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It’s easy to forget about cheese knives when we can instead think of the magic of cheese itself, but the right cheese knife sets you up for better overall enjoyment. Whether it’s a knife that won’t stick to your perfectly oozy Camembert or one that will cut a clean slice of even the crumbliest Stilton, a good cheese knife (or knife set) makes a good cheese experience even better.
Here are the best cheese knives.
Best Overall: Laguiole en Aubrac Handmade Cheese Knife
Handmade and iconic
Will last forever
For Francophiles, there’s no knife more iconic than a Laguiole. Named after the city of Laguiole in Southern France, Laguiole knives are synonymous with quality (and very often counterfeited, so make sure to check that it’s made in France). Laguiole is not a brand or a trademark, simply a tradition of craftsmanship going back to the 1800s. This genuine Laguiole with an olivewood handle will do nicely for your cheese board—the curved blade makes it ideal for both soft and hard cheeses—but is also a tool that you can be proud of for decades. Consider it an investment for your kitchen. A historic food like cheese deserves a knife vetted by history.
Best Budget: Amazon Basics Multi-Use Stainless Steel Cheese Knife
Flimsier than some others
This is a favorite for budget-minded cheese eaters for a few reasons. You’ll notice that this cheese knife (which can be used for fruit and more) has holes in the blade—in fact, it’s almost more of a skeleton of a blade. This keeps your soft cheeses (and tomatoes) from sticking to the blade, ensuring cleaner cuts. The pronged tip makes it easy to break off a piece of your favorite crumbly cheeses, like crystalline aged Goudas. It also so happens to be dishwasher safe, so you can just pop it in at the end of your parties. No matter what sort of cheese you happen to have in your fridge, this knife has your back, and at this price, you can buy two.
Best Hard-Cheese Knife: W&P Design The Cheese Knife
Clever design makes it multifunctional
Beautiful and durable
Not dishwasher safe
While age is not synonymous with quality in cheese (or wine or people), well-made cheese can benefit from time spent in a cave to bring out its complexity and concentrate its flavor. For those special cheeses, this is the knife that will serve you best. Its finely sharpened edge will cleanly cut through the smoother hard cheeses like Gruyere or Emmental, and its pointed stainless steel tip will easily break off pieces of your favorite crumbly cheeses like clothbound cheddars and Pecorino Romano. Plus, its polished hardwood handle with brass rivets make it a beautiful piece for your cheese board and knife block.
“I try to lay out one knife per cheese. That said, my guests rarely do a great job using each knife for the cheese that I intended it with.” - Cathy Billings, Owner of Magnolia Fine Food Co. in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Best Soft-Cheese Knife: Boska Soft Cheese Knife Copenhagen No.1
Not as useful for hard cheese
If you ever peek in a cheesemonger’s knife drawer, you will almost certainly see tools by Boska. This Dutch company, which has been around since 1896, designs classic and functional cheese tools that can’t be beaten. The stainless steel soft cheese knife, with its slim blade, is designed to slice an elegant portion of your favorite soft cheeses without sticking or creating friction that will make blue cheeses crumble. The blade is sharp enough to cut into your harder cheeses if you’re in a pinch, but it really shines with the softies. And, it comes with a 10-year guarantee.
Best Wire: Boska Soft Cheese Cutter
Seriously reduces friction
Beloved by cheesemongers
When cheesemongers really need a precisely cut piece of cheese, they often don’t reach for a knife at all. Instead, you’ll see them reach for a cheese wire, sometimes called a cheese harp. This unassuming little tool makes clean cuts in even the ooziest, crumbliest cheeses with minimal mess. For cheese lovers who like to assemble intricately designed boards or simply want to portion their Brie in exact pieces, a cheese wire will change your life. They’re lightweight, incredibly functional, and will last forever. The wire is pretty durable, but if it happens to break, it’s easy and inexpensive to find a replacement.
Best Slicer: Boska Cheese Slicer Copenhagen
Safer for kids
Not as useful for soft cheese
We all love a good cheese board, but one of the best parts of cheese is its versatility. Sure, a cheese board makes a lovely centerpiece or appetizer, but just as often, cheese serves as a great mid-day snack on a Wednesday or as inspiration to make a fabulous grilled cheese sandwich.
For daily cheese snacks, this stainless steel Boska slicer is user-friendly and indispensable. Meant for semi-hard to hard cheeses, it portions clean and snackable sizes whenever you are in need, but its clean, classic design also makes it lovely and functional on a cheese board.
Best Set: Boska Monaco+ Black Cheese Knife Set
Every knife you’ll need
This sleek Boska set is a favorite for professional cheesemongers and amateurs alike for a few reasons. First of all, it has a knife for every purpose—whether you’re portioning feta, La Tur, Taleggio, Roquefort, Sbrinz, or a block of humble cheddar from the grocery store, this set will make clean, precise cuts. The quilted black coating makes the knives extra nonstick, meaning your cheese will stay in its intended shape, no matter how often you go back for another piece. Each knife is easy to clean with a bit of soap and water, and the leather case stores them away stylishly.
“Generally, I will cut cheese into bite-size pieces, and maybe have one good Boska knife available. I like spreaders for soft cheese, such as Brie.” - Cathy Billings, Owner of Magnolia Fine Food Co. in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Best Set for Gifting: Juvale Cheese Board Set
Comes with its own cheese board
Wide array of tools
Flimsier than some others
For a classy, practical gift, look no further than this cheese board set, complete with a set of four knives. Upon taking it out of the box, it just looks like a classic bamboo cheese board—a lovely gift on its own—but when you investigate a bit further, you’ll find that there are cheese knives within.
The knives and slicer work for all sorts of cheeses, and the materials used are durable and eco-friendly. The knives and board are easily cleaned with a bit of soap and water and are compact for storage. Beloved by reviewers for its transportability and impeccable design, this makes a perfect gift for any food lover.
Best Santoku-Style: CasaWare 5-Inch Cheese/Santoku Knife
Wide range of uses
Not as useful for entertaining
Japanese knives are beloved among food lovers for their functionality and precise, modern design. Santoku-style knives, in particular, are quickly replacing the classic chef’s knives in modern kitchens, thanks to their lighter weight and thinner blade for more precise cutting. While they look fairly similar to what we think of as chef’s knives, they feature a wide sheepsfoot blade without a tip and are more balanced. If you can’t live without your Santoku knives and want a great option for cheese, this 5-inch blade is a great option. In fact, you may quickly find it replacing almost all the knives in your drawer.
Best Design: Anthropologie Tortoise Cheese Knives
Beautiful and unique
Knives for each cheese style
The aesthetic won’t suit everyone
Expertly arranged cheese boards are their own art form. If you’re the kind of person whose cheeseboard features edible flowers as garnishes, expert drizzles of honey, jams in jewel tones, and cheese pieces arranged in precise, geometric patterns, you’ll need an eye-catching set of knives to bring everything together. This chic set of three cheese knives with tortoise shell handles will do the trick. Between the three knives, they can be used to portion whatever cheese you’ve got, and the unique design adds a chic vibe to your cheese spread.
Best Portable: Opinel No.10 Stainless Steel Corkscrew Folding Knife
Portable and durable
Better for on-the-go cheese
The best cheese experiences often have nothing to do with perfectly arranged cheese boards. If you’re a cheese lover on the go, it’s important to have a knife for those impromptu weekend picnics with bread, cheese, salami, and a bottle of your favorite wine. Any picnicking foodie can tell you that Opinel is the best knife for the job. Think of it as the gourmet’s pocket knife. It’s a simple stainless steel blade that will portion whatever cheese you’re hoping to snack on, and inside the durable Beechwood handle lies a corkscrew for whatever bottle of wine you brought to pair.
What to Look for in Cheese Knives
Different kinds of cheeses are best portioned with different kinds of knives. If you only eat cheddar blocks from the grocery store, you may just be fine with steak knives, but if you branch out into soft cheeses, like chevre or Brie, or hard cheeses, like parmesan, or more crumbly cheeses, like blues, you will probably want a different cheese knife for each category.
While cheese knives can make a cheese board feel more put together and can make cheese portioning easier, they’re not strictly necessary. If cheese is an important part of your life, though, there’s certainly nothing wrong with splurging on a special statement knife, like Laguiole, or a set from Boska. They’ll spark joy for years to come and serve you well.
Set vs. Individual
If you’re a frequent entertainer who serves a fair number of cheese boards, it may make sense to buy a set instead of individual knives. They’ll look better together when placed out and it will make things simpler. If you only sometimes serve cheese, though, or mostly eat it as a snack, it may make more sense to buy each knife by the piece and add on when you feel you’re missing a certain kind of knife.
How do you use a cheese knife?
This depends a lot on the cheese knife. It may feel silly to read the instructions that come with your cheese knife because we all know how to use the other knives in our kitchens, but the instructions for your specific cheese knife will actually be quite helpful in knowing how to use it, especially since many are multifunctional.
Why do you need different knives to cut different cheeses?
Different cheeses have different textures. With a blue cheese, you want to prevent it from crumbling, so you want something that has less friction. With a hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano, you want it to crumble into bigger pieces. Different knives made for this purpose will get the job done easily and more quickly.
How do you sharpen a cheese knife?
Most cheese knives do not need to be sharpened. If you buy one that does require sharpening, it will have its own instructions for sharpening.
How do you stop cheese from sticking to the knife?
Many cheese knives are designed to stop friction, like the knives with holes cut out of the blade or the cheese wire. If you slice your cheese when it’s cold, the friction will be even more reduced. Just make sure to let it get to room temperature before you serve it.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional cheese eater Christine Clark teaches cheese and pairing classes throughout the United States and is dedicated to helping people expertly get their fill of cheese. Her cheese adoration is so strong that she has a whole podcast dedicated to it. She is a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society.