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While many home bakers may not start out using a bread lame—which is, essentially, a long tool that holds a razor blade—the addition of this relatively inexpensive tool to your bread making kit will immediately pay off with cleaner scoring, higher rises, and more refined results.
Bread lames (“lame” means “blade” in French) were once difficult to find on the consumer market, which often left home bakers to score their bread using blades by hand or fashion their own tools out of skewers or chopsticks. Professional-quality bread lames are now available to anyone interested in stepping up their bread game, and they come in a variety of choices for your ultimate comfort and bread-making style.
Here are the best bread lames on the market right now.
Best Overall: Baker of Seville Bread Lame
This is what you get when a bread baker sets out to make their own equipment. Designed and tested by bakers and baking enthusiasts alike, the Baker of Seville bread lame is versatile, sturdy, and streamlined.
The biggest advantage of this lame is its ability to alternate between a straight-edge or curved-blade lame, meaning you can make a variety of cuts without having to purchase two different tools. Additionally, the blade is stabilized with a sturdy screw and two stabilizing knobs to keep the blade from slipping under pressure.
Unlike most other bread lames on the market that are constructed with wood or plastic components, this lame is entirely stainless steel, making it both sturdy and easy to clean. The stainless steel design makes for a slightly heavier-weight lame, which most reviewers find beneficial, allowing for greater control while scoring. After removing the blade and securing the screw, it can be washed in the utensils section of the dishwasher.
The lame comes with a hard plastic storage case for safekeeping and storage in your kitchen drawers.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Breadtopia Bread Lame
For bakers looking for a dependable, and admittedly cute, lame for scoring homemade bread, the Breadtopia lame is an easy tool to use, change, and maintain. Blades slide onto the stainless steel razor strip for a gently curved fit, and the strip is bendable enough to mold into a more pronounced curve if desired.
The long, textured resin handle is non-slip and allows for a looser and gentler pressure for soft doughs. For thicker doughs, there’s plenty of room to choke up on the handle without being directly on top of the blade. It comes with five blade replacements and a padded box for safe storage.
Best Budget: XoYo Bread Lame
If you’re just starting out or don’t know how committed you are to making bread for the long haul, the XoYo Bread Lame is a safe and reusable lower-priced option. Instead of buying a single-use plastic lame for the same amount, XoYo offers a lame design like the higher-end models at half the price. It’s designed with a longer 6.3-inch wooden handle and stainless steel razor stick to hold a double-sided safety razor.
Reviewers give the lame high marks for durability, comfortable weight, and ease of use, making this tool a bargain. Unfortunately, the XoYo Bread Lame doesn’t come with a protective box but does include a leather blade cover to protect you and the blade while not in use.
Best for Sourdough: UPKOCH Bread Lame
Many bakers like to score their sourdoughs and yeasted doughs with a head-on perpendicular slice, in either the classic X or square pattern. A straight blade lame helps achieve a clean direct cut, as well as many of the popular decorative cuts often seen on larger artisan loaves.
The UPKOCH bread lame has an attractive artisan wooden handle, which is especially safe and secure. The blade is held in place by two screws, with the back of the double-sided blade sunk into the handle itself to avoid any accidental cuts while using the lame. The screws can be removed to rotate or replace the blade with a small key included in the set.
Five blades are included, as well as a plastic blade cover for safe storage, and a key to tighten the screws. Unlike other models, the UPKOCH bread lame also has a small hole drilled in the handle for hanging.
Best for Gifting: Williams Sonoma Black Walnut Handle Bread Lame
This lame takes the utilitarian straight blade up a notch with a beautiful black walnut handle, embellished with brass accents and stainless steel fittings. The screws that secure the blade in the handle can be tightened by hand without the need for a key. A pre-drilled hole in the handle makes it easy to hang and display in your kitchen.
The whole package includes additional razor blades and a small wooden box for storage, making this lame a lovely and thoughtful gift for the bread enthusiast in your life.
Best Set: Rmolitty Bread Lame and Dough Scoring Knife Set
With different styles of lames on the market, you might not be sure which tool is the best fit for you, or you might just want the full range of options. The Rmolitty Bread Lame and Dough Scoring Knife Set includes a classic lame with wooden handle and metal stick to attach a double-sided safety razor. Additionally, the set includes a scalpel-style lame for detail scoring work.
Both lames come with protective blade covers, as well as ten additional razors for the classic lame. With both the classic and scalpel-style lames, you should be able to tackle almost any bread scoring project with ease.
Best for Baguettes: Saint Germain Premium Bread Lame
The curved blade of the Saint Germain lame makes scoring baguettes for that beautiful arched expansion and delicate crisp flap (referred to as the “ear”) a breeze. Similar to other models, the lame is designed with a wooden handle and stainless steel stick to hold the blade.
The shorter handle of this lame is popular among bakers who like to hold the tool closer to the blade for more control, or bakers with smaller hands. Since baguette dough is typically a little denser than a high-hydration sourdough, the extra control for scoring comes in handy.
The whole package includes five replaceable blades for multiple uses, a blade cover, and a cardboard box to store it all in.
Best with Case: Bread Bosses Bread Bakers Lame Slashing Tool
Bread Bosses has set out to make serious tools for serious bread bakers. The Bread Bosses lame comes with a solid wooden handle, ten replacement blades, a blade cover, and a rugged wooden box to store it all in. The handle is smooth, without any carvings to prevent flour or dough buildup that may be difficult to clean out over time.
Additionally, Bread Bosses has a 365 day return policy if for any reason your lame doesn’t stand up to regular use within the first year.
The Baker of Seville Bread Lame is designed with serious bakers in mind, providing a heavy-duty stainless steel handle and versatile scoring options, all at a reasonable price. Popular, easy to handle, and cute, the Breadtopia Bread Lame comes in second as a less expensive, but reliable, quality baker’s tool.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Jenny Kellerhals has been a professional pastry chef in NYC for over a decade, developing an appreciation of professional-grade and high-quality home baking equipment through rigorous use. Her New York apartment kitchen cabinets are tiny, so only the most reliable equipment makes the cut.