The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whats the benefit of a lame over a straight edge blade?

skald89's picture

Whats the benefit of a lame over a straight edge blade?

I am starting to learn how to basic cuts in my bread. Ive used razors like this to cut the bread. What is the benefit to use a lame to do the cuts over this?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

4 corners vs 2 corners.    :)     Feel cornered?

skald89's picture

What do you mean?

idaveindy's picture

skald:  A lame is basically a holder or tool that holds a traditional double side shaving-razor blade.  Since there are two sides to the blade, that means there are four corners with which to cut into the dough.

The single-sided blade to which you link has only two corners.  

Your single-sided blade is safer to use bare-handed (that is, no tool or holder) than a double-side blade would be bare-handed.  

Hence, that is one purpose of a lame, so the baker has less risk cutting themself with a lame,  compared to holding the double-sided razor blade with bare fingers.

It's also easier to reach inside a hot dutch oven (cast iron pot) to score the dough with a lame, less chance of burning oneself, than handling a double-sided razor blade with bare fingers.

I have not compared prices of your single-sided "utility" style, versus double-sided "shaving" style razor blades. So maybe one has the cost benefit over the other.

I am super cheap.  I have been using the same shaving-style "bare" double-sided blade for a while.  I sharpen it occassional by swiping it backwards  (away from the edge) against a flat piece of newspaper.  I do that to both sides of an edge, then repeat for the other edge.

As I see it, getting a nice tight and somewhat dry "skin" on your dough is as important for a clean cut/score as is a sharp razor.