Poor knife and plate care is the number one cause of mincer, grinder and mixer grinder failure. The good news is looking after them is relatively simple if you adopt a good routine
Please remember if you use a plate with holes greater than 8mm then you must, by law, have a safety device on the machine that prevents the operator being able to put their fingers into the machine. Equally when handling knives and plates always wear gloves and turn the machine off at the plug.
Why is knife and plate care important?
- Most importantly if you do you will produce a better product as simple as that
- You will reduce the stress on your machine and therefore lessen the chance of a part breaking
And the good news it is very easy to do:
- Buy the best knife and plate you can afford
- Always use the same knife with the same plate - this is crucial
- And if you are using a reversible plate then make sure the knife is used on the same side. When you swap sides then get a new knife
- Use food grade lubricant when you first start the machine up because when the machine starts the product will not have reached the knife and plate. In the few seconds it takes for the product (and therefore the natural lubrication from the fats and oils in the product) to get there then the knife and plate will be rubbing metal on metal very quickly. This produces intense heat which burns the knife and plate and blunts both more quickly
- If you are using good quality knives and plates for 52 machines and above they are resurfaceable many times over. Get them resharpened regularly and they will keep producing a quality product for many years
- When storing your knives and plates either ensure they are completely dry or spray with food grade lubricant immediately after washing. We can supply food grade lubricant if required.
- For good quality knives and plates for size 52 and above get them resurfaced and sharpened every few months. For medium to high usage we recommend one knife and plate set will last around 3 months. There are a number of companies that will do this including us.
Signs of blunt knives and plates:
- Mushed meat being produced. 9 times out of 10 this is caused by blunt knives and plates
- Operator is tightening the ring with a wrench - this is the worst thing you can do because it puts pressure on the rest of the machine and may solve the problem in the very short term but will lead to a very expensive repair bill. NEVER tighten the ring with the wrench
Mincers and Mixer Grinders are not cheap to buy and protecting that investment is important. By having high quality knives and plates, well cared for and maintained and professionally resurfaced on a regular basis you can eliminate 75% of the most common breakdowns that occur.