Not all cooks have a food slicer, but those who do wouldn’t be without it. This Fix-It Guide on food slicer repair tells how a food slicer works, what often goes wrong, how to identify a food slicer problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. It then gives simple step-by-step instructions for how to disassemble a food slicer and how to service a food slicer thickness guide. This Fix-It Guide also refers to electrical cord repair, motor repair, and switch repair for further fix-it instructions.
How Does a Food Slicer Work?
A food slicer is a small appliance for quick, accurate cutting of meat, cheese, bread, vegetables, and other foods. It uses a motor to spin a serrated circular blade. Food held in a sliding tray is cut as it is pushed past the spinning blade. The stainless-steel blade is removable for cleaning, but it cannot be sharpened. You’ll need to replace it if it becomes dull or is damaged.
What Can Go Wrong with a Food Slicer?
Because a food slicer is just a blade and a motor, few things can go wrong with it. A dull blade or a buildup of food residue is usually the culprit behind most slicer problems. Blades and gears can be damaged. The power cord, switch, or motor can be faulty. The thickness guide and tray guides can be dirty. The slicer can become jammed. The blade can be clogged with food, or be loose or dull. The thickness guide may need adjustment.
To reduce stress on gears, let the motor warm up for a few seconds before slicing, especially denser foods.
How Can I Identify a Food Slicer Problem?
- If the slicer doesn’t work, make sure power is on at the outlet and test the electrical cord. Test the switch and the motor and repair or replace if faulty.
- If the slicer slips during use, clean the rubber feet and any suction cups that hold the slicer in place with denatured alcohol or glass cleaner.
- If the slicer makes excessive noise, access the gears and examine for wear or damage (see the Motor Fix-It Guide); replace any missing feet to prevent rocking.
- If the food tray doesn’t slide smoothly, clean the tray guides with a clean sponge dipped in soapy water, dry thoroughly, and lubricate with a few drops of salad oil; remove any food residue around the tray and blade and clean both with soapy water.
- If excessive pressure is required for slicing, remove the blade and clean it with soapy water. Tighten the blade retaining screw with a coin or screwdriver. Replace a dull blade. Also try removing the thickness guide and washing it in hot soapy water or in the top rack of the dishwasher, dry thoroughly, then lubricate it as needed. Adjust the thickness guide to cut thinner pieces and remove any pieces of food jammed in the guide.
You can make slicing thin steaks and fish easier by chilling the meat first in the refrigerator. Don’t freeze it.
What Do I Need for Food Slicer Repair?
- Denatured alcohol or glass cleaner
- Petroleum jelly
What Are the Steps to Food Slicer Repair?
Disassemble a food slicer:
- Unplug the slicer’s electrical cord for safety.
- Loosen the retaining screw and tap the slicing blade lightly from behind to loosen it. Remove the screw and carefully lift the blade away.
- Remove the tray by tipping the slicer over onto its motor and gently prying the tray guide off the rails.
- Support the motor with one hand and loosen the motor retaining screw, then slide the motor away from the slicer head.
- Remove screws as needed to separate the halves of the motor housing, exposing the pinion gear, motor, and on-off switch (see Appliance Controls) for inspection, repair, or replacement.
Service a food slicer thickness guide:
- Loosen the control knob and remove the thickness guide’s threaded shaft.
- Remove, wash, and dry all parts of the thickness guide.
- Lubricate the guide shaft with petroleum jelly, then reinstall the guide.
For fewest repairs, take a moment after using a slicer to clean it, especially the blade. Of course, make sure it is unplugged first.