Also referred to as slicing machines, or deli slicers, a meat slicer is used for cutting meats, sausages, cheeses, and other delicatessen (deli) products. The meat slicer is a tool commonly used in butcher shops and deli shops but also find important use at home.
They are therefore very important equipment across many homes and restaurant kitchens. They are simple to clean and operate.
They also come in a wide range of designs and models. After some time of usage, they may require fixing. Any meat slicer owner should have the necessary knowledge on how to repair them.
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Types of Slicing Machines
There are automatic and manual models of slicing machines. In manual slicers, the users have to move the meat or cheese back and forth. Using an electric motor, the automatic meat slicer is capable of moving the product table saving time and effort. It is also possible to operate automatic models by switching them off.
Components of a Meat Slicer
It is important that anybody wishing to acquire a meat slicer have the necessary knowledge on how to repair them. Having the knowledge about the different parts of the slicer makes it quite easy to perform a repair. The slicing machine generally uses an electric motor to spin the slicing blade.
Meat is placed on the sliding tray that moves past the cutting blade. There is no difference between meat slicers and most fundamentally have the same parts.
It is important that the user regularly lubricate all moving parts within the product tray assembly. Maintain all removable and permanent components in a clean state.
Motors available for meat slicers range between 0.25 horsepower (hp) to 0.5 horsepower (hp). Higher horsepower motors enable the meat slicers to operate faster.
Used for holding the product, either meat or cheese, in place while the blade slices it. Most people refer to it as the meat grip. The product table houses the pusher. To enable easier cleaning, a number of designs have removable pushers.
Blade and Blade Guard
The main feature in a meat slicer is the permanent blade guard and blade. The blade guard provides safety while slicing. There are designs that include a removable blade guard whereas the more sophisticated designs include removable blades.
The gauge plate usually surrounds the knife. The gauge plate moves whenever the user adjusts the thickness control button.
There is an in built blade sharpener for most meat slicers. The main purpose is to sharpen and keep in good condition the blade razor. To enable easier cleaning, the sharpener is removable.
Also called the product tray or the carriage, this part houses the pusher. Meat, cheese, or other deli products are placed on it.
A large number of designs include a groove on the product table. The carriage is also set at a particular angle such that the food easily slides through the blade. Products are held between diameters of 7.5” inches to 12” inches at a time on the product table.
How to Identify the Fault in the Meat Slicer
There are varieties of problems meat slicers encounter. Blade damage, faulty motors, clogging of meat in the machine, or blunt blades could be some of the causes of deterioration.
Therefore, how does a meat slicer user identify the problem? The user should first ensure that the slicer’s electric cord is working in perfect condition if the slicer is not operating. This is done by connecting the cord to a power source and turning it on.
Next, the user should test the switch and motor. This is because most of the times the slicer may slip during use.
To avoid such a scenario, it is important to clean the rubber base with methylated spirit. Additionally, examine the gears for possible damage if you find that your slicer is creaking a lot.
In case your product table does not properly slide, then dip a clean sponge in soapy water and clean the tray guides. When these guides are dry, lubricate them and clean any remaining pieces of meat or cheese around the blade or carriage with soapy water. Clean and tighten the blade. If your blade is blunt, replace it and clean the guide with hot soapy water.
Steps of Repairing a Meat Slicer
The following are steps that a meat slicer user can use in repairing the meat slicer:
Equip the necessary tools
It is necessary to have screwdrivers, methylated spirit or glass cleaner, a lubricant preferably petroleum jelly. These are necessary for the disassembly and fixing of the meat slicer. After identifying the broken component in the slicer, it is important to buy that part from the original manufacturer.
Disassembling the Meat Slicer
For safety purposes, it is important to unplug the electric cord from the power source. Using the screwdriver, unscrew the blade retaining screw and lift off the blade. The blade is lifted off by loosening the screw and lightly tapping the blade from behind to release it.
Tipping the slicer over onto the motor enables you to slide the tray off its guide rails to remove it. This should be done with extra care.
Loosen the motor retaining screw while holding the motor in one hand. Slowly and carefully, remove the motor from the head of the slicer. Loosen and remove the accurate screws to have two separate halves housing the motor.
Make a quick examination and fix or replace any damaged part you can see. Such parts may include the gears, the power switch, or the pinion. Reassemble all components after replacing the faulty parts. Do not forget to lubricate any moving and sliding part.
Having the necessary knowledge about the components of a meat slicer is essential in repairing them personally. Information about the types and parts of meat slicers makes the process easier. You save time and money doing your repairs yourself.
It is additionally important to know how to check for possible faulty areas on your slicer. Users who understand this will find it quite easy to fix their meat slicer from the comfort of their homes.