Commercial meat slicers can be a great time saver and money saver for slicing meat and cheese. Not every unit is capable of slicing cheese, so this is something to double check for. You’ll want to consider how much slicing you'll be doing daily. For minimal slicing (less than two hours a day) you should only need a light duty slicer, which are less cumbersome and take up less counter space.
For two to four hours a day, you should consider a medium duty commercial slicer, and for four or more hours, go with a heavy duty slicer. These "duty" types come from the horsepower and the size of the machine. Make sure you know the maximum size of the products you'll be slicing, so you can purchase accordingly with blade size.
It's important to be honest about how much meat you'll be slicing daily. Some people try to purchase the most inexpensive machine, only to find out it isn't capable of handling the amount of meat they want to slice. (The truth shall set you free!)
There is also the decision between automatic and manual. If you want your meat slicer to do the cutting completely by itself, allowing you to attend other tasks, go with an automatic machine. Manual machines will still help you cut the meat, but you'll need to be there with it.
It is widely agreed that gear driven machines are stronger and more durable than belt driven machines. If you are slicing a lot of meat it is well worth the extra cost. But, if a belt driven machine will handle the amount of meat you need, there is no need to spend more money on a gear driven machine.
Another factor you'll want to consider is whether or not the machine comes with a blade sharpener. This is a nice bonus, as after time the blade will get dull.
We know that’s a lot of information! So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, confused, or just want somebody to talk about meat slicing with, give us a call! And we're from Canada — so we're real nice to speak to!