This family is no match for a German-made knife. (Jennifer Bardsley)

This family is no match for a German-made knife. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Any way you slice it, that bread knife is dangerous

Their old bread knife was too dull. The new one is too sharp, apparently.

Twenty-two years ago when I got married, my grandma gave us two German knives, a big one and a little one. They were expensive but have lasted a long time. You can find similar versions at Williams Sonoma. We regularly sharpen our knives and they still work great. Our bread knife has always been a free one I got a long time ago at the grocery store during a promotional deal. We also have a cheese knife my husband brought into the marriage, that I refuse to use because it’s so flimsy.

“Mom, why does our bread knife suck?” has been a consistent complaint I’ve heard every time there’s fresh bread in the house.

“This doesn’t cut anything!” someone will gripe.

“Hmm…” I thought to myself. “Maybe it’s time to upgrade the bread knife.” If anything, it would cut down on the whining.

Since our first two German knives have lasted so long, I went to the mall and bought a bread knife from the same brand. “Victory!” I declared, waving the box in the air when I returned home. “Now we can cut fresh bread.”

My son was into baking sourdough at the time, so he used the starter to bake a fresh loaf. The house smelled heavily as it baked in the oven. He set a timer to make sure it cooled the appropriate amount and then took out the brand new knife — and immediately cut himself.

“Are you OK?” I asked.

“I’m fine,” he said, holding pressure on the wound.

“Gross,” said my daughter. “You’re bleeding into the bread.”

“Let me handle this.” My husband picked up the knife and began slicing. Everything went fine for a few minutes until he ended up cutting himself too. “That knife is really sharp,” he muttered.

“I know,” I said, “That’s why I bought it. But you guys really should be more careful.”

A few days later my daughter was making breakfast and wouldn’t you know, she cut herself while slicing through English muffins.

“Maybe it’s time for knife safety lessons,” I said. “Before the bread knife hurts anyone else.”

“It’s just so sharp,” said my son.

“That’s what you wanted!” I threw my hands up. ” A sharp knife that could cut bread.”

“Bread, not fingers,” said my daughter.

My husband shook his head. “Whatever you do, don’t replace my cheese knife.”

I didn’t replace the cheese knife, and I didn’t cut myself with the bread knife either … for a full six months. Last week I nicked my finger.

Jennifer Bardsley is the author of “Sweet Bliss,” “Good Catch” and more. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at

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