Every kitchen needs three knives – a chef’s knife, paring knife, and bread knife. In this short buying guide, our focus is on the latter. We will round up some of the top options for serrated knives meant for cutting bread. From sourdough to baguette, the best bread knife is a must-have!
While it is called a bread knife, it does not mean that its use is exclusive to bread! With its versatile design, it has serrated edges that you can also use for fruits and vegetables. A bread knife is useful for cutting things that are hard outside and soft inside.
America’s Test Kitchen Best Bread Knife Reviews by Consumer Reports 2021
Ready to start shopping for a bread knife? Below are some of the top products that should be on your radar.
1. Shun Classic 9-inch Bread Knife
Tired of smashing bread when it is sliced? This bread knife offers the perfect solution! With its exceptional sharpness, there is no tearing or ripping! From baguette to ciabatta, you can slice any bread easily! Whether it is for soft or hard bread, this knife is a winner!
Among others, one of our favorite things in this knife is the fact that it is hand-made in Japan. Shun is a Japanese company known for their premium knives. Skilled artisans take advantage of ancient traditions to create a modern knife that will satisfy the needs even of the most discerning users!
While it comes with hardened steel as its main material, we love how lightweight the knife is. It is also thin, which makes it perfect even for slicing delicate bread, fruits, and vegetables.
This 9-inch bread knife comes with a Pakkawood handle, which is a common material that you will find even in its competitors. It is a sturdy and water-resistant material. It does not easily disintegrate, even if the knife is always wet. The d-shaped handle is easy and comfortable to hold, making it effortless to slice any bread.
- Handcrafted in Japan
- Made using high-strength steel
- Ergonomic and water-resistant handle
- Difficult to sharpen
2. Mercer Culinary 10-inch Millennia Bread Knife
Only the best quality – that is what you can expect from this addition to your knife collection! One of the best things about this product is that it is made using premium Japanese steel, ensuring longevity. The high-carbon steel in this knife is also stain-resistant. Plus, maintenance is a breeze!
As for the handle, it is made of a combination of santoprene and polypropylene. It has an ergonomic design, so it is comfortable to use. It is slightly curved to follow the contour of your hand. There is also a protective guard to minimize accidents. Plus, it is slip-resistant!
For your peace of mind, it is also good to know that this knife is NFS-certified. It is an independent organization that tests and certifies knives, making sure that they adhere to the highest possible quality.
Best of all, the manufacturer is offering a limited lifetime warranty with your purchase of this knife. This demonstrates how confident they are of its functionality even through the years!
- Superior Japanese steel construction
- Ergonomic handle
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Blade blunts sooner than expected
3. Wusthof Classic Bread Knife
Made by a company with over two centuries of experience, this is one of our favorites for the best bread knives. It is from Solingen, Germany, which is known as The City of Blades. It is made by artisans using a process that has been passed on across generations.
This knife has Precision Edge Technology, a feature that has been exclusively developed by Wusthof. It is up to 20% sharper compared to knives without such technology. Plus, it increases edge retention by up to two times. It also has a 58 Rockwell hardness rating, which is also the reason why it can be quite heavy.
Its blade is made of high-carbon stainless steel, a premium material known for its durability. It demonstrates incredible sharpness while requiring minimal care. However, take note that the manufacturer recommends handwashing only!
The handle is made of polyoxymethylene. It has a traditional look and feel. Plus, it has ergonomic curves so that you can hold it comfortably. We also love the full bolster that protects your fingers.
- Durable high-carbon stainless steel blade
- Excellent edge retention
- Full bolster for hand protection
- A bit heavy
4. Victorinox 10.25-inch Bread Knife
This knife from Switzerland is one of the best products you will find in the market. We love how it is versatile to handle different applications. While it is called a bread knife, you can also use it without any problem even on hard-skinned and tough fruits and vegetables. No wonder, even professionals are loving this bread knife!
It has a 10.25-inch blade, which is made of high-carbon steel. Even when making fragile cuts, this knife can do the job! The razor-sharp blade delivers the best cutting performance! Plus, it stays sharp even after a long time of use.
Like the blade, the handle is equally impressive. The Fibrox handle is made using a proprietary material that ensures durability. It is ergonomic to prevent wrist tension and minimize hand fatigue, especially when cutting hard bread or using the knife for a long time. The textured handle provides a strong grip, even when you have greasy hands.
- Lightweight and well-balanced
- Razor-sharp blade
- Thin blade is prone to flexing
5. Shun Classic Blonde 9-inch Bread Knife
This is another knife from Shun, which proves how this Japanese brand is an unmatched name. It is hand-crafted by skilled artisans who have been trained using ancient techniques. You can be confident that this bread knife is a work of art!
The knife features VG-MAX Cutting Core, a revolutionary feature exclusively developed by the manufacturer. It has an exceptionally hard super steel. There are multiple layers of steel to ensure longevity. Plus, it is finished to resist stain and corrosion, among other possible external damages.
It comes with a lightweight and Natural Pakkawood handle. There is a slight ridge on the right side, which will accommodate your finger curl. This makes it more comfortable to use, even as you exert a stronger pressure. The handle is also waterproof.
Worried that this bread knife will easily dull? It is good to know that the manufacturer is offering free sharpening. All that you need to do is to register the product. As long as you remain the owner of the knife, Shun has you covered!
- Comes with a hand-crafted blade
- Textured handle
How to Choose the Best Bread Knife
Picking a bread knife isn’t as straightforward as it seems. To choose the best one, here are the most important considerations.
To differentiate the bread knives available in the market, consider their style. This is indicative of the design or shape of the knife’s blade.
- Flat: This is the classic style and also the most common. It is best for slicing bread. The lack of a knuckle clearance, however, will limit its versatility.
- Curved: With the curved design of the blade, it is easier to create a rocking motion to cut bread. It has a good knuckle clearance, which makes it great as well for slicing fruits and vegetables.
- Offset: It has a blade that extends up to two inches to the handle. It has the largest knuckle clearance out of the three knives. It is often the shortest bread knife, with a length that ranges from six to nine inches.
Aside from the shape of the blade, the type of serration present in bread knives is also a crucial consideration:
- Pointed: It is the most common style of a bread knife. It has pointed teeth that will grab the crust of bread and saw it. This also cuts tough-skinned fruits and vegetables easily.
- Scalloped: The serrations are shaped like a half-moon. Because the edge is straighter, it can also be used for cutting meat.
The length of the blade is typically anywhere from 8 to 11 inches. As a rule of thumb, if you have a large hand, then you should choose a longer blade. Also, consider the size of the bread you will cut most of the time. For versatility, it is best to choose the longest possible bread knife that you are most comfortable with.
This is important because of its direct impact on the overall quality and performance. Stainless steel is the most popular material, which is also known for being economical. For the best quality, Japanese steel is a great option, which is known for its hardness and sharpness.
Wood is the main material used in bread knife handles. The handle must have an ergonomic grip. It should follow the contour of your hand, making it easy to hold. Pay attention as well to how the handle attaches to the blade, which is indicative of the durability of the bread knife.
Choosing The Best Bread Knife: Wusthof vs Victorinox Review
Best Bread Knife: FAQs
As we conclude this article, allow us to answer a few questions you might have about bread knives.
How do you clean a bread knife?
The best way to clean a bread knife is to wash by hand. Use warm water and mild soap. Do not soak the knife. You should also not clean it in the dishwasher as this can dull the blade. Applying a thin coat of oil is also a good idea for the prevention of corrosion and oxidation, especially if you will store the knife for a long time.
How do you use a bread knife?
Put the bread or any other food you wish to cut on the top of a chopping board. Hold it firmly with your non-dominant hand, making sure that it won’t move as it is sliced. Hold the bread knife using your dominant hand. Press the knife slightly on the top of bread and pull the blade back. Do not press the knife down. Instead, use a gentle sawing motion, making sure to utilize the entire length of the knife.
What is the best way to sharpen a bread knife?
A bread knife has serrated edges, which makes it challenging to sharpen. The best way to sharpen the blade is to use a ceramic rod. Sharpen the knife only on one side, often on the right. Hold the knife firmly using your non-dominant hand. Press it on the surface with the blade facing up. Sharpen the knife tooth by tooth by sliding the ceramic rod in a slightly slanted angle.
What makes a bread knife different from other knives?
The main difference is on the blade. A bread knife has serrated edges. This allows the knife to saw on a hard crust without too much friction. Otherwise, there will be shedding and tearing, which destroys the bread.