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You may have a set of knives at home that work well for chopping veggies or meat—but they likely aren’t designed to cut your gourmet cheeses. Whether you consider yourself an expert or are just getting started on your at-home cheese journey, adding a few of these specialized knives into your kitchen drawer can make all the difference.
What makes a good cheese knife? First, it should work with the cheese, not against it, and it shouldn’t make your precious cheeses crack or crumble. It should also be comfortable, easy to use, and, ideally, stylish in design. With these factors in mind, I took a look at the many cheese knives available out there and consulted Sid Cook, a certified master cheesemaker with Carr Valley Cheese, on what he thinks is worth your money.
But first, Cook makes the case for why serious fromage lovers should consider buying dedicated cheese knives—just like chefs have different knives for prepping different meats and veggies.
"Other knives used in the kitchen aren’t going to cut it. The steak knives don’t give you enough oomph to cut hard cheeses, and the table knives will crush soft cheeses like a brie," he says.
Here are the best cheese knives in a variety of categories to help you find the perfect one for all of your cheesy needs.
Best Overall, Hard Cheeses: Global Classic Cheese Knife
What We Love: Completely stainless steel body eliminates cheese traps
What We Don’t Love: Hand-wash only
Made from a precise yet lightweight single piece of stainless steel, this classic knife from Global is one you’ll cherish for years to come. Made in Japan, the performance-driven knife features a hollow handle filled with sand that feels balanced in your hand without being heavy or bulky while in use.
Easily serve up your wedges of cheddar, asiago, and more thanks to the added two-prong spear tip. The signature dimple pattern on the handle allows for a no-slip grip, which keeps you in control.
Blade Material: Forged stainless steel | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Blade Size (LxW): 3 x 0.8 inches | Total Length: 11.3 inches | Weight: 0.4 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? No
Best Overall, Soft Cheeses: BOSKA Soft Cheese Knife Copenhagen No.1
What We Love: Glides through soft cheeses, sleek design
What We Don’t Love: Thin blade may not work for transferring thick wedges of soft cheeses
This narrow Boska knife may look small, but it’s certainly mighty! The stainless steel blade, which has a nonstick coating, allows for minimal contact with your cheese to prevent sticking. Plus, it’s entirely stainless steel so everything is entirely food-safe. And its sleek design lends itself well to entertaining.
Ideal for cutting up your classic brie, mozzarella for caprese salads and sandwiches, and delicate chevre, it can also be used in a pinch for hard cheeses—but I recommend sticking to soft options. A few customers who are frequent soft-cheese consumers say the knife feels good to use and doesn’t squash the cheese.
"Soft cheeses naturally stick to your utensils, so these knives are built to minimize the surface area that cheese can stick to. The extremely thin blades, sometimes with holes on it, will deliver a smooth, stick-free cheese-cutting experience.” - Sid Cook, Certified Master Cheesemaker, Carr Valley Cheese
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 3.6 inches | Total Length: 9.1 inches | Weight: 0.1 pounds | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Best for Spreading: Robert Welch Kingham Spreader
What We Love: Multipurpose, stylish design
What We Don’t Love: Not available to purchase in sets
From spreadable gorgonzola to pâté, this well-priced spreader by Robert Welch does it all. Made from 18/10 stainless steel, the design is stylish yet simple, and the mirror-polished finish will stay shiny through use and wear with proper care.
This wide knife pairs well with any of the other pieces in Williams Sonoma’s Robert Welch collection, which includes an appetizer fork, a soup spoon, a serving spoon, and more. It also comes with a 25-year warranty.
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 2.75 inches | Total Length: 5.75 inches | Weight: 1.9 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Related: The Best Charcuterie Boards
Best Budget: Hammer Stahl 5-Inch Cheese Knife
What We Love: Works well for a variety of cheese types, includes pretty gift box
What We Don’t Love: Serrated edge may not give a fully smooth cut on cheese paste
If you’re spending money on high-quality cheeses, you might want to invest in high-quality tools to match. But if you’re not ready to spend a lot just yet for a full collection, go for this versatile Hammer Stahl option, which does well with both soft and hard cheeses, as well as with fruits and vegetables.
The purpose of the holes on this knife’s blade (and on other similar cheese knives) is so that there’s a smaller surface area for cheese to stick to, according to Jessica Affatato, founder of Harbor Cheese & Provisions. “Cheese is inherently sticky and will grab anything that it touches (especially the smaller ones). Holes on the blade allow the knife to cut through cleanly.”
You can use this knife to slice and serve as well, thanks to the added fork tip. Plus, the wood on the handle is infused with resin to keep it looking beautiful and remaining durable for years to come. As a bonus, it comes with an equally gorgeous gift box, as well as a lifetime manufacturer warranty.
Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel | Handle Material: Stainless steel, Pakkawood | Blade Length: 5 inches | Total Length: 9.25 inches | Weight: 8.5 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? No
Best Set: BOSKA Copenhagen Mini Knife Set
What We Love: Lightweight, rounded ergonomic handles
What We Don’t Love: Small size is not ideal for cutting large pieces of wheels
In need of a solid starter kit or maybe a hostess gift? This set of four minis from Boska can’t be beat and has a match for nearly any cheese.
The stainless steel handles are rounded yet hollow, which allows for a lightweight knife that’s easy to hold, and the design will look sleek during cocktail hour.
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Spreading Blade Length: 2 inches | Semi-Soft Blade Length: 2.5 inches | Semi-Hard Blade Length: 2.5 inches | Hard Cheese Blade Length: 1.8 inches | Weight: 3.5 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Best for Slicing: BOSKA Cheese Slicer Copenhagen
What We Love: Comfortable rounded handle
What We Don’t Love: Cannot adjust the slice thickness
It’s not very common to have a gourmet cheese shop or even your local grocery store slice cheese for you, so you’ll want a high-quality tool to get the job done—and this option from Boska does just that.
It has a streamlined design with a rounded ergonomic handle that’s easy to hold as you slice away at your favorite firm and semi-soft cheeses.
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 2.9 inches | Total Length: 8.66 inches | Weight: 1.9 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe?
The best overall cheese knife for hard cheeses is the Global Classic Cheese Knife (view at Wayfair), which is lightweight yet sturdy to stand up to your favorite firm options. Need something for soft cheeses? Go with the Boska Copenhagen Soft Cheese Knife (view at Amazon). The thin blade allows for minimal sticking even with the creamiest of cheeses.
What to Look for In a Cheese Knife
Types of Knives
Just like you have specific knives for specific kitchen needs, there are knives that work better with some cheeses more than others:
- For soft cheeses, go for a knife with a prolonged thin blade or one with holes. Either way, the minimal surface area is ideal for soft and sticky options.
- Mini spatula knives are perfect for easy-to-spread blue cheeses and goat cheeses onto crackers or bread.
- Whether you call it a spade, a heart, or something else, this small but mighty knife can easily break even the firmest cheeses around. Pierce the cheese, press in, twist, and enjoy.
- While a cheese cleaver might look a bit intimidating on your charcuterie board, it can be a great way to quickly cut your favorite cheddar into cubes.
- Chisel knives operate similarly to slicers for semi-soft and hard cheeses, but can allow for more flexibility with the thickness of your cuts.
As with most varieties of knives, stainless steel blades are the most common for a good reason. Stainless steel knives, regardless of their handle type, are durable and can withstand the test of time and use with basic maintenance. As for the handles, you might want to leave the wood for the boards and not on the knives.
“I tend to prefer a stainless steel knife where the handle is a continuous part of the metal itself. While it looks nice, wood handles can get lots of gunk caught between the handle and the blade," explains Jessica Affatato.
Ease of Use
Let the cheese do a bit of work for you! It’s far easier to make clean cuts on firmer cheeses when they’re on the colder side and won’t crumble with excess heat. Same goes for soft cheese, which can lose its shape and stick to your tool if it's not cut while it's cold (or on the cold side).
Maintenance and Cleaning
You can’t go wrong with hot water and soap for washing your knives, but if you’re finding that things are getting a bit sticky in between each cut, keep a damp cloth handy to wipe off the sides. Though many knives claim to be dishwasher-safe, it can be too rough on your tools and dull them over time, so stick to hand-washing whenever possible.
Why do some cheese knives have holes?
This might come as a shock, but it has nothing to do with Swiss cheese! Even the sharpest knives can get cheeses stuck onto the sides, and the holes help prevent that.
Does cutting cheese dull knives?
Proper cleaning and usage will help ensure that your knife stays sharp for years to come. If you find that things aren’t moving as easily as they once did, consider purchasing a knife sharpener.
What does “nosing the cheese” mean?
Don’t cut off the nose! Most cheeses are cut in wedges, like you’d cut a cake, so each piece gets a bit of the “nose,” aka the center of the wheel—which is often the ripest and most flavorful.
What temperature should I serve cheese?
When serving a cheese or charcuterie board, your cheese should be room-temperature. Try taking it out of the fridge about an hour before it’s time to serve for optimal texture and flavor.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Jacqueline Weiss was quite literally raised in a cheese shop, first opened in Philadelphia by her grandfather in 1963, and later owned and operated by her father until 2019. She grew up working with the tools of the trade—which she now uses in her Los Angeles kitchen on vegan and non-vegan cheeses. To choose the best options for this article, she consulted third-party and consumer reviews, spoke with experts, and considered functionality, design, and price.
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