Cheese Knives: 13 Different Types and How To Use Them

Cheeses come in many forms, each offering a different experience for your taste buds.

Naturally, you would need different types of cheese knives for different occasions.

Some people might think slicing cheese is simple and that they can do it even with just a steak knife.

Sadly, these basic kitchen tools won’t get the job done. Crumbly cheeses would fall to pieces, and soft cheeses would be crushed.

To get the most out of different cheese styles, you need different types of knives.

Here’s the rundown on the cheese tools you should add to your collection.

13 Types of Cheese Knives

If you love serving (or munching on) hand-curated cheese platters, you can’t afford to be without versatile cheese knives.

That said, there are so many available styles that things can get confusing fast once you start shopping around for these cheese tools.

Fortunately, we have done some of the legwork for you by putting together this guide to cheese knives.

Soft Cheese Knife

This type of knife is designed with soft and semi-soft cheeses in mind. It has a very sharp edge and holes throughout the length of its blade.

These features are meant to prevent soft cheese from sticking.

The holes reduce the area of contact, and the sharp edge minimizes the pressure needed to slice the cheese.

As such, using it can help maintain the shape of the cheese as you cut it. 

As you can imagine, this is very important whether you work in a restaurant or just like entertaining guests.

The soft cheese knife is also known as the open work blade because of its configuration.

Pronged Knife

This cheese knife’s name should give you a good idea of what it looks like.

It has two piercing prongs you can use to pick up small pieces of cheese. Of course, it also has a sharp edge for cutting.

It is a multipurpose tool that makes plating or serving much easier. 

Unlike the open work blade, the pronged knife does not have holes. However, it features a narrow blade, minimizing the area of contact.

It is designed this way to prevent the cheese from sticking.

For these reasons, there’s no doubt the pronged cheese knife is a must-have for your next cheese board.

Spade Knife

This type of knife goes by many other names, including flat cheese knife and parmesan knife.

Regardless of what you call it, you will find that it makes a valuable addition to your knife collection.

This is especially true if you are into hard cheeses. 

It is shaped like a spade, and you can use the pointy end to take a piece from a block of dry, aged cheese.

You can also use this tool to break into tough rinds and get to the softer interior.

It is closely associated with parmesan, which is why it is also known by this name. You could also use it on pecorino cheeses.

Cheese Fork

Like the pronged knife, the cheese fork comes with two piercing prongs. However, it does not have a sharp edge for cutting or slicing cheese.

Instead, you can use it to break off small pieces from a block of aged cheese. You can also use it to break big chunks into smaller pieces.

After breaking large pieces of cheese into smaller ones, you can use this tool to transfer them to a plate.

The cheese fork works best if you use it on cheddar, gouda, and other hard or semi-hard cheeses. You can also use it on non-cheese items like fruits.

Cheese Wire

This cheese tool consists of a thin wire with both ends attached to the opposite sides of a comfortable handle.

It looks nothing like traditional full-size cheese knives, but it is quite effective at cutting cheese.

You can use it to make clean slices out of soft or semi-soft cheeses like fresh mozzarella, ricotta, and robiola.

All you have to do is set the block of cheese on a cutting board or your kitchen counter and then slice it with a downward vertical motion.

The cheese wire is the best tool to use if you want to make a clean slice without crushing or spreading the cheese too far.

Cheese Cleaver

Otherwise known as the cheddar knife, this knife is an essential tool when it comes to cutting hard and semi-hard cheeses.

It comes with a wide and sharp blade similar to a meat cleaver, which is why it got the name.

With this type of cutter, you can apply a lot of force and still maintain your balance.

This way, you can cut cheddar, gruyere, Colby cheese, or Fontina cheese with relative ease. 

Most brands come with a handle strategically placed to keep your hand from hitting the board.

It is ergonomically designed and easy to grip, which is crucial if you’re going to handle hard cheeses.

Cheese Spreader Knife

The cheese spreader consists of a flat metal blade attached to a handle. It looks a bit like a spatula, which is why it is sometimes called by this name.

The end of the blade is rounded, and the cutting edge is dull.

It is designed like so to spread the cheese over pieces of bread and crackers, not cut or slice it.

Consequently, you can only use it on soft creamy cheeses that are spreadable. Some of the best examples are the robiola, stracchino, or cream cheese.

While the cheese spreader is a bit specialized in terms of usage, it would still make a great addition to your set.

Cheese Plane

If you want to make very thin slices of cheese, you need the cheese plane.

This type of cheese knife has a flat structure attached to a long handle. It looks a bit like a wide spatula with an opening close to the handle.

This gap has a serrated blade. It is where the thinly-sliced cheese will pass through before it settles on the flat surface.

You can use it on semi-soft or semi-hard cheeses like some kind of cheese shaver.

Simply grab the cheese wedge with one hand and drag the cheese plane over it and towards you.

Gorgonzola Knife

At first glance, the Gorgonzola knife looks much like a cheese spreader. It has a long, flat blade with a rounded end attached to an ergonomic handle.

What makes it different is that its cutting edge is sharp enough to slice through soft or semi-soft cheese.

You can also use it on crumbly cheese without it falling apart.

It is a versatile kitchen tool that lets you cut or spread cheese, depending on what the situation calls for.

It has a high level of flexibility in terms of usage, which makes it a very popular choice among turophiles and enthusiasts.

Slim Blade Cheese Knife

The slim blade cheese knife is a unique kitchen tool with a thin, narrow blade and a slim handle.

With a narrow contact area, the cheese would have a very low chance of sticking to the blade. This feature comes in handy when you cut soft to semi-hard cheeses.

Another thing you need to know about this knife is that the blade is offset from the handle.

It leaves enough space for your hand while cutting cheese, so your knuckle does not hit the board.

It also gives the slim blade a distinctive look, especially if the knife is made from a single piece of metal.

Flat Cheese Knife

If your cheeseboards tend to get crowded, the flat cheese knife will come in very handy. 

Also known as the cheese chisel, you can use it to cut chunks off a wedge using a downward motion.

Once you get a piece, you can use this knife to cut it into smaller, bite-sized portions.

Aside from chipping off big chunks, you can use this tool to make clean shaves since the bottom edge is sharp.

Narrow Plane Knife

The narrow plane knife is very similar to the flat cheese knife. You can also use it to chip off or cut hard and semi-soft cheeses. 

What makes it different is that it has a much narrower blade that is more rectangular in shape.

In addition, two of the edges are sharp: the short edge and one long edge. 

Oddly enough, it looks more like the traditional chisel than the “cheese chisel.” We highly recommend it for Swiss cheese, Comte, and provolone. 

Rind Cutter

A rind cutter is a specialized tool designed to score the surface of hard or semi-hard cheese.

It has a sharp tip pointed downward and a cutting edge for slicing.

You can use it to pierce the rind at one end and, from there, drag the cutter across the surface.

This way, you can open the rind and enjoy a cheeseboard or platter with friends and family.

How To Cut Different Types of Cheese

Whether you get your cheese in blocks, wheels, or wedges, you need to cut it properly to enjoy it.

You are already familiar with the various types of knives and the kind of cheese to use them on.

It is time to talk about the different kinds of cheeses and how to cut them.

Soft Cheeses

If you want to enjoy a cheese platter to the fullest, having all the right tools is not enough.

You should also know proper cheese etiquette so that everyone gets to experience the same level of satisfaction.

When it comes to cutting soft cheese wedges, you need to remove the wax rind first. 

Next, cut the wedge in half and then cut each half into long, thin wedges.

This way, it will have equal portions of the tip, nose, or gooey center, which are the most flavorful parts.

Alternatively, you can cut slices along the long edge of the cheese first instead of digging right into the preferred parts.

Semi-hard and Hard Cheeses

For hard and semi-hard cheeses, it is important to remember that they will dry out if you cut them too early.

Also, temperature plays a significant role when it comes to its consistency.

So, if you want to serve cheddar or pecorino, make sure you take it out of the fridge around 30 minutes early.

Note that firm cheeses like these are easier to cut when they are still a bit cold, not when they reach room temperature.

When you start cutting, try to slice along the width edge. Once you are halfway through the wedge, you can switch to cutting along the length edge.

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese wedges are soft and have the tendency to crumble. To cut them properly, you need to choose the right tool for the job first.

Your best bet here is the cheese wire, which has the least contact surface among all the cheese tools.

To start, lay the wedge on its side and cut the rind out vertically by positioning the wire and then pushing it downward.

Continue to make triangular, serving-size wedges using the same tool. If needed, hold the wedge with one hand as you make your cut.

Blocks of Cheese

Cutting blocks of cheese is easier than some other cheese varieties. All you need to do is cut it in half so that you have two rectangular portions.

From there, you can cut along the width to make similarly-sized servings. You can also slice diagonally if this is what you prefer. 

Logs of Cheese

Like the cheese blocks, logs are quite easy to manage. Just cut along the length so that you create discs of similar sizes.

Wheels of Cheese

If you want to serve a wheel of cheese, you will need to cut it down the middle into two symmetrical halves.

Next, make small slices radially to create small cheese triangles.

You can do this without cutting the wheel in half, but you have to start from the center of the wheel.

Cheese Knives: A Different Tool for Every Occasion

To the uninformed, cutting cheese is a simple process you can do with any knife.

However, every self-respecting cheese lover knows you need a different tool for every occasion.

So, if you want to get the most out of your cheese platter or board, make sure you use the right knives.

It will help minimize waste, keep your wedge, wheel, or block intact, and allow you to enjoy cheese the way it should be enjoyed.

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