The Best Bread Knives: A Review.
The Serrated bread knife is an important item in any kitchen. The Cookingcache team has tested 8 of the leading knives on the market and rated them on several criteria, including steel quality, edge retention, fit and feel, balance, overall value and warranty. Here are the results:
Tojiro ITK Bread Knife: This knife was a clear winner. Excellent shape for slicing bread with a nice curvature and comfortable handle. The serrations are scalloped and glide through both crusty bread as well as fruits and vegetables. The only knife we tried that was shaving sharp out of the box. Handle was comfortable and there is a nice kanji inscription on the blade. At half the price of several of the others tested this was the clear winner.
Mac Superior Bread Knife: This was a close second. Similar in profile to the Tojiro and good scalloped edge that was a little less aggressive than the Tojiro. The handle was slightly less appealing and the price was a little more which is why we slotted this second overall. Still a solid choice.
Shun Bread Knife (Model Shun Classic DM0705): We tested the Shun Classic 9" Bread Knife and it proved to be our third best choice. The knife is made with high quality VG-10 "super steel" which is composed of Carbon, Chromium, Cobalt, Manganese, Molybdenum, Silicon, and Vanadium. It was one of the sharpest knives we tested out of the box and we really liked the fit and feel of the handle when slicing crusty bread. One of the biggest advantages of Shun knives are they offer to resharpen knives for free. This is a huge benefit. They also offer a lifetime warranty. Our only complaint is that the handle is right/left specific so if you share a kitchen with a left handed family member you may want to consider their Elite line which has handles that are neutral. Cost is high at approximately $120.00.
Global Bread Knife (Model G-9): We have great affection for this knife and it rates just below the Shun. Global uses a proprietary steel called CROMOVA 18. This type of steel is hard enough for Global knives to keep their edge for a long time, but soft enough so that it is not too difficult to sharpen the knives. It consists of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium. We liked the handle design but it was a little blade heavy in balance. Global offers a limited lifetime warranty on their knives. Cost is moderate at approximately $84.
F Dick Bread Knife (Model 8405518): This knife is one of the best selling knives on the market today. The reason is it was highly recommended by Anthony Bourdain in his Book "Kitchen Confidential". This knife is our best value pick. It retails at about $32 which is 1/4th the cost of the Shun Classic knife. The steel is stamped and is a little cheap feeling but the handle is solid and we liked the balance. The blade is only 7" so it is a little small for larger loaves. We also like the offset handle which raises your hand above the board while slicing. F Dick also offers a lifetime warranty of their knives. However, the knife is difficult to find other than online dealers and some restaurant supply stores.
Wusthof Bread Knife (Wusthof Classic Ikon 4166/23): The Wusthof Ikon Bread Knife was our favorite in the Wusthof line and a good overall choice. We like the tapered bolster on this line and the redesigned handle is much more comfortable than the somewhat dated and best selling Classic line. The steel is good quality and Wusthof uses high precision lasers to cut the edges of their blades so the knives which ensures quality. A few problems with the knives are minor such as the balance of the knife which is a bit handle heavy and the overall cost is high at approximately $130.00
Forschner Bread Knife (Forschner Fibrox 40547): Another good value, the Forschner Fibrox Bread Knife costs under $30 and performs surprisingly well for the cost. The handle is the big problem with this knife. It is oversized and made of a thick poly material that felt clunky in testers hands. We also felt the knife was aesthetically ugly because of the heft of the handle. We think this is an ideal knife for a commercial kitchen where performance counts. Home users should go elsewhere.