Meat grinder hints....
We've had a lot of customers in lately with bad knives and grinder plates. This is a neglected area anyway as they normally don't get replaced unless the grinding goes totally South...
Couple of hints:
When starting to grind and machine is clean, snug up your lock ring but do not tighten it until meat hits the knife and plate then snug it up very tight. The meat needs to be there to lubricate and doing this will definitely extend the life of these components.
Another thing, most small grinders have a thrust washer between the auger(worm) and the head. This would be on the back end of the auger. This thrust washer prevents metal to metal and extends pressure outward such as a spring (thus known as a thrust washer) to keep the knife tight against the plate.
When missing, your tightening metal to metal and something has got to give. First thing is the sharp edge goes away very quickly.
They are very easy to loose and folks don't miss them. Especially if you loan out your grinder. I hear a lot of "what thrust washer).... They are inexpensive, like $5.00 or so but need to be in place.
When replacing the knife, replace the plate also as each hole has a cutting edge, so to do the best job the grinder needs these to be sharp.
When cleaning up after the job. The best lubricant for all components, is food grade mineral oil...
Happy grinding folks...
I have heard that each plate should have it's own knife.
What are your thoughts on this?
In the perfect world yes. The big boys do such. The commercial knives and plates are also a lot more expensive thus it's worth it to them.
The idea is, the knife wears to the plate and you actually have a better cutting surface.
If as a sportsman or home user you can make it happen it would be better.
We rent grinders and find in trying to encourage using matched sets it doesn't work so we quit it. Seemed to much hassle to our renters.
You get away with it somewhat as the usage is very small over the years.