Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: Little Jim on June 20, 2019, 12:13:24 pm

Title: Bread Knives
Post by: Little Jim on June 20, 2019, 12:13:24 pm
Our current bread knife is easily a teenager and possibly 20 years old and is now about as sharp as an ordinary table knife.  Cutting up a loaf of bread is a slow and laborious task.  I quite enjoy knife sharpening with a water stone but obviously the serrated edge of a bread knife is not suitable for this treatment.  Any recommendations?  It looks like you can spend "not-a-lot" right up to "how much?".  The current knife is a Kitchen Devils Professional knife, and I guess I can't complain too much about its life span.  We have a few of the Robert Welch knives which I like and they hold their edge well now that I have dissuaded Mrs LJ from cutting directly onto the granite worktop  :facepalm:  Robert Welch are a fairly middle priced knife, but is it better just to buy a cheap one and accept that it will need replacing sooner or do the more expensive ones really last a lot longer?
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: hellymedic on June 20, 2019, 12:47:56 pm
I wanted another sort of Kitchen Devils knife last year, did a web search and found a local stockist.

I am happy enough. Maybe I am easily pleased but I don't have the energy to keep searching.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Brucey on June 20, 2019, 12:58:44 pm
it has always seemed to me that the appropriate serrations for a bread knife might vary with the kind of bread you are likely to cut, and likewise the state of the blade that is deemed acceptable. In bread knives the shape of the serrations seems at least as important as their sharpness per se, especially once the gluten has set. I think that the majority of the wear on a breadknife may come from the breadboard, not the bread.

  FWIW the serrations on a blade that is shaped both sides can (with care) sometimes be sharpened using a Dremel tool (I think it can work best if every other serration is sharpened on one side, and the ones that are missed on one side are then sharpened from the other side; also reverse the sides the next time the blade is sharpened else repeat sharpenings would result in a wavy edge). You will need stones of various shapes and radii to resharpen a complex serrated edge. If the blade is serrated one side only then the unserrated side can be dressed and the blade can be sharpened that way.

 I suppose it might be possible to put a flat chamfer on one side of a blade that didn't have it before; it mightn't cut in a straight line afterwards though!

In any event you have little to lose by trying to sharpen the existing blade?

cheers
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Ham on June 20, 2019, 01:04:29 pm
What sort of serrations does it have? is it the "micro" teeth of a classic british bread knife (why??) or the more scalloped edge so laughably described as "self sharpening"? (and, my shit-for-brains BiL actually believes that). Or for that matter, serrated scallops like a magimix blade?

If the first, there's not a lot you can do with it. If the second, then you can sharpen. You can do a proper job with a lansky system triangular hone, or just a steel. The points will disappear, but it will still remain effective. Likewise the third type, but it isn't that effective.

If you are buying new, I'd head for something like this https://www.nisbets.co.uk/vogue-soft-grip-bread-knife-205mm/gd753 or https://www.nisbets.co.uk/victorinox-wooden-handled-serrated-bread-knife-215mm/c648 if you want a wood handle. Honestly, I can't see benefit spending more.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Little Jim on June 20, 2019, 02:15:45 pm
The knife has scallops along one side of the blade only, and no micro-serrations so I guess I could try sharpening it (I can hardly make it any worse anyway).  Dressing the flat side is probably the easiest thing to try first, the thought of individually sharpening goodness-only-knows how many separate serrations makes buying a new one seem attractive!
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: andyoxon on June 20, 2019, 02:51:22 pm
We've had this Kitchen devil for years.   No1. on Amazon* for bread knives  £11

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Devils-Lifestyle-Double-302445/dp/B0044P0MHS/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=kitchen+devil&qid=1561038574&s=kitchen&sr=1-10

*other internet retailers are available... ;)
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Ham on June 20, 2019, 02:57:58 pm
If you have a normal steel, a few wipes on the scalloped side followed by a "flat" wipe to remove burs will be surprisingly effective.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: ElyDave on June 20, 2019, 03:05:59 pm
Interesting, I have never tried sharpening my Wusthof bread knife, with said wavy edge, may give it a go now
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: caerau on June 20, 2019, 03:11:25 pm
High quality knives should be (imo) used for difficult jobs like butchery or tough root veggies and such - or for precision work.  I've never seen why anyone would splash out on a bread knife - it's cutting bread - provided it's *reasonably* sharp, it's not going to give you tennis elbow or be of disastrous precision.


I didn't know kitchen devils' still existed  :-D   my mum used to use those back in the 1980s - I recall it being a pretty excellent bread knife.  I'd go with that.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Ham on June 20, 2019, 03:30:10 pm
You can cut bread with any knife, it cuts better with a bread knife, especially when cutting parallel slices, IMO a thin parallel surface knife with a single scalloped edge is the best.

I also believe that it is the nibs that give the cleanliness to the cut, and it is those you lose on the board over the years. Sharpening with the Lansky system is the only way I know of to do it properly, sharpening each individually.

My 30cm victorinox knife has 38 serrations, and takes about 15 minutes to sharpen that way. sounds as if this knife should be brilliant, eh? Unfortunately, I've only had the lansky system for about 7 years, and the knife for about 30+ ;) It is easy to see the rounded points from previous sharpening, as compared with the closest to the handle. It still works, is sharp, and most would consider it a good bread knife, it cuts even fresh bread perfectly. However, it doesn't retain the accuracy of cut that it used to have, as a result slices are not as even as they would otherwise be.

Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: pcolbeck on June 20, 2019, 03:59:40 pm
We have had a bread knife acquired from a French Hypermarket for years. Cuts better than any English bread knife I have ever used. It wasn't expensive probably about ten euros.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Basil on June 20, 2019, 04:57:00 pm
I use a steel on our bread knife.  Works well enough for me.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: andrewc on June 20, 2019, 05:04:21 pm
Opinel make good bread knives & their little carbon steel paring knives are excellent.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: T42 on June 20, 2019, 05:08:34 pm
I use a steel on our bread knife.  Works well enough for me.

+1 El cheapo diamond steel at that.

Main thing in buying a knife is to get one with a double bevel.  MrsT bought one with a single bevel last year and it wants to cut squint every time.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: ElyDave on June 26, 2019, 07:53:49 am
that's the onbe I've got actually ^^

I have several Wusthofs as well, mostly bought by my parents from Saudi when they lived over there. I think I had the best set of knives going, as a astudent
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Russell on June 26, 2019, 11:08:07 am
No thoughts on how to sharpen but we have a Global bread knife (and a carving knife for that matter) and have never felt the need to sharpen it.

I think this one:

https://globalknives.uk/bread-knife-g9 (https://globalknives.uk/bread-knife-g9)
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Ben T on June 26, 2019, 11:17:31 am
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31bbz3KIYyL.jpg)
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Jurek on June 26, 2019, 11:18:53 am
No thoughts on how to sharpen but we have a Global bread knife (and a carving knife for that matter) and have never felt the need to sharpen it.

I think this one:

https://globalknives.uk/bread-knife-g9 (https://globalknives.uk/bread-knife-g9)
I have Global Kitchen Shears.
I think they're probably useless for knifing a bread.
But I thought I'd post here, as they are a thing (or things?) of beauty.

https://globalknives.uk/kitchen-shears-gks210
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Ian H on June 26, 2019, 02:32:17 pm
We have had a bread knife acquired from a French Hypermarket for years. Cuts better than any English bread knife I have ever used. It wasn't expensive probably about ten euros.

Mine's a Tesco branded one, at least 20yrs old and still cuts well.

Main thing in buying a knife is to get one with a double bevel.  MrsT bought one with a single bevel last year and it wants to cut squint every time.

It's single-bevel and cuts dead straight.  Mind you, the 'other' bread-knife is also single-bevel, albeit rather older and blunter, and it cuts at a skew.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Greenbank on June 26, 2019, 06:22:10 pm
It's single-bevel and cuts dead straight.  Mind you, the 'other' bread-knife is also single-bevel, albeit rather older and blunter, and it cuts at a skew.

Is the other knife a left handed version (https://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/acatalog/chef_knives.html)?
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Ian H on June 26, 2019, 11:38:14 pm
It's single-bevel and cuts dead straight.  Mind you, the 'other' bread-knife is also single-bevel, albeit rather older and blunter, and it cuts at a skew.

Is the other knife a left handed version (https://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/acatalog/chef_knives.html)?

I was going to post – they are opposites.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: hellymedic on June 26, 2019, 11:46:27 pm
Seems to explain why I CAN'T use a knife with my left hand.
I'm naturally right-handed but my MS has left my right very weak, so I don't/cant use it much.

I mostly grasp knives in my right fist and wiggle stuff with my left hand or use the knife as a chopper.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Brucey on June 28, 2019, 11:56:57 am
Lakeland have the Déglon Serrated Bread Knife on offer at present; ~ £14.50 buys you a pretty nice-looking piece of kit, although the cranked handle may be something you will either love or hate.

(https://lakelandcamel.scene7.com/is/image/LakelandCamel/73394_1?$325$)

cheers
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Little Jim on June 28, 2019, 12:34:46 pm
A quick update: I used the steel to try and remove any burrs from the back of the blade (this knife has a single bevel) as well as gently touch up the edge of each of the scallops.  The steel is not really ideal for this but it did improve the cutting ability of the knife so I decided that it is worth a try with some emery paper on the scalloped edges.  I will now give that a go and see if it can restore it as there is nothing really wrong with the knife at present apart from being a bit blunt and it does seem a shame to bin it for no other reason.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: hubner on June 29, 2019, 01:25:28 pm
The serrations can sharpened by using abrasive stones, either the rounded edge of a wedge shaped slip stone. Or one that is like a small stick, I'm not sure what they're called, maybe grinding stick.

Or wrapped some fine sandpaper around a stick.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Jules on July 05, 2019, 06:02:15 pm
We've had this Kitchen devil for years.   No1. on Amazon* for bread knives  £11

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Devils-Lifestyle-Double-302445/dp/B0044P0MHS/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=kitchen+devil&qid=1561038574&s=kitchen&sr=1-10

*other internet retailers are available... ;)

My wife got a Kitchen Devil bread knife as part of her bounty on the breakup of a shared student house in 1981. We're still using it daily to cut bread and other bread-like objects.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Little Jim on July 09, 2019, 09:27:38 am
Another update: I bought a couple of sheets of wet and dry(I can't remember the grades but sort of "medium" and "fine").  I used each one in turn wrapped around a piece of 15mm copper tubing.  22mm would have been a better fit in the scallops but I don't have any in the garage.  By wrapping the wet and dry over the pipe and then gripping just the paper in my Workmate it made a good rounded surface on which to sharpen the blade.  It's a bit laborious as there are about 30 scallops along the blades and each one needs quite a few strokes along the paper as the pipe diameter is not quite large enough to fill the whole scallop but in the end the results were excellent.  The knife now cuts easily without tearing the bread at all.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Jurek on July 09, 2019, 11:39:40 am
^ Making tools is   8)
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Gattopardo on July 09, 2019, 02:02:15 pm
Make your own bread knife:

(https://i.etsystatic.com/6560324/r/il/c538db/1630723964/il_794xN.1630723964_44q7.jpg)

Anything else is just underkill.
Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Brucey on July 14, 2019, 06:44:47 am
Another update: …….. but in the end the results were excellent.  The knife now cuts easily without tearing the bread at all.  :thumbsup:

yay!

Title: Re: Bread Knives
Post by: Ham on July 14, 2019, 07:52:05 am
Make your own bread knife:

(https://i.etsystatic.com/6560324/r/il/c538db/1630723964/il_794xN.1630723964_44q7.jpg)

Anything else is just underkill.

Funny you should mention that. As it happens I have

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eLoBRdl6oZE/XSrL3pPebbI/AAAAAAADDsM/DXboZCfZ7V4mIbAyIhzOaE-sOazBNYtsQCKgBGAs/s1600/IMG_20190714_072308.jpg)

You may notice several elements here.

The first, it is indeed a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Lovely to look at and hold. The second, looking carefully, is that the ident of the maker does not include and world wide webby or email-y information*. This is your first clue that it dates from the early 90's, you need me to add that it was a gift to me from an attendee at an international "bash" I organised in the Cooks Forum of Compuserve to provide the complete context.

Thing is, apart from being a lovely thing to hold, it's not much good for cutting bread+. Or at least, not much good if you can cut bread. If you can't (which covers a surprisingly large segment of the population) it does help. The blade is very sharp, and a double bevel scallop, I suspect that a single side would be better, but the double will stay sharp longer.

*It would appear that the craftsman involved hasn't survived to the Internet era, the only similar sounding one I've found is this (https://www.mountainwoods.com/collections/cutlery-utensils-other-kitchen-tools/products/adjustable-fiddle-bow-knife-oak-right) which is California rather than Montana.

+ ETA, I had a loaf to slice for the freezer, so I thought I'd give it another go. Outcome, it is OK, but slow. Use it without any pressure on the blade it cuts well.