It’s easy to forget about cheese knives when we can instead think of the magic and history 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 nice cheese knife (or knife set) makes a good cheese experience even better.
Of course, different types of cheese knives are better suited for specific uses—a knife with a blade that's flat and thin will perform better with softer cheeses, while a small cleaver-shaped knife will produce cleaner cuts on semi-hard or hard cheeses. If you're a fan of charcuterie or cheese boards, you may want to invest in several cheese knives. "I try to lay out one knife per cheese," says Cathy Billings, Owner of Magnolia Fine Food Co. in Chattanooga, Tennessee. "That said, my guests rarely do a great job using each knife for the cheese that I intended it with.”
To help you find the perfect cheese knife or cheese knife set for your needs, we consulted with experts and researched the top brands for a variety of uses. We found that the best cheese knives are easy to clean, durable, and made using high-quality materials such as stainless steel.
Global Classic 5.5-Inch Cheese Knife
Ideal for hard and soft cheese
High-quality Cromova 18 steel
Crafted in Japan from Cromova 18 stainless steel (a mix of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium made exclusively for the brand), this Global Classic knife is designed specifically for tackling soft and hard cheese. The knife features a thinner blade that's lighter than traditional European-style knives, maintaining ideal balance and control while reducing hand fatigue as you cut. It also has Global's signature dimple pattern on the handle to provide a stronger grip. There's a serrated edge, an open frame blade to help glide through cheese without it sticking, and a two-pronged tip to serve it up.
This Global cheese knife will last a lifetime with proper care (hand-wash only) and contribute a beautiful piece to your knife collection, whether you're working in a professional kitchen or prepping a cheese board for guests at home.
Price at time of publish: $90
Blade Material: Cromova 18 stainless steel | Blade Length: 5.5 inches | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Care: Hand wash
Williams Sonoma Open Kitchen Cheese Knife
Speared tip for serving
Elevating your cheese experience doesn't have to mean spending big bucks. Only available at Williams Sonoma, this 9-inch (including the blade and the handle) cheese knife boasts a lightweight, durable construction made of matte stainless steel. Its versatile design means it works for both soft and semi-firm cheese, making it a good multi-purpose investment for those on a budget. There is also a spear tip to the knife to help with serving and entertaining, and holes in the blade help prevent pieces of cheese from sticking as you cut. And although the knife is hand-wash only, the single piece of stainless steel is easy to clean and should dry quickly.
Price at time of publish: $10
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: About 4 inches | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Care: Hand wash
Best for Gifting
Laguiole Cheese Knives, Set of 3
Comes with a wooden gift box
Multiple colors to choose from
Knives all have similar edge
Each knife in this assorted 3-piece set is modeled after the famous Laguiole style of quality cheese knives made in France since the mid-19th century—even featuring the tiny bee symbol that's become synonymous with the name. The set includes a spreader knife for soft cheese, a hefty cleaver knife for hard cheeses, and a classic pronged knife to pick up and plate cheese. It also comes with a wooden box and a clear lid, perfect for gifting.
There are four colors available, each with hand-polished, mirrored stainless steel heads, so you can customize the set based on who the gift is for. The ivory and black handles are made of opaque plastic, but there are also olive wood handles and stainless steel handles as options.
Price at time of publish: $69
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 2.5-inch spreader, 4-inch pronged, 4.5-inch cleaver | Handle Material: Stainless steel, wood, plastic | Care: Dishwasher safe
Best for Hard Cheese
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 to add to your cheese board and existing knife set.
Price at time of publish: $23
Blade Material: Alloy steel | Blade Length: 7 inches | Handle Material: Wood | Care: Hand wash
Best for Soft Cheese
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.
Price at time of publish: $10
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 1.76 ounces | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Care: Dishwasher safe
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.
Price at time of publish: $30
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 5 inches | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Care: Hand wash
Best for Spreading
Wüsthof Gourmet 5-Inch Spreader Knife
For your soft, spreadable cheeses (think brie, chevre, or cream cheese) meant for slathering onto a cracker or piece of bread, this 5-inch spreader knife is the best tool for the job. All Wüsthof knives are laser cut from a single piece of high-carbon steel, producing an edge that's super sharp right out of the box. This one also has an ergonomic, triple-rivet handle for added support and balance. Use the serrated edge to cut or scoop your cheese and the rounded tip for spreading. Because of its wider, 5-inch serrated blade and sturdy handle, this knife also works well for sandwich condiments and tomato slices.
Price at time of publish: $25
Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel | Blade Length: 5 inches | Handle Material: Synthetic polypropylene | Care: Hand wash
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.
Price at time of publish: $41
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 1 inches | Care: Dishwasher safe
Boska Monaco+ Black Cheese Knife Set
Every knife you’ll need
Includes leather holder
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 for a cheesy recipe, 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.
Price at time of publish: $90
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 1.06 pounds | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Care: Dishwasher safe
“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
Boska Cheese Slicer Copenhagen
Safer for kids
Ideal for hard cheese
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.
Price at time of publish: $10
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 2.12 ounces | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Care: Dishwasher safe
Best with Board
Juvale Cheese Board Set
Comes with its own cheese board
Wide array of tools
Flimsier than some others
For a classy, practical gift (for yourself or the cheese-lover in your life), 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 set provides everything you need to enjoy your favorite cheeses.
Price at time of publish: $16
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Board Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.6 x 1.6 inches | Board Material: Bamboo | Care: Hand wash
Opinel No.10 Stainless Steel Corkscrew Folding Knife
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.
Price at time of publish: $36
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 3.92 inches | Handle Material: Wood | Care: Hand wash
The Global Classic 5.5-Inch Cheese Knife earned our top spot because of its durable material, versatile design, and sharp blade. If you're looking for a more affordable option, the Williams Sonoma Open Kitchen Cheese Knife is made of lightweight stainless steel that's attractive and sturdy.
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.
Stainless steel is the most common material you'll find in cheese knife blades, mainly because it is sturdy and easy to clean. Likewise, it's less likely to rust, stain, or pick up any funky odors from the cheese itself. Handles are also typically made of stainless steel, though you'll also find ones made of wood or composite plastic material, which are usually less durable (and in the case of wood, always hand-wash only).
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.
The Spruce Eats also consulted with Chef & Cheesemonger Cathy Billings, who owns Magnolia Fine Food Co. in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for this article.