Best Bread Knife Reviews 2021
By Bobby B. | Updated Jan. 2, 2021 | Knives
Bread knives are quite unique looking and serve a different purpose than any other knife in your kitchen. Unless you’ve tried to cut bread with some other straight-edged knife before, say a chef’s knife or paring knife, you might not understand how important they are. Buying the best bread knife will ensure you can cut through thick, hard crust as well as the softest breads, both with ease.
Believe it or not as soft as bread can be, it’s one of the most difficult things to cut without damaging it. The serrated blade is the key. Without it, you just smash the bread when you try to cut through the tough outer crust. After you flatten your bread into what now looks like a pancake, you might be able to get through the crust. Now, odds are you’ll just rip through the soft bread rather than cutting it. The serrations on the blade allow you to “saw” through the tough outer crust and the inter soft portion, without damaging it.
The 10 Best Bread Knives
With so many bread knives to choose from, where do you start to make sure you buy a good one? Here’s our list of the top 10 bread knives available today. After the list, you can find our buying guide, discussing what to consider when choosing a one on your own.
Our Top Bread Knife Picks for 2021
Best Bread Knife
Dalstrong Gladiator, 10″
Best Overall Value
Victorinox Bread Knife, 8″
Best Performance vs. Price
Zelite X50 Bread Knife, 10″
Best Japanese Bread Knife
Shun Bread Knife, 9″
Dalstrong Shogun, 10.25″
Best Curved Blade
Tojiro Bread Knife, 270mm
Mercer Culinary Gensis, 8″
Good Value Knife
J.A. Henckels Forged Premio, 8″
Best Offset Bread Knife
Wusthof Classic Offset, 8″
Popular Japanese Bread Knife
Dalstrong Phantom, 9″
Our Top 3 Bread Knife Reviews
Clearly not all bread knives are on the same level as far as quality, functionality, and price. You’ll learn more about what it takes to find a good one below in our buying guide. First, let’s take a look at reviews on our top 3 bread knife choices so you can see what we think sets them apart for the rest of the pack.
Dalstrong Bread Knife (Gladiator Series), 10″
- German High Carbon Steel
- Rockwell Hardness 56+
- Triple-Riveted Pakkawood Handle
- Premium Gift Packaging
- 100% Satisfaction Money-Back Guarantee
WHY WE LIKE IT
This Dalstrong Bread Knife, part of their Gladiator Series is the perfect combination of high-quality materials and craftsmanship, along with an affordable price for the everyday home cook. It’s beautiful to look at with its polished blade and pakkawood handle. Cutting bread and other foods is almost effortless with this hardened & serrated blade.
Victorinox Swiss Army Bread Knife, 8″
- Very Inexpensive
- Non-Slip Fibrox Pro Handle
- Dishwasher Safe (Hand-Wash Recommended)
- Lifetime Warranty
WHY WE LIKE IT
This Victorinox Bread Knife is made by the same company that makes Swiss Army knives! It’s a very basic everyday use knife with little to no bells or whistles. If you’re just looking for a cheap bread knife that can do the job and will last longer than most, this is it.
Zelite Infinity X50 Bread Knife, 10″
- German High Carbon Stainless Steel
- Rockwell Hardness 56 +/-2
- Tapered Bolster
- Ultra-Premium Packaging
- Risk Free 15yr Warranty
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Zelite Infinity X50 Bread Knife affords consumers with high standards in quality, craftsmanship, and materials at a price anyone can afford. The premium packaging that is included with this Comfort Pro Series makes this knife a great gift for anyone on your list. With top-notch hardened German steel and a tapered bolster, this knife should last someone many many years to come. This is the best bread knife for crusty bread!
Bread Knife Buying Guide
There is a common misconception out there around bread knives. The thought is that since the blades are serrated and they’re difficult to sharpen at home on your own, you should just buy a cheap one and then buy another one when it becomes dull. There is some real irony in that statement however. If you buy a hardened stainless steel bread knife, say one from our list above made of high-quality high-carbon steel, then it will have far better edge retention. It won’t need sharpened near as soon as a cheap bread knife. Besides, bread knives aren’t used as much as other more commonly used knives in the kitchen, like steak knives. The serrations also protect the sharp edges which reside between the points and don’t actually make full contact with the cutting board. Using a wooden cutting board will also further improve the life of your sharp bread cutting knife.
While it may be true that you can overcome the shortcomings of a cheap non-serrated knife by keeping it very sharp all the time, it just doesn’t work that way with a bread knife. The good news is that even the best bread knives are relatively inexpensive when compared to some of your other kitchen knives where very high end steel alloys are more important. This is often the case with sushi knives for instance. In order to keep the ultra-sharp blade needed for slicing on these, knife makers must use much more expensive materials than in bread knives. With bread knives, the serrations allow for lower-cost materials, making them more affordable for you and I. So go ahead, this is one knife that you can splurge on!
How To Choose the Best Bread Knife
You’ve seen the list of our favorite bread knives and you’re probably wondering, how did we choose them from the hundreds, if not thousands, available? We researched thoroughly and found that some of the most important factors to consider include the blade shape and length, sharpness, the type of serrations, online reviews and user feedback, and of course, the price tag. Some of these are more user preference and/or will be based on your use for the bread knife like blade length. On the other hand, some of these are very important and should not be overlooked at all like user feedback.
While most consumers are familiar with what the standard straight bread knife looks like, they also come as an offset serrated knife and curved blade version. We do like the standard straight blade better than the other two, but it’s really just personal preference, and again, might be dependent on how you intend to use the knife. Here are some examples to help you picture what we’re talking about.
Std. Bread Knife
This is probably the shape you’re used to for bread knifes. It’s long, narrow, and does a good job for most.
Curved Bread Knife
Depending on the user and the cutting motion used, a curved, serrated blade may help with ergonomics and feel.
Offset Bread Knife
The offset bread knife cuts similar to the standard, but allows room between your fingers and the cutting surface.
Bread Knives come in many different sizes, typically between 6 inches and 10 inches. While we definitely don’t recommend buying a bread knife that is less than 8″, anything longer than that is really dependent on your use for the knife. If you are always cutting french bread with your knife, 8″ is plenty. If you are making larger loaves of bread or another use that requires something longer, buying a bread knife that is 10″ or longer now might save you from needing something longer in the future. The longer the knife, the more versatile it is for different bread shapes. Just something to keep in mind.
High-Quality Steel/Edge Retention
Like any knife sharpness is something you want in a knife, right? Specifically in serrated bread knives, the use of high-quality knife steel is an important feature because it will retain the sharp edge longer. Why is this important? Mainly because it’s not easy and/or intuitive to sharpen serrated blades and most novices don’t even try. One way to get around real sharpening of your bread knife is to buy one with good edge retention, AKA good, high-quality steel like the higher-end models listed above. In these cases, you really shouldn’t need to sharpen your blade, and at most you can touch up the edge with stage-3 of our favorite electrical knife sharpener. This is a quick, easy way to keep in sharp without the hassle of a true serrated knife sharpener.
Bread Knife Uses
While they are called bread knives, this long, serrated blade is not just a bread cutting knife. It can do so much more due to the serrations and uniqueness when compared to all the other knives in your kitchen. As discussed above, this design is perfect for both tough outer shells and soft foods. As you know, that description matches much more than just bread. In addition, their length allows them to cut through larger foods than most other knives as well. Here are a few other bread knife uses as examples.
Angel Food Cake
Large Bread Loaves
How To Use a Bread Knife
It’s not difficult to use a bread knife, especially if you invest in one from our list above. This is mainly due to the fact that it will be ultra-sharp and have good edge retention like we mentioned before. However, using a bread knife is not the same as what you’re used to with a standard, non-serrated knife. That’s because rather than a chopping motion or cutting with force, using a bread knife is more finesse than using force.
The key with slicing bread with a bread knife is not to smash the bread, which is exactly what will happen if you push down on it when cutting. Rather, you use a back and forth sawing motion that will allow the serrations to do all the work. In this case, good bread knives will cut through both crust and the soft portion of the bread with ease. It will also ensure a nice smooth and straight cut, whereas pushing with force could rip through the bread leaving a smashed, messy pile of crumbs.
If you’re cutting fresh bread right out of the bread maker, make sure to allow it cool off before cutting it. Warm bread can be very difficult to cut because it tries to stick to the knife blade.
In order to make sure your new bread cutting knife lasts for many years to come, always wash it thoroughly right away and make sure to store it dry. Even if the knife manufacturer says that it’s dishwasher safe, it’s our recommendation that you wash it by hand and dry it right away. This will make sure your investment stays in good shape without fear of rust or other damage.
Do I Need an Electric Bread Knife?
You’ve seen the electric bread knives around. Years ago we used one for carving turkey I believe. There’s nothing they can do that can’t be done with a standard bread knife as well or better. The only added benefit to an electric bread knife is that the sawing motion is powered. Sure, this helps if you’re doing a repetitive task over and over all day long. But, it’s really unnecessary in most personal uses. The good news however, is that they are relatively inexpensive and well-liked if you’d like to try one out.
How To Sharpen A Bread Knife
People often get concerned about sharpening a bread knife due to the serrated blade. We’ll admit, it can be confusing how you might sharpen such a blade the first time attempt it. However, it’s much easier than you might think. For starters, since the serrations protect much for the blade edge from contacting the cutting surface, they stay sharper longer than straight edge knives to begin with. Because of this, it’s rare that you need to do any more than just touch up the edge as shown in the video below.
As you can see, it’s easy to sharpen a bread knife with the Work Sharp Tool and Knife Sharpener (click to see price and reviews at Amazon).
In fact, a variant of this model was featured as one of our top electric knife sharpeners.
The Final Slice On Our Bread Knife Reviews
The BladeAdvisor team would like to thank you for checking out our post on the best knife for cutting bread and reading through our buying guide. We hope it was enjoyable and educational for you. After the chef’s/santoku knife and a paring knife, a good, serrated bread knife is the next most common knife in kitchens today. They are versatile and can cut many foods with little effort and tearing.
As a quick reminder, we really like the Zelite Infinity X50 as our best serrated knife. However, there are many other deserving bread knives available for sale at Amazon with great prices. Here are links to a few of our other favorites. Thanks for visiting!