Bread knife on cutting board
Credit: Courtesy of Food52

The 5 Best Bread Knives for Slicing Homemade Sourdough and Store-Bought Loaves

It's a kitchen essential because a bread knife aces tasks that other kitchen knives can't.
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It's extremely satisfying to slice into a fresh loaf of bread (and even more satisfying to eat it!). Whether you love to make crusty sourdough or soft and fluffy challah, or your Sunday routine is picking up a favorite loaf or two from your neighborhood bakery, a good, sturdy, sharp bread knife is essential.

"Having a good serrated bread knife will allow you to slice your bread however thin or thick you like," says chef Anja Wolf, who is the CEO and creative director for kitchen tips website I Love Cookware.

But with so many bread knife options ranging from $10 to more than $100, what is the right one to choose? If you're in the market for a new bread knife, Wolf advises first considering the type of bread you bake or buy the most and choosing appropriately. You'll need a sturdier knife for, say, sourdough than you would for, say a loaf of challah.

"Next, think about the size of the knife," says Wolf. "Bread knives come in a variety of sizes, from small serrated knives perfect for slicing sandwich bread to large knives designed for cutting through thick crusts. Choose a size that will be comfortable for you to use."

Most bread knives are between 8 and 11 inches in length. The longer the blade, the easier it will be to slice through bread but keep in mind that some people may find the longer blades unwieldy if the handle doesn't have a good grip. You want the knife to feel solid and secure in your hand.

The Best Bread Knives to Buy Now

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Bread knife
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: Global G-9 8-3/4-Inch Bread Knife

$114.95, amazon.com

Pricey but oh so worth it, this bread knife from Global is a favorite of home cooks for its classic design, durability, and how cleanly it slices through all types of bread.

"It's easily one of the best kitchen investments I've ever made," says Wolf. "Not only is it great for slicing bread—which is obviously important—but it also makes quick work of bagels, union loaves, and even delicate sourdoughs."

With an ergonomic handle, the Global bread knife is as comfortable to hold as it is to use.

Bread knife
Credit: Courtesy of Sur la Table

Most Versatile: Victorinox Fibrox Pro Serrated Bread Knife

$53.95, surlatable.com

It should come as no surprise that makers of the Swiss Army knife have a bread knife that you'll reach for when cutting much more than just bread. If you're looking for an all-in-one knife that cuts bread as well as meats and fruit and vegetables, the Victorinox Fibrox Pro Serrated Bread Knife is the best on the market. At 10-inches, it has a long blade which may feel cumbersome for some cooks, but its lightweight and non-slip handle gives you complete control whether you're slicing rolls, loaves, pastries, or even strawberries.

Bread knife and bread on cutting board
Credit: Courtesy of Food52

Best Design: Five Two Essential Kitchen 9-Inch Serrated Knife

$59 food52.com

Those of us who are short on kitchen space need a knife that will slice through crusty sourdough without squishing the bread and that looks good on display. Enter the 9-inch serrated knife from Food52's kitchen knives line. It feels nice and solid in your hand, but it's also comfortable to wield. It's available in several subtle colors that look good displayed on a magnetic knife wall holder.

Bread knife
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Budget: Mercer Culinary Millennia Colors 9-Inch Offset Wavy Edge Bread Knife

$13.95, amazon.com

Bread knives are notoriously tricky to sharpen, which is why some chefs, including Gabriel Glasier, of Chef Travel Guide, recommend buying inexpensive knives that are easy to replace. "I have owned well over 100 bread knives during my career," he says.

At just $13.95 and with an offset handle that allows for a more fluid slicing motion while keeping your knuckles from hitting the cutting board, the Mercer Culinary Millennia knife is Glasier's top choice. With more than 5,000 reviews on Amazon and an average rating of 4.7 stars, it's obviously also a favorite of many other cooks.

Bread knife
Credit: Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

Best Short Blade: J.A. Henckels International Classic 7-Inch Bread Knife

$59.99, bedbathandbeyond.com

If you prefer a shorter blade for more control, the Henckels Classic 7-inch bread knife is for you. Most bread knives fall between 8 and 9 inches long which can feel unwieldy. At 7-inches, this Henckels knife is a comfortable size that will have you feeling like you're in control of what you're cutting; no matter how soft and fluffy or hard and crusty the loaf. Plus, it's dishwasher safe (although hand washing is recommended), and we're all about the easy clean-up.