slicer: most slicers offer several.

    The power of the meat slicing machine must also be taken into account. Powerful slicers are faster and more efficient.

    The choice between a manual and an automatic machine will depend on the frequency of use and the volume of products to be sliced. For infrequent use with low volumes, a manual meat slicing machine will be sufficient. Automatic meat slicing machines are recommended for frequent use and large volumes.

  • What type of slicing machine should you choose?

    There are two different types of meat slicers: manual and automatic.

    picture Dadaux manual meat slicing machine

    Dadaux manual meat slicing machine

    These were the first machines to arrive on the market and they are still used today, especially for cold cuts.
    Their basic principle is simple: a meat cutting system works with a crank activated by the operator.

    Manual slicers are economical because they are powered solely by the movement of the operator and do not require any additional energy.
    They are versatile and can cut both cheese and cold cuts without requiring a cutting tool change.
    They are easier to maintain than automatic slicers: they can be dismantled without difficulty and be cleaned to ensure the hygiene of the equipment.
    They are compact and silent.

    This type of slicer is not recommended in professional environments requiring high production capacities.

    picture FINOVA automatic meat slicing machine

    FINOVA automatic meat slicing machine

    Automatic slicing machines are electric. They allow you to manage high production with their automatic tray and slice reel.
    Some semi-automatic slicers combine an automatic tray with a manual adjustment option.
    Some fully automatic models allow you to program the exact number of slices you want to obtain.

    Automatic slicing machines are faster and allow you to work more efficiently.
    They can slice more types of meat than manual slicers (fresh meat, frozen meat, tender meat, etc.)
    They are available with several types of blades in order to cut different types of food (bread, cheese, frozen fish, etc.).
    They are equipped with a safety system that prevents the operator from being injured.

    Automatic machines are more expensive than manual models and are mainly reserved for professionals.

  • What is the difference between vertical and gravity models?

    Slicing machines can be either vertical or gravity. The difference lies in the angle of the blade.

    picture ABM vertical slicing machine

    ABM vertical slicing machine

    In these models, the blade is perpendicular to the base of the slicer (the tray). The meat must be pushed against the blade by the operator by hand. With the operator’s other hand, he or she puts the freshly cut slice in the container.

    Vertical slicers offer precise and homogeneous slicing.
    They are less cumbersome than gravity slicers.
    They are recommended for slicing fresh meat.

    The operator must be attentive to the maneuver because he or she guides the slices by hand and has a greater risk of getting cut or injured.

    picture MAINCA manual gravity slicing machine

    MAINCA manual gravity slicing machine

    On these models, the blade, tray and back plate are all angled at 45° towards the outside. The meat is automatically pushed towards the blade and the slices fall by themselves, under the effect of gravity, into the container.

    Gravity slicers are easier to use.
    They require little effort from the operator.
    They are safer because, due to gravity, the slices fall directly into the container without requiring the operator’s hand to guide them.
    They are recommended for slicing cheese, cold cuts, vegetables and bread.

    They are larger and therefore take up more space than vertical slicers.

  • What other criteria should you consider when choosing a meat slicing machine?

    Other criteria to consider include:

    Userfriendliness: you should choose the model you are most comfortable with.

    Storage: some meat slicing machines are large, so make sure you have enough space available.

    Maintenance: properly maintaining the equipment increases its service life. The maintenance of some machines is easier than others, as they require less frequent intervention. On the other hand, careful cleaning is essential if you want to have precise slices for as long as possible. We thus strongly recommend choosing a machine that’s easy to maintain and clean.

    Stability: heavy machines are more stable and therefore safer to use.

    Energy efficiency: in the interests of contributing to cleaner industry, if you can, make sure to choose a slicing machine that uses less energy.

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