You can chop all kinds of fruits & vegetables with one knife and a stronger, sharper knife to chop meat. But to chop and serve cheeses, you will need more than one kind of knife. Wondering why? Because you can find different types of cheese with remotely variable characteristics. For example, you may find a cheese soft as cream or as hard as nuts. And the knife made to chop the hard cheeses will give you a hard time chopping a soft cheese.
Manufacturers make cheese knives focusing on the specific nature of these cheeses. If your knife is not made for the cheese you are about to cut, a fine slice won’t come from that cheese. Rather than that, you may ruin its shape. So you need to know which knives to use on cheeses.
So, we have come up with an Ultimate Cheese Knife Guide to easily explain everything would like to know about cheese knives. Here we begin.
CHEESE KNIFE GUIDE: SOFT CHEESE
Examples : Brie, Burrata, Chèvre, Camembert, Coupole, Époisses, Feta, Gorgonzola, Labneh, Mozzarella, Roquefort, Ricotta, Taleggio, etc.
The first part of the cheese knife guide is about the knives for Soft Cheese.
Soft cheeses are creamy & buttery. They tend to stick onto the knives. This nature does make them easy to cut through. But at the same time, they make it a bit troublesome to pull the blade out after slicing. So, to cut and maintain the shape of soft cheese, you’ll need specific kind of cheese knives :
Soft Cheese Knife
If you want a knife for slicing soft cheeses, then a Soft Cheese knife is one of the solutions for you.
This knife comes with a flat head. The blade of the knife has holes so that the cheese it chops does not stick onto it.
As a result, this knife can chop without damaging the shape of the soft cheese. The holes over its blade also help you to wipe the juicy cheese from the knife easily.
Best for : Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella, Taleggio.
The pronged knife has a tip like a fork. The rest resembles closely to a soft cheese knife. The benefit a Pronged knife offers is, you can chop a soft cheese or semi-soft / semi-hard cheese. Also, you can pick up the slices using the forks head as well.
Best For : Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gorgonzola, Raclette, Halloumi, Époisses, Taleggio
Slim Blade Knife
As the name suggests, a Slim Blade Knife comes up with a narrow surface and sharp edge. So it can easily get through sticky cheese.
The knife handle is raised higher from the bolster of the blade. So, your knuckles don’t hit the ground as the knife reaches the bottom.
Best For : Gorgonzola, Roquefort
Cheese wire is saw-shaped and attached to a board. Its thin string is used to slice delicate soft cheese so that the shape of the cheese remains the same. You can use harp wire as the Alternative for the cheese wire.
Best For : Coupole, Roquefort
HARD CHEESE KNIVES GUIDE
Examples : Parmigiano Reggiano, All kinds of Cheddar cheeses, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, Trentingrana, Gouda, Gruyère, Asiago, Fontina, Manchego, Provolone, Comté, Ragusano, Piacentinu Ennese, Tête de Moine etc. are well known hard cheeses.
Hard Cheese can be stiff as nuts. So, you’ll need harder knives to cut them.
Flat Knife works a little differently than the others. Its sharp edge is at the vertical top. You can press the cheese rather than chop it. You can cut thick-soft, semi-hard, hard cheeses with ease. Also, you can spread the soft cheeses with it.
Best For : Gorgonzola, Labneh, Provola, Gouda, Gruyère, Comte
Narrow Plane Knife
Also identified as the Trapezium knife. This one is used for cutting or chipping hard, semi-hard cheeses. It has a rectangular shape starting from the handle with two sharp edges.
Best For: Gouda, Cheddar, Castelmagno, Parmigiano Reggiano.
Teardrop knife, Almond knife, Spade knife, Heart knife, Bell Knife, whatever name you have heard are all the same knife. That is a Parmigiano Knife. Professional chefs use it for shoving & breaking pieces off the hard cheeses.
Best For : Parmigiano Reggiano, Bismark Clothbound Cheddar,
Shelburne Cheddar, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, Trentingrana
A Cheese Cleaver or Cheddar Knife is specially used to chop the hard cheeses. This knife comes with such a shape to allow its user to use both hands on both ends. This way, you can press the knife downward with even force all over the cheese. And so, you can cut hard cheeses uniformly.
Best For : Swallow tail Tomme, Goat Tomme, Cheddar, Gruyère, Asiago, Fontina.
Hard Cheese Knife
This one is a large knife with two handles on either end. It works the same way you could use the Cleaver knife to chop a hard cheese. But this knife is good at cutting the hard cheeses only.
Best For : Manchego, Extra Mature Cheddar, Provolone, Comté, Ragusano, Piacentinu Ennese.
The Girolle is a unique cheese tool and is only used for Tête de Moine. Tête de Moine is a cylinder shaped hard cheese.
Girolle has a stand at the center like a big fat nail and a wheel that circles. The bottom part of that wheel is flat, sharp, and does the main work of shaving the cheese.
First, you have to remove the rind. Because it is not worth eating, just potato peels. After that, you will need to pierce the cheese through the sharp stand at the center, using uniform pressure. Then, you’ll place the wheel over the cheese, press, twirl to get the cheese cut and ready to enjoy.
Best For : Tête de Moine
Cheese Fork is used to pick up sliced pieces from hard cheese, serving and picking up the pieces to clear around the cheese and chop some more. You can also use it to break pieces out of cheese.
Best For : Cheddar, Gouda, Fontina, Feta, Provolone, Vecchio Piave, Asiago and other hard, semi-hard cheeses.
Cheese Plane helps you to cut the thinnest layer from the cheese. It has a triangular shape. The blade comes with a sharp edge at the front and a keen rectangular hole in the middle.
This unique design allows you to press the knife into the cheese or shave off the layer from above. The Triangular shape acts as a tray for the cut piece.
Best For: Gouda, Havarti, Fontina, Gruyère, Munster.
You can not serve soft creamy cheeses cannot into slices. So you would like to pick & spread over your bread, crackers or other dishes.
Also known as Spatula knife. The dull edge makes it more of a spoon than a knife. It comes in serving creamy cheeses that are hardly possible to slice. So, use it to pick up cheese and spread it over bread or other dishes, just like you do with the butter or jelly from the glass jar.
Best For : Winnimere, Époisses, Ricotta, Mascarpone.
Similar to Cheese Spreader. But the Gorgonzola knife has got a sharp edge, unlike Cheese Spreader. Gorgonzola can also serve thicker, creamy cheeses that need chopping to pick up. So as you can understand, buying a Gorgonzola rather than a Cheese Spreader is better.
Best For : Chèvre, Gorgonzola, Labneh
WHICH CHEESES CAN YOU CUT WITH A KITCHEN KNIFE?
From our cheese knife guide, you have got information about all the cheese knives. Let’s know which cheese can be cut with a kitchen knife.
A Kitchen knife is the most common tool in every household. If you can cut your cheese simply with regular kitchen knives, that will save you extra bucks for cheese knives. Here are some cheeses you can cut using your kitchen knife :
- Swallow Tail Tomme
- Goat Tomme
- Bismark Clothbound Cheddar
- Shelburne Cheddar
As you can see, you’ll need 3-4 types of knives if you want to enjoy almost every kind of cheese. In this cheese knife guide, we have shared all the knowledge you will need for selecting a cheese knife. Every household keeps a kitchen knife. So, we shall suggest you get at least a Parmigiano knife and a Pronged knife. These two knives are capable of cutting almost every kind of cheese.
One other thing, you may find cheese knives set or individual knives. Knives set often offers multiple knives at a lower price than individual ones. So if you find desired knives all in one piece, then you should give it a go.