If you’re among the lucky ones that have their very own meat slicer at home, at some point, you’ll need to know the sharpening process.
A meat slicer is a must-have item for anyone wishing to make their meat look as delicious as it tastes. Sharpening a meat slicer blade properly preserves the life span and also the quality of the slicer.
After scouring every corner of the internet, we’ve managed to put together the ultimate sharpening guide, including how-to’s, precautions, and overall maintenance.
If you want to learn how to sharpen a meat slicer blade, keep on reading.
When Your Blade Needs Sharpening?
Before we get into the process, we first have to recognize when the meat slicer blade is due for a sharpen.
For meat slicers to perform to the best of their ability they need to be extremely sharpened.
Inexperienced users may not realize just how sharpened their blade has to be, so they end up cutting the meat with a dull blade.
To check whether or not your meat slicer blade needs sharpening, you’ll want to grab a food item that has a smooth surface, such as a tomato or an apple.
Carefully slice the apple with your meat slicer. If you have to add a lot of pressure to the apple to ensure the blade cuts through it, this means your blade needs sharpening.
The blade shouldn’t roll off the smooth surface of the apple either.
Another way to know if your meat slicer blade needs sharpening is to see the quality of your meat after cutting it. If the meat comes out in uneven slices or shredded then, your blade is dull.
Tools You’ll Need
To sharpen your meat slicer blade, you’ll need the following things:
- Protective gloves: Since the blade will become extremely sharp, you must protect your fingers using cut-proof gloves. If you don’t have any special gloves, you can always use thick work gloves .
- Safety glasses: During any procedure where sharp objects are involved, you must wear a pair of safety glasses in case anything flies off and causes damage to your eyes.
- Sharpening stone/whetstone: In order to sharpen your slicer blade, you’ll have to have a sharpening stone, also referred to as a whetstone. Some meat slicers already come prepared with sharpening stones.
- Cloth: When you’ve finished sharpening your meat slicer, you’ll want to use a soft washcloth to wipe it clean. Avoid rough materials when cleaning as it’ll only scratch the material and cause it to rust.
- Blade sanitizer: Since your slicer is used for cutting meat and other food items, it’s necessary you use a form of sanitizer to ensure the bacteria is kept at bay.
How To Sharpen A Meat Slicer Blade by Hand
Make sure the meat sharpener’s power cord is unplugged before beginning the process.
Step 1: Position the stone on the meat slicer
Always refer to the instruction manual before starting. Inside the manual, you should find instructions on how to place the sharpener stone or whetstone on the meat slicer correctly. It’ll involve placing the stone on the edge of the blade.
Step 2: Lock blade and sharpening stones in place
Locate the sharpener locking knob. Usually, you’ll find it to the left of the machine. The locking knob is made from black plastic and needs to be unscrewed from the base shaft area. If you’re having trouble locating it, refer to the instruction manual.
Lock both the blade and sharpening stone in place at the base shaft of the meat slicer. Tighten up the locking knob until you hear a clicking sound - this means the screw is as tight as it will go.
Step 3: Begin the sharpening task
Once all the preparation has been completed, it’s time to start sharpening. Place your safety goggles on to protect your eyes from any flying metal particles. Go ahead and plug the meat slicer into the outlet and switch it on.
Making sure your fingers are out of the way and in cut-resistant gloves, turn the machine on and let the blade grind along with the sharpening stone.
Allow the machine to run for 30 seconds before turning it off and letting it rest for another 4 seconds. Turn the meat slicer on and let it run for another 30 seconds.
You’ll want to repeat this process a total of 3 times.
To check whether or not the blades are sharpened enough, you’ll need to turn off the machine. Use the same apple test to check the sharpness of the blade.
If the blade slices through the food without any added pressure, similar to a very sharp knife, then the blades are sharp enough. If it still struggles when slicing through the food, turn the machine on and sharpen it once more.
Step 4: Unmounting the sharpening stone
Once your blades have been sharpened, you’ll want to remove the stone from the machine. To do so, you need to unscrew the knob located on the slicer’s left side and carefully slide the stone off the blades. When the stone has been removed, tighten up the locking safety feature.
Step 5: A clean blade
After checking your blade’s sharpness, you’ll want to go ahead and clean it. You can use a dishcloth and detergent water to do so.
Make sure you are using a mild detergent and soft washcloths to clean the blades carefully. With a new washcloth, wipe away any metal particles that have been leftover on the blades.
Step 6: Disinfect the blade
To get rid of any bacteria and germs, you’ll need to use a disinfectant on your blades. If you don’t have any special sanitizer, you can just use rubbing alcohol. Cover the surface of the blade right up to the cutting edge with alcohol and let it air dry.
Grab some sharpening oil and rub it across the blade's surface. Once dry, pop on the blade guard. Store your appliance in a secure and dry place.
How To Sharpen A Blade With A Built-in Sharpener
Step 1: Clean the blades
Before you sharpen a meat slicer with a built-in sharpener, you should get rid of any leftover food or cooking oil. Simply wipe the blades down with detergent and warm water.
Step 2: The sharpening kit
Loosen the knob to realize the built-in sharpener. Swivel the attachment 180 degrees until it is positioned with the sharpening stones and blades touching. Once the sharpener is set in place, lock the knob near the gauge plate back up.
Step 3: Begin sharpening
Locate the sharpening stone button and switch it on. After you switch it on, let the blade spin against the sharpening stone for 30 seconds. Let the blade rest for 4 seconds before running it for another 30 seconds.
Ensure you’re only holding the button to pause for 4 seconds at max. Any longer could cause the blade damage.
Step 4: Cleaning up
Once the machine has a sharp slice, you can go ahead and clean it. Use warm water and dish soap to clean the blade. Rinse everything off and add a lubricating oil so the blade doesn’t rust. Rest the sharpening stone to the starting position, take care of the sharp edge, and place the blade cover back.
- Always unplug the slicer from the outlet before cleaning and only turn it on when instructed to do so.
- Since the machine contains electrical components, you should never submerge it in water.
- Always place the blade guard back on the meat slicer to avoid any accidental slicing .
When it comes to the proper maintenance of your slicer, it is important that you sharpen your blade regularly.
This will avoid the slicer becoming too dull, making it very hard to maintain.
Always clean the slicer after use. This not only helps keep bacteria at bay, but it’ll also ensure your blade lives longer.
Oil up your machine once a month to avoid rust.
Read More: How Often Must a Meat Slicer Be Cleaned and Sanitized?
The Bottom Line: Meat Slicer Blade Sharpening
So, you now know how to sharpen a meat slicer blade. It’s a rather straightforward process. However, you should always refer to the manual of your specific slicer to ensure you’re doing it correctly.
Always take care of your hands and eyes when handling the appliance and ensure it’s unplugged when you’re cleaning the blade.