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456 of 463 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nerd's eye view
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...
Published on December 13, 2011 by Lyn Robie

versus
175 of 189 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Would have had 4 stars before it quit
I really enjoyed having this appliance around and it saved me a bunch of money and very convenient and workable for the tasks I had to accomplish. It was a bit slow going, but it's not a commercial model, so that wasn't a big thing. Up till a few months ago, I would have given this thing 4 stars and strongly recommended buying it to anyone that asked.

Then...
Published on March 30, 2012 by George Alos Jr.


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456 of 463 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nerd's eye view, December 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
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 I've 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 it's 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 they're 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. It's 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 isn't a $2000 Hobart.

Maintenance:

Disassembly is easy. All major parts come off in just a few seconds. They even made the blade stripper removable - it's a small black plastic piece at the bottom of the blade. Cleaning the blade is a challenge simply because it's 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 - it's the same motor one finds in small vacuum cleaners so expect it to whine. It's 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 I've 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 doesn't slide around like it does on the 610. Better design here.

Conclusion:

I'm 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.

Addenda

2011-12-15 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. It's very sharp. Chef's Choice Non-serrated Blade for Model 610 Food Slicer

2011-12-20 15:14 -

Absolutely LOVE the non-serrated blade. It's 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 haven't forgotten about the plex strip but with the new smooth blade there isn't nearly as much of a problem so I haven't felt the need to add it yet. I'll be cutting up another ham in a week or so and I'll have the strip installed for that. I'll post some pictures and any relevant comments.

One slight design flaw I've 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. I'm 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 didn't want to weaken it.

I've 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 - that's the reason the threads are counterclockwise. By letting the machine do the tightening I'm 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! I'm 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 doesn't push the food down like the serrated blade. Still very pleased with the unit. It's 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 couldn't make the spacer extend all the way to the end of the tray. The use of a shorter spacer won't matter much because the blade catches and pushes food down at the end of the stroke - and that's 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 couldn't see anything wrong. After reassembly the noise was gone. I'll keep a history of this - it was a VERY BAD NOISE and I'm not happy about it. It sure sounded like a dry bearing.

2012-04-11 11:19 -

I'm 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. It's best for thin sliced meats.
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161 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNBELIEVABLE!, December 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
I wanted a slicer for the house and was skeptical... I've seen lots of junk over the years. 40 yrs commercial foodservice and Navy Mess Specialist provided me w/ plenty of scars from Globes and Berkels I still wear today.
Although major components are metal, there was enough plastic to disapoint upon initial inspection. I was wrong. The slicer is easy to clean, safe to operate and wonderfully efficient WITH the serrated blade it comes with.
The 1st use was for rendering a great corn beef and cabbage meal into reubens a couple days later. Today, it paid for itself. I cured and smoked 2 pork bellies into 20+ lbs of bacon. They're vac sealed and in the freezer... PERFECTLY sliced. I would not use for any commercial application, but for the house, it's the best $79 I have ever spent.
The difference between good and bad slicers are measured in the waste/scrap and basic inefficiency of the machine with regard to sharpness and tolerance of components. Again, I say, 'UNBELIEVABLE!'. Very good product at an exceptional price. Thanks AMAZON.
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175 of 189 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Would have had 4 stars before it quit, March 30, 2012
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
I really enjoyed having this appliance around and it saved me a bunch of money and very convenient and workable for the tasks I had to accomplish. It was a bit slow going, but it's not a commercial model, so that wasn't a big thing. Up till a few months ago, I would have given this thing 4 stars and strongly recommended buying it to anyone that asked.

Then during one short use, it got very warm quickly and started screeching like an alley cat. Thinking something got lodged, I took it apart and examined and cleaned it thoroughly. Upon putting it back together, the motor simply started humming, and it simply quit. The motor had simply fried.

I've known one other person who had the same issue and I've seen it here as well. Admittedly, this was not an expensive appliance, but neither is it used even weekly. To only last 18 months is a bit of a short life in my opinion, and reflective of a less than stellar parts list.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't last, June 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
After about a dozen uses the internal gear stripped out. These were very light uses. I was happy with the unit until then. The gear is plastic and will not last. I would avoid this model.

Update: I contacted Chef's Choice Customer Service http://www.chefschoice.com/commcontact.html and told them that the unit has stripped out the plastic gear that drives the blade. Even though it was out of warranty they sent out a replacement gear in the mail, no charge. They also recommended that I use Petrol Gel lubricant after each cleaning and liberally coat the screw gear. Unfortunately it appears the only way to apply any amount to this gear is to open up the panel by removing the two screws holding down the face plate. I give Chef's Choice and "A" for effort, but I would still avoid this model. I haven't given up on Chef's Choice, but when it is time to replace this slicer (most likely sooner rather than later)I will spend more and get metal gearing.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great at home slicer, April 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
The pros:
Slices through frozen meat well, just take your time and don't force it.
You can use the serrated blade that came with it for frozen meat just fine.
Easy clean up.

The cons:
There's a plastic screw that you need to use a quarter or other coin to get the blade off for cleaning. Keep this well greased and don't over tighten it when putting it back on.

I only use this for slicing raw, frozen meat to make dog treats with (see my other review on the nesco dehydrator). It's great. Thin slices are the easiest to make. For thicker pet store looking jerky, use it at 5, just go slow and don't try to force anything. If you want it to be a little easier, leave the frozen meat out on the counter for 10 minutes or so. Do you have to? No. But, you can if you want.

I use Clorox wipes to clean the main parts of the machine when I'm done. On/Off switch, legs, back, and platform. Anything that's removable (blade, plastic screw, sliding platform, pokey meat holder deal) I take it off and wash. Those are the main parts that are touching the food anyways.

Lube:
They don't pack any with the machine, however, instructions say that you can use petroleum jelly. It is important to keep it well lubricated.
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53 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blade's gear is made of plastic, worn out easily, October 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
I bought this product due to the great reviews that it has. It works well the first 3 times that I used it, on the 4th time the blade started having problem turning. Eventually it stop spinning at all, I contacted Chef's Choice and the agent said that the gear is made of plastic and will wears out, I guess this is a know problem with this model since he was able to quickly tell me exactly what the issue is. They have the parts on order coming from 'over sea' and can not give me an estimate on when it will arrives. There are several parts that I can see that are made of plastic, he did not ask in detail what was wrong, so I'm not sure if he has the right part in mind.

The agent asked for my first name and phone number and said he'll call me when it come in, due to the haste that the agent was in to get me off the phone I have a feeling that they will not follow up with me(he did not confirm my name or number). I will contact them in a month to follow up on the 'over sea' part.

Update March 2013, as expected no contact from Chef's Choice, it has been over 5 months since I contacted them. I will try calling again.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, easy to use. Not a professional deli slicer though, January 10, 2012
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
I've been looking for a decent home slicer for quite some time. I've been perusing craigslist for used commercial grade slicers as well as ebay. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and want something that is well made and will last. I got this as a gift today and have used it already. I'm very pleased with it, considering it's a fairly small home model. I've never owned a home slicer and have only seen commercial ones, so my viewpoint may be jaded. My plans for this are to slice lunch meats and cheeses that I get at Costco, perhaps every 3 or 4 weeks.

Overall the slicer seems well made, but the value means some parts were skimped on. Many parts are metal, but there is a lot of plastic as well. It seems durable, however since I've only had it one day I can't vouch for it's durability. I quickly sliced a half a ham and a large salami with ease. The motor is fairly loud, but this isn't something that will be on for more than a few minutes at a time. I quickly noticed something about the thickness guide that users should know: despite being partly metal, the large flat guide area that the food rests against flexes if you push on the meat/cheese too hard. This means if you are forceful with it, your slices will be thicker than you want. If you lightly push the food into the blade, you can get the paper thin slices of meat that you really want. The name of the game is "finesse."

Clean up was fairly quick and easy, the food carriage/guide locks into place over the blade and the power cord pushes into the enclosed base so it stores neatly. The footprint is small and it's fairly light.

Despite this review pointing out what appear to be shortcomings, this is an excellent value at $100 or under. Because it's very affordable, you'll have to work with it and be aware that it's not the huge stainless steel Bizerba you see at your local deli. I think it would be great for occasional to moderate use. You will be able to get very thin slices if you are gentle with it and don't rush it. If you're looking for a large, heavy and bulletproof slicer, look elsewhere. If you want that you'll pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in quality., November 8, 2013
By 
UOdux (Oregon USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
Had this slicer for less than a year; using it about once or twice a month and the wheel inside stripped and left a mess inside the motor well. The wheel is made of cheap plastic and apparently isn't durable enough for the slicer. Not sure if the part is replaceable or not, certainly don't care at this point, as we've decided to replace is with a brand we had previously that lasted for years, probably because it didn't have cheap plastic parts.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy So Far, January 22, 2012
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
Got this slicer as a gift. Have had about a month. Use a couple times a week to slice beef and breads. Overall, a nice home slicer. Has some plastic, some metal parts. Have not bought the non-serrated blade since up to now I am happy with what it came with. Was apprehensive about getting something like this due to having to deal with the blade, but so far have been fine. Fairly easy to break down and clean. When slicing bread, doesn't take long to clean since a quick wipe down with diluted bleach/water is usually all that is needed. If slicing meat, will definitely want to do a full break down to get it clean, which takes longer. For meat, cool or chill first to get a better slice. Works fine for general sandwich slices and things like chipped beef. Does good on the homemade bread, too. For softer loaves, again find chilling helps. A few notes: Is noisy, but not bad. Is not too heavy (about the same as a large crock pot). Easy enough to store and pull out when needed. Cord stores away in a compartment for convenience. Remember to lube the gears and blade so it'll run better (and last longer). Have decided it is very nice to have additive/ nitrate/ salt-free lunchmeat around the house (that doesn't cost a fortune)!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, not bad, April 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer (Kitchen)
I bought this for slicing bacon as many other reviewers mention. I've used it three times now and it does what I wanted... mostly.

If you're interested in cutting slabs of bacon, it will cut food up to 9 1/2 inches long (good), but the sliding tray and cutting fence are less than 7 inches long, so longer foods get a bit dodgey to slice (not so good). It also leaves a gap of about 1/4" - 3/8" between the cutting tray and the blade, so you end up with a bit at the end of each piece that you can't slice.

The power cord comes off the right side of the device (when facing it to slice food) and is about 25% longer than the slicer itself. Not really a problem if your power outlet is to the right of where you plan to do your cutting, but in my kitchen, all the plugs seem to be on the left of where I would like to use this. I can use it without an extension cord, but can only set it up in two very specific places.

This works best with meat that it almost frozen, and even then you'll probably need to flip the meat over every 1-2 slices or you'll develop a "tail" on the bottom of what you're cutting.

I came out to Amazon tonight to write a review and to try and return this. Unfortunately, it was delivered 35 days ago and I've missed my chance by 5 days. I'm not broken up about keeping it, and I know I'll make reasons to use it now that I have it, but if I could send it back, I would.
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Chef's Choice 609 Premium Electric Food Slicer
$130.00 $99.95
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