Choosing a knife and plate for your machine should be a fairly simple process but it’s not always that easy.
And there are 2 reasons for this.
1. Manufacturers of mixer grinders and mincers have not agreed a standard
They have all designed their bowl or barrels differently so some plates will not fit. And the manufacturers of knives and plates are not the same companies. Equally the pins at the end of the worm are all different so the knife might not fit on the square end or the circular part might be too thick to go through the hole in the plate.
Also the number of notches on a plate must be equal to or greater than the number of barrel pins on the barrel (sounds like some sort of complicated maths equation!) For example if a barrel has 3 pins the plate will need 3 or 4 notches. If the plate has one or two notches then the plate will just not go on
2. Some knives and plates are just better than others
As a general rule of thumb buying the thickest plate possible is the best option. It will last longer and produce a better product without straining the machine. Thinner plates wear quicker and there is much more chance of dreaded ‘Mushed Meat Syndrome’. Running meat through any machine increases the heat of the product. The best product has the smallest amount of heat increase and a good quality knife and plate aids this by passing the product as quickly and smoothly as possible. This has the added benefit of producing less force on the moving parts of the machine so less wear and tear.
With knives you are looking for the actual blade to be a different metal to the body.
Why? Because this means the manufacturer is (almost certainly) using the best and most expensive metal for the part that actually cuts the meat. It would be uneconomical to use this metal on the whole knife hence when a knife is made up of one metal it’ll be the cheaper, less effective metal.
The cost of a plate depends on the size of the plate 32,52,56,66 etc and the hole size in it 3.5 mm (1/8”), 5mm (3/16”), 6.5mm (1/4“) etc. The bigger the plate the more material is needed the higher the price. The lower the hole size, the more holes in the plate, the more work required to produce the higher the price.
As an example I would suggest for a good quality 52 size 5mm (3/16”) plate hubbed I would expect to pay around £150 and for a good quality knife (made of 2 materials) around £60.
Information you will need to know when buying:
1) How many notches are on the barrel?
2) What is the diameter of the nose end stud/knife drive pin on the worm?
3) What size barrel do you have? (12,22,32,52 etc)
4) What size holes in the the plate do yo need? (3.5mm,5mm,6.5mm etc)
The main manufacturers of knives and plates are Lubeck and Wolter (more commonly known as L & W), Speco, Kasco Sharptec and Salvador. Below we’ll try and give you a run down of their products as we see it:
Buy the best knife and plate you can afford and maintain them well. If you would like any FREE advice then please contact here.