Why I Built the Nicer Slicer

Posted on January 24, 2013 by Sandford Schirmer | 2 Comments

  

 This is a screen shot of a vintage, never been used used original Slice-a-Slice device, offered recently on Ebay. As I developed The Nicer Slicer product and company over the last few years, I scoured the internet for references to the old slicer device. I was struck by the number of people who had found one at a yard sale or antique store, attempted to use it and, in frustration, posted online that “it didn’t work.”

I also found conflicting information about how to use it. Various people suggested the bread cut best when it was a) stale, b) refrigerated or c) fresh. Curiously, no one mentioned toasting the bread, which is what my family has done for years. Having tried all the bread conditions listed here, I believe the keys to successful slicering are:
    • the sharpness of the knife
    • the density of the bread
    • application of a gentle cutting stroke that does not cause friction

Based on users’ comments, I guess that many were using dull knives, flimsy bread, a careless cutting technique- or all three. The secret to well slicered bread is developing a feel for how tightly to hold the handles together while applying the correct combination of downward pressure and gentle sawing motion to cut all the way through the bread. It's best to place the bread in the middle of the slicer, not sitting on the plastic knife stop. This allows the knife to cleanly cut through the entire slice before being stopped.

I could not relate to the idea that the old slicer is an obsolete antique worthy only of display, since the device has sat for years on my family’s kitchen counter. I could appreciate that the old tool was attractive, but putting it up out of reach as something un-useful caught my attention. It is not obsolete, I kept thinking, I use mine all the time!

So we designed a prototype - a new version of the old tool. We went for heavier 20 gauge steel with better “bread holders.” We wanted a brushed stainless look that would fit into modern kitchens and was easier to clean and handle during daily use. We emphasized the form and the handle shape. The Nicer Slicer has bigger round handles that echo the old tool’s curves but move them forward into the future. Here is a tool that is green and cool. It is good looking, does its job without electricity and requires no software updates! We are proud to manufacture it in America.

Having brought The Nicer Slicer to market, we are now on a mission to make sure that users- and potential users- have all the information they need to get the best use out of their trusty kitchen tool. The last thing we want is for it to collect dust as a decorative object on your shelf.

Sandy Schirmer 

Posted in kitchen tools, Slice-a-Slice, The Nicer Slicer, vintage


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2 Responses

Sandy Schirmer
Sandy Schirmer

April 06, 2014

Thanks for your comment Patty. Its true, every once in a while I bungle up my ‘slicering’- the slicer makes you more expert with the toaster, understanding the bread by type and then which knife to use. If the bread is "wonder bread like’, it is important to toast it ‘enough’ and then use a thin serrated blade to slicer. That works best. High quality bread knives work well too, but it is best to use those for denser breads…I am always experimenting of course!!! Thinking of new things to do with my slicer to create another blog post! I admit I really like the idea of surface area and increasing it for the palate. Instead of a huge sandwich you cannot fit in your mouth, how about two smaller ones? Toasting provides crunch, all that nutty goodness and the soft interior of the bread creates contrast and makes the toast flexible- as opposed to the normal disposition of a piece of toast which is rather inflexible. Then the sandwich is more about the toppings. It tastes better, it has less calories and it can cost less. The Trifecta!

Happy Slicering,

Sandy

Patty Toretti
Patty Toretti

April 05, 2014

My mom had this slicer. I came to exactly the same conclusions about how to best use it! I observed that it worked best with toast or firmer bread (not Wonder) and a light touch. I’d also peek at the side with the knife poised to cut, making sure it was well centered, not off. I preferred a serrated bread knife, as our family had never heard of sharpening knives. My brother never got the hang of it and produced a mangled mess.

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