In any trade based on manual skills, whether it’s carpentry or the culinary arts, there’s a division between those who like pure hand methods and those who like power tools. It’s only a real argument where time and volume aren’t the most important factors. In any professional kitchen you’ll find machines and be bound to use them whenever possible.
At home, cutting machines can contribute in ways you don’t expect. If you’re cutting a slice of ham and a slice of cheese for a sandwich, using a knife nearly always errs on the heavy side. Dieters wind up eating six times as much sandwich as was originally intended. With a good slicing machine you can buy in bulk and serve economical sensible portions.
Quality of electric food slicers varies considerably, but satisfaction depends at least partly on understanding the machine’s limits and quirks. Only the best commercial models will shave large blocks of cheese into even slices automatically, and even then there may be an occasional stall. Dividing food into smaller blocks that the machine can cut without stalling is the best way to ensure proper cuts and long machine life.
For a good electric slicer within reach of the average budget the Chef’s Choice 610 is a safe bet.
The Chef’s Choice VariTilt adds a tilting feed tray for hands off operation.
For a professional quality machine designed for the homeowner consider our choice for the best slicer — the Chef’s Choice 667.