The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Electric Bread Knife - Do you use it?

nicolesue's picture

Electric Bread Knife - Do you use it?

Hi all,

I just want to know - does anyone here use an electric bread knife to slice your bread (especially boules of sour dough)? Do you find it useful? If not, what other knifes do you usually use? Come tell us!



EvaGal's picture

We use a "Chicago Cutlery" wooden handled serrated bread knife.  I even tried to sharpen it a few weeks ago using one of those sharpening rods with a handle with some success.  We've a local bakery which sells fancy bread knives which resemble a violin bow, but with a blade attached to a long wood piece.  I've always wondered if that type of bread knife is an improvement over mine, but am too stingy to buy the thing! Up to now, we've had children in the house and I've been hesitant to have an electric knife because of that.


Ford's picture

I use a sharp French chef's knife for most of my bread cutting.  If the crust is hard, I will use a serrated blade bread knife.  But, the only time that I use an electric knife is when I have to make many slices of sandwich bread, then I use a deli meat slicer.

On the same note, I also use an oiled, very sharp slicer to slash my dough before baking.


Mustang 51's picture
Mustang 51

I find that an Ekco ham slicer works very well for bread. It has a serrated blade, so it cuts through crust very well. Ekco is a readily available, inexpensive brand. I have been using mine for years.

serenityhill's picture

I've used the electric knife. For a long time it was all I used because it didn't tear up the slices.

I bought a bread knife with fairly wide serrations (one-half inch?) a couple of years back, and I like it much better.  No putting together and taking apart and to put aside for a few moments where do you put it??...  I also got a sturdy slicing guide made by Presto.

If I did a large amount of slicing I'd use a slicer like the Ekco.


MapMaker's picture

I brought some bread to a friend's house for dinner, but didn't bring my knife so I had to use theirs.  It was one of those with the blade off-set from the wooden "bow" handle, and it was a disaster, for a number of reason's, but the worst thing by far was that you couldn't get the blade all the way down to the cutting surface.  The "bow" part would get in the way.  I don't know if there are different versions of this style knife but I'd be very scepticle.

Off hand I'm not sure what brand of knife I have but it is a substantial knife, with large serations, and it can handle some very serious crusts.



undermind's picture

I was just thinking of how well the bow style bread knives work, until you reminded me of that issue.  I used to have a bow style bread knife (not sure what happened to it) that actually cut all breads quite nicely.  I think the key to the bow style knives is that the blade is thin in both height and width, and with serrations about a half inch apart, which seems to be universally superior for cutting bread.  The business end of the blade does it's job, and there isn't a whole bunch more blade coming into contact with the bread as you're continuing to slice.  I'm pretty familiar with commercial slicers after working in a bakery, and the blades on the pro slicer machines are basically identical to the blade on the bow knives.  The problem with the blade itself is that it is so thin it requires support at both ends, hence the "bow".  I used to end up having to use 2 knives; the bow to cut nice slices, and then another large knife to finish the cut through the bottom of the loaf, for the same reasons mentioned in the post above.  I guess the only thing a bow knife of this design would be good for is cutting like they do in restaurants where you get a sourdough round or something and it's cut, but not all the way through so you have to rip off a piece..

The proper way to do a bow style knife would be to have the "bow" directly ABOVE the blade rather than on it's side.  It would look like a hacksaw.  In fact, a hacksaw would be an excellent bread knife if you could just use a proper bread blade in it.  Somebody with some initiative will do this!  :)  

JoeV's picture

I have a Henckels 8-in. Perma Edge Bread Knife that I use for individual slices and for slicing bread at the table. I also use it for slashing bread before putting it in the oven, because it does a better job of cutting than my lahm. I also personally sharpen it using a crocus cloth and a wooden dowel.

When I am slicing entire loaves of bread for the freezer, I use my Mr. Twister Electric Fish Fillet Knife. I prefer this over our kitchen electric knife, because the blade has points at the tip of each serration, and it does a better job of cutting crusty bread because of the blade design, IMO. I've been looking for a used bread slicer, but they are few and far between, plus they are very expensive.

EvaGal's picture

Dilbert, where do you find such fine grit emery paper?  I thought I knew everything about sandpaper after spending the last 3 years constructing my own house, but you've got me stumped!


gary.turner's picture

A Google search led me to this page.



Scott M's picture
Scott M

You can get some extremely fine abrasive sheets (made by 3M) here:,43072

nicolesue's picture

I never knew there are so many ways to slice bread out there. You guys are indeed a creative and interesting bunch of people, I'm glad I meet you!

I have yet to find the "bow" knife as yet...