Why buy a meat slicer?
We spent 120 hours testing meat slicers to help you find one that suits your needs. We judged the slicers by their performance, safety features and ease of use, and based on our test results, we believe the Nesco FS-250 is the overall best model. It performed well during our testing, offers some fine safety features and is easy to use and clean.
A powerful, easy to use meat slicer
The powerful Nesco FS-250 meat slicer boasts a 180-watt motor that easily moves through meats, cheeses, breads, fruits and vegetables with no trouble, nd in our tests we created appealing and uniform slices in no time. You can adjust the thickness of the slices, up to 9/16th of an inch thick, and its 8.7-inch stainless steel blade is the biggest of all the food slicers we tested. And the machine is sturdy and easy to use.
Suction-cup feet hold the machine tightly to the countertop, and a hand guard provides a barrier (and a bit of protective distance) between your hand and the machine’s rotating, serrated blade. Another helpful feature is the recessed power switch, which cuts down on the chances of you accidentally turning on the machine on if you lean or bump into it. This is a somewhat heavy home meat slicer, weighing in at 31.2 pounds, but that wasn’t a problem when we had to move it from one place to the next in our test kitchen.
Light-weight, easy to use meat slicer
The Maxi-Matic EMT-503B Elite is a lightweight (weighing only 10 pounds), but it’s a solid meat slicer that helps you smoothly and easily cut cheese, meat and bread, producing even slices with no shredded edges. The 130-watt motor worked well during our testing, with no slowing of the blade or strained sounds from the motor while in operation. The stainless steel blade is 7.5 inches in diameter, with serrated edges that help create even slices of bread without disrupting the crust.
You can use the adjustment knob to get thicker or thinner slices, up to half an inch thick. There are some nice safety features, including rubber suction-cup feet to secure it to the countertop and a locking feature that keeps the blade from moving when it shouldn’t. And the recessed power switch means less likely that you will accidentally turn the machine on if you bump into it. Our testing showed this meat slicer also emits only 61 decibels, making it the quietest meat slicer we reviewed. This noise level is about as loud as a typical conversation.
Best for Powerful Motor
A powerful meat slicer
The Weston 61-0901-W is big, strong and makes short work of food slicing, although it did struggle a bit when cutting cheese and certain types of meats. Our testing showed it worked great slicing bread and vegetables, although some slices were not completely even. It can cut slices in widths from 0.06 of an inch up to half an inch. It comes with a potent 150-watt, belt-driven motor. The stainless steel blade is 8.6 inches in diameter, and it is smooth rather than serrated.
The slices of food it produced had no jagged edges and looked attractive, but were not always even across. This Weston meat slicer has some worthwhile safety features, including a food pusher than also functions as a hand guard to protect your fingers from the spinning blade. Suction-cup feet help keep it firmly in place on the counter, and there’s a recessed power switch so you will not likely turn the motor on if you accidentally bump the slicer. This machine is big for a home meat slicer, measuring 91.4 x 12.1 x 14.4 inches, and weighing 15 pounds. You’ll want to measure the shelf or cupboard where you plan to store this machine so you know you’ve got enough room for it.
Why trust us on meat slicers?
We researched popular and well-regarded meat slicers on the market and trimmed our list of favorites to find a group of meat slicers to test ourselves. We used each model with various kinds of foods to evaluate how easy each was to operate, how well it performed and how easy it was to clean. We also examined manufacturer websites, looked closely at consumer reviews and carefully read warranties before choosing a selection of meat slicers in different price ranges to recommend.
How we tested meat slicers
We put each slicer to the test to see how well it handled a wide variety of household foods. We cut both thick and thin slices of ham and pepperoni. We also cut softer foods, including cucumbers, bell peppers and mozzarella cheese. A key slicing test was how well each machine performed when cutting artisan bread; the best slicers didn’t damage the hearty crust. We scored each slicer on the evenness of its cutting. We also measured how loud the machine was and scored each one based on how easy it was to operate and how safe it felt to use. We then used the data we gathered to score and rank each meat slicer.
Meat slicers: what to look for
Power & Motor Type
In general, any slicer with at least 130 watts is well equipped to work with most food types. Some slicer motors are gear-driven, others are belt-driven, and some are both. Typically, gear-driven motors are slightly more powerful, making them more capable of processing non-lean meats and fibrous foods. However, they can be louder and more expensive to replace. Belt-driven motors are better for lean meats and run more quietly.
Blades & Controls
Consider what you will be using the slicer to cut and make sure you buy one with the right blade for your needs. Slicers typically come with either a serrated blade or one with smooth edges. Serrated blades are best for slicing bread and tough meat, but they can potentially leave vegetables with jagged edges instead of a clean cut. Smooth-edge blades are best for slicing through lean meats and vegetables, but they can struggle to cut tough meats or crusty breads. If you need both types, you can generally buy an additional blade that you can switch out as needed.
All slicers have a numeric thickness control knob or dial. While the number ranges are not standardized across all slicers, typically a lower number means a thinner slice and a larger number means a thicker one.
Other Elements to Consider
Food slicer blades are extremely sharp, so it’s important to look for safety features that protect you from getting hurt. A recessed power button is useful because it means you aren’t likely to accidentally turn the machine on. It’s also wise to look for a hand guard system that puts a barrier between your fingers and the blade as you make each slice. A blade-lock function prevents the blade from moving when you want it to remain still. Good slicers have either rubberized feet or suction cups to keep them stable on the countertop.
It’s also helpful to get a food slicer that’s easy to clean. On most slicers, the food carriage – the place where the food sits as you slice it – is permanently mounted to a sliding rack bar. This means you cannot remove it for cleaning; however, most swing outward, so after you unplug the machine, you can lean the carriage over the sink and scrub it.
Slicer motors produce a decent amount of noise, though all within a range of about 60 to 70 decibels (dB). That is the difference between the noise level of a conversation held in a restaurant or at work (60 dB) and busy traffic (70 dB). Some of the slicers we tested started off at about 60 dB but reached closer to 70 dB after running for 5 to 10 seconds, and others got louder as we sliced food and the motor worked harder. A few of them sounded really labored no matter what we sliced.
All the meat slicers have similar dimensions, but you should measure the space where you want to store the unit, since they do not collapse or condense in any way.
Contributing Reviewer: Linda Thomson