We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
A mezzaluna is a type of knife with a thick, curved blade (its name means “half-moon” in Italian). It most often has a single blade, but some models have two or even three blades. More traditional versions feature a handle at each end, but modern designs often feature a single handle or no handle at all. A mezzaluna knife is used with a rhythmic back-and-forth rocking motion to quickly reduce food to an even mince. They’re typically used for finely chopping and mincing herbs, aromatics, and vegetables but they can also be used for cutting cheese, nuts, chocolate, and meat.
In Italy, mezzaluna knives are traditionally used for making soffritto or pesto, but these days, with multiple modernized versions available, their uses have expanded. Very large, single-blade models are even used for slicing pizza. For home cooks without professional-level knife skills, the mezzaluna is a great way to get even and consistent results more quickly, safely, and without the need for a bulky, pricey food processor. Double-handled models offer a sharp chopping blade while eliminating the risk of accidentally cutting yourself.
Here are our picks for the best mezzaluna knives available.
Best Overall: Fante’s Mamma Maria’s Rocking Mezzaluna Chopper
Easy to use
Smooth, shaped handles are comfortable to hold
The long blade is handy for both mincing and slicing
A bit bulky for storage
Doesn’t come with a blade cover
Must be hand washed
This classic, made-in-Italy mezzaluna from an established, family-owned kitchen supply business features a 9.5-inch stainless-steel blade with twin handles in smooth, shaped beechwood. It can be used in either a traditional back-and-forth rocking motion or an up-and-down chopping motion for mincing and chopping foods faster and more evenly than with a chef’s knife.
The blade is sturdy and can be resharpened as needed, while the ergonomic wood handles are comfortable to hold. While this knife doesn’t include any modern bells or whistles, it’s a durable and affordable kitchen tool that could become a reliable workhorse in your kitchen.
Materials: stainless steel and wood | Dimensions: 9.5-inch blade | Weight: 6.6 ounces | Blade: single | Handle: double
Best Budget: Kitchendao Mezzaluna Salad Chopper
Blades pull apart to release stuck food
Comes with blade covers
Handle is less comfortable and durable than competition
Blades are a bit short
This single-handle, double-blade mezzaluna offers a lot of features for a low price. Designed for one-handed use, it’s primarily marketed as a salad chopper, to be used directly in a bowl for cutting up salad greens, but it can also be used on a chopping board for cutting up any type of food.
One potential problem with double-bladed mezzaluna knives is that food tends to get stuck between the blades. This chopper solves that problem with a clever design: The two blades easily pop apart to release any trapped bits. Not only that, but the blades can be separated from each other and used separately so that it turns into a single-blade mezzaluna for slicing pizza, bread, pies, or cookies. It comes with guards for the sharp blades to protect them (and your fingers) from damage, and as a bonus, it’s dishwasher safe, for effortless cleanup.
Materials: stainless steel and plastic | Dimensions: 6.6-inch blades | Weight: 10.1 ounces | Handle: single
Best Folding: Joseph Joseph Mezzaluna Folding Herb Chopper
Compact and easy to store
Built-in blade guard
Blade is too short for slicing large foods
This practical option from Joseph Joseph features a razor-sharp Japanese stainless-steel blade and twin handles in spring green, BPA-free plastic.The handles offer a balanced grip when mincing and chopping and then fold down over the blade when it’s not in use, doubling as a blade guard. This makes the knife super-compact for easy and safe storage in a drawer—protecting the cutting edge from nicks and damage and your hands from accidental cuts.
A potential disadvantage to this knife’s compact size is that it’s better suited for mincing and chopping herbs and vegetables, but less ideal for slicing larger or harder foods.
Materials: stainless steel and plastic | Dimensions: 7-inch blade | Weight: 4.9 ounces | Handle: double
Best Retracting: Microplane Herb & Salad Chopper
Handle has a comfortable, non-slip grip
Easy, compact, and safe storage
Too small to slice large foods
Food can get stuck between the double blades
This ergonomically designed, double-bladed chopper fits comfortably in the palm of your hand for one-handed mincing of herbs and vegetables. It’s from the same manufacturer as our pick for the best grater, and the sharp, rust-resistant stainless steel blades offer the same sharpness and durability.
The award-winning design allows you to easily flip the twin blades into the BPA-free handle for compact and safe storage, and they lock into place in either the retracted or cutting position for added stability. This mini mezzaluna chopper is also dishwasher safe, making cleanup just as easy as use.
Materials: stainless steel and plastic | Dimensions: 5.6-inch blades | Weight: 8 ounces | Handle: single
Best for Pizza: American Metalcraft 20-Inch Rocker Pizza Knife
Sharp and durable blade
Easy to use even with large pizzas
Difficult to store
This massive, heavy-duty mezzaluna knife from a commercial foodservice supply manufacturer is designed specifically for pizza cutting. The 20-inch stainless-steel blade has plastic handles at either end for a sturdy grip, and it’s long, sharp, and strong enough to slice even a large pizza in a neat single pass.
Slicing pizza with a rocker-style knife rather than a roller or shears has several advantages: It’s a snap to cut in a straight line across the pie with no wobbling, and the cut can be made with a single rocking motion rather than multiple back-and-forth passes.
While it’s intended for pizza, it has multiple other uses: chopping large amounts of vegetables, fruits, or meats or cutting pies and tarts, bar cookies, focaccia, and sheet cakes.
A potential downside is that this blade is so large and sharp that those with small kitchens might find it difficult to store. But if you are a dedicated pizza lover or regularly make large batches of food that require precise cuts, the convenience of this sturdy knife can outweigh the drawback.
Materials: stainless steel and nylon | Dimensions: 20-inch blade | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Handle: double
Best with Stand: Ulu Alaskan Knife
Sturdy and durable
Comfortable wooden handle
Takes up counter space
Blade is too short for slicing large foods
An ulu is a one-handed curved knife traditionally used by Alaskan Natives that is very similar to a single-blade, single-handle mezzaluna chopper and it can be used in the same way.
While some mezzaluna knives come with blade guards or retracting blades so that they can be easily put away in a drawer while protecting the cutting edge, others don’t and that can make them a bit tricky to store. Another solution is to store your mezzaluna knife upright on your countertop. This rocker knife with a 6-inch stainless-steel blade and a sturdy wooden handle is attractive enough to display on your kitchen counter, and comes with a handy, matching wood-block stand to hold it when not in use.
Materials: stainless steel and wood | Dimensions: 6-inch blade | Weight: 6.4 ounces | Handle: single
Best Set: KitchenCraft Double Hachoir Set
Has a 1-year guarantee
Mezzaluna is dishwasher-safe
Comfortable double handles for more control
Food can get stuck between the blades
While you can use a mezzaluna knife with any wood or plastic cutting board, some prefer to use them with a special mezzaluna cutting board with a shallow, bowl-shaped depression in the center. This can help keep the food you’re mincing from moving away as you chop it, speeding up both the cutting and cleanup. Buying this type of cutting board separately from your mezzaluna knife can backfire, though, because if the curve of the concave board doesn’t exactly match the curve of your knife, they won’t work together.
Eliminate the headache of determining whether a mezzaluna board will work with your knife by buying a matched set, such as this one from KitchenCraft. It includes a mezzaluna with two stainless steel blades and twin handles in sturdy plastic as well as a sculpted beechwood cutting board. While the cutting board can only be washed by hand, the chopper itself is dishwasher safe.
Materials: stainless steel, wood, and plastic | Dimensions: 5.5-inch blades, 8-inch board | Handle: double
Fante’s Mamma Maria’s Rocking Mezzaluna Chopper (view at Amazon) is a traditional single-blade mezzaluna knife with shaped beechwood handles, and it will serve as a versatile kitchen chopping tool. If compact storage is important to you, we recommend the Joseph Joseph Mezzaluna Folding Herb Chopper (view at Amazon).
What to Look for in a Mezzaluna Knife
The size of your mezzaluna knife dictates what you can cut. Shorter-length blades are good for finely chopping up herbs and smaller vegetables. If you want to cut larger and harder ingredients, look for a mezzaluna knife with a longer blade.
Single vs. Double Blades
Mezzaluna knives come with single or double blades. Double blades offer quicker cutting times; however, they can get messier than their single-blade counterparts since food often gets stuck between the blades. If you're set on having a double-bladed knife, look for one where the blades pop out separately for easy cleaning.
Your mezzaluna knife should be easy to hold and provide a comfortable grip. Mezzaluna knives can come in both single- and double-handle designs. Double handles are generally preferred as they offer more control and keep both of your hands away from the blade. Single-handle mezzaluna knives can take longer to build up a comfortable rhythm, but once you get the hang of it, they should work just as well as their double-handle counterparts. Also, consider the handle material. Rubber and durable plastic are good options as they'll provide a comfortable, nonslip grip.
Are mezzalunas worth it?
If you are the type of cook who likes to have just the right tool for the job, a mezzaluna is tough to beat for chopping lots of herbs. It can also be a very quick way to chop things, especially if you are not looking for precision with your cutting. (A chef's knife is more precise.) If you find your cooking style is more rustic, and/or you cook a lot of Italian-style food, a mezzaluna is without a doubt worth it. If you cook a lot of pizza, investing in a mezzaluna designed for that will just about ensure you'll never need to use a cheap pizza cutter again.
If you don’t have a lot of extra kitchen space, however, or if you prefer to use your chef's knife for most tasks, you might decide that it's not worth the expense or the space.
How do you pronounce mezzaluna?
It's pronounced meh-zuh-LOO-nuh.
How do you sharpen a mezzaluna blade?
Your mezzaluna may come with instructions as to the best way to sharpen it; if so, follow those. If not, consult the manufacturer to see if they can help you. Some may recommend using a basic blade sharpener, but others may recommend using a honing steel. That's the long, thin rod of steel that you'd use to hone a regular chef's knife, and it often comes with a knife block set.
If you are at all uncertain, take your mezzaluna to a professional knife sharpener—along with the rest of your knives. A dull knife is a more dangerous knife.
Why Trust the Spruce Eats?
This article was written by Danette St. Onge, formerly the Italian Food Expert for The Spruce Eats and a features editor at Cook’s Illustrated magazine (part of America’s Test Kitchen). An avid kitchen appliance junkie, she spends hours combing the internet, comparing options, reading reviews, and testing devices to find the best tool for every job.