Photo of cheese knives on a marble counter

A Guide to Cheese Knives: Looking Sharp

What this is: A list of the different types of cheese knives and the types of cheese they cut best.

Who it’s for: The foodie who appreciates having the right tool for the job. 

There are so many types of cheese knives on the market, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know the differences between them. But don’t stress! We’re here to help you better understand each one and how to use it, so you can decide which is right for you and your cheesy lifestyle, because not all cheese lovers need the same set up. If you’re a collector and want them all, well, who are we to stop you? So let’s take a look and see what’s out there.

CHEESE PLANE

The first ‘knife’ we’re going to talk about is actually the Cheese Plane, also called the cheese slicer. We use this one a lot at our curds&co stores for sampling cheeses to our customers. It’s also great for shaving some Parm curls on a Caesar salad, some Swiss cheese over an omelet, some chocolate over a cake, and yes, even some butter over a fresh ear of summer corn. So, it definitely has its uses, but what it’s not particularly great for is cheese boards, because you have to hold the cheese with your hand as you pull the plane over the cheese. Let’s be honest, no one wants to eat a slice of cheese that has a whole party’s worth of fingerprints on it! If you do want to use it for serving, it’s best for small intimate cheese snacks for two, especially if you’re traveling.

CHEESE HATCHET 

Not to present a biased view here, but we love the cheese hatchet. This is a great knife for any cheese that is semi-firm to hard in texture, as it makes beautiful slices and feels good in the hand. We even like to use the point of the knife like a Parm knife (below) and make cheese nuggets.

SOFT CHEESE KNIFE

This little beauty is a must have for anyone that loves Brie and other soft cheeses. The relatively small and long blade is great for these cheeses with more moisture because they have less surface area to get stuck to the slices. Another great use for this knife? To cut cheese’s dessert cousin, cheesecake!

CHEESE KNIFE

OK, we know that we have one subtype of cheese knife that’s confusingly just called “cheese knife”, but this one’s really your all-around cheese knife. These may have a solid blade, a blade with holes in it, or a blade with large portions cut out of it. Like with the Soft Cheese Knife, holes or openings allow it to more easily cut soft cheeses. The rest of the knife is built to be middle-of-the-road so it’s able to cut most cheese needs sufficiently. They will also often have a little fork or turned-edge on the tip, which is for picking up the piece of cheese you just cut. 

PARM KNIFE

Our last knife is our Parm knife, which is meant to be used to break off hunks of cheese (nuggets!) with the tip of the knife. It is a truly satisfying way to cut cheese, and if you are going to be making a lot of cheese and charcuterie boards, it will get a lot of use. It goes without saying that we don’t use this just for making Parmigiano Reggiano nuggets, it also works great for blue cheese, cheddars and aged goudas. 

OTHER TOOLS

  • Chef knife: While not specifically used for cheese, the long blade is great for scraping the face of a cheese that needs a little attention. 

  • Cheese Lyre, Bow, or Wire: Not technically a knife, but cheese lyres cut soft to medium cheeses beautifully. We especially like to use it for chèvre and blue cheese. Shop our cheese lyre.

  • Cheese Slicer: This is another tool for making beautiful slices. They can have a blade or wire. Shop our cheese slicer.

Summary

Not all cheese knives are created equal. Buy the one that will be most useful for your cheese board needs.

Homework

Make a list of your favorite types of cheeses to buy, eat, and serve. If you could only have two cheese knives, figure out which two knives would best serve your needs. If you already own cheese knives, take an inventory of what you have and if you have the right kind for your needs. 

Downloads

Click the icons to download a pdf of this lesson and our two handy guides: How Cheese is Made and Cheese and Pairing Types.

Class Lesson PDF ICon
How it's made PDF Icon
Cheese Types PDF ICon
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