How to Cut Bread Without a Bread Knife?

Last Updated on May 29, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As a bread lover who has often found myself without a bread knife, I’ve learned the art of cutting bread with unconventional tools. 

In this article, I’ll share my firsthand tips and tricks for slicing bread without a dedicated bread knife. Get ready to master the art of perfectly sliced bread, even without the traditional tool!

5 Ways to Cut Bread Without a Bread Knife:

  1. Serrated Knife: While not a traditional bread knife, a serrated knife with small teeth can work wonders. Gently saw through the crust using a back-and-forth motion to avoid squishing the bread.
  2. Electric Knife: If you have an electric knife tucked away in your kitchen drawer, it is time to bring it out. Its oscillating blades make slicing through bread a breeze.
  3. Chef’s Knife: A sharp chef’s knife can be a good alternative. Use a gentle sawing motion and apply even pressure to avoid crushing the bread.
  4. Tomato Knife: Surprisingly, a tomato knife with its serrated edge can work well for cutting bread. Its sharp teeth grip the crust, allowing for clean slices.
  5. Dental Floss or Fishing Line: Wrap a piece of clean, unflavored dental floss or a sturdy fishing line around the loaf and cross it over to slice through the bread. This method works best for softer bread like baguettes or rolls.

How to Cut Bread Perfectly?

  1. Start by placing the bread on a stable cutting board or surface.
  2. Decide on the desired thickness of your slices and mark it with a light score using a knife.
  3. Hold the knife at a slight angle, and using a gentle sawing motion, cut through the bread, following the marked line.
  4. Apply even pressure to maintain uniform slices, ensuring each is perfectly cut.

Tips for Cutting Bread:

  • Use a knife with a sharp blade for cleaner cuts.
  • Clean the knife between cuts to prevent any bread residue from sticking.
  • Allow the knife’s weight to do the work rather than exert excessive force.
  • Consider dampening the knife with water before slicing for crusty bread to prevent excessive crumbling.

How Long Should Bread Cool Before Cutting?

Ideally, allowing the bread to cool completely before cutting is best to ensure it retains its shape and texture. A general guideline is to let it cool for at least 1 to 2 hours. This cooling time allows the bread to set and avoids squishing or tearing the loaf while slicing.

What Happens When You Cut Hot Bread?

Cutting hot bread can lead to a less-than-ideal outcome. Slicing bread while still hot can result in squished or gummy slices due to the steam and heat trapped inside the loaf. Patience is key when cutting bread—let it cool down first.

Can You Use a Normal Knife to Cut Bread?

Person Slicing Bread

Absolutely! While a bread knife is designed specifically for bread slicing, a normal knife like a chef’s or serrated knife can still do the job effectively. Just ensure the knife is sharp and use a gentle sawing motion to prevent damaging the bread.

How Do You Slice Bread With Your Hands?

To slice bread with your hands, follow these steps:

  • Hold the loaf of bread with both hands.
  • Gently tear off individual portions or along the crust’s natural breaks.
  • Continue tearing until you’ve achieved the desired portion sizes.
  • Enjoy your rustic, hand-torn bread!

Can You Cut Bread With Scissors?

Yes, you can cut bread with scissors [1], particularly if you have a pair of sturdy kitchen scissors. Use clean and sharp scissors to make small, controlled cuts through the bread. This method works well for softer bread and rolls.


In conclusion, cutting bread without a bread knife is a challenge that can easily be overcome with creativity and resourcefulness. 

There are various ways to achieve those perfect slices, from using serrated knives to electric knives, dental floss, or even your own hands. Embrace your inner improviser, keep a steady hand, and slice away confidently. 

Remember, a dedicated bread knife is not the only path to bread-slicing mastery. So, enjoy your freshly baked loaves, and savor each bite of that beautifully sliced bread, no matter the tool at hand. Happy slicing!


Lauren Beck
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