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What Is a Manual Bread Slicer?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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A manual bread slicer is a plastic or wooden structure that holds a loaf of bread and has one or more slots that guide the knife while slicing through the bread. The purpose of the manual slicer is to cut a loaf of bread evenly and to prevent the bread from being crushed during cutting. Most manual bread slicers do not come with a bread knife.

Typically, a manual bread slicer has a base with edges that will accommodate a standard size loaf of bread. Coming up from the edges is either one knife guide or several guides. When there is one knife guide, the loaf of bread is placed on the platform so that one edge of the bread protrudes beyond the knife guide at the thickness the bread needs to be cut. The first cut is then made and the slice of bread is removed. If more slices are desired, the bread is slid forward in the slicer and another cut is made.

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When a manual bread slicer has more than one knife guide, the loaf of bread does not need to be moved at all during the slicing or, if the loaf is long, it will only need to be moved two or three times to completely slice through the loaf. To use this type of slicer, the bread is placed on the platform so that the edge of the loaf is just beyond the first knife guide. The knife is then slid into the first guide, the bread is cut, and then the knife is placed into the next guide and the bread is sliced again. This continues until the loaf is completely cut. If the loaf is longer than the available knife guides, the sliced bread is removed, when all the guides have been used, and the loaf of bread is then slid forward in the slicer.

A long, serrated bread knife should be used with a manual bread slicer. When using a manual bread slicer, the knife should be slid into the guide and, with very little downward pressure, it should be gently used to saw through the bread. The serrated edge moving back and forth across the bread should cut the bread rather than downward pressure.

The manufacturer's instructions for cleaning a manual bread slicer vary and should always be followed. Most manual bread slicers, however, are cleaned by simply dumping the crumbs in the garbage and wiping the slicer down with a damp cloth. Occasionally, slicers will need to be washed with warm water and dish soap and then carefully dried.

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candyquilt
Post 3

@ZipLine-- Electric slicers for home use are a little difficult to find. They cost more and they don't work as well as the commercial ones. Unless you are running bakery out of the home, a manual bread slicer is enough for most people.

turquoise
Post 2

@ZipLine--Is the top of the slotted structure open?

If the top is not open and if the sides of the plastic are very high, it can be difficult to operate the knife. There are bread guides that have low sides and an open top. I own one like this and it's very easy to use. I have not had any problems cutting the bread and inserting into the slots.

Also make sure that you are using a proper, sharp bread knife as other knives or blunt knives will make the cutting part difficult. Since the knife needs to go into the slot, there is less room to maneuver the knife.

ZipLine
Post 1

I bought a manual bread slicer last week instead of an electric slicer because of the low cost. I was hoping that it would work well, but I'm a little disappointed.

It's a wooden platform with a plastic structure that goes over the bread. It has slots to put the knife through for even slices.

The idea is nice but it doesn't work too well in application. It's difficult to cut through bread with thick, crispy crust. I think one needs an electric knife to use this type of bread slicer effectively. I guess I should have saved money for an electric counter-top slicer.

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