Choosing a Cheese Knife

  • Universal Cheese Knife 

Features include a narrow blade with pockets to prevent food from sticking. Many have a double tip for both cutting and picking up cheese pieces. It is versatile and may be used for soft to semi-hard cheeses.

  • Soft Cheese Knife (also known as Open Work Blade Knife)

Features holes in the narrow blade to keep soft cheeses from sticking to it. It is meant to be used with soft to semi-soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert or Mozzarella cheese.

  • Spreader Knife (also known as a Spatula Knife)

This dull, rounded knife, similar to a butter knife, is ideal for soft cheeses like cream cheese, Brie, Camembert or goat cheeses that do not need to be sliced but spread onto crackers or bread.

  • Cheese Cleaver (also known as Cheddar Cleaver, Mini Cleaver or Semi-Hard Cheese Knife) Features a wide, rectangular blade with sharp long edge and ergonomic handle. The cleaver shape allows the person slicing to use force and balance to push downward and cut slices. It is the best knife to cut through thick blocks of cheese. It is meant to be used for Semi-Hard and Hard cheeses like Cheddar, Gruyere, Colby or Fontina.

  • Cheese Plane

Features a spatula-like paddle with a sharp-edged slit meant for achieving thinly sliced pieces of cheese. To slice the cheese, pass the plane along the top or side of the cheeses. The slice will then settle on the top of the plane’s spatula-like surface, making it easy to plate or serve. Some cheeses need to be served in very thin slices. The reason for needing thin slices is often desired when you want to melt it on top of something like a hamburger or perhaps place a thin slice on a crusty piece of bread. No chef can slice as thin as a Cheese Plane. Use for Semi-Soft/Semi-Hard cheese like Gouda, Manchego, Fontina or Havarti.

  • Hard Cheese Knife

Features a long, straight blade with a sharp edge. They are made for pressing downward and cutting through a whole wheel or wedge of hard, aged cheese. You will sometimes find hard cheese knives with handles on both ends to allow for even pressure distribution. Use for hard cheeses like Asiago, Extra Mature Cheddar or Comte.

  • Moist Cheese Knife  

Features holes and forked tip similar to a soft cheese knife. It is ideal for blue, stilton, and feta cheeses.

  • Parmesan Knife (also known as Tagliagrana or Spade)

Features a sharp, pointed tip and triangular, stubby blade with sharp edge made for stabbing the cheese and breaking off chunks of hard and dry cheeses like Parmesan. It also has a sharp edge to cut rinds open. Ideal for aged Parmigiano, Grana Padano, Mimolette and Pecorino Romano.

  • Semi Soft Cheese Knife

This knife has holes through it to keep cheeses from sticking however it also has a larger surface than the Soft Cheese Knife that can be pushed down upon for more pressure. Ideal for cheeses like Gouda, Manchego or 

  • Flat Cheese Knife (also known as a Chisel Knife)

Features a wide, flat, paddle-like blade with a sharp bottom edge used to cut slices off of aged cheeses by holding the blade vertically over the cheese and pushing downward. You can then use the sharp end to cut the pieces down even further. Ideal for Manchego, Provolone, Swiss, Asiago and Gouda.

  • Slim Blade Cheese Knife (also called an Offset Cheese Knife)

Features a narrow blade with very little surface area to prevent soft, oozing cheeses from sticking, a sharp edge and raised, offset handle to keep knuckles from hitting the board. Ideal for soft to semi-hard cheeses like Camembert, Gorgonzola Dolce, Brillat Savarin and Taleggio. Slice all the way down and out without lifting back up.

  • Narrow Plane Knife (also known as a Trapezium Knife)

Is made for cutting cheese as well as chipping away at the block. It is similar to the flat cheese knife but tends to be more rectangular in shape and features two sharp edges as opposed to one. Used for semi-soft to hard cheeses like Gouda, Cheddar and Gruyere.  

photos by Swissmar