The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slashing tool

pmccool's picture

Slashing tool

There's been a fair amount of discussion here about various tools for slashing: lame, razor blades, serrated knives, scissors, etc.  More often than not, I just touch up an already-sharp paring knife with a steel and slash the loaves with that.  As long as the dough isn't too delicate, it works fairly well without dragging.


What I've been wondering, though, is whether an x-acto knife might be a useful tool.  They could stand in pretty handily for a lame, it seems, since they have razor-sharp blades and a handle.  Has anybody tried that yet?



grepstar's picture

I've used a utility knife blade without the handle with some success. It seems that they dull pretty quickly even though they're only cutting through dough.

merrybaker's picture

Add electric knife to your list of bread-slashing tools.  I haven't tried it, but read about that on another forum.  I'd think the x-acto knife would be harder to clean than some of the other options.  If you try it, let us know the results.  In fact, what we need is for someone to run a comparison test of all the different methods, and to film it and put it on You Tube.  Are you listening, Floyd?  :D 

Floydm's picture

I am.

So many good ideas, so little time.

Francine's picture

Hi Floyd,


This is Francine, I was the one that pitched the electric knife; works great! I think because of the speed.  I still held the knife at a slight angle; however, I did go ahead and order a Lame from K.A. so I could try to learn to do it as shown on some of the videos.  


slaughlin's picture

This is my first post but I've got to say this is a great site and community.  I'm in the medical field and the I use an 11 gauge scalpel.  Usually dip it in olive oil first.  I really makes a great slash.

andrew_l's picture

I've tried a scalpel (I use them in my work) but it didn't work any better than the lame I bought from a bakers supplier - the sort with a plastic handle and plastic removable cover. The lame is curved and I always drag the dough. It works - but takes several attempts, each going a bit deeper. Am I just being too cautious? I worry that if I really go for it viciously and quickly, the dough will collapse.Best ever slash was with a serated bread knife, but I try not to keep using that 'cos I want to do it "properly" ! -  like the big boys do!!!Incidentally, how do you slash the bread at all, when it is in a red hot Le Creuset pot??? All advice welcome - I don't want severley burned wrists!

grepstar's picture

I'm horrible at scoring, but occasionally I get a good one in and it seems that if I do it quick and confidently, like pulling off a bandage, it turns out best. That being said, I'm often second-guessing myself and go too slowly and get a jagged cut.

I've been in search of double-edged razors, but the local hardware store didn't have any. Am I just at the wrong hardware store or should I be looking at a different type of store? 

mountaindog's picture

grepstar - try the drugstore for the double-edge razors, like the old fashioned ones used for men's shaving. I had a hard time finding them in supermarkets, I guess everyone uses those plastic twin blades now.

andrew_l's picture

Is it possible to sharpen up and use the old cut-throat razors?? I've had an elderly relative die (aged 94) and in the house were a couple of these - blunt. But they look potentially lethal .... and have a wonderful handle!
How do I sharpen them??!!

Jeffrey's picture

Any peice of heavy leather would work.  Run it backwards, just like in the movies.  Need i tell you how many times i cut my fingures learning to sharpen knives.  Necer mind, i lost count any ways.


That sounds like a good tool for slashing though.

T4tigger's picture

I was able to find double-sided razor blades at our local grocery store right next to the other razors.  I think Wal-Mart also sells them.

beanfromex's picture

A smaller version of these razors, which I happen to have had on hand and tried were the razors that fit into the tool you woudls use for a pedicure.

These tools are used for removing the rind of hard skin from the heel.

The razors are about half the size of the type that my father used, and easily found.

I oiled the blade and it worked well. I imagine any beauty supply store would carry them. Here in the anchor store in the mall, there is a small "beauty" area with loofahs, etc etc, that is where I found mine.

Hoyden's picture

Scalpels are usually available at university bookstores or teaching supply houses.  Ask for the dissection tools for the biology classes.  They are quite cheap and of course, the blades are replaceable.

There's version of scalpel with a flimsier plastic handle, but still a replaceable blade in the sewing notions sections of most craft stores.  It is wickedly sharp.

I got a lame from KA and it was disappointing.  The handle is very, very short and it has no heft.  I get a much better slash with my long serrated knife. The weight and the length of the blade add to 'the courage of my convictions'.  It makes a clean cut that is just deep enough. So why is it less desirable to use a knife?

I think the callous remover blades are worth a try too, they're just as sharp as scalpel or lame blades.

Wild-Yeast's picture

I use a scalpel.  They can be ordered from here:


The #24 blades require the Large End 5.25 inch handle...,





Hoyden's picture

Oh dear, that is a dangerous website!  All kinds of tempting gizmos.

LindyD's picture

Yes, that is an interesting site with lots of nifty gizmos, from tick removing tweezers to gold pans. 

I haven't quite figured out under what "hobby" you'd find a surgical scalpel. 

Hoyden's picture

They're under the 'knives' section.  There's a search box - put scalpel in it and it will take you right to them.  


Their navigation could use some refinement.  LOL gold pans.