Imagine those times when all you want is a quick midnight snack and you have a cold block of cheddar or manchego. While a decent knife will do the job of cutting cold cheese, it won’t be as thin and accurate as you like it to be. I can already imagine broken pieces and a lot of mess. No matter how hard you try, it’s always difficult to cut cheese with a regular kitchen knife.
Now there are hundreds of other cheeses out there and each presents a challenge when cutting it with just a plain kitchen knife. Soft cheese will stick to the blade and mal-form. Crumbly cheese will also stick and crumble. You need a decent cheese cutter that will prevent sticking and preserve the form of the cut.
Aside from preserving the form, cheese cutters are more efficient because of the increased concentration of pressure at a single point. This makes cheese cutting effortless compared to regular knife. In short, it just delivers better result.
Three Main Types of Cheese Slicers
There are three main types of cheese slicers. Depending on the kind of cheese that you’d want to slice, you might need each one of these to achieve a perfect cut. I believe it’s a good idea to discuss what these cutting implements are and show its advantages and disadvantages. Doing this will help you decide which kind of slicer you need most in a given situation.
- Cheese Planes
- Rolling Cheese Cutters
- Wire Cheese Slicers
Cheese planes look like a spatula with a slicing slot in it. If you have a medium firm cheese, this is the perfect implement for perfectly consistent slices.
Using this is definitely faster and more efficient than using a kitchen knife if you want really thin slices. You can’t adjust the thickness though, because this kind of cutter only delivers one. The good thing is, it can also double as a vegetable peeler.
This is the perfect cutter for soft to medium-firm cheese or anything that will hold its shape in a block. This is not the kind of cutter you would use for really hard cheese though.
Since it uses a mounted wire to cut, it has less drag than a knife and it can get consistent thin slices. You can easily adjust the thickness but make sure it’s not too thin to gunk it up.
If the block of cheese is wider than the cutter, you would need to knife to reduce its size first.
If you need to cut really soft cheese like chèvre and brie, this is the perfect implement. Its cutting wire is mounted on a cutting board which supports the soft blocked cheese.
It can also be used to cut refrigerated cookie dough. It can be cumbersome to clean out the little groove and some complain of the space it takes up in the kitchen considering its limited usefulness.
How to Choose a Cheese Slicer
While there are hundreds of cheese slicers out there, the premium ones are always arduous to get. Here are a few criteria to help you decide which one is best for your needs. I have used these criteria in this review and my recommendation revolves around these.
- Easy to clean
- Safe to use
Cheese regardless of kind has the tendency to stick to cutters and chopping boards. This gives bacteria the opportunity to feast on your implements and the next time you use it, food poisoning can occur.
To avoid this, cheese cutters should be easy to clean. If it’s dishwasher safe, the better.
A cheese cutter has the potential to hurt you if you’re not careful. Its blade is sharp enough to cut through fingers if you slip when handling it.
A good cheese cutter, therefore, should have safety features in place that makes it virtually impossible to hurt yourself while using it. This can include non-slip handle, rubber feet, non-slip cutting board and a well-secure cutting wire.
Buying a new cutter every time a flimsy one breaks is like throwing money down the sink. Buying a premium cutter might be expensive initially, but you get most of its value as you use it in the long haul.
Stainless steel is the proven material that can withstand heavy use. On top of that, it is non-corrosive and won’t discolor your cheese. Another tested material for cheese cutter is zinc alloy.
You want to cut in different thickness right? A good cheese slicer should be easy to adjust so that you can cut various thickness without a hitch.
While there is always a limit to how thin or thick you want your cheese to be, a good cutter should offer a good range of thickness.
Some manufacturers of cheese plane offer a lifetime warranty for their product. This tells you of the level of confidence that they have and getting a warranty like this is ideal.
For wire cutters, you can’t always tell when the wire will give out. Even if you have a durable handle, the wire is the weakest part of this cutter and it is where the pressure is always found. For this kind of cutter, one year warranty is good enough.
Last update on 2017-09-20 PST - Details
My Top Five Cheese Slicers
Bellemain Cheese Slicer
If you’re looking for a simple yet strong rolling cheese slicer, the Bellemain Cheese Slicer is a must have. Its body is made from strong zinc alloy, this is probably the strongest rolling cheese cutter in the market today. Its cutting wire is made from stainless steel that comes with an extra replacement in the rare case that it breaks.
The wire cutter is adjustable, it’s easy to cut beautiful slices with perfect thickness. Thick, thin or even paper-thin, you can have your way. This cutter will let you cut cheese the way you want to. I believe the secret to the effectiveness of this cutter is in its simplicity. This is a no frill cutter that does what it’s designed to do.
- Heavy duty and adjustable
- Gives you full control as to the thickness of the slices
- Easy to clean
- One year warranty on a cutter that’s impossible to break
- Comes with an extra wire cutter
- Improper use can break the wire
- Doesn’t work well with really hard cheese
- Wire is a bit off-center in some pieces. Check very well before buying
Sharpcart Cheese Slicer
If you just want to cut cheese without having to worry about the thickness, the Sharpcart Cheese Slicer is what you’re looking for. This cheese plane is made from stainless steel with a non-slip handle making it secure to hold, while you focus on cutting cheese.
If you are frequently cutting hard cheese, I recommend you get this slicer. If you don’t need to slice various thickness, this is the cutter to get. The cutting edge is 1.5 inches wide and that is the width that it will cut.
Cleaning this simple tool is easy and you can just dunk it into the dishwasher or wash it by hand. It offers 100% money-back guarantee for mere dissatisfaction of the product. To me, that speaks volumes of the manufacturer’s level of confidence in the product.
- Sharp blade can cut through hard cheese in a heartbeat
- Weighted handle for balance and complete control
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Slices can be too thick and there is no way to adjust it
- The handle seems too thick to maneuver around the cheese block
Aroma Bakeware Cheese Board Slicer
For cutting soft cheese and medium-hard cheese Aroma Bakeware Cheese Board Slicer fits the bill. It comes with two extra wire cutter in case you break the first one and it has rubber feet to prevent it from moving around while you’re cutting.
This is not dishwasher safe so you better just hand-wash it. In most cases, wiping the board and the wire with a damp cloth is sufficient to keep it clean.
- Comes with two replacement wires
- Easy to use and cuts really fast
- Sturdy construction
- Made from stainless steel
- Wire breaks easily
- Cutting arm is a bit flimsy
Prodyne 805B Thick Beech Wood Cheese Slicer
For a simple yet functional cheese slicer, the Prodyne 805B Thick Beech Wood Cheese Slicer is the one to get. The board is made of beechwood which doesn’t scar. To prevent it from scratching your table top, it has non-slip rubber feet.
It comes with a lifetime warranty against wire breakage which again speaks volume about the manufacturer’s confidence in the product. This product is so simple to use, clean and maintain. Ideal for cutting soft to semi-soft cheese. Some soap makers even use this to cut soap slices.
- Cuts through soft cheese with ease keeping its integrity
- Board is light and doesn’t scar easily
- Easy to use and maintain
- Cuts through semi-soft cheese without breaking it
- Lifetime warranty on broken wire
- Board finish will peel off over time
- The slot for the wire tends to be off-center
- Wire gets stretched over time
WalterDrake Marble Cheese Slicer
For a clean board that adds beauty to your kitchen, you can’t go wrong with WalterDrake Marble Cheese Slicer. This slicer won’t harbor any bacteria regardless of the kind of cheese you slice. It also has four rubber feet that prevent it from moving and damaging your tabletop.
Ideal for cutting soft to semi-soft cheese, this cutter comes with two extra cutting wires in the rare case that you break the one installed.
Cleaning this cutter is done by hand as it’s not dishwasher safe.
- Elegant and clean
- Comes with two wire cutters as extra
- Sturdy and stable
- Cutting blade tends to be too short for wider cheese blocks like the American Swiss
- Wire doesn’t align with the groove after one use
- Cutter handle tends to loosen after repeated use
For this review, the clear winner is the Bellemain Cheese Slicer for the simple reason that it meets all the criteria that I used to judge these products. Its strength is in its simplicity. It does one thing and does it very well.
Despite its simple construction, this cutter is adjustable, easy to clean and has a warranty. The zinc alloy handle is almost impossible to break and it provides an extra wire in case you break the one that comes with it.
That being said, I suggest that you get one of the three main types of cheese cutters. Even our winner has a limitation and you will definitely need a different cutter when dealing with different kinds of cheeses.
Do you have any of these cheese slicers? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.