Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Meat Slicer

27 Feb.,2023


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Meat slicers were solely for the deli, slicing rare roast beef and other meats and cheeses for that perfect sandwich.  Wilhelm van Berkel in 1898 patented his sophisticated and intricate slicing machine in The Netherlands. His slicing machines are a true work of art to this day.  The Berkel slicing machines are worth a large sum at auctions and antique websites. Wilhelm realized the necessity for meats and cheeses to be sliced as thinly, quickly, and uniformly as possible.  

Now, over 120 years later, the ideal meat slicer is easy to choose with our ultimate guide to that flawless carve! At Williams Food Equipment, we curate a line of professional-grade cookware, including meat slicers. Here’s what you should look for and some of our favorites to choose from.

Related: Best Professional Knife Sets

So, Why Get a Meat Slicer?

A meat slicer isn’t for making a salami sandwich only; even though it does make it the best!  With the advent of wholesale chains, meats and cheeses in bulk are now an industry standard for your own home kitchen.  Saving cash by buying large roasts or huge blocks of cheese equals tons of opportunity. With a meat slicer, you can shave off equal parts of anything you wish.  This is great for the kid’s sandwiches for lunch, shabu -shabu, charcuterie, and many more time-saving and cost-effective ways the meat slicer will be useful at your home. 

A meat slicer used to be in the $1000s for a good quality slicer.  Now, for well under that, meat slicing like your favorite delicatessen can easily be achieved at home. The Chef’s Choice Meat Slicer is a great meat slicer that will create great food, be fun, and save you money!  Slicing meat so thin gives a mouthfeel no other device can produce. 

The Various Types of Electric Meat & Food Slicers

Electric meat slicers to commercial-grade food slicers vary, obviously by price and task volume.  Weighing in at over 75lbs, the Omcam 12” Belt-Driven Meat Slicer is our recommended go-to beast of a slicer for deli-style cuts.  The above-mentioned Chef’s Choice Meat Slicer is one of our go-to recommendations for the home cook. 

Manual meat slicers like the Berkels’ back in the day were the way to go.  And, they still are! Omcam’s 14.5” Diameter Blade Manual Volano Slicer with Flower Flywheel is truly a work of art.  Effortless and remarkable slicing, plus stability and dependability on an effortless flywheel, allows the user to feel the craftsmanship put into this fine machine.  Prosciutto is sliced so thin and effortlessly with the Omcam, you will surely feel like this new tool in your arsenal takes your culinary prowess to the next level!

What to Look for When Buying a Meat Slicer

Quality in anything is a must in life; therefore, some meat slicers can reach hefty prices for their attention to detail.  Knowing what size and type of slicer you want matters first. Do you need it for home or for larger jobs? What type of motor (if electric) does the meat slicer have?  The ease of use, blades, and adjustability of the thickness of the cuts is vital as well when purchasing a meat slicer. Lastly, safety is paramount when talking about super sharp, fast-spinning blades! 

The Motor

The motors on meat slicers are typically low horsepower but high performance for driving gears.  Most meat slicers spin at over 250 rpm, so the motor needs to be fast! Many of the Omcam made meat slicers have power reaching 0.35HP. This is more than enough juice to keep those sandwiches flying!

Motors rarely go on the fritz.  The home cook would likely never encounter this issue.  For commercial-sized meat slicers, the motors rarely burn out.  If so, the warranty could be valid still, or on-line replacement parts are easily found. 

The Blade

The blade of a meat slicer must be ridiculously sharp due to the task at hand.  The blade needs to spin at very high rpms, so staying straight and not having any waft is crucial!  And the most important aspect of a meat slicing blade is the necessity to be stainless steel. The durability of stainless steel will remain sharp and won’t rust.  Plus, stainless steel will hold it shape time after time. 


How thin or thick you wish the slice to be depends on you.  All meat slicers cut almost paper-thin. Thin to the measurements of 0.2mm - 0.6mm per slice!  On the other end, most slicers can almost get to an inch in width for a thick slice of bacon! Using your owner’s manual will ensure the proper settings on your meat slicer for the best slices needed. 


A stainless steel metal blade spinning at over 250 rpms can do damage to a finger, that’s for sure!  But don’t worry, safety has been implemented in meat slicers since van Berkel invented them. Always read the manual first!  Wear cut-resistant gloves. Lock the blade when not in use.

Make sure to unplug the unit if electric when cleaning.  Always guarantee on and off with the tamper and safety switches in their accurate positions.  Society Insurance wrote a pdf regarding Meat Slicer Safety.  We are sharing that for your information. 

The Ease of Use

Since meat slicers are quite straightforward regarding their task, the ease of use is just that, easy.  Place your meat into the carriage and lock it down. Set your desired thickness number. Start your blade and allow the meat or cheese to be guided through the blade.  Have parchment paper on the other side to catch your delicious meats and cheeses! Just pay attention and follow all the safety rules, and everything will be effortless and yummy! 

Noise Levels

Even the most powerful of motors in the Omcam 13” Blade-Gear Driven Automatic Slicer can’t create enough noise to bother anyone.  This model has two, half horsepower motors! So, if this beast is quiet, you can rest assured your home won’t sound like blades are grinding out of control.  The reason meat slicers get loud is due to cleaning. Keeping everything clean upon every use will help eliminate noise levels. If needed, taking the meat slicer apart and cleaning the gears and/or belts will ensure a smooth ride down the meat slide next time. 

The 5 Best Meat Slicers

The volume of slicing is one characteristic to consider.  The price point vs how you’ll use it should also come into play with your decision.  And of course, we are always here to answer any questions and concerns about meat and cheese slicing. 

A cast iron and stainless-steel meat slicer at such a great price can’t be beat!  The motor runs cool, so it will last a long, long time!  The high-torque blade will slice through any meat put in its carriage.  A 7” roast will be sliced into a rare roast beef sandwich in seconds!  Totally worth every penny we believe! 

Check out more great cast iron and stainless steel products at Williams Food Equipment.

This beast of a meat slicer is ready for the deli but priced for home use.  150 watts, 1.4amps and 1/5 horsepower makes this machine ready to slice frozen meats for the Mongolian BBQ!  All Eurodib products come with the trusted ETL Sanitation mark.  This guarantees a clean, safe product for human consumption. 

Like the Eurodib, this 10” beauty of a meat slicer can cut from deli-thin to one inch thick.  Great for hunters, caterers, home cooks, and restaurants. Extra-large hams are what the Chef’s Choice Pro Food Slicer is meant to slice.  Along with cheeses and veggies of course! Blade sharpener included! 

We had to list this work of art.  This magical machine would make Wilhelm van Berkel proud!  Fully hand-operated, this meat slicer is made for being seen when slicing prosciutto.  Placing this on your kitchen counter will create an artisanal appeal!  Removable sharpener means you will never have to worry about paper-thin meats again.  A true specimen of culinary perfection. 

Finally, on the list is the meat slicer you can hold: The kebab Cutter.  Slicing with this device is super easy. Adjusted the ring up to 0.3” for a perfect slice every time!  Your hand is always safe and protected far from the blade.  A great meat slicer for those with a lack of counter space! 

Check out meat slicers and more kitchen accessories at Williams Food Equipment.

Precautions When Using a Meat Slicer

This is paramount for you and your fingers.  Just follow all the safety info above. Make sure to be focused on your task.  Don’t get distracted by family, friends, or alcohol. Stand in the same spot while performing your slicing.  Never bend over the machine. Always be close to the Off button and the electric socket. 

Final Note

Now that we have explained why meat slicers are so cool, and how to use them, it’s time for you to start slicing yourself!  It is very fun and really does pay for itself. Making sandwiches alone with a meat slicer will be worth its price. Experimenting with other foods such as shabu-shabu and Mongolian BBQ at your own home will bring together a party like no other.  Stay safe, happy, healthy, and remember to always slice thin to win! Check out more products at Williams Food Equipment to spruce up your home kitchen.

Related: What Makes a Well-Equipped Kitchen for an Experienced Home Cook?

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