The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Bread knives?

IPlayWithFood's picture

Bread knives?

How long do your bread knives usually last in the kitchen? Those hard crusts aren't exactly the best on knife edges, and while I keep the rest of the knives in my kitchen razor sharp with my stones, I am at a complete loss as to how I maintain my scalloped edge (I use a Zwilling Henckels bread knife). My bread knife has noticeably dulled after a couple of months of use (I think it's seen about 20-30 loaves or so), and it seems such a waste to throw the whole knife away and buy a new one when it dulls, considering it's quite a nice knife I have, but at the same time it would probably cost as much as the knife to have it professionally sharpened..

DanAyo's picture
bigcrusty's picture

Dear Spamblahblah:


Understand- my bread knives were getting dull and slicing was becoming a real chore.

I went to Amazon and purchased a sharpener that does serrated knives (Priority Chef).  I also treated myself to an Electric Slicing Machine (Also from Amazon Chef's Choice Model 615) since I was slicing 8+ loavers per week with my knife.  Used the Chef's Choice today to slice 4 loaves in no time with nice uniform slices.


WatertownNewbie's picture

As an alternative, here is my favorite bread knife:

and get a protector too:

Used for well over a year without any noticeable loss of sharpness, and the guard protects the blade as well as my fingers when I reach into the drawer for it.

BobbyB's picture


Not sure if you're still looking for some information on bread knives.  I recently published an article discussion what makes a good bread knife with a section on bread knife sharpening.  By buying a good, high-quality bread knife rather than a cheap one, you can find one that uses a harder steel alloy that will give you better edge retention. 

Here's a link to the article if you're interested...

To summarize, the serrations of a bread knife protect the sharp edge on much of the blade and don't allow it to make contact with the cutting surface (board, plate, etc).  This is often what dulls or damages the blade.  In addition, the points of the serrations may become displaced or microscopically "bent" over time.  This can be remedied by very lightly polishing and/or honing the flat side of the blade as shown in the video.  It doesn't have to be done on an electric sharpener either, you could use a stone as well.  

Assuming there's not any real damage to the serrations or the blade itself, a light honing will probably make it like new again.  Please don't throw it away, especially if it's a nice knife!

metropical's picture

I bought a Hoffritz at Marshalls some years ago.  <$10.
It cuts my multigrain brick hard crust effortlessly.  I've yet to sharpen it.