The Sharpest, Sturdiest Bread Knives for Every Budget

Your sourdough will thank you.

March 10, 2022
Photo by Bette Blau

A crusty baguette or golden-brown loaf of challah, haphazardly smear it with fig jam, and layer it with a slice of brie on top, a bread knife offers unparalleled precision for slicing bread. Plus, you can use it to cut even slices of a ripe tomato without the fruit collapsing into a juicy mess on a cutting board. I’ve rounded up the best bread knives based on my own experience, plus a few that fellow bread lovers recommend.

My Personal Favorite

Thomas Keller Signature Knife Collection

By the time this knife came into my possession, I already owned and loved my Wüsthof Classic Ikon Bread Knife (see below) and was skeptical that any other knife could knock it off of the podium. But this one from the acclaimed French Laundry chef did. It feels like the sturdiest, sharpest bread knife I’ve ever laid my hands on. The crafted wood box is super attractive and provides added protection, so I don’t have to worry about the knife being dulled, chipped, or getting beat up by the other knives in my kitchen drawer (you know how competitive they can get).

Editors’ Favorite

Five Two 9” Essential Serrated Knife

We asked you, our readers, what you wanted in a serrated bread knife. This 9-inch, super sharp bread knife is the result of your feedback. First things first: aesthetics. This knife is available in four different colorways—smoked salt, nordic sea, maple, and rhubarb—so in addition to functionality, it also looks good sticking out of a knife block or hanging from a magnetic strip. But a pretty knife is useless if it doesn’t work; fortunately, this one does. The super sharp serrated edge means that it makes quick work of clean slicing.

Fan Favorite

Wüsthof Classic Ikon Bread Knife

By fan, I mean me. When I think of the best all-around knife brand, I think Wüsthof and this bread knife is no exception to the brand’s strong legacy. The Ikon collection features the same precise, sturdy blades (in this case, ones that are destined to cut through crusty boule and braided babka) but with updated ergonomic handles that are more comfortable to hold than those in the brand’s usual Classic collection. This 8” bread knife rings in at just under $100, which means it’s a bit of a splurge, but one that is guaranteed to last for years to come.

Amazon Shoppers’ Favorite

Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-Inch Wide Wavy Edge Bread Knife

Beloved by pro bread bakers and home chefs alike, this under-$25 bread knife has the durability and precision of knives five times as expensive. But don’t just take my word for it: Ask the nearly 17,000 Amazon shoppers who have given it a five-star rating. One shopper calls it the “ultimate bread knife” and another noted that it’s so sharp, she had to get eight stitches. So exercise some caution, but know you’ll be rewarded with a thick slice of sourdough just waiting to be topped with avocado, flaky salt, and a drizzle of good olive oil.

My Wallet’s Favorite

Tojiro Bread Slicer

If you didn’t think it was possible to find a $20 bread knife that actually works, I’m here to prove you wrong. This 9” bread knife is the underdog of bread knives. It features a high-carbon stainless steel blade and natural wood handle that can cut through any loaf and slice tomatoes with ease, promise.

What’s your favorite bread knife? Let us know in the comments below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • HalfPint
  • Kelly Vaughan
    Kelly Vaughan
Former Food52 Staff Editor


HalfPint March 10, 2022
We've had our Messermeister for over 20 years. It is wicked-sharp, sent my husband to ER once (yikes!), but still the best knife ever.
Kelly V. March 17, 2022
Well, that's a good sign that it's sharp! :)