As seen in:
Chef's Choice
609 Premium
Best Choice Products®
Commercial Deli, 10-Inch Blade
Nesco
180-Watt, 8.7-Inch Blade
MaxiMatic
Elite Gourmet
Continental
Professional Series
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Good

Professional-grade performance at a home-appliance price point. Stainless steel and die-cast aluminum. Easy to take apart and clean.

Professional-grade. 240-watt motor. Able to tackle a wide variety of foods.

Easy to take apart and clean. Exceptionally accurate thickness gauge.

Rubberized feet hold it to table. Compact design with retractable blade. Can handle frozen meats.

Lightweight (10 pounds) and affordable. Includes a blade guard designed to prevent injuries.

Bad

Seven-inch blade is smaller than some other slicers (but still incredibly effective).

Thorough cleaning is a tedious and time-consuming process.

180-watt motor needs a cool-down period of one hour after every 10 minutes of use.

Motor is relatively loud.

Food press and carriage are made of plastic and have cracked occasionally. Hand tools required for thorough cleaning.

Bottom Line

A highly effective solution for at-home users who want to process meat in bulk. The best on the market.

A powerful, professional-grade slicer can handle large-bulk jobs for business or home.

Can be seen as a high-end at-home slicer or a low-end professional slicer. Notable output limitations.

A consistent, capable machine that can handle all types of food. Not designed for bulk processing.

A capable, budget-priced slicer for home users. The best deal for the lowest price.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
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Hours Spent
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Experts Interviewed
203
Consumers Consulted

Best Meat Slicers

Commercial-grade meat slicers used to be limited to professional kitchens, butcher shops, and grocery store meat departments. Very few households could afford such a specialized appliance. Today, however, the market offers a variety of meat slicer models for both commercial and private consumers. The ability to slice meats, cheeses, breads, and vegetables on one machine at home is quite appealing to many amateur cooks. In this review, we present five of the best commercial-grade meat slicers on the market today.

Products we Considered

Chef's Choice
609 Premium
Best Choice Products®
Commercial Deli, 10-Inch Blade
Nesco
180-Watt, 8.7-Inch Blade
MaxiMatic
Elite Gourmet
Continental
Professional Series

Considerations

Construction and Design

The best meat slicers make safety a top priority. We award extra points to models that provide exceptionally good protection during use and are easy to disassemble/reassemble for maintenance. The use of high-quality materials such as stainless steel and forged aluminum are serious considerations. We also look for smooth slicing action, blade sharpness, automated slicing mechanisms (for larger jobs), and tilted slicing tables (for easy food transfer).

Ease of Maintenance

Because meat slicers come into close contact with both raw and cooked foods, they must be easy to clean and sanitize between uses. We especially like models that make the dismantling and reassembly process safe and easy for owners. Blade maintenance issues are important to consider, as a good slicer blade needs to remain razor-sharp in order to handle food safely.

Slicing Quality and Versatility

Minor differences exist between our top contenders in terms of capacity and slicing range, but all are capable of delivering thick or thin slices on demand. Some models can produce paper-thin slices on their lowest settings, but we find that 1/16th of an inch is a decent average on a slicer's lowest setting. The largest slice settings vary from model to model, but all of the contenders can produce 1/2-inch steaks and accommodate four or five-pound meat slabs if the food pusher is removed temporarily. In this section of our ratings, we also consider how well each slicer can handle other types of food, such as firm vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and breads.

Price

Commercial meat slicers used in professional delis, meat departments, and restaurants can easily cost thousands of dollars. Our top contenders, however, are priced to appeal to both commercial and private customers. The budget-priced models may not have all the additional features of the top-end food slicers, but they still deliver a quality product. The retail price of a higher-end meat slicer is often offset by better blade quality, higher capacity, or easier maintenance. We recommend that potential customers consider their personal needs carefully and purchase the slicer that best fits those needs.

Considerations

Construction and Design

Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer

The Chef's Choice 609 uses stainless steel or die-cast aluminum for all of its major components. This includes the food pusher, a part often made from food-grade plastic on other models. The food carriage is tilted and cantilevered in order to allow sliced foods to fall directly onto large serving trays for immediate presentation. In fact, the Chef's Choice 609 comes with its own serving tray, which we find to be a nice additional feature. The motor is gear-driven, allowing it to run cool while still producing a high torque during slicing. The plastic gears do require occasional lubrication with a food-grade lubricant (like Vaseline), but we are impressed with the appliance's overall smoothness during operation. The seven-inch serrated stainless steel blade is smaller than the blades found on other top contenders, but it can still slice deli-thin meats or 3/4-inch steaks with the turn of a dial.

Best Choice Products® New 10" Blade Commercial Deli Meat Cheese Food Slicer

The Best Choice meat slicer is actually a professional appliance that is well-suited for delis, professional kitchens, and butcher shops. However, some at-home customers may benefit from its size and capacity. The slicer itself weights nearly 50 pounds and is constructed from stainless steel and forged aluminum. Its 240-watt motor is belt-driven and produces more torque than the plastic gears usually found in less expensive models. The unit is semi-automatic, which means large slabs of meat can be pushed through the blade repeatedly once the thickness is adjusted. The 10-inch slicing blade included with the Best Choice model is non-serrated, which makes it ideal for most slicing tasks. A serrated blade can be purchased separately, but most users should be able to get decent results without one. The food pusher also has metal nails which do a great job of securing heavy meat slabs during slicing sessions.

Nesco FS-250 180-watt Food Slicer with 8.7-Inch Blade

The Nesco FS-250 food slicer is essentially a bridge between professional-grade slicers and models designed for home use. The food press is made from forged aluminum, but other components are stainless steel. The 8.7-inch serrated slicer blade itself is described by the manufacturer as "hardened" stainless steel. The total weight of the Nesco FS-250 is around 15 pounds, which we find to be much more manageable than the 49-pound Best Choice professional slicer to which it is often compared. The advertised blade size may be 8.7 inches, but some users say the actual usable slicing area is closer to 6.5 inches. This means that larger food items may have to be trimmed down before they can run through the Nesco slicer. The motor delivers 180 watts of power, but the instruction manual urges users to allow the unit to cool down for an hour after ten minutes of use. We understand why this safeguard is in place, but we find it a little inconvenient to have so much downtime between uses.

MaxiMatic EMT-503B Elite Gourmet 130-Watt Die-Cast-Aluminum Electric

The MaxiMatic Elite Gourmet food slicer features a forged aluminum housing and a 7.5-inch serrated stainless steel blade and rubberized feet that hold it securely to a table during use. The 180-watt motor is remarkably robust. Some users express concerns about the slicer blade's relatively slow RPMs, but a slower turning blade is less likely to fling food particles across the room. Most meat slicers, including the MaxiMatic, have gear systems that sense when a heavier load is applied and make adjustments to the motor speed accordingly. The unit can be very noisy during operation, but that's to be expected when you buzz an appliance that is, essentially, a circular saw through meat, cheese, and vegetables. We like the compact design of this model, and the slicer blade itself is described as "retractable" -- a great feature that addresses both storage and safety issues.

Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer

We find the product description of the Continental PS77711 meat slicer to be somewhat confusing. (The construction material is described as cast iron, but the weight and appearance suggest cast aluminum and stainless steel.) Since the entire unit only weighs ten pounds, we're assuming the manufacturer means that the slicer has a cast aluminum body, a plastic food carriage, and a serrated 7.5-inch stainless steel blade. For the price, we were surprised to find both the food carriage and food press are constructed from a flimsier plastic. Some users caution that the food carriage will flex under pressure, so the thickness of sliced foods may be variable. The blade itself is sharp enough to handle most boneless meats, hard cheeses, and firm vegetables, but some users suggest that bread can be problematic if not fed into the slicer carefully. The 150-watt, gear-driven motor delivers solid power and will ratchet down its torque if it senses too much resistance during slicing. The plastic food press and food carriage feel sturdy to most owners, but cracking under pressure is a known issue.

The Chef's Choice 609 can slice deli-thin meats and 3/4-inch steaks with the turn of a dial.
Considerations

Ease of Maintenance

We truly appreciate how easy the Chef's Choice 609 is to maintain. The food carriage plate, food pusher, food deflector, and blade all come apart for cleaning and sanitation. (There is no need to wedge a sanitized towel into crevices to remove food residue!) The individual components (except the blade) can be quickly sprayed and reassembled between slicing tasks. There is a fuse in the unit's base that prevents the motor from overheating and a locking mechanism that keeps the slicer blade protected between uses.
Almost all of the major components (except for the blade) are dishwasher safe and can be easily sanitized between uses. We find the reassembling process to be quite intuitive and safe, although some users may need to use a basic flat-head screwdriver or metal coin to loosen/tighten the plastic screws attached to the blade assembly. Removal of the blade is not strictly necessary after every use, but a thorough weekly or monthly cleaning would be helpful.

Best Choice Products® New 10" Blade Commercial Deli Meat Cheese Food Slicer

The Best Choice commercial meat slicer has more in common with professional models than it does with our other top contenders. An inherent problem with industrial meat slicers is that they are a challenge to clean thoroughly. The individual components come apart for hand or dishwasher cleaning, but the extremely sharp blade itself is not easy to remove. The unit's extra weight is also a factor when it comes to cleaning. Unless the blade is completely removed (a challenge in itself), the user will have to carefully wipe down the blade assembly with a damp kitchen towel and use tongs or long-handled spoons to maneuver a cloth around the back of the slicer's table. Because cleaning and maintenance can be so difficult, we suggest users complete as many slicing tasks as possible before trying to tear down the entire machine for cleaning. The belt used to drive the motor may also require a lubricant from time to time.

One of the Nesco FS-250's most praised features is how easy it is to disassemble and clean. All of the components (except the blade) can be dismantled quickly and are dishwasher safe. Because the entire slicer only weighs 15 pounds, users can easily manipulate it in order to clean remote areas. The blade itself is extremely sharp, so great caution must be used when wiping it down between uses. The blade can also be fully removed if a more thorough cleaning is required. There is a special lubricant that must be used on the motor's gears in order to keep it running smoothly, and some satisfied customers recommend applying a coating of olive oil or other food-grade lubricant to the blade in order to improve its slicing ability. We truly appreciate meat slicers that can be disassembled and reassembled as easily as the Nesco FS-250.

MaxiMatic EMT-503B Elite Gourmet 130-Watt Die-Cast-Aluminum Electric

The MaxiMatic Elite Gourmet food slicer is relatively easy to clean between slicing tasks, but like other contenders, the slicer blade itself is not designed to be removed regularly. However, the blade guard, food press, and food carriage do come apart easily for deep cleaning. The base can be wiped down with a damp cloth, but extreme care should be exercised when working around the exposed slicing blade. Users should avoid the temptation to wipe out the special food-grade lubricant that occasionally oozes from the motor's housing. (This is an essential part of the motor's transmission system and should not be removed!) Setting the slicer depth to zero makes wiping down the blade a much safer task. Some users say they apply a damp cloth to the blade while it is turning, but we don't endorse that cleaning method at all. Keep it clean, keep it lubricated, and keep it sharp, and you should enjoy many years of service from the MaxiMatic Elite Gourmet food slicer.

Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer

For its lower price, the Continental PS77711 is a solid workhorse and quite well-suited for inexperienced and first-time meat slicer users. Small business owners who need a light-duty slicer to make lunch counter deli sandwiches would also be pleased with this affordable model. That being said, we believe the Continental's most problematic issue is its complicated cleaning and disassembling routine. The components are not equipped with user-friendly knobs or clips. Instead, the entire slicer assembly is held together with permanent screws, creating the need for basic hand tools in order to dismantle it for thorough cleaning. The blade, food carriage, and base can all be wiped down with sanitized kitchen cloths without disassembly, but this process is neither easy nor safe for the user. We suggest setting the thickness gauge to zero in order to prevent accidental contact with the slicer blade during quick cleanings. Complete cleanings should only be attempted between slicing sessions.

The affordably priced Continental PS77711 is a workhorse appliance that is suited for inexperienced and occasional meat slicer users.
Nina
Expert Consultant
Nina
Gourmet Chef, Health Care Executive

Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.

Considerations

Slicing Quality and Versatility

Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer

The Chef's Choice 609's lightly serrated slicing blade is ideal for most slicing projects. A non-serrated blade, used primarily for slicing deli-thin meats and cheeses, is sold separately. Owners tell us that the original serrated blade does a great job with crusty breads, hard cheeses, firm fruits/vegetables, and most boneless meats. The thickness guide can go from a zero setting (capable of shaving or chipping paper-thin deli meats) all the way to a 3/4-inch setting (for steaks and other thick cuts of meat.) We do not recommend trying to slice through bones, however. Some experienced owners like to slice frozen or partially frozen meats in order to achieve deli thinness, but we find that the Chef's Choice 609's slower motor speed is not well-suited for that purpose. We like this model's overall versatility, since it can handle both soft meats and firm vegetables equally well.

Best Choice Products® New 10" Blade Commercial Deli Meat Cheese Food Slicer

The Best Choice commercial meat slicer can handle slicing tasks from paper-thin deli meats to 5/8th-inch steaks or chops. The thickness gauge is adjustable from 0 to 17 mm, and the food carriage plate has just enough flexibility to allow for meat chipping, a technique that results in extremely thin slices of cold cuts. Owners find that slices of soft cheese and deli meats stay very consistent from start to finish. Less-expensive models tend to produce thicker slices at the end of a job because the food carriage plate bends slightly under the pressure of a user's hand. This is not a problem with the commercial-grade Best Choice slicer. Owners also have no problems slicing firm vegetables or breads -- two items that can be problematic with other slicers.

Nesco FS-250 180-watt Food Slicer with 8.7-Inch Blade

The Nesco FS-250 has an exceptionally accurate thickness gauge that allows for ultra-thin chipping at its lowest setting (1/16th of an inch) and steak cutting at its highest setting (approximately 9/16th of an inch). Owners tell us that every setting in-between stays consistent, even during larger jobs. Some models tend to warp as the user applies more pressure to the food press, but the Nesco FS-250's food carrier is sturdy enough to resist such force. The blade turns a little slower than expected, however, and the motor is often described by users as noisy. We do agree with the noise issue, but we have more concern about the suggested ten-minute operating time. As the blade begins to heat up, it can affect the quality of the food being sliced, for instance. We suggest planning slicing jobs around this time limit. There is also a non-serrated blade available separately that can handle thin deli meats and cheeses.

MaxiMatic EMT-503B Elite Gourmet 130-Watt Die-Cast-Aluminum Electric

The MaxiMatic Elite Gourmet food slicer can handle a number of food processing tasks that other models cannot. For example, it's one of the few that can handle frozen and partially frozen meats. This is an important consideration for hunters and caterers who routinely freeze large portions of meat and slice them at a later time. The thickness gauge allows for paper-thin deli meat and cheese slices at its lowest setting, then uses precise gradations until it reaches a maximum of 1/2 inch per pass. Satisfied users praise the MaxiMatic for its consistent slice sizes (especially helpful with sliced bacon and meats commonly used for jerky). The serrated blade can also handle most varieties of bread, especially those with harder crusts. Firm fruits and vegetables are also easy to slice on the MaxiMatic, but other food processing appliances may be more efficient for larger tasks.

Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer

The Continental PS77711 meat slicer can produce paper-thin slices of deli meats and cheeses at its lowest setting and 1/2-inch steaks at its highest setting. Because the food carriage and the food press have some flexibility, it is also possible to create "chipped" lunch meats by sliding cold cuts like ham into the slicer blade under pressure. The model does not contain its own sharpening tool, but it can be professionally honed to maintain a super-sharp cutting edge. The gear-driven motor will deliberately reduce torque if it encounters significant resistance, so this may not be the best model for slicing frozen or partially frozen meats into jerky. A non-serrated blade is available directly from the manufacturer or authorized dealers, but many users say they get consistent results with the original serrated blade. (A non-serrated blade is often better for thinner deli slices and softer foods like bread or certain vegetables.)

The Chef's Choice 609's serrated blade does a terrific job slicing crusty breads, hard cheeses, firm fruits/vegetables, and most boneless meats.
Considerations

Price

Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer

At only $77, the Chef's Choice 609 is definitely an attractive alternative to commercial-grade meat slicers that cost three times as much. We can easily see this model being used by smaller restaurants with a deli counter or specialty shops that sell fresh meats and cheeses. For at-home users, the Chef's Choice 609 delivers professional results at a reasonable price. Many consumers want to save money by buying meats and cheeses in bulk, but they need a convenient way to convert them into deli-style sandwich slices at home. The Chef's Choice is an affordable solution to that problem.

Best Choice Products® New 10" Blade Commercial Deli Meat Cheese Food Slicer

At $259, the Best Choice commercial meat slicer is among the most expensive of our top contenders. This fact should be a consideration for those who need a meat slicer only for smaller batches or occasional use. However, for those who plan on doing a lot of meat preparation, this is a model that is clearly up to the job. Hunters who process their own deer or other large game will appreciate the extra power and capacity of the Best Choice slicer. Private caterers will also benefit from the labor-saving advantages of a commercial-grade slicer. Meat and cheese trays, for example, can be completed in a fraction of the time it would take with carving knives and manual food slicers. If you need the firepower of a commercial food slicer at your small business or home, this is one to consider!

Nesco FS-250 180-watt Food Slicer with 8.7-Inch Blade

The Nesco FS-250's retail price of $81 creates a tricky situation for consumers. We absolutely recommend it for at-home and occasional restaurant use, but is it a higher-end personal model or a lower-end commercial model? Because it has a limited operating time of ten minutes, the Nesco FS-250's overall performance is closer to that of a personal food slicer. This would not be enough time for a small restaurant to process deli meats or cheeses in large quantities. However, the Nesco's hardened blade and solid stainless construction make it a suitable commercial unit. Overall, the Nesco would definitely meet the needs of most at-home users, but it may not be as useful for professional caterers and restaurant owners.

MaxiMatic EMT-503B Elite Gourmet 130-Watt Die-Cast-Aluminum Electric

The MaxiMatic EMT-503B's retail price of $69 puts it on par with most of its competitors. In terms of value, however, its powerful 180-watt motor sets it apart. Some people may need extra slicing power to process larger or denser foods; the MaxiMatic's extra torque would prove very useful in that respect. Other models at this price point tend to use plastic food presses and food carriages, but not the MaxiMatic. Indeed, the all-aluminum construction of the base and other components adds durability to the mix. Other meat slicers in this price range tend to have an industrial gray color, but the MaxiMatic has a sleeker black look that would blend well with the decor of most home kitchens.

Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer

At $78, the Continental PS77711 is clearly an affordable alternative to more expensive, commercial-grade models. It is especially suitable for first-time or casual users. There is no reason for at-home users to invest in more meat slicer than they actually need, and the higher-end models have features that few non-professional cooks would ever use. Many grocery shoppers save money by buying their sandwich meats and cheeses in bulk at membership stores, but they don't have a machine capable of converting those large loafs and blocks into manageable slices. The Continental's competitive retail price and user-friendly design helps fill that need. While all five of our top meat slicer contenders deliver a quality product, the Continental's price point strikes an appealing balance between personal and professional options.

The Continental PS77711's price point strikes an appealing balance between other personal and professional meat slicer options.

Best of the Best

Professional-grade meat slicers used to be found only in commercial kitchens, meat shops, and delicatessens, but they have become increasingly popular for home use, too. The ideal at-home slicer features commercial-grade performance at a home-appliance price point. That machine is the Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer.

The Chef's Choice 609 is clearly the Best of the Best. It will satisfy the slicing needs of both private and commercial users at an affordable price. We especially like this slicer's ease of maintenance and its use of durable materials for the food press and food carriage. Other models often use molded plastic for those parts, but the components on the Chef's Choice are made from forged aluminum or stainless steel.

Conveniently, the slicer motor assembly is tilted to allow slices to fall directly onto serving trays or butcher paper. In fact, the Chef's Choice includes its own serving tray that fits precisely under the slicer table. The seven-inch blade may be smaller than the ones found on other top contenders, but it can still handle large meat slabs and blocks of cheese. Users can also choose between a serrated and non-serrated blade for different slicing tasks. (A serrated blade can handle most slicing situations well, but the option to use a non-serrated blade for thinner deli cuts is always helpful.)

The Chef's Choice 609 meat slicer is the ideal model for at-home users who seek the professional results of a commercial-grade unit without having to pay a premium for the privilege. We heartily endorse it as the Best of the Best.
Best of the Best
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The Chef's Choice slicer motor assembly is tilted to allow slices to fall directly onto serving trays or butcher paper.

Best Bang for your Buck

The Continental PS77711 deli and food slicer has the look and performance of commercial- grade slicers that cost three times as much. Many first-time slicer owners are not looking for a machine that can process a side of beef into steaks or a block of cheese into appetizers. They want an affordable slicer that can slice vegetables for homemade soups or deli meats and cheeses into sandwich-sized portions. Based on a number of positive reviews from satisfied owners, we declare the Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicerto be the Best Bang for Your Buck.

While other professional-grade meat slicers can weigh 50 pounds or more, the Continental's total weight is a manageable ten pounds. Rubberized feet hold the unit securely to most table surfaces, and a blade guard (not shown in photos) protects users from contacting the blade between uses. The unit's 7.5-inch serrated blade can easily process most boneless meats, hard cheeses, firm vegetables, and breads. The food pusher may be constructed from plastic, but it is durable and easily cleaned. The other components, however, are not as easy to disassemble or maintain. This may be the Continental PS77711's most notable design flaw, but it can be overcome with the use of basic hand tools.

If you're looking for a professional-grade, workhorse meat slicer at a reasonable retail price, then look no further than the Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer. As our Best Bang for Your Buck meat slicer, it will definitely save you time and money over the years!
Best Bang for your Buck
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If you're looking for a professional-grade, workhorse meat slicer at a reasonable price, look no further than the Continental PS77711 Professional Series Deli Slicer.
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Ann
    Ann
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations