This cheese knife guide shows you what cheese knives to choose for different types of cheese. You can of course use regular knives, but there is just something about having the right tools for the job!

How To Choose The Right Cheese Knife | Wisconsin Cheese Talk

1. Cheese knives for soft cheese

Soft cheeses like brie or camembert have a soft interior and could easily stick to the knife. To make a cleaner cut and keep the shape of the delicate interior you can use a knife with a very thin straight blade or a cheese knife with holes. If you don’t have a cheese knife a sharp cook’s knife dipped in hot water and wiped will do also do the job.

2. Cheese knives for slicing

The cheese planes or slicers as we all know are of course used for shaving even slices of semi hard or hard cheeses.

3. Cheese cleavers for hard and firm cheese

Cheese cleavers or cheese spades are excellent for cutting hard or firm cheese – both wedges and chunks of cheese.

4. Cheese forks

The cheese fork can be used to hold a block of cheese in place while cutting – it’s also ideal for breaking hard or aged cheeses into smaller pieces.

Serving cheese

When you serve cheese remember to provide a separate cheese knife for each cheese, and encourage guests not to mix the knives to avoid mixing the flavors of the cheese.

If you’re a cheese lover, chances are you own a cheese knife (or three!). You may have received a set as a housewarming or wedding present but aren’t exactly sure how to use them. Or perhaps you have a cheese wire gathering dust somewhere because it’s a bit too intimidating. Maybe you’re looking to invest in a set and are wondering which styles are right for you. Whatever your cheese tool conundrum, you’ll find the answers and more in this handy guide to 10 common cheese knives and other tools.

Do you really need cheese knives?
The short answer is no, but they’re nice to have. You can certainly eat, serve and enjoy cheese without any special tools. But if you like to entertain and serve cheese to guests, a few cheese knives are quite handy and add a special touch to your cheese board.

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How To Choose The Right Cheese Knife | Wisconsin Cheese Talk


Cheese Wire
A cheese wire is best used to slice soft cheeses (like fresh mozzarella) without crushing it under the weight of a knife. It can also be used with semi-soft cheeses. Unless you have a professional-grade cheese wire, avoid using it with hard cheeses as they can break the wire. Don’t want to invest in a cheese wire for occasional use? Dental floss is a great alternative. Just be sure it’s unflavored.

Pronged Cheese Knife
This multipurpose knife is great for cutting soft cheese like brie but can also be used for harder cheeses. The pronged tip can be used to pick up pieces of cheese for serving, making it a great choice for a cheese board.

Soft Cheese Knife
The holes in a soft cheese knife keep cheese from sticking to the knife while slicing. Use it for soft and semi-soft cheeses.

How To Choose The Right Cheese Knife | Wisconsin Cheese Talk

Cheese Spreader
As its name suggests, this rounded knife should be used for soft, spreadable cheeses or cheese spreads.

Cheddar Cleaver
Show your devotion to cheddar with this cleaver-style knife made especially for it. Of course, you can also use it to cut a variety of other cheeses from semi-soft to hard varieties.

Flat Cheese Knife
Essentially a smaller version of a cleaver-style knife, a flat cheese knife is another good multi-purpose serving piece for semi-soft to hard cheeses.

Cheese Plane
A favorite of cheesemongers, this tool can be used at home for shaving thin pieces of cheese for tasting. It’s best for semi-soft (fontina, havarti) and semi-hard (gouda, alpine-style) varieties.

How To Choose The Right Cheese Knife | Wisconsin Cheese Talk

Chisel Knife
Use this wide cheese knife to cut hard, crumbly cheeses into generous chunks – great for a cheese board.

Parmesan Knife
If you’ve never snacked on hunks of parmesan, we dare say you haven’t lived. The pointed blade of this knife can break apart hard cheeses like parmesan into easy-to-eat bites.

Cheese Grater
Most cooks have some version of a cheese grater in their kitchens, but a smaller handled version is nice for serving extra cheese at the table (perfect for pasta dishes). Use with hard grating cheeses like parmesan and romano.

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