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Apr 12, 2011 10:54 AM

How high to go for a bread knife

I've had a cheapo Ikea bread knife for years and am ready to upgrade. I love a good knife (just bought a Masamoto VG gyuto), but I'm wondering if it's really worth shelling out the money to get a top of the line bread knife. For example, the Wusthof Gourmet goes for half the price of the Wusthof Classic. It's obviously worth the extra money for a chef or utility knife, but for a bread knife? Is the difference between a stamped and forged blade significant for a bread slicer?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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  1. The Victorinox bread knife and Victorinox slicer are probably the best value around for knives. Both are in the $25 range (each). Spending anything more is really a waste.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ferret

      I completely agree. Victornix or Dexter Russell, and get the Fibrox handles. Anything else is for show.

    2. I personally wouldn't recommend spending a ton of $$ for a bread knife unless you want something fancy looking. If all you're gonna do is cut bread,go to your local restaurant supply store and see if the carry the inexpensive,plastic handled type(Victorinox) of bread knife.I bought mine for $10.00 or $15.00 about 10 years ago and it still cuts bread like brand new.

      And with the money you save,you can but another Masamoto VG!!

      1. F Dick has a great and inexpensive line of offset bread knives and other styles. About 20-25 bucks each and they'll hold their own. To me...totally worth the money, and you don't feel so bad if you have to replace it in a few years because they're so inexpensive.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Novelli

          I recently bought an offset bread knife with a plastic handle at a restaurant supply store on the Bowery in NYC for $10. Best $10 I've spent in a long time.

          1. re: petek

            Here's a pretty sweet looking bread knife from Tojiro $50.00 though.
            From chefsknivestogo

            1. re: petek

              Pure catnip for the knife fanboys.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                I know .Just thought I'd throw it out there.

              2. re: petek


                Look nice. Do you know if the teeth are serrated or scalloped? I cannot tell for sure from the picture.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  It looks like they're serrated but I don't really know the difference :D

                  1. re: petek


                    Some people call the scalloped edge as "reversed serration" and it does look just like that. I am sure you know what a serrated edge looks like. A scalloped edge looks like this:


                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    From the CKTG description, it has rounded scalloped style serrations, but they;re narrower and closer together than those on the Shun or the MAC bread knives. I think they're supposed to cut a little more aggressively than wider, more gentle scallops and this knife is supposed to sort of bridge a scalloped edge and traditional serrations. I could only speculate as to how well it would do if someone sharpened it up on a stone like people sometimes do with other scalloped edges.

                    Looks nice. Though I still wouldn't buy it unless I planned to sharpen it and/or had money to burn. I'd probably also have to cut more bread than I do to justify it, since I don't use a bread knife for much else (sometimes I even use a gyuto on bread).

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      Thanks for the information. It does look like a scalloped bread knife, but I just cannot be sure from the picture.

                      It does look nice. I prefer scalloped edge because it is more gentle and the bread crumb does not fly everywhere. More importantly, a scalloped bread knife can also be used for carving meat, whereas a traditional serrated knife would do a lot of damage to the meat.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Do you actually use a bread knife to slice meat, though, what with your Tojiro gyuto? If so, why?

                        (not trying to badger you or anything - just curious)

                        1. re: cowboyardee

                          :) Actually, I don't know. I only read a scalloped bread knife is good for a carving knife because it is much gentle than a typical bread knife. It is long and it has narrow blade. The narrow blade, of course, is good for carving a large piece of meat.

                          I have used my bread knife to carve a large piece of meat once. It wasn't as good as I thought, but it wasn't horrible. I need to do it a few more time to see.

                      2. re: cowboyardee

                        Thanks cowboy and Chem.I learn something new every day.
                        Before I bought my J-knives and learned to sharpen my own steel, I used my cheapo bread knife to slice tomatoes. It did a better job than than my old beaters.
                        Now I use my Gyuto to slice bread.

                        1. re: petek

                          I still use my bread knife ('course now I'm questioning what exactly are those knives???) to slice tomatoes. But I've not learned to sharpen my knives yet.... I mean I sharpen them but not big time :)

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Yeah, I've always used serrated knives on tomatoes, especially if my chef's knife isn't as sharp as I'd like. It offers you a lot more precision in the slicing since the teeth can grab on to the tomato (those slippery little buggers). Actually, what Wusthof calls a "tomato knife" is serrated as well.

                            I have a Wusthof bread knife, because it came with the set I was gifted. It's fine, but so are all the plastic handled ones I've used in restos. If it hadn't been part of the set, I'd buy a cheapy and put more money into the chef's or paring knife.

                            1. re: malkazanie

                              I really love those Wusthof tomato knives for bread and tomato both. You can regularly find them for like $10 at TJ Maxx, and I find a reason to be reaching for one pretty much every day of the week.

                          2. re: petek

                            My gyuto did a fantastic job slicing all of last year's holiday beasties.
                            Much better than any "carver" I've owned over the past 30 yrs.

                  3. I seriously doubt there is a huge difference between a stamped and a forged bread knife.

                    Yes, a good bread knife is a good bread knife. It will cut a bit better, but a bread knife is probably not worth spending too much. The reason is that it is difficult to sharpen a serrated bread. Many people would get a $10-15 bread knife and throw it away when it get dull. Of course, it does not have to be this way, but I am just pointing the counterargument for getting an expensive bread knife. It may be better to save your money for your future knife or an extra sharpening stone.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Thank you for this advice. You, in addition other members, helped me with a decision several months ago on a bread knife!

                      Gave me to gumption to return a fancy bread knife for an offset, longer serrated blade workhorse. I've not regretted the decision in the least bit!

                      1. re: 4Snisl

                        Your welcome. I am glad your bread knife is working out for you. :)

                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Chem, didn't you have something in here about your $70 Shun purchase? I can't seem to find it now....

                        1. re: Eiron

                          Yeah, I edited it and deleted it. I bought the Shun knife with the intention to take advantage of Shun free knife sharpening service because bread knives are hard to sharpen. Needless to say, KIA has terminated the free service. It is a good knife with scalloped edge (reversed serration) and it cut hard crust bread nicely, but I won't have bought it had I knew the free service would end.

                          I deleted the Shun story because I think it is distracting from what I wanted to say to the original poster.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Ah, I see.

                            I actually thought it WAS relevant, because of both the edge design (scallop) & the better VG-10 steel. That was originally a $150 knife, correct?

                            I think the scalloped edge & the VG-10 makes it a "better" purchase than, say, a $100+ German model with a serrated edge & common CrMoV steel.

                            I don't think you have anything to regret with your purchase, "free" sharpening or no.

                            1. re: Eiron

                              Thanks Eiron. I have the Shun Classic Steel bread knife. The typical Shun Classic knives have wood handle, but there are the Classic Steel knives with steel handle and they tend to be on sale more often. Same blade, same geometry, just different material for the handle.




                              Yes, I bought it for $70.