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Kitchen Knives & Cutting

Bread knives: to cut more than just bread

A bread knife is a long, serrated knife that is used to cut all types of bread. From hard to soft crusts, from soft buns to baguettes. But did you know that a bread knife can also be used to cut pies and cake. And that a bread knife can easily cut through hard vegetables and fruit such as melons, pumpkins and celeriac?

Looking for a good bread knife?

When you purchase a chef's knife you need to pay close attention to the type of steel, the blade and the shape and material of the handle

The blade on a bread knife

A bread knife is one of the few knives that, by definition, has been enhanced with a serrated blade. Because of the serrations the bread isn't crushed as you cut it. The serrations get caught in the hard crust, because the pressure of the blade focuses on the tips of the serrations.

Serrations do work

We sell a large amount of bread knives. We make a distinction between four different shapes of serrations.

  • A fine serration with a difference in height 
  • Serrations with saw tooth shape 
  • A 'reversed' serration 
  • The classic serration

We, of course, tested all four! Want to know which is best? Read all about it in our bread knife test!

Most bread knives have a blade length between 20 and 30 cm. The longer the blade, the less you need to move to cut a loaf of bread. As such you are left with a more consistent result. It is also easier to cut open longer pieces of bread, like a baguette, with a 26 cm long blade. When you look at the shape of the blade you see a difference in the tip. Some bread knives have a blunt tip while others have a sharp tip. On the one hand this is because of safety, you can't hurt yourself with a blunt tip, on the other hand it is just part of the design.

Handle on a bread knife

Of course the knife needs to feel great in hand. That is why should closely look at the design and thickness of the blade. And please note: there are knives that are specifically made for left or right-handed users. To find out you should carefully check out the specifications on our website. In addition to the shape the materials used are very important.

Chef's knives with a wooden handle need a little extra TLC. Fortunately maintaining a wooden handle is not difficult at all. We will tell you all about it in our how-to: how do you maintain a wooden handle? Knives with a wooden handle are not dishwasher-proof. Do you want to be able to clean your knives in your dishwasher? If so we advise a knife with a plastic or stainless steel handle.

Sharpening your bread knife

Many believe you cannot sharpen a bread knife because of the serrations. This is not true, you do, however, need to use a different technique. And perhaps other sharpening materials. You namely need a sharpening steel or a sharpening system with triangle-shaped sharpening rods to sharpen a bread knife. We would love to tell you more about how to do that in our infotopic about sharpening bread knives.

Safely storing your bread knife

If you put your chef's knife in a drawer you run the risk of it touching other steel objects. This is not recommended for the sharpness of your knife. Also, grabbing in a drawer that holds sharp kitchen knives isn't very safe. That is why you should use knife guards, a drawer insert or, even better, a good knife magnet or knife block.