Woah... what a difference!!
I'd been trying to "make do" for a while with whatever seemed like an acceptable tool for slashing the dough loaves and using a small, very sharp but flat-bladed paring knife acceptable, though not exactly great.
I knew that a "tomato knife" was a great tool to use because it has the large scallops in the blade which , as seen on Mark' Back Home Bakery videos, did a very neat, clean cut in one go. But when I went out looking for such a knife, I was rather put off by the cost, about $20 - $25 at the local department stores' kitchen/cutlery sections. Several stores in fact. I'll save the $25 and buy flour.
However, I came across a display in our local grocery emporium (in my case, that's Fortino's, a part of the Loblaws/Superstore/President's Choice conglomeration here in Canada) and there in the kitchen stuff section next to candles and pillows displays, was a box full of paring knives with flat blades... But my eye caught a knife in the corner that looked like... yes!! A serrated tomato knife! And they were an astounding $1.90!! Stuck in the back of the box (I dug) were a handful of these little beauties, with black or pale blue handles.
Figuring if it was a dud, I'd at least have a new paring knife for general use, I bought one and today tried it out on a couple of loaves.
Oh! My! Goodness!!
Whodda knowed a proper style blade could make such a difference??! Easy slashing, no "catching", smooth as silk. Now, I didn't happen to make the slashes quite deep enough - I still seriously suck at slashing - so the loaves still blew out on the side (I'll eat the evidence). But even so, now I know I have a great tool for scoring my loaves and at a very affordable price that didn't bust the bank any. I had been willing to pop out $10 or so but I'd seen nothing for that price that didn't have tose micro-serrations which I've never seen or heard anyone mention or say they work well.
I am happy with my super-cheap find and when I go back to the store will pick up an extra or two as back ups. Less than $2, can't complain!!
I'd never have thought I'd be so thrilled to buy a $2 knife. But I am.