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Out of all the types of kitchen knives, the bread knife is probably my favorite—when made and used properly.
The best bread knives can actually make preparing and serving baked goods even more fun, but even a small imperfection in the design can ruin the experience and make it strenuous and tedious.
That’s why it’s so important to do your due diligence when buying a bread knife and only look at models that come highly recommended.
As a baking aficionado, I myself have been testing highly-rated bread knives for years and have distilled the list down to what I think are the six best bread knives on the market.
In this post, I’ll give you my picks and explain how to make the most out of a bread knife.
About Bread Knives
What is a Bread Knife?
A bread knife is an especially long kitchen knife with a roughly serrated edge. The knife is sort of like a culinary version of a saw in that it looks elegant enough for the kitchen but excels at cutting through hard surfaces like bread crust.
What to Look for When Buying a Bread Knife
If you want to look for a bread knife yourself, these are essential elements to consider for each model.
You always want a knife to be sharp, and bread knives are no exception. It should feel a little uncomfortable just touching your finger lightly to the broad end of the blade.
Bread knives should be longer than a loaf of bread is wide. That means you should look for one that’s at least eight inches long, and preferably more than 10 inches.
When it comes to knives, a little weight is a good thing: the heavier the knife, the more gravity helps to press down on the food being cut. Weight is especially important with bread knives, because you use them to saw back and forth and a bit of extra downward volition speeds up the process.
There are three main types of serration for bread knives: wide serrations, scalloped serrations, and small serrations.
Wide serrations are when the “teeth” of the serration are broad and deep. These types are the best for cutting through hard surfaces, but they produce the most crumbs.
Scalloped serrations are a bit more rounded than the razor-sharp serrations on some bread knives, and they are best at cutting very soft breads and cakes. They are all but useless on hard surfaces, but they don’t produce crumbs.
Small serrations have smaller teeth that are closer together than on wide serration knives. Their functionality is somewhere in the middle of the other two types.
The thinner the blade, the better the bread knife will be at cutting.
It’s important that the handle of a bread knife feels great in your hand, because you’ll be gripping it tightly for quite a while (compared to most types of knife) when using it. Look for an ergonomic design.
Don’t forget that your bread knife will be on display in your kitchen. You want something that looks nice.
Ceramic and stainless steel are the two main materials used for bread knife blades. Ceramic looks nice, but it’s less durable so I prefer stainless steel. High-carbon stainless steel is essential, as plain old steel will warp more easily.
6 Best Bread Knives
For those who don’t want to spend hours upon hours poring over bread knife options themselves, I’ve put together this table of what I think are the six best bread knives you’ll find and classified each by a “best of” category. Below the table, I include a few words on each model explaining why it’s on the list.
1. Overall: Wüsthof Classic Double-Serrated 9″ Bread Knife
My favorite bread knife of all time is the most expensive on this list, but you can definitely tell why when you’re using it.
The big stand-out feature is the double serration, which means that there are smaller serrations inside the serrations that are already there. This causes the knife to cut through breads and cakes far more easily than most bread knives while at the same time minimizing the amount of crumbs that the cutting produces.
The blade is also made from the highest-quality stainless steel and treated with a precision edge technology that makes it more durable, more stain-resistant, and easier to clean. If you’re willing to spring the money, this is most likely the only bread knife you’ll ever need.
2. 10-Inch: Victorinox Fibrox Pro Serrated Bread Knife, 10″
by Sur La Table
Every chef should have at least one nice long bread knife just in case, and this model is my top pick for that purpose.
The cutting edge has very wide serrations that make cutting even the toughest artisan bread a snap, and it has a dark brushed finish that gives off more of a rugged vibe than anything else on this list. The design is very utilitarian, but it certainly gets the job done and is comfortable to hold (especially important for such a heavy-duty kitchen knife).
3. 8-Inch: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Bread Knife, 8″
by Sur La Table
There’s certainly a time and place for longer bread knives, but at 8” this model is the perfect balance of utilitarianism, lightweight usability, and style that will make you feel like a culinary ninja.
The cutting edge has wide serrations, but they are laser-cut to maximize sharpness and hand-honed so that they stay sharp over time.
The design of the knife is also fantastic. The blade is nice and shiny and is treated with a high-tech freezing process in the factory so it will never stain.
The ergonomic handle is marked with several metal divots that not only increase durability but also give the knife a sturdier look. The whole thing is beautifully balanced, too, to create a knife that you’ll just feel good holding.
4. Offset: Offset Bread Knife
This 9” knife might not even look like a bread knife at first glance, but that’s only because the blade is offset from the handle.
The point of offset bread knives is to keep you from repeatedly rapping your knuckles against the cutting board when you saw back and forth. And on this model, it really works.
The blade is offset just the right amount so that it’s effective without feeling awkward to use, and the knife is so well-balanced that you may very well forget you’re using an offset bread knife at all.
Another factor that sets this model apart from other offset knives is the design. Whereas most offset knife models look kind of cheap and ugly, this one has a gorgeous high-carbon blade and a rosewood handle with several gold divots.
5. Multi-Use: Serrated Knife
For softer foods like cakes and fruit, a bread knife with wide serration is not ideal since it tends to mash the food a bit more than those foods can take.
This serrated knife is a great solution, because its smaller serrations and more delicate build are gentler on the food being cut. The knife can still be used for cutting bread, but it will make slower work of it than a blade with wider serrations.
Even besides the blade, this knife looks and feels great. It has some good length, but it’s a perfect weight for efficient cutting. The handle is extremely comfortable to hold and comes in four fun colors: blue, black, gray, and red.
6. Bagel: Global Classic 6″ Serrated Utility Scallop Knife
There’s literally nothing worse in life than accidentally cutting a bagel in a slanted line that results in two uneven bagel “halves.” It usually happens because the knife you’re using is not sharp enough or heavy enough and cannot cut in a straight line because of it.
Well, with this knife that actually specializes in bagels, that problem is gone. Global’s knives are all amazingly sharp, and this one’s no exception.
It’s also a good weight, and it’s well-balanced enough to feel good in your hand. The knife also has a very comfortable grip that doesn’t use rubber or silicone. I love how the blade is a bit angled, too, because it keeps your knuckles free and clear of the cutting board if you need to saw back and forth (although you probably wont have to anyway).
Recipes To Try
Once you get a bread knife, start using it with one of these fantastic bread recipes!
Bread Knife FAQ
You’ll need a special ceramic rod to sharpen a serrated knife like a bread knife. You’ll gently rub the rod on the dip between each serration on the knife individually. Do this on both sides of the knife. After that, run the rod lightly along each flat side of the knife to wipe away any residue you may have ground off while sharpening the knife.
For bread knives with significant dulling, you may need to use a harder (and more expensive) rod like a diamond-infused rod.
Bread knives are a kind of serrated knife, but not all serrated knives are bread knives. Traditionally, the serrations on bread knives are deeper and a bit more widely spaced than on most serrated knives. This results in more cutting power when sawing through a crusty loaf but also produces more crumbs than a knife with smaller serrations.
Rise to the Occasion
If you buy loaves of bread and cut them at home, a bread knife is a must-have.
Using other kinds of knives on bread is not only more tedious, but it can also damage the blade.
And if you buy pre-sliced bread, then stop doing that. Freshly cut bread is worlds better, trust me!
Last update on 2022-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API