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Daily Deals for Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Katrina Reyes
August 22nd, 2019 · 11 min read
Chef's Choice 609A Electric Food and Meat Slicer

Chefs Choice 609A Electric Food and Meat Slicer

Description

Color:Silver Chefschoice electric food slicer 609T 609 is rugged and powerful. It features a tilted food carriage design for fast and efficient slicing. The multi-purpose 7-inch stainless steel blade slices a wide variety of foods and the large Capacity food carriage retracts fully to permit slicing of extra large roasts, hams and other foods. Its easy-clean design features a removable blade, food carriage, food pusher and food deflector for quick and easy cleaning. Constructed with key components made of cast aluminum and stainless steel, the unit houses a powerful, cool running, high torque motor and features reliable, smooth, gear drive operation. It features precision thickness control for slicing a wide variety of foods including meat, vegetables, breads and cheese from deli-thin to 3/4-inch thick with a click of a safety button the food carriage can be secured in a lock position to limit access to blade when unit is not in use. Serving tray included.

Notes from the Community

Much better than I thought. Worth more than I paid.PROS:It can slice through everything. I prefer using it on completely frozen meat, and its great. Instead of paying $40+ per person to get shabushabu at a restaurant, I can just slice the meat myself at home. Basically, this is a small table saw for meat.It can slice very thin. Some people have commented that it cant slice super thin, but unless your definition of super thin is paper thin, then youre going to be satisfied. It can cut shabushabu thinner than the restaurants will do for you, so thats good enough for me.It feels safe. Despite wielding a rapidly spinning razor sharp blade, as long as youre using it the way its intended (theres a hand guard youre supposed to use to move the meat) it feels safe. If youre holding the meat with your bare hands and not paying attention, then this machine wont be very safe because of course its a moving blade. Just use it the way its supposed to be used (and its easy to use) and youll feel safe using it too.Its inexpensive and itll pay for itself. Ive saved a lot of money by slicing my own sandwich meat and shabushabu meat. A few years ago I remember searching for a meat slicer online and found out that most of them were hundreds of dollars, or more. Chefs Choice makes these units basically for consumers only (not the types they use in stores which are much larger), but for a consumer item its really a great deal. The price is great (typically under $100), and if your budget is higher for a home-use machine you can get the other models which have an all-metal surface which looks even nicer.Its solid and sturdy. I dont have to worry if this thing is going to fall over, or move while Im cutting meat. Its got weight, and reminds me of working with a KitchenAid stand mixer (also another good item to have in your kitchen). A machine like this should be heavy.You feel like a boss using it. That is all.CONS: Cleaning. Its not the easiest machine to clean. You have to take certain parts of it off and wash them separately, and other parts wash with a sponge and dry on the machine itself (such as washing the body). Its kind of heavy so it usually takes me about 10~15 minutes to wash it completely. Also the blade needs to be cleaned carefully because its sharp, and you dont want to just submerse it in water because youd lose the grease in the center. Cleaning this thing is a careful job and needs to be done each time youre finished using it. Still, besides this con, I think this is going to be the same with any large machine you purchase, so I wouldnt remove a star because of it.NOTE: Also make sure to pick up the Chef`s Choice Non-serrated Blade for this. The one it comes with works perfectly and can even cut shabushabu fine, but the non-serrated blade is able to get an even thinner cut for that see-through thinness youve only seen in butcher shops. The non-serrated blade is also a bit quieter when it cuts, and makes less of a mess (less tiny pieces of meat hitting the machine) and might work better for you when youre slicing through things that are frozen. Construction:In a word - excellent. The thickness adjustment plate is made of aluminum and the guide rods appear to be stainless steel. The shell that holds the drive train is also cast aluminum. The food carriage is ABS plastic with a stainless steel top. The glide rails are made of a low friction plastic. The blade is stainless steel and very sharp. Operation is smooth and the fit and finish leave nothing to be desired.I included some pictures of the drive train up top under customer images. The motor is a husky high RPM DC type with a metal worm gear that drives a plastic copolymer spur gear that finally drives a large ring gear attached to the blade. Lubrication on the worm gear in my unit was a bit light so I applied some old teletype grease Ive been using for years - and years - and more years. The back plate is an aluminum casting that holds all the parts securely. Wire routing is superb. The drive train cover holds a cowl that fits over the motor and directs the air from the fan over the windings. The unit has a very precise look - like something that might be made in Germany though its not.The brushes are carbon/copper composite and the commutator is about an inch in diameter with many segments. The bearings appear to be phosbronze rather than ball bearings but the side thrust is minimal due to the worm gear drive so sleeve bearings are fine here. I have nothing but good things to say about the way the drive train is designed or the materials used. Top shelf all the way.Some reviewers (I suspect theyre mostly grumpy old men who think a 56 Chevy was the last good car ever to hit the showroom floor) criticize the use of plastic gears. I disagree. Plastic gears have been used successfully for thirty years now and for small appliances like this they are much better than metal gears. They have a slicker surface so they glide better. They are strong. They are quiet. However, the slicer has no safety clutch and the high gearing means that the motor can apply tremendous torque to the toothed gears that drive the blade. People who break the teeth are probably jamming materials into the blade too fast. The blade turns at approximately 20 inches per second under no load and the feed rate on dense and frozen food should be no more than 2 inches per second. If the blade is slowing down the feed rate is too high. One characteristic of a DC motor like this one is that its torque increases as it is placed under load. Its like the starter motor in your car. I make a point not to apply any more pusher pressure than is needed to keep the cut uniform and I release pressure when I pull the carriage back. This minimizes load on the blade. The addition of a clutch would be an improvement but it would add to the cost. My advice is to take it slow - this isnt a $2000 Hobart.Maintenance:Disassembly is easy. All major parts come off in just a few seconds. They even made the blade stripper removable - its a small black plastic piece at the bottom of the blade. Cleaning the blade is a challenge simply because its so sharp. I use a general purpose pot and pan brush. Be careful! You can shave with this thing. I usually apply a dab of vaseline to the drive train spur gear when I reattach the blade. I also remove the drive train face plate (two screws and clip on the right side) and lubricate the worm gear when I plan to do heavy cutting. Lack of lubrication at worm gear will cause heat buildup due to the very high RPM operation.Operation:The DC motor is reasonably quiet - its the same motor one finds in small vacuum cleaners so expect it to whine. Its probably turning at 20,000 rpm. The fan on the back is designed to force a high volume of air across the windings and the motor runs quite cool. Any fan running at such high speed makes a fair amount of noise. I have run it for over twenty minutes and there was no indication the motor was getting hot.The serrated blade is fine for fairly coarse cuts. However, when I attempted to slice chicken breasts (admittedly very well cooked) the result was more like chicken hash than chicken slices. It turned the chicken into crumbs. I have ordered the non-serrated blade (advertised as working on the 610) and will report if this works better. The serrated blade just beats the chicken to death. I had better luck with cooked ham. The trick was to hold the ham fairly high off the tray using the pusher assembly.Another slight problem is that the front edge of the sliding feed tray is almost 1/4 away from the blade. This causes soft meat to dive under the blade at the front and back edges of the cut and causes a mess. I plan to attach a thin strip of plexiglass on the edge of the tray to take up the gap. The front tray edge is plenty thick enough to drill and tap for a couple of flat head mounting screws. Once Ive taken up the gap I expect much less problem with the blade grabbing the food and pushing it down. (Please see 2012-03-10 comment below)A small plastic tray slides between the left and right pedestals and catches the sliced food well. Because it is held in place it doesnt slide around like it does on the 610. Better design here.Conclusion:Im completely satisfied with the unit given the price. It will pay for itself by letting me make my own sandwich meats. Not to mention the health benefits of avoiding all those carcinogenic sodium nitrites used as preservatives.Based on my observations and experience with small motor appliances over the years I feel very confident this slicer will operate reliably for a long time to come.Addenda2011-12-15 10:35 -Just received a non-serrated blade for the 610 and it fits perfectly. The blade is made in Germany and assembled in China. Its very sharp. Chefs Choice Non-serrated Blade for Model 610 Food Slicer2011-12-20 15:14 -Absolutely LOVE the non-serrated blade. Its super easy to keep clean because the both sides of the blade are smooth. I adjust the thickness guide so it guards the edge of the blade and wipe each side of the blade with a damp sponge while the blade is turning. No need to remove the blade at all. The serrated blade, on the other hand, catches all sorts of food bits on the lumpy side which makes cleaning with a sponge difficult.I can now cut the chicken breasts in 1/16 slices and they hold together perfectly. The serrated blade turned the chicken into hash.2011-12-30 16:48 -Just to let you know, I havent forgotten about the plex strip but with the new smooth blade there isnt nearly as much of a problem so I havent felt the need to add it yet. Ill be cutting up another ham in a week or so and Ill have the strip installed for that. Ill post some pictures and any relevant comments.One slight design flaw Ive noticed is that the edge of the plastic insert sticks out past the edge of the blade hole. This causes long cuts more than three inches high to hang up when shoving them through. Im fortunate to have a lathe large enough to hold the blade so I cut the plastic back and beveled the edge of the locking screw. That helped. I could have faced off the locking screw to flush but didnt want to weaken it.Ive also found that on my unit the locking screw needs only be finger tight. As soon as the blade starts turning it grabs the screw and tightens it - thats the reason the threads are counterclockwise. By letting the machine do the tightening Im much less likely to overtighten and break what is one of the weakest parts of the machine.I like to do very thin cuts and my blade was not parallel to the back guide plate so I took off the bottom plate, loosened the 4 mounting screws that hold the blade and motor assembly to the base and inserted two .015 shims (from a set of cheap spark plug gapper blades) on the back side. This brought the blade much closer to parallel. If anyone is interested in this I will be happy to post a picture showing where the shims were inserted.Happy New Year to all! Im glad you find the review helpful.2012-01-22 09:08 -The smooth blade has eliminated my desire to extend the tray. The blade cuts so smoothly that it doesnt push the food down like the serrated blade. Still very pleased with the unit. Its so easy to clean that I use it without a second thought for tomatoes, onions, etc. Afterward I just wipe it down with a microfiber rag and put it away. The smooth blade makes all the difference. I wish they would sell the unit with the smooth blade as an option. The serrated blade is probably better for things like bread but it makes a mess and is really hard to keep clean.2012-03-10 16:10 -At the request of two of the comments I took the time to install a plexiglass spacer strip. It was an education. I used 1/8 plexiglass (and I measured it to make sure), .75 wide and about 6.5 long. As you can see in the images section I cut a bevel on the bottom edge to allow more movement. The plex catches on the blade mounting plate behind the back edge of the blade so I couldnt make the spacer extend all the way to the end of the tray. The use of a shorter spacer wont matter much because the blade catches and pushes food down at the end of the stroke - and thats where the spacer is. It is unusual for me to cut a piece of meat that is more than six inches long.On a totally different note - my unit started screeching like bejeesus for no apparent reason. I took off the front plate behind the blade and looked around but couldnt see anything wrong. After reassembly the noise was gone. Ill keep a history of this - it was a VERY BAD NOISE and Im not happy about it. It sure sounded like a dry bearing.2012-04-11 11:19 -Im very pleased with the spacer. Just sliced some fully defrosted ham and got to within 1/8 with no meat diving under the blade. Well worth the time and materials!2012-10-03 09:16 -Continue to be pleased with this product. The screeching sound I heard once has never occurred again and I suspect it was just not having the blade cinched down tight enough. I now use the serrated blade for cutting buns and bread - the smooth blade binds too much. Its best for thin sliced meats. I read many of the reviewer comments and watched several YouTube videos about this machine before purchasing it. In the end, I probably should have spent a little more to get what I really* wanted, but for the price, this is a reliable, good machine.Likes:+ Easy to operate. Essentially a turn-key operation. It comes ready to go out of the box.+ Easy to clean. It comes apart pretty easily and cleans up quickly.+ Consistency in cut-thickness.Dislikes:- I think the base that the food goes on should be about 1/2 - 3/4 higher in relationship to the blade. When getting to the end of whatever Im slicing, the cut seems to get caught toward the bottom of the blade.- The catcher-tray does not have a stable seat. One of the things that drew me to this unit was the catcher tray, but it does not sit well. In some cases, Im better off just putting a sheet of wax paper under the slicer. A slight change in the design of the units base would provide a better, more stable platform for holding the catcher tray.- Doesnt slice as thin as Id like. Sometimes I want THIN slices. This machine cant quite get to the thinness that I get at the deli.Overall, I like it. I dont necessarily love it, but its definitely better than okay. For the price point, its a reliable machine that will do most of what you want. Very good for hotpot meat.

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