The 10 Best Bread Knives
10. J.A. Henckels Synergy
9. Fat Daddio’s
8. Kai Wasabi
7. Orblue Stainless Steel Serrated
6. Wusthof Classic 8-Inch
5. Zelite Infinity
4. Mercer Culinary Millennia
3. Dexter-Russell Basics
2. Victorinox Swiss Army
1. Tojiro Slicer
What's So Special About a Bread Knife?
The majority of bread knives have serrated edges on the blade. This is also known as a scalloped edge.
The reason for this is simple: the serration allows the blade to grip better when you take on a hard-crusted exterior while still being able to ease into the soft goodness inside. Most regular kitchen knives will make bread-cutting difficult due to a blade length that's too short and middling sharpness.
The lifespan of the blade is also longer because less force is needed during slicing. A smooth blade can work, too, but only if it’s razor sharp.
Grip matters, as well. You’ll find both harder and softer handles, usually with some type of non-slip feature. They even make handles and special grips for people who have arthritis. Nothing should ever stand in the way of yummy carbs.
Overall, bread knives are an important tool to have in any kitchen. And hey — these long, toothy blades look pretty cool, too.
The Bread Knife: To Gift or Not To Gift
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re buying a bread knife as a present, perhaps for a wedding shower or that one friend who serves mutilated sandwiches. One thing you’ll want to consider is that knives say a lot about the chef who owns them.
Serious cooks often display them in a place of prominence, in a stand on the kitchen counter perhaps, or keep them safely in a carrying case. They will always be at their optimum sharpness. When purchasing a new knife, chefs will think about its use, their budget, and even how well the look of the product will match the overall style of the kitchen. Is it rustic? Modern?
After figuring out a price range and style for your gift, you then have to take into account the length of the blade, its strength and durability, and whether you want a pointed or rounded serrated edge. The former will make crusty artisan breads a lot easier to deal with.
You might even want to weigh the safety concerns. Those thin blades are great for precision, but when they wobble it can be dangerous. Grip, too, has an effect. The chef's hand needs to be comfortable: a comfortable chef is a happy chef, and a happy chef makes better food.
Who's Your Daddy?
It's hard to pinpoint one sole inventor of the bread knife.
If I had to guess, though, it was probably a French artisan hundreds of years ago who kept getting angry at his small knives for totally disfiguring his beautiful, drool-worthy bread. Seriously, the French have bread baking and serving down to a science.
As for when it actually appeared on the market, that credit probably goes to the German Friedrich Dick Company, who exhibited the first bread knife at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. If you're curious, that company is still around today.
No doubt that at this point, hundreds of frustrated chefs around the world had an "A-ha!" moment and wondered why they hadn't thought of such a useful tool.
The 'Really Useful Serrated Bread Knife Patent' award that we just made up could also go to Syracuse-born Joseph Burns, who paired the idea of the long knife with a wood saw in 1919.
It’s funny that most early bread knives actually had the word "bread" carved or stamped onto the handle. This just goes to show how truly groundbreaking this invention was: the greatest thing before sliced bread.
While styles have changed over the years and the cutting edges have improved, one thing is for sure: we certainly love our bread.