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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 makes a good cheese experience better. Here are the ones you need in your arsenal.
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.
This is a favorite for budget-minded cheese eaters for a few reasons. You’ll notice that this cheese and tomato knife has holes in the blade—in fact, it’s 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. Both right-handed and left-handed cheese lovers will find it easy to wield thanks to a non-slip, soft-grip handle. 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!
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.
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!
When cheese mongers 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.
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.
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 non-stick, 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.
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.
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.
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 playful yet elegant set of silver-plated cheese knives in an alligator shape will do the trick. It comes with three knives that can be used for whatever cheese you’ve got, and the unique design adds an “Oh, I found this years ago at a Parisian flea market” vibe to your cheese spread.
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. Cheers!
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 cheese fix. 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.