How to Sharpen a Meat Slicer Blade in 5 Steps and Maintain It After That

Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 10, 2023
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The meat slicer, also called a deli machine Trusted Source Meat slicer - Wikipedia A meat slicer, also called a slicing machine, deli slicer or simply a slicer, is a tool used in butcher shops and delicatessens to slice meats, sausages, cheeses and other deli products. , is a very versatile tool. It’s ideal for cutting meat or bread. It is equipped with a fine blade which makes it possible to obtain precise and regular cuts. It is the companion of any professional, and more and more households are installing it in their kitchens. The slicer is ideal if you like to cook and enjoy pork brisket at home, for example.

However, after some time of use, the blade gradually loses its performance. So to ensure the quality of the slices, it is important to sharpen it from time to time. However, not everyone knows how to do it. In this tutorial, we will tell you how often you should sharpen the blade of your meat slicer, what you will need, safety tips you need to ensure, and explain to you the step by step on how to sharpen a meat slicer blade.

The following guidelines will show you the procedures to properly sharpen your slicer.

How often do you need to sharpen the blade?

If the meat slicer is in commercial use, you have to sharpen the blade at least once every fortnight. For use at home sharpening it once a month should suffice.

In any case, regularly check the performance of the machine blade. When the device is not able to cut pieces fine and precisely, it means that it is blunt. Remember to maintain your equipment frequently by degreasing and lubricating it. If after this step you still don’t get perfect slices, sharpen the blade.

What you will need

  • Sharpening stone
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soft cloth
  • Water
  • Lubricating oil

Safety tips

During the pre-sharpening process, be careful when removing the blade guard so as not to injure yourself. Use a soft cloth dampened with water and dishwashing liquid to clean the part.

Avoid any contact of the device with humidity to reduce the risk of short circuits. Then use another small towel to wipe it off.

After sharpening, you will have to be very careful during the cutting sessions, since the blade will be perfectly sharp.

The process step by step

After purchase, it will be necessary to maintain this machine well to prolong its service life. Part of this includes sharpening the blade with which it is equipped. Electric or manual, the blade is the main component of any slicer. To do this, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Pre-sharpening

  • To save time, there is nothing better than having the right tools. The sharpener is the perfect equipment to do the job at hand. In the majority of cases, manufacturers provide this part when purchasing the device.

Whether integrated or removable, its mode of use generally remains the same. You can sharpen the blade with a honing steel or a sharpening stone, or an integrated sharpener.

How to Sharpen a Meat Slicer Blade in 5 Steps and Maintain It After That

According to most reviews, the 181N Dual-Grit Diamond Sharpening Stone, designed by Sharpal is by far one of the most reliable and time-proven ones. It is a dual-grit sharpening file with a leather strop for keeping the tool in good shape.

  • If your slicer is already equipped, you can place the sharpening stones securely on the machine.
  • Now you are going to make sure the blade is clean before you move on to sharpening. It will be a matter of cleaning it carefully using rubbing alcohol such as isopropyl or ethanol-based alcohol.
  • You can also rinse it with clean water. But first, it will need to be cleared of all dirt and food debris. This is because a blade is easier to sharpen when it is devoid of all of these particles.
  • To start sharpening, you must first turn off the slicer and unplug it. It should be remembered that this machine can cause possible accidents. It is, therefore, necessary to always take precautions.
  • That said, the next step is to remove the blade. Grease its surface using sharpening oil. This should be carefully chosen. A bad selection could affect the quality of the work done. If the manufacturer gives specific instructions for this, you must consider them to ensure the effectiveness of the blade.
  • So that the latter sticks perfectly to the wall, make sure that it is in position 0. You will then reconnect the slicer to proceed with its sharpening.

Step 2: Locate the sharpener button and install the sharpening stones

  • After that, look for the device lock button. It usually looks like a black plastic button. You can consult the manual to find your way easily among the parts of the machine.
  • Once found, unscrew it from the base shaft. Then install the stones on it and screw the button to its original location.
  • For slicers that come with sharpening stones, refer to the machine’s user guide. A place is generally provided on the manual for this purpose. So you just have to follow the instructions in the manual to fix the stones in their respective locations.

Step 3: Sharpening procedure

How to Sharpen a Meat Slicer Blade in 5 Steps and Maintain It After That

  • Now put the blade on the stones previously placed. Then fully tighten the lock knob until you hear a click. The latter proves that everything is ready for sharpening.
  • Once everything is in place, plug in the device and start sharpening the blade. After about 30 seconds of sharpening, turn the button off for 4 seconds. Then repeat the same process 3 times in a row.

Step 4: Post-sharpening

  • When the sharpening is truly completed, you have to finish the operation by putting everything back in place otherwise, the slicer will not work correctly.
  • Once finished, unplug the slicer and unscrew the lock knob. Slide the stones onto the left side of the base shaft. Next, turn the machine over to the right side of its base shaft, then tighten the knob back into place.
  • For the device to maintain its performance, remember to clean it well before using it. You must therefore degrease it with alcohol.
  • Rub the blade again with alcohol. Clean it and rinse it with clean water. This removes all metal particles generated by sharpening. Your slicer is now brand new again! Let’s go for quality cutting sessions!
  • Then pour a few drops of oil to lubricate the wheel. If you have done the previously mentioned phases, your machine will have been refurbished.

Meat slicer blade maintenance

Remember, you have to sharpen your meat slicer once every two weeks. Slicers are known to enhance the flavor of dishes with crisp cuts of meat.

Whether electric or manual, it is important to sharpen the blade regularly to preserve the quality of the latter. To achieve this, you just need to carefully follow the instructions presented above.

Also, you should ensure you wipe it clean after each use. After sharpening, the entire contraption has to be maintained and lubricated with oil at least once a month.

Final thoughts

The knife should be sharpened regularly to maintain productivity and to produce the highest quality slices. It is recommended that you wear cut-resistant gloves when sharpening the slicer. On models with a top-mounted sharpener, turn off the power and turn the thickness control dial to the minimum to fully close the fence. Before sharpening on automatic units, make sure that the slicer is set to manual mode, unplug the slicer, and fully clean and dry the blade on both sides before sharpening.

Remember, clean, sharpen, clean, sanitize. Some models have a removable sharpener with a fence-mounted design. Remember to always turn off the power and unplug the machine before sharpening. We hope you now know how to sharpen a meat slicer blade now and you can now maintain the device.


Meat slicer - Wikipedia
A meat slicer, also called a slicing machine, deli slicer or simply a slicer, is a tool used in butcher shops and delicatessens to slice meats, sausages, cheeses and other deli products.

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