The Best Cheese Knives Every Host Should Have In Their Kitchen

We asked a cheesemonger which knives you need for soft and hard cheeses (and everything in between), and the Wüsthof Gourmet Offset Cheese Knife tops the list.

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Amazon Cheese Knife
Photo: Amazon

Whether your idea of a cheese plate is an artfully arranged platter or a crumbling, crystalline wedge of Parmesan enjoyed shard by shard while standing at your kitchen counter, the best accompaniment just might be your cheese knife.

"When it comes to cheese, there's a knife for every occasion," says Joe Bangles, a former cheesemonger and current enthusiast of asking people about their favorite cheese on Twitter.

There'll be no complaints from those of us who love any excuse to broaden our collection of kitchenware—but do you really need to maintain an arsenal of specialty knives in order to call yourself a cheese lover? Certainly not; though it is true that the ideal cheese knives are purpose-built tools that can enhance your serving experience and help your favorite cheeses shine on the plate.

Each chosen for its quality and functionality, we've selected some of the top choices on the market, beginning with the Wüsthof Gourmet Offset Cheese Knife. Ahead, we'll take a closer look to help you decide which of these best cheese knives should earn a place in your home.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Wüsthof Gourmet Offset Cheese Knife

Amazon Cheese Knife

Why It's Great

  • Practical for both hard and soft cheeses
  • German quality with a lifetime warranty
  • Compact size won't demand storage space

Grain of Salt

  • Pricey compared to other options

"If you don't have space for every variety of cheese knife, there is one that any cheese lover MUST own and it is the offset cheese knife," Bangles tells us. "This style has a sturdy but thin blade, which allows you to tackle hard cheeses but also minimizes sticking to those soft Bries and Reblochons."

Wüsthof—a German producer of excellent kitchen knives since 1814—has created a real winner with the Gourmet Offset Cheese Knife. Small but mighty, this knife utilizes an acid-etched blade to keep softer cheeses from sticking, and the ergonomic design offers plenty of leverage for slicing your way through aged Goudas and sharp Cheddars. Wüsthof Gourmet blades are laser-cut, ultra-sharp, and triple-riveted for precision and durability—so if this cheese knife is your first Wüsthof, you'll probably want another very soon. (Sorry!)

The Details: Polyoxymethylene handle and stainless steel blade; 9 inches long; technically dishwasher safe but hand wash is recommended

Best Budget: Martinez & Gascon Cheese Knife

Amazon Cheese Knife

Why It's Great

  • Practical for use with a variety of cheeses
  • Pronged tip lends added versatility
  • Affordable price point without compromising build quality

Grain of Salt

  • Probably won't become your favorite kitchen tool

If your cheese knife budget is limited but you'd still like lasting quality, this French-style, made-in-Spain option offers multipurpose performance. Large perforations help keep soft cheeses from sticking, while the sturdy blade and forked tip can navigate firm varieties. That said, while it'll suffice for day-to-day use and occasional entertaining, don't expect top-level performance on every type of cheese with this style of knife.

"The cheese knife most commonly found around our homes is the humble pronged cheese knife; but for me, it's a jack of all trades, master of none," says Bangles. "These knives lack the heft to tackle cave-aged Comtés and aren't great on the softer cheeses either, but if you're nipping to the fridge at 2 a.m. for a quick cheese snack, they'll do the job."

The Details: Polyoxymethylene handle and stainless steel blade; 10.5 inches long; technically dishwasher safe but hand wash is recommended

Best Set: Boska Copenhagen Mini Cheese Knife Set

Amazon Cheese Knife

Why It's Great

  • Four knives offer lots of versatility
  • Small sizes are easy to store
  • Available with different handle materials

Grain of Salt

  • Lack of leverage due to size

When space is a concern but you don't want to compromise on utility, Boska's Copenhagen set of mini cheese knives is your best solution. This set of four can do just about everything except grate cheeses, so you're covered for spreading, slicing, chopping, spearing, and more. They look great on the table (functional and stylish!) and are easy to store thanks to their compact size. Since they are so small, tackling an aged cheese might be cumbersome due to the lack of leverage—but by no means should this be a dealbreaker. The Boska set is perfect for serving cheese at home and has fantastic gift potential to boot.

Boska also makes a version of this set with wooden handles—from the Oslo collection—and while they do look lovely, we prefer the all-stainless knife set for easier cleaning.

The Details: Stainless steel handle and blade; 5.71 inches long; dishwasher safe

Related: The 9 Best Knife Sets of 2023, Tested by Allrecipes

Best for Block Cheeses: Boska Copenhagen Cheese Slicer

Amazon Cheese Knife

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel.

Why It's Great

  • Flat design is easy to store
  • No exposed blade
  • Doubles as a vegetable slicer

Grain of Salt

  • Increasingly difficult to use as the block of cheese becomes smaller

Boska wins this round, too. The brand's Copenhagen cheese slicer is a joy to use, powering smoothly across the surface of semi-hard and hard cheeses. The blade stays sharp for ages (I've had mine for years and it's still the first knife I reach for when I have a fresh block of cheese), reliably creating slices that are perfect for sampling, snacking, or layering on a sandwich. These types of slicers do get a little tricky to maneuver as your block of cheese gradually reduces in size, but when the block is too thin to slice with the Copenhagen, just hit it with a box grater or reach for a different knife and turn the remaining cheese into cubes.

Fun fact: You can also use this style of cheese slicer for creating thin slices of vegetables—try it with a cucumber!

There's an Oslo version of this cheese slicer as well, but we're still Team Stainless Steel.

The Details: Stainless steel handle and blade; 8.66 inches long; dishwasher safe

Best for Soft Cheeses: Boska Copenhagen Soft Cheese Knife

Amazon Cheese Knife

Why It's Great

  • Sleek design
  • Purpose-built and great for the job
  • Easy to clean

Grain of Salt

  • Definitely just for use on soft cheeses

At the risk of sounding like a shill for Boska, there's a reason its cheese knives are respected by cheese lovers everywhere—-they're very good products. This thoughtfully designed cheese knife has a narrow, thin blade that simply lacks the surface area for soft cheeses to stick. The blade is sharp and offset, which allows you to get into those wheels of Brie and Camembert while staying nimble enough to slide through chèvre and delicate blues. It looks great on the table, too.

Because this knife is so purpose-built, avoid the temptation to reach across the cheese board and use it on something ultra-firm—like that three-year cave-aged Gruyere you just picked up from the cheese counter. You wouldn't want to damage the delicate blade, so a soft cheese knife like this is really best-suited to, well, soft cheeses.

The Details: Stainless steel handle and blade; 11.02 inches; dishwasher safe

Best for Hard Cheeses: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro Mini-Cleaver

Amazon Cheese Knife

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Why It's Great

  • Strong enough for the hardest cheeses
  • Works equally well on salami, herbs, and small vegetables
  • From a respected German brand

Grain of Salt

  • Pricey

"When it comes to the hard stuff, you need something with a little more heft," says Bangles. "A cleaver is the right tool for the job, and makes short work of cubing cheeses, too."

In fairness, any sharp little cleaver can suffice as a knife for hard cheeses, but we picked Zwilling Pro's mini version thanks to the brand's long reputation for quality. Another German knife producer doing its thing since 1731, Zwilling's knives are sharp and long-lasting. This mini cleaver will happily hack through your favorite hard cheeses for years to come. It's also great for salami and other cured meats, so it's perfect to sit alongside your charcuterie board.

As Bangles further notes, cleavers are "a stunning-looking knife which complements every cheese knife collection," and this one from Zwilling certainly fits the bill for both good looks and functionality.

The Details: Polyoxymethylene handle and stainless steel blade; 8.86 inches; technically dishwasher safe but hand wash is recommended

Our Takeaway

We chose Wüsthof's Gourmet Offset Cheese Knife as our best overall pick because of the knife's versatility for both hard and soft cheeses, the brand's proven quality and a fair price-to-performance ratio. This is the best cheese knife for multifunctional use, great looks, and durability.

How to Pick The Right Cheese Knife

Intended Use

When determining which cheese knife is right for you, think about how you plan to put it to use. Do you mostly enjoy soft, semi-firm, or hard cheeses? Do you often entertain and serve a cheese plate or charcuterie board to your guests?

If you like a variety of cheeses, then looking at either a set of cheese knives or one that can serve multiple purposes is a good place to start. If you mostly stick to soft cheeses, you look for a cheese knife with a perforated, etched, or narrow blade to help avoid pesky sticking. If you're of the "older is better" perspective when it comes to your cheese selections, a robust offset knife or a cleaver-style blade will provide helpful heft.

If you frequently entertain, a set of cheese knives can provide versatility and avoid everyone having to wait for their turn to use one knife—just don't be surprised if mixing and matching occurs between knives and the intended cheese pairing.

Type of Knife

The type of cheese knife you should choose really goes back to its intended use. Buy a knife meant for soft cheeses if those are your go-to; pick a cheese slicer if you're an advocate of block cheeses; or choose a multipurpose knife if your cheese drawer regularly runneth over.

Budget and Storage Space

As with just about every kitchen tool, budget and storage are rightful considerations. If you have the spare cash and an abundance of room, feel free to go wild and choose a cheese knife for every scenario. Otherwise, an all-purpose knife or a set of small cheese knives will almost certainly be just fine.

Common Questions

How do you use a cheese knife?

When it comes to using a cheese knife, experts recommend cutting cheese from the rind to the middle. In other words, don't slice a wheel of Camembert into strips, cut it into wedges similar to a pizza.

"The flavor profile changes as you get close to the rind, and this type of cut ensures a better contrast of flavors on each cheese," Bangles explains.

He also recommends avoiding the temptation to cut cheeses into tiny pieces—even the firm, aged varieties. Again, this is in the interest of protecting the flavor and integrity of each cheese.

"The smaller you cut cheeses for cheese boards, the quicker they will sweat. Try to avoid preparing small cubes or slivers for guests to eat and cut as you go instead."

Which cheese knife should you use for which cheese?

As we've mentioned, soft cheeses are best cut with a blade that doesn't encourage sticking. Whether this is achieved through perforations, acid-etching, or a very narrow blade is ultimately up to your budget and personal preference.

You'll have an easier time cutting through semi-firm and hard cheeses with a sharp blade that offers adequate leverage. A pronged or tapered tip can often double as a chisel for aged cheeses that tend to crystallize and break apart into chunks—perfect for sneaking those late-night bites.

Why do some cheese knives have prongs and holes?

Prongs at the tip of a cheese knife are quite handy for serving. Slice yourself some cheese, then spear with the prongs to transfer the piece to your plate. Or, as just noted, you can sometimes use the prongs to chip away at a wedge of firm cheese—just take care not to damage the delicate tips.

When a cheese knife's blade has holes or other cutouts, this is to help prevent the cheese from sticking. Particularly with soft, fresh cheeses, the moist innards—the proper term for which is the "paste"—tend to cling to knife blades. This can be little more than a minor annoyance, but if a cheese has really latched onto the blade, removing it can tear, squish, or stretch your otherwise carefully cut piece of cheese. It'll still taste nice, but your presentation game will suffer.

How should cheese be stored?

"Never wrap cheese in cling film," Bangles advises. "Cheese is a living thing, and plastic wrap makes it sweat. Beeswax paper or cheese wrap will help you get the best from your cheese. Failing those options, double-wrap in baking paper."

Bangles also emphasizes the importance of patience prior to serving your cheese.

"The biggest tip I can give isn't about cutting cheese, but about resting. Take your cheese out of the fridge about half an hour before you're going to eat—it should get to room temperature for the cheese to be at its best."

Why Take Our Word for It?

Allrecipes is a community-driven brand committed to providing helpful resources and trusted information to home cooks. Contributor Summer Rylander selected the best cheese knives based on their quality, performance, and reputation among culinary professionals. In addition to her work researching kitchen products for The Cookware Review and reviewing tools for The Kitchn, she has written about Swedish cheese for Culture: the word on cheese.

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