Bread knife test – Here you will find the best knives for bread
Posted On 6. July 2020
You would like to buy a board knife? We welcome you to our buying guide bread knife. We have compared and examined all the products listed below and others. We have searched on various portals on the Internet and summarised customer opinions. With our buying recommendations we want to give advice.
Our comparisons are based on various sources of information such as technical data, customer comments and ratings. If available, we have included Stiftung Wartentest, Öko Test or other test portals in the bread knife comparison.
These are the 5 best bread knives
Bread knife guide: worth knowing
A bread knife is a knife that has been specially designed to cut bread. The blade of the knife is quite long and usually has a serrated edge. This type of sharpening makes it easier and more accurate to cut bread, rolls and other baked goods. The blades are usually made of stainless steel, tool steel or carbon steel. Stainless steel blades are most commonly found on bread knives. The stainless steel used for bread knives generally contains at least 13% chromium to ensure high corrosion resistance.
Bread knives consist of a knife blade and a plastic or wooden handle. Depending on the knife and manufacturer, the two parts of the bread knife are connected in different ways, e.g. the blade is pushed slightly over the handle and riveted to it.
Do you know this? Germany is one of the leading European countries when it comes to the consumption of bread and rolls. German citizens consume about 84.9 kilograms of bread and rolls per year. This is one of the reasons why bread knives are probably among the most common knives in German households
Because of the saw-like cutting action of a blade, bread knives are also called bread saws or bread slicers. Because of their design and long blade, bread knives glide easily over hard bread or soft dough. The blade cuts the bread, i.e. the inside of the bread is not crushed, but cut gently.
How bread knives work?
It is the blade that makes the bread knife work. Firstly, the blade of the knife is at least 20 centimetres long, and secondly, it is the serrated edge that makes the bread knife an important tool in the kitchen. Although there are different manufacturers and brands of bread knives, the functionality is the same for all knives. In addition, the blade of most bread knives is only sharpened on one side.
Application areas for bread knives
The name says it all: Bread knives are designed for cutting bread. But the sharpening and sharpening of the blade offers much more versatile applications than just cutting bread, rolls and other baked goods. Hard shells and skins are no challenge for a good bread knife. So you can also use the bread knife to cut other products with harder skins. Manufacturers also often point out that you can also use a bread knife to cut other foods such as vegetables or meat without any problems.
Are there alternatives to the bread knife?
A possible alternative to the bread knife is a universal bread knife. This knife is so to speak universal in your kitchen and can cut vegetables, peel potatoes and cut bread into almost anything. However, the blade of the multi-purpose knife is usually smooth, so a hard bread crust can be a problem.
An alternative to a traditional bread knife is an electric bread knife. This is a knife that also has teeth and with which you can cut bread either electrically or by using a battery. This bread knife often excels in the kitchen because of its true versatility. It can also be used to cut meat and sausages – without any effort.
Bread slicers are also among the electric versions with which you can cut bread. These machines are universal slicers that can be used to cut meat, sausages, cheese and much more in addition to bread. The thickness of the slices is set in advance, so you can also get thin or thick slices. The advantage of the bread slicers is also that they can cut evenly in a very short time.
Properties of bread knives
A good bread knife is characterized by
- corrosion resistance of the blades
Sharpening angle and blade shape are important for a good cutting ability of bread knives. But it is also the hardness of the material used that gives the bread knife its good and excellent properties.
Different degrees of hardness of bread knife blades
Rockwell is the measuring unit for determining the hardness of building materials – in the case of a bread knife, it is the hardness of the material used in the blade. The abbreviation for this unit of measurement is HRC. Conventional kitchen or bread knives usually have a hardness of 53 to 56 HRC. Somewhat higher quality bread knives have a hardness in the range of 55 to 58 HRC. Carbon steel bread knives are hardened between 60 and 62 HRC. This means that the higher the quality of the material used for the blades, the higher the HRC value.
hardness grade Knife properties
- up to 52 HRC Too soft for knife production
- 52 to 54 HRC steel, which is relatively soft but suitable for the manufacture of knives.
- 54 to 56 HRC Relatively hard blade, but must be recharged
- 56 to 58 HRC knives of this hardness are professional kitchen knives
- 58 to 60 HRC High quality knife
- HRCs 60 to 62 remain at the top for a long time, but regression is difficult
- 63 to 66 HRC professional knives
Advantages and disadvantages of bread knives
Bread knives, meat knives, potato peelers, asparagus peelers, net knives and many other knives are available as culinary tools. The question inevitably arises whether different knives are needed for different types of food or whether one utility knife can be sufficient for all parts.
If you always want to have the right knife for different types of food in stock, you will have many knives in your drawer and will have to invest some money. Although it is possible to find an alternative with any of these knives, it is worth having a bread knife at home. Why is it worth it?
These are the advantages of a bread knife compared to a multi-purpose knife:
- A special blade for cutting bread
- It can also handle mussels and hard clams…
<There’s no knife as versatile as this one.
What should I consider when buying a bread knife?
Buying a bread knife is often not so easy. The choice of these knives is too large and their characteristics too different. In the following sections we would like to explain to you which criteria you should consider when buying a bread knife.
- The handle of the bread knife is made of wood, plastic or other materials. It is always important that the handle of the bread knife is firmly in your hand. It is also important that the handle and blade of the bread knife are firmly in your hand. The handle must not swing, and nothing must move back and forth. For better handling, we recommend the ergonomic shape of the handle, as it allows better alignment of the knife. A good balance between the handle and the front of the knife further improves handling.
The price of the bread knife can play a role in the purchase. In our product comparison you will have noticed that you can buy both cheap and expensive bread knives. Expensive bread knives are often of better quality and have a longer life span because they are made of better quality material.
Various materials for bread knife blades
For good cutting results in general, the blade is crucial. For bread knives, it is the length of the blade on one side and the material and hardness of the blade on the other.
What are the other marks on the blade?
The sharp part of the blade is often called the cutting edge. But also terms like faceting, bevel or bevel as a technical term appear in connection with it.
As material for a bread knife they are controversial:
A good bread knife has a blade of high quality steel. Bread knife blades are forged or perforated. In the latter case, an empty knife is perforated, which is then properly sharpened at the tip of the knife.
Stainless steel is the most commonly used material for bread knives. Stainless steel has a minimum chromium content of 13%. This chromium content has the advantage that the knife blade is highly resistant to corrosion. However, stainless steel can discolour and rust. To prevent this, the blade is coated with stainless steel alloys.
Forged knife blades, on the other hand, are usually made by hand, even from hollow plates. The advantage of manual work is that the material becomes thicker and stronger. The sharpening of the blade also differs from that of extruded blades. This is because forged blades are much sharper and take longer to sharpen than other bread knives.
Apricot knives are first-class knives, so to speak. Bread knives are also available in Damascus. These knives convince by their very high quality and durability. Apricot knives are characterised by the wood-like fibre of the blade, which is formed by engraving. For the production of apricot knives different types of steel are used, which are then machined and forged.
Why not put the bread knife in the dishwasher?
When cleaning in the dishwasher, bread knives, but also other knives, can be annoying. This is partly due to aggressive cleaning agents and partly to other objects that come into contact with the knife blade. Depending on the material of the knife blade, it can also rust. For this reason, bread and kitchen knives used for cutting food should not be put in the dishwasher.
Caution – loss of sharpness and cutting power! Bread knives or other kitchen knives can be damaged if they are placed in a cutlery basket or tray when touching other cutlery items. And this damage can reduce the sharpness and cutting power of your knife.
Light or heavy bread knife – which is better?
In our product overview we have introduced bread knives with a weight of about 100 grams and about 200 grams. Why does the weight of bread knives vary so much? Well, it is due to the material used, especially the blades. The blade is the main part of the knife.
A heavy bread knife has the advantage that it makes the slicing process easier, because the weight of the knife makes slicing easier. A well-balanced bread knife is usually light and makes it easier to cut bread or rolls.
Long or short blade of a bread knife – what could be better?
The blade of a bread knife is usually quite long, about 20 centimetres. This length has the advantage that larger loaves of bread can be cut easily. The length of the bread knife makes it easier to cut the bread and thus ensures an even cut.
How to cut bread knife?
The smooth blade of the knife can be easily sharpened: with a whetstone or sharpening stone. But how do you sharpen bread knives with a serrated edge or even sharpen them?
The easiest way to sharpen bread knives is with a ceramic sharpening stick. However, choose a sharpening stick whose thickness corresponds to the distance between your teeth. To sharpen the blade, it is best to place the bread knife on the edge of the table. Now pull the sharpening stick several times over each tooth of the blade. Make sure that there is an angle of 20 degrees between the knife and the sharpening stick. Sharpening is correct when each shaft of the knife produces a sharp edge. This is called a “burr”. You must remove this burr by slowly pushing the bread knife into the sharpener.
Sharpen only one side! Bread knives are only sharpened on one side, so you can only sharpen them on one side when sharpening. The sharpened side is normally clearly visible.
serrated blade on one side of the bread knife
The unilaterally serrated tip of bread knives is a typical cut in the European region. One side of the blade is flat or slightly hollow and sharpened. The advantage is that the blade is easier to sharpen. The other side of the knife blade has a so-called flat cut with one or two bevels.
The saw cut on one side offers a very precise cutting geometry. During cutting, however, it can happen that the knife “moves” a little to the side and the cut is not so even. In addition, different knives are required for left and right-handed users.
Different bread knife manufacturers
There are also well-known and respected companies among bread knife manufacturers. Bread knives can be purchased from these manufacturers, among others:
- crown of the sword
A little story about a bread knife
The knife has been an integral part of our lives for many centuries. In the stone age knives were used for hunting, cutting and eating. Over the years, the technology and the materials used to make knives have improved enormously. But in the past, people had a problem with knives that could not cut bread properly. To solve this problem, the first bread knives were invented.
In 1931 Franz Güde invented the serrated edge. At that time Güde owned a cutlery factory in Solingen, which still produces knives today. At that time the bread knife was 32 centimetres long and was called the “bread sword”. These “bread swords” still exist today and cost between 140 and almost 4,000 euros.
Tips for using the bread knife
Cutting bread is easy, isn’t it? Thanks to our tips, you can cut bread into respectable slices even more easily:
- First of all, you should generally avoid cutting warm bread. If you cut the dough while it is still warm, the dough will stick and the slices will become crumbly and unsightly. Furthermore, the hot dough very often sticks to the bread knife and can only be removed with great effort.
- The length of the blade of the bread knife should be at least 20 centimetres. This makes it possible to cut larger loaves of bread.
Tips for care and storage of the bread knife
To keep the bread knife sharp for a long time, you have to be careful. And that’s how it seems:
- bread knives that cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher should be cleaned by hand. Clean the blade and handle with a damp cloth and a mild detergent. It is also important to dry the bread knife well after cleaning and to keep it dry before storing it.
- Keep the bread knife in a magnetic bar or with a knife in a block. It is not recommended to store it in a drawer with other cutlery. The blade of the bread knife can be damaged by rubbing it with other cutlery and lose its sharpness. If you store the knife together with a knife in a block, you will usually have quicker hand tools than if you keep it in a drawer.
- Even the best bread knife must be well sharpened. For this purpose you can use a narrow grinding stick, preferably made of ceramic. Make sure that the thickness of the sharpening rod corresponds to the serrated edge. If the sharpening stick is too wide, the teeth of the knife can be damaged.
- When sharpening a bread knife, it is very important to start sharpening on the right side. As you have read several times, bread knives are sharpened on one side only. Place a sharpening stick on the side of the knife on the floor and work on it tooth by tooth. We have described some of them above.
Useful accessories for a bread knife
There are optional accessories for bread knives as well as accessories that can be considered useful, such as a cutting board. This depends on the material of the board, as bad material can damage the bread knife. Wooden chopping boards are very useful. They are hygienic and ideal for cutting bread. Special cutting boards have the advantage of a hanging edge, so that no crumbs are spread on the cutting board. Make sure that the cutting board is non-slip when you buy it.
Another important accessory is the grinding stick. The bread knife should be sharpened at regular intervals to keep it sharp. With the sharpening stick you can sharpen the different shafts of the blade very well. Ceramic models not only give good results, but are also durable.
For storing the bread knife, a block with a knife or a magnetic stick is very suitable. They can also be used to extend the sharpness and life of the bread knife. Furthermore, modern knife blocks are not only functional, but also very decorative.
Questions about the bread knife
Sharp knives are sensitive, not only when cleaning and storing, but also when cutting. Cutting boards made of bamboo, wood or high-quality plastic are suitable as a base. The surface on the blade is smooth and generally large enough to provide a good surface. Glass, porcelain, ceramic or marble slabs are not suitable as a cutting surface for a bread knife, as they dull the blade of the knife.
How long should the blade of the bread knife be?
The blade of the bread knife should be at least 20 centimetres long. As a rule of thumb for cutting bread, the blade should be twice as long as the bread in a wide shape.
How should the bread knife cut?
Your bread knife should always have a sharp edge, as this is a typical cut of a bread knife. There are slight differences in the serrated edge itself: Some have irregular teeth, others very deep. They all have the same purpose: to cut bread into nice slices and even into rings.
Which is the best bread knife?
The best bread knife has a very good cut and is very well adjusted in terms of handle and blade. What makes a bread knife the best knife is in the eye of the beholder. However, the quality of the materials, the ergonomics of the handle and the very sharp blade are important features that make up the quality of a bread knife.
Are there bread knives also for left-handed people?
Most bread knives are designed for right-handed use because of their unilaterally serrated tip. There are only a few models for left-handed people. If you need this bread knife, you should make sure when buying it that it is also suitable for left-handed people.
How do I get rid of a defective bread knife?
The bread knife is thrown into the household waste. However, it is recommended that you wrap the knife in newspaper, bubble wrap or adhesive tape to prevent injury to anyone who might come into contact with the knife blade.
Where can you buy a bread knife?
Bread knives are available almost everywhere: Even supermarkets and discounters offer bread knives. You can also buy a bread knife in a specialist shop or online.
How much does a bread knife cost?
The price range of the various bread knives varies from around 20 euros to several thousand euros. Whether it is a cheap bread knife or rather an expensive, high-quality bread knife depends on you and your needs.
What is Bubinga wood?
Bubinga wood is light to dark red with dark stripes. The wood is very hard, dense and heavy and therefore difficult to work. Because of these characteristics the wood is very durable and is well suited for the production of local knife holders.
How should I store a bread knife?
Bread knives that come into contact with other cutlery can be damaged or pierced. Therefore, the bread knife should be stored separately, e.g. in a knife holder or knife block, which is placed in an easily accessible place in the kitchen.
Who is Franz Güde?
Franz Güde is the inventor of the “Güde’sche Wellenschleifer”. This serrated edge grinder is characterized by its better cutting and edge stopping properties than other bread knives. Franz Güde invented the biting edge in 1940 and applied for a patent for it. At that time Güde was the only company that could produce a knife with a teething edge and also supplied knives to other manufacturers of slicing knives. Güde looks back on more than 100 years of company history.