This $23 Bread Knife Is the Best Thing Since … Well … You Know

updated Mar 1, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

If you don’t have the right tool, slicing bread can be a pain. A chef’s knife doesn’t work — the loaf squishes, the crust tears, sadness ensues. The same goes for cutting a tomato. That’s why every kitchen needs a great serrated knife. 

You could spend anywhere from $50 to $150-plus on a German- or Japanese-made serrated knife that would surely get the job done. But my fellow Kitchn editors ran some tests and found a $23 serrated knife that aced all of their extensive tests, besting models that cost eight times as much.

After slicing through countless tomatoes, loaves of challah, crusty boules, and BLT sandwiches, Kitchn’s gear tester named the Mercer Culinary Millennia Wide Wavy Edge Bread Knife their top pick. The knife even just made the list of Kitchn Essentials. And the folks at Cook’s Illustrated love it too, calling out the knife’s grippy and comfortable handle and its wide, deep serrations that slice without shredding and stay sharp for a long time. Of course, they also pointed out the knife’s affordable price. 

Credit: Danielle Centoni
See? Perfect slices of challah.

So, I had to try it out for myself. Is this bargain knife really that great? Could it be better than my own fancy, German-made (expensive) serrated knife?

The short answer: A resounding yes. You know when you discover something and wonder how you could have possibly lived without it? That’s how I feel about this knife. I tested it out for almost a month, cutting lots of tomatoes, tender breads, and super-crusty loaves. I even used it to cube hard, stale bread into croutons. It sliced through all of them all like butter. Seriously.

Its wavy edge didn’t tear challah or brioche loaves, cutting them into clean, perfect slices. Even crusty loaves and squishy tomatoes sliced like a dream. In fact, I barely had to put any pressure on the knife to get it to work its magic.

While its 10-inch length might seem too long, the long blade made it easier than ever to cut across the widest part of a big boule and slice cake rounds into layers. And because the blade (a single piece of Japanese carbon steel) is thin and light, it was easy to control.

The knife’s handle isn’t fancy. It’s black and made from Santoprene (a type of rubber) and polypropylene (durable plastic). However, it’s ergonomic and extremely comfortable to hold and texturized for added grip. Plus, it doesn’t have to be babied like a wooden handle might. 

All in all, there’s really nothing not to like about this workhorse of a knife. And at about $23, you can’t go wrong.   

Do you have this bread knife? If so, tell us what you think about it in the comments!