Slicer Buying Guide

Things to consider:

  • Volume/Usage
  • Ease of Cleaning
  • Safety
  • Construction

When buying a meat slicer you need to consider what kind of use you will be putting it through.
Lighter Duty Slicers will feature smaller blades. The horsepower is designed for lighter daily usage. This is considered to be 1-2 hours a day at the most. The medium duty models can handle 3-6 hours a day and the heavier duty models can be used constantly throughout the day. Their horsepower will correspond to how much work they do. Some medium duty models and most heavy duty moderls can be used not only for cutting deli meats and vegetables but even hard cheese as well as frozen food.
Most manufacturers make models that have a removable food tray. Some even design their slicers to be taken apart all together for superior cleaning.
Another thing to consider before purchasing a slicer is safety. A fixed ring guard as well as a
knife guard are important features that will keep the slicer operators safe. For commercial applications look for NSF markings.
Slicers are built as either belt driven or gear driven. Gear driven slicers are supposed to last longer because the gear mechanisms are sturdier.  The downside is that the cost of repair is higher than belt driven models.  A belt drive may not last as long, however it is durable enough. It is the most common drive type even in the premium high end slicers. If it breaks down the cost of repair is not as high as the gear drive. 
Another thing to consider with construction is if you want an automatic or manual slicer.
Like the name implies automatic slicers can be set to do the back and forth slicing motion without an operator present. This is ideal in large volume operations. Automatic slicers can be toggled, in other words, they can be used as either automatic or manual.  Manual slicers have to be operated by an operator.  Manual slicers are used more across the industry vs automatic slicers.