There aren’t too many kitchen skills that can drop jaws the way slicing can.
When you watch a professional chef chop and prep ingredients at incredible speed with perfect precision, it’s hard not to sit in awe and just say, “wow”.
However, not all of us can chop and slice like that, which is why there are tons of different slicers and slicing tools on the market today.
Fruit, vegetable, and meat slicers have made life much easier for tons of cooks and professional chefs by streamlining the prep process, allowing them to focus on other things.
However, if you check the internet for different food slicers, you’ll find a ton of different categories that can be outright confusing at times.
So, to help you out, we’ve created a guide to the types of slicers out there, what they’re used for, and when you’ll need one in the kitchen.
If you find yourself stumped with the endless stream of options when it comes to slicers, you’ve come to the right place.
With the information in this article, you’ll easily be able to distinguish the different kinds of slicers and find just the right one for your kitchen needs.
Read on to learn more.
Types of Slicers
The all-purpose slicer isn’t designed for any specific ingredients.
Instead, the slicer is designed to handle a wide variety of ingredients, such as different fruits and vegetables.
Because of their versatility, all-purpose slicers are a very useful tool for any kitchen to have.
Both professional and home kitchens can benefit from a home slicer, though they might be a little too large and impractical for some home cooks.
All-purpose slicers come with a variety of settings for different tasks such as slicing, dicing, shredding, wedging, and even coring certain ingredients.
These slicers are typically equipped with a blade and pusher blocks that can be interchanged depending on the tasks at hand.
An all-purpose slicer can be used for bell peppers, onions, radishes, red cabbage, strawberries, bananas, cheese, and even chicken breasts.
An all-purpose slicer is one of the most versatile tools to have in the kitchen and does a great job of increasing functionality and efficiency.
However, because of their size, these slicers are best recommended for commercial and professional kitchens.
The mandoline is probably one of the most familiar slicers out there.
A mandoline slicer is very versatile and can handle a wide range of tasks and ingredients.
And in this day and age, mandolines have different settings to achieve a different type of cut.
Some mandolines can slice, julienne, and even chop certain ingredients.
A mandoline slicer has a fairly unique design compared to other commercial slicers on the market.
Instead of using a pusher block, chefs need to slide the ingredients along the blades to make slices.
Some mandolines come with pushers for added safety, while others come with gloves to protect your hands.
The blades on a mandoline are very sharp, which is why chefs and cooks are highly advised to take care when using a mandoline slicer to avoid accidents.
Mandolines are long and rectangular and sometimes have legs attached so you can place a bowl under the slicer.
A mandoline slicer isn’t designed to handle one specific ingredient, instead, it can be used for a bunch of different things from fruits, to vegetables, to cheese, and even meat!
Corers and wedgers are commonly seen in bars to make life easier for bartenders.
These tools are specifically designed to remove the cores on fruits like apples and peaches.
Another use of these tools is slicing different fruits like oranges and lemons into cores that can be used in dishes or as garnishes for drinks.
There are many different types of corers and wedgers out there, and some are even designed to handle more specific tasks such as peeling and coring a pineapple at the same time.
A corer or wedger is similar in design to all-purpose slicers with a set of blades and pusher blocks that can sometimes be interchanged or adjusted.
If you make cocktails and want to have an easier time when slicing fruits into wedges, or if you have a bar and want to increase efficiency, then a corer and wedger would be great tools to have in the kitchen.
As the name suggests, these tools are designed to shred, cut, and slice lettuce.
Since the head of lettuce is fairly large, other slicers on the market won’t be able to fit one in their mechanism.
However, lettuce cutters are made very large so that they can fit whole heads of lettuce, though sometimes, you still might have to slice it in half if it’s exceptionally large.
And since they’re so large, they can even take in larger ingredients such as cooked chicken breast or a whole lemon.
The machines are designed to cleanly slice, shred, or chop lettuce to avoid bruising.
The trouble with using other machines for slicing lettuce is that they tend to crush the leaves that results in bruising, which isn’t something you would want in a professional kitchen with high standards.
Tomatoes are notoriously hard to slice.
And in a professional restaurant, painstakingly hand slicing every single tomato might just take too much time and effort.
If that’s the case, a tomato slicer would be a great tool to have at your disposal.
The pusher on these machines is curved so it can accommodate the shape of the tomato.
One of the reasons tomatoes are so hard to slice is because they’re very delicate.
So, tomato slicers have very sharp blades that can easily and cleanly slice through the fruit.
On top of tomatoes, these tools can also be sued for strawberries, mushrooms, oranges, and other curved, delicate ingredients.
French Fry Cutters
If you have a restaurant that serves French fries, you’ll understand the struggle of chopping a potato into even slices that would fit perfectly and cook evenly in the deep fryer.
Cutting French fries takes a lot of time, but the process can be streamlined by using a French fry cutter.
These are a fair niche tool, but for the right people, they can make a huge difference.
To use a French fry cutter, all you have to do is load the potato, press down on the pusher, and the potato will be evenly sliced and ready for frying.
Sometimes, French fry cutters come with different settings so you can have varied types of fries.
Onions are hard to cut, especially for beginners.
Aside from the fact that you need precision when slicing an onion, onions release chemicals when being sliced that cause people to tear up.
With an onion cutter, you don’t need to worry about tearing up when slicing.
All you have to do is load the onion, press down, and it will be finely chopped and ready for cooking.
Since these machines have very sharp blades, they can also be used for tomatoes, lemons, oranges, celery, and other delicate ingredients.
These aren’t the only types of slicers on the market, but they are by far the most popular out there.
When shopping for kitchen slicers, these are the most common variations you’ll find.
A slicer is a great machine to have in both a professional and home kitchen since it makes the prepping process much faster and efficient.
And now that you know about all the different types of slicers, it will be much easier for you to find the right fit for your kitchen!
Ryan LeavittHi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.
We give these knives a quick twirl and review, and then we pass them on to a few lucky home chefs!