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VMBrasseur

Bread knife recommendations?

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I have had my Cutco knives for 31 years this month and I love them. I had them all sharpened once about 6 years ago.

I sent them into the company and they sharpened them for free and mailed them back to me as good as new. They

even replaced the steak knife with the chip in the handle. Now I have to send in my French Chef's knife (the only one

not serrated and the only one I can sharpen myself) because my hubby broke off the tip, trying to pry the lid off something.

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For years, I've used no-name supermarket generic serrated 5 buck knives on bread, with only 1 complaint, too short. So I finally sprung for the Forschner-Vic (40547) and am mighty disappointed. Afer 40 years of slicing bread evenly, automatically, I now have to concentrate to compensate for this knife's tendency to make the slice thicker on the bottom than the top. And often unsuccessful even with the extra attention. It's particularly irritating because I tend to like bread thinly and evenly sliced.

I called the Knife Merchant where I bought it and got some garbage about the blade being one sided. Could I have gotten a knife for lefties?

edited to clarify that I am right handed.


Edited by Mottmott (log)

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...I tend to like bread thinly and evenly sliced.

Perhaps a Black & Decker electric knife is in order? I paid $11 for my last one, and it excels at thin slicing!

And since this thread has been resuscitated :blink:, for manual bread slicing I really like my el cheapo Dexter-Russell offset knife. That cost me a whopping 13 bucks! When it craps out, and it will, it goes out to the garden and I'll go out and buy myself a new one...

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Several years ago I acquired a bread knife in New York's China Town for very cheap. It works. By the way you can buy small rat-tail files in almost any shape that will bring back a serrated edge that has gone dull.

Jmahl

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I have a couple of these, Dexter/Russell #01285, purchased at Smart & Final (has their logo) but they are available at many places

I paid $14.95.

They cut everything from the hardest crust rustic breads to angel food cake and they cut evenly.

This knife is "single-sided" in that it is flat on one side and the serrations contoured on the other. I pictured the flat side.

The oldest one is close to 5 years old and still very sharp. I do have a Chef'sChoice 130 electric sharpener that sharpens serrated, wavy, as well as straight edge knives, but these had not yet needed sharpening.

gallery_17399_60_9260.jpg

gallery_17399_60_117937.jpg

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That actually looks like a 12 inch roast slicer. Was it labeled and sold as a bread knife?


Edited by MGLloyd (log)

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Over at the kitchen knife forum, the highly recommend the MAC bread knife which you can find HERE.

I still use the white handled restaurant supply bread knives, but may give the MAC a try some day soon as I bake a lot of bread.

BTW, if you need to get your knives sharpened, THIS GUY does a world class job, and will accept knives mail order. He will even repair broken tips, and sharpen Japanese style knives on water stones.....

He does sharpen serrated blades too... not just the back of the knife, but the serations.


Edited by UnConundrum (log)

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I have a bread knife with a serrated edge very similar to the Dexter-Russel in Andi's photos but it's a bit shorter, has a black handle and is a Henckel's product I picked up at T.J. Maxx for about $10.

It is indeed durable. I used it to trim the edges of about 100 pieces of sod last summer when I redid my lawn. It has since gone back to bread cutting duty and although it's about due for a sharpening - it still performs well. I also have a Dexter Russell with a shorter serrated blade - looks like a 6" boning knife but serrated. It has a much stiffer and less flexible blade. It doesn't cut bread nearly as wll as the Henckels and I think - for some reason - the thickness of the blade is a factor. The Henckels blade is thin and flexible.

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MGLloyd said:
That actually looks like a 12 inch roast slicer.  Was it labeled and sold as a bread knife?

It is sold in a plastic hanger "bag" and labeled as a "12 " scalloped slicer"

 

has it with the Sani-Safe handle, like mine, for 11.25.

Note: Some makers give the overall length of the knife and handle, which can be confusing.

I ordered a 12 inch bread knife that had a slightly less than 8 inch blade. I returned it.

I saw this knife in use at a local bakery, cutting horizontal slices from a sourdough boule and asked where he had found it. He said Smart & Final had them on a hanger display near the back of the store so I stopped in on my way home and bought one. I love it.

I have several ham slicers and roast slicers which work fine on dense meats. However, this is the only knife I have ever found that works equally well on hard crusts and soft crumb.

I also have Wusthof, F. Dick, Lamson Sharp and Messermeister bread knives.

The 12 1/2" made by F. Dick works as well but I paid a discounted price of 89.50 for it. The best price I have seen recently is 102.95.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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When a bakery called Montana Mills had stores in the Albany, NY area, I bought a few of these bread knives for a mere $3 or so. It looks like a copy of the Dexter/Russell. I see they are now available online for $5.95, which includes shipping. Time to order a few more. I've been very pleased with them.

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I had come to realize my trusty Wusthof 8 inch was no longer cutting it.  OK for a baguette perhaps.  Unfortunately these serrated knifes with pointed tips are no longer in the Wusthof catalog so purchase of a longer one was not a possibility.  They used to be available in several sizes.  The closest I found was the Wusthof 10 inch bread knife:

 

http://www.wusthof.com/10-bread-knife

 

But this looked a little flimsy in comparison and there was not much height to the blade with no room for knuckles.  And so I went shopping for another brand of bread knife.

 

Many of my knives are Chicago Cutlery and they offer several such.  However I have ruled out a "bread knife" with a rounded tip as I believe these are more suited to slicing protein than bread.  Besides I already have a Wusthof 16 inch with a rounded tip.  Worse I have read the quality of Chicago Cutlery has deteriorated over the years.

 

Last month I bought a Cuisinart electric bread knife as recommended by Modernist Bread.  Unfortunately the Cuisinart does not cut through bread.  Maybe others have had a better experience?

 

Fat Guy and others have argued for a chef knife but in my hands a chef knife, not even my heavy 10 inch one, can intimidate a hunk of bread.

 

I checked out the usual suspects and I even found a bread saw.

 

But what I went with was a Henckels 10 inch that was taller and half again as heavy as the Wusthof.  Though I'm guessing the Wusthof would have had a little harder steel.

 

Are there any new recommendations?

 


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker correction (log)

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I've heard they can be re-sharpened, but by someone who knos what they are doing.

 

p

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I have tried numerous "bread" knives. Most are not long enough for my liking.  I have stuck with the Dexter Russell roast slicer for well over 20 years.  

They saw through hard, crusty loaves as easily as through brioche and with just as fine a precision.

I used to buy them at Smart & Final for  10.99 initially, then they went up to 14.99, sometimes they could be found cheaper online but there was shipping cost.

 

Now they are  $19.79  on Amazon.  And free shipping.   Read the reviews.

 

By the way, I will be selling my big Wusthof two-handle cheese knife with the 12 3/4" blade.  If interested, PM me.  I never really used it on any hard cheese, just once to see how it worked on Caerphilly. 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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4 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I had come to realize my trusty Wusthof 8 inch was no longer cutting it.  OK for a baguette perhaps.  Unfortunately these serrated knifes with pointed tips are no longer in the Wusthof catalog so purchase of a longer one was not a possibility.  They used to be available in several sizes.  The closest I found was the Wusthof 10 inch bread knife:

 

http://www.wusthof.com/10-bread-knife

 

But this looked a little flimsy in comparison and there was not much height to the blade with no room for knuckles.  And so I went shopping for another brand of bread knife.

 

Many of my knives are Chicago Cutlery and they offer several such.  However I have ruled out a "bread knife" with a rounded tip as I believe these are more suited to slicing protein than bread.  Besides I already have a Wusthof 16 inch with a rounded tip.  Worse I have read the quality of Chicago Cutlery has deteriorated over the years.

 

Last month I bought a Cuisinart electric bread knife as recommended by Modernist Bread.  Unfortunately the Cuisinart does not cut through bread.  Maybe others have had a better experience?

 

Fat Guy and others have argued for a chef knife but in my hands a chef knife, not even my heavy 12 inch one, can intimidate a hunk of bread.

 

I checked out the usual suspects and I even found a bread saw.

 

But what I went with was a Henckels 10 inch that was taller and half again as heavy as the Wusthof.  Though I'm guessing the Wusthof would have had a little harder steel.

 

Are there any new recommendations?

 

I have had the Cuisinart electric knife for years and I use it for all my homemade breads except those with a hard crust; you're right, it doesn't handle those very well.  For that I use my Wusthof, it does an excellent job (although it is considerably more expensive now than what it was when I bought mine eight years ago).


Edited by lindag (log)

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9 hours ago, palo said:

I've heard they can be re-sharpened, but by someone who knos what they are doing.

 

p

 

The knife may or may not be dull by now but the main problem is it isn't long enough to address a kg boule.

 

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On 12/28/2017 at 7:53 AM, Cyberider said:

I've been using this for the past couple of years:

Fat Daddio's Bread/Cake Knives, 14 Inches

It's long enough and sharp enough to cut through anything and it's inexpensive.

 

 

 

I was on the Kerekes site a few days ago and I think they had them cheaper.  

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 I cannot imagine trying to manipulate a knife that is almost 20 inches long unless I was a contestant in a fencing match. But, as always, to each their own

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16 hours ago, andiesenji said:

 

 

I was on the Kerekes site a few days ago and I think they had them cheaper.  

Indeed they do.  Thanks for the tip, Andie.  For cutting large loaves, these can't be beat IMHO.  There is a 10" version for those who don't need the long length.  I found it a bit awkward at first but got used to it and use it for cutting all breads and cakes.

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My friend Ben the baker stopped by for a visit on his way back up north after picking up some stuff at Grand Central Market in L.A.

I asked him what kinds of knives he uses and he said he has about half a dozen of the Ateco with the 14" blade  and four or five of the Dexter/Russell which his assistants prefer because they have smaller hands and the 12" blade is easier for them to use that the longer one. 

 

Incidentally, I did list my big Wusthof cheese knife on ebay and have gotten some rather odd questions. I think some of these people are ignorant of how cheeses are made. One asked why such a large blade was needed to cut cheese and why it was so costly.  Another wanted to know if it was available with red handles so it would match her set of knives.  And one wanted to know if I had listed the length correctly, because "it looks a lot smaller than 25 inches and the blade shorter than 12.5 inches.  I told him to look at ALL of the photos. One includes a ruler!  

Of course it "looks" smaller in the main photo because I had to get farther away to get the entire knife in the picture.  

 

I also listed my big pizza knife but no silly questions about it.

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 3.23.59 AM.png

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 3.24.55 AM.png

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They don't even make rulers like that any more!

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 Don't tell anyone - this is probably from the 50s...

 

IMG_1074.JPG.d4c91cb123d1c7529cba8093b42e4b4c.JPG

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My Henckels 10 inch came last night.  Whatever else it is an imposing blade, heavier than my 10 inch chef knife.

 

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On 12/30/2017 at 9:19 AM, andiesenji said:

 One asked why such a large blade was needed to cut cheese and why it was so costly. 

 

 

They've never cut their fingers off cutting into a round of Parmigiano-Reggiano with a chef's knife.

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5 hours ago, Smokeydoke said:

 

They've never cut their fingers off cutting into a round of Parmigiano-Reggiano with a chef's knife.

For that I have a long cheese wire.

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