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A good serrated bread knife is a multitasking workhorse in the kitchen, following closely on the heels of the chef’s knife. It is the knife that you will keep within reach for slicing breads, leveling delicate cakes, cutting pastries to desired sizes, tackling a waxy winter squash, and slicing evenly through a perfectly ripe tomato.
Serrated knives are recognized by the saw-like appearance on the blade’s edge. This serration makes them ideal for cutting foods that have a tough or resistant outer crust and a soft interior. The pointy ends grip and cut through the outer layers of the food while the hollowed areas reduce the friction. With a good serrated bread knife, you can bid adieu to squishy, unevenly cut tomatoes and brutally botched-up loaves of bread. Here, the best knives for bread.
Best Overall: Mercer Culinary Millennia Wide Wavy Edge Bread Knife
Made from high-carbon, stain-free Japanese steel, this bread knife boasts a comfortable handle, a curved edge, pointy tines, and a generous 10.5-inch blade. The blade is slightly wider at the heel and tapers toward the tip, which makes it feel strong in your hands, and the knife slices through crusty breads and soft cakes with equal ease and precision. This is an NSF-certified knife, which means it is also suitable for use in commercial kitchens, and is very easy to clean. The handle has slip-resistant textured finger points and a protective finger guard. It's a budget-friendly knife that performs well.
Best Multipurpose: Victorinox Swiss Army Bread Knife
Versatility is one of the key qualities of a good kitchen tool, and the Victorinox totally delivers on this aspect. The thin blade, the curved edge, and the sharp tines can handle anything you throw them. Although it is categorized as a bread knife, it makes quick work of other kitchen jobs, such as slicing meat, cutting razor-thin tomato slices, and dividing a sandwich that’s bursting at its seams (no judgment on the sandwich).
The length and thinness of the blade also make it a good pastry knife. From the same company that makes Swiss Army knives comes this serrated bread knife with a proprietary Fibrox-material handle to provide a secure, nonslip grip and easy handling. This knife cuts clean without cutting a deep hole in your pocket.
Best with Flexible Blade: Tojiro Bread Slicer
Tojiro is known for making great-looking and well-performing stainless steel knives, and this bread slicer is no exception. At the outset, the thin and springy blade sets it apart from many bread knives. The handle is laminated wood and has a good finish with stainless steel rivets and a tang. The blade is just over 10 inches and feels very flexible, which is a strength in a serrated knife.
The Tojiro Bread Slicer excels at cutting with minimum resistance. Think straight slices of crusty or soft bread without squished crumbs or any tears for that matter. This is a good-value knife for the experienced cook.
Best Design: Shun Classic 9-Inch Bread Knife
Shun is well known for making quality knives, and this one is no exception. With a variegated look that resembles a Damascus-style blade, this knife is as beautiful as it is functional. This classic 9-inch bread knife has a wide serrated edge, making it glide through crusty breads and soft rolls with equal ease. The cutting action is smooth and produces even slices, and the ergonomically designed pakkawood handle has a D shape, which allows for a comfortable hold. It is a bit pricey, but, Shun knives have a reputation for retaining their sharp edges for a long time.
Shun also hones your serrated knife for free, provided you buy from one of its authorized dealers. You pay for shipping and handling, send in the knives, and the experts hone them for you.
Best High-End: Global Sai Bread Knife
This is as much a statement knife as it is a serrated bread knife. Ergonomics, great cutting, neat and clean slicing, sharp edges, beautiful design—check! Although the knife is all metal, it is not heavy. It’s a strong, durable knife made with Global’s proprietary stainless steel. The handle has a thumb recess for a secure grip, and it is filled with sand for balance.
The blade is deemed to have a superior edge retention, due to it being ice-tempered and hardened. The widely spaced serrations ensure that the knife cuts through breads, cakes, and fruits without creating excessive crumbs or making uneven cuts.
Before buying a serrated bread knife, keep in mind the kind of tasks you will repeatedly do with your knife. Are you into crusty big boules? Look for a pointed serration and a blade that is at least 10 inches long. More into softer breads and cakes? Look for scalloped serration.
Best for Lefties: Mercer Culinary Bread Knife 10-inch
A bread knife is serrated on one side for a reason—to help make straight cuts of food and to control the cut. Normally, the serration is on the right side, which makes for an awkward angle for left-handed people. There are, however, a few knives designed specifically for the left-handed, and the Mercer Culinary 10-inch bread knife is one of them.
This knife is made with the same high-carbon, stain-free Japanese steel as the Mercer Culinary Millennia Knife. The handle is comfortable with textured finger points for slip-resistance and safety. If you regularly need to slice bread and use a serrated knife for other tasks in the kitchen, you will love this knife.
Best Edge Retention: Mac Knife Superior Bread Knife, 10-1/2 Inch
Mac knives are known for their lightweight blades, superior edges, and sharpness, and the Mac Superior is no exception. The blade is crafted from Molybdenum steel, and it undergoes subzero tempering, which creates superior edge retention. The knife features a gently curved edge and an elevated handle for better knuckle clearance and safety. It is comfortable, well balanced, and sharp. With a 10.5-inch blade and scalloped serrations, the Mac Superior effortlessly cuts breads, meats, and fruits.
Best with Sheath: DALSTRONG Bread Knife, 9 Inch
The trendiest looking knife on the block, this Dalstrong bread knife offers a lot more than style. It's a knife of substance, sharp and strong. Crafted from a single piece of steel, the blade is full tang with a good balance.
The knife features a tapered design for flexibility, which allows it to cut through multiple types of foods with less resistance. The fiber-resin handle is resistant to heat, cold, and moisture, and it's ergonomically designed. This knife can be used in a professional kitchen as it is NSF-certified, and it comes with a Dalstrong sheath. Overall, it’s a worthy contender for a midrange bread knife.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Renu Dhar is a chef instructor, personal chef, and food writer with years of experience teaching knife skills. She personally owns a couple (or more) of the knives on this list, although she recommends starting with one that feels just right for you.