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.