The Multifunction Qualities of the Best Bread Slicer
Note: Before we get into anything else please note that this is an article about bread slicer guides, which is to say various tools that will allow you to cut perfectly even slices of bread. If you are looking for knives that promise to make slicing bread the easiest of tasks, then you should check out our article about the best bread knives.
While it is true that most people sneer at the very thought of spending money to buy a bread slicer, which is to say a guide that will allow you to use your own knife to slice bread into even slices, you are the type of people who are checking out a website dedicated to bread. That is why I assume you have run into many of the problems associated with baking your own bread. In fact, it was precisely because I could never get the slices as even as the ones that come out of supermarket bag that I almost gave up on regularly baking bread.
We would still be baking bread for special occasions, of course, but the problem with not getting even slices is that a homemade bread will never last as long as a store bought one. Furthermore, the sandwiches I would make with hand sliced bread were always too thick to byte into, since the slices themselves were usually just that much bigger. And there are certainly a lot of other reasons why one would want to bread slicer, but I am not going to go into that since, as I’ve said, I am certain most of you already have your reasons. However, we would be tickled pink if you would share in the comment section some of the reasons that got you interested in bread slicers.
Still, before we get into anything else, it is worth mentioning here what my top 5 best bread slicers will be. That way, just in case you do not fancy reading through the entire article, you can get a quick idea of the slicers and features I will be tackling. So, for those of you out there who are quick on the draw, you can just click on the product you think you might fancy, and you can skip directly to buying it.
So far we have been dropping hints about what the best bread slicer might be and mentioning some of the reasons for those choices. However, there are 2 bread slicer options that we are really going to go into an in depth review for simply because we think they represent the best options, whether you have money to burn or are working on a tight budget. So here they are!
The Best Bread Slicer If Money Is Not an Issue
When it comes to bread slicers the price differences are not that big, but they do exist. So if you want to buy one of the cheapest bread slicers on the market I would go with the KitchenCraft Bread Keeper Expanding. In fact this is the option I did go with and I am as happy as can be about my choice. It is true that it does not look as well as a bamboo bread slicer, but, when you are just starting a family and are always busy with one thing or another, aesthetics have to bow out to functionality.
In this case, I refer to the fact that the KitchenCraft allows me to always have fresh, homemade bread, ready sliced for my family. As I have mentioned before, a bread box, whether you are using a high end, wood one, or a simple plastic one, will allow just enough air to circulate around the bread so that it does not spoil too fast, but not so much so that it will dry up.
The other thing that I like about my KitchenCraft is the fact that the bread slicer is made from a hardened acrylic that does not chip away to nothingness after the first months of use. In fact I have had mine for almost half an year now and, while it did acquire some scratches in the first months of use, they did not turn into anything else like a deep grove on the cutting edge.
The plastic prongs that direct the blade of the knife are all in tip top shape, although my knife has occasionally run into them. Linda, my wife, actually prefers to use the electric knife when cutting bread, and even with that thing she did not slash any great gaps in the body of the bread slicer. So, all and all, I would say this is one of the sturdier bread slicers on the market.
I am also taking into consideration, when making this recommendation, the fact that the KitchenCraft has been through numerous washing machine cycles with absolutely no ill effect. I have even put the bread box itself through the washing machine and, as you might expect, there is nothing bad that hot water can do to plastic.
For me that is particularly important because I am somewhat of a germophobe so I enjoy the fact that all my dishes get steam blasted at 170 degrees. And, as a side note, please do not write back to tell me how important it is to allow the body to face up to bacterial dangers so that it will know how to defend itself. We take plenty of camping trips and Pat is going to a state kindergarten, so he does get exposed to everything that he needs.
The one other thing that I should address here is the fact that this is one of the more expensive bread slicers on the market. While it is true that the KitchenCraft is quite expensive, there is also the fact that it does so much more than a bread slicer. There is also the fact that the workmanship on the plastic body is quite good.
And, if you do not believe me that someone can get wrong even the process of molding plastics, I encourage you to try one of the $4 bread slicers out there. You can actually find some bread slicers that look somewhat similar to mine, but you will see that they have a lot of unfinished seams, and sharp edges pointing into all directions. And, of course, we should not forget that my bread slicer actually stretches out to 11 inches, thus allowing me to slice up an entire 2 pound bread and have it at the ready for when we want to go out and grab a quick sandwich to eat on the way.
The Best Bread Slicer If You Are Working on a Budget
Interestingly enough, the better looking bread slicer is actually the cheaper alternative at this point. You can actually get even cheaper wood bread slicers, but I think the DB-Tech Bamboo Wood Slicer has found the perfect price point for this type of product. I say that precisely because I am taking into consideration the fact that this is a foldable bread slicer. With wooden ones, you generally get a rather bulky thing that is meant to sit comfortably on a kitchen countertop. However, the DB-Tech can be easily folded and packed away in a drawer.
Still, the fact that it folds away, also creates the DB-Tech’s Achile’s heal: it cannot be washed in a dishwasher. The instruction do not make specific note of this, however the hinge that allows the sides to fold down is made of metal, so it may start to rust over if it gets blasted with too much hot water.
However, it is important to note that I have read several studies that confirmed the antibacterial properties of bamboo wood, so I would advise you to simply keep it dry, store it away only after you have made sure that there are no bread crumbs stuck anywhere, and, maybe expose it to direct sun light for 6 to 8 hours every other month or so. The UV rays from the sun are great at killing all types of bacteria.
There is one more thing that you need to be aware of and that is the fact that this particular bread slicer does not cut equal slices of bread. That is by design because this bread slicer will cut slices of .5, .4 and .3 inches in thickness. There is a definite advantage in that but you need to warn your guests, family, or whoever else might be tempted to use it.
I was in a hurry to make some French toast while I was over at my in laws’ house and I sliced a good half a bread before I realized that I would have to use completely different frying times for each back of toast I would make.
However, if you are made aware of this particular feature, you may actually end up loving the DB Tech Bamboo Bread Slicer because it allows you to create custom sandwiches. For example, Patrick is still rather small, so the smaller I can make the sandwiches, the better it is for him. However, Linda prefers huge sandwiches like her grandfather used to make, so she actually prefers thicker slices. So I make it a point to get some sandwiches done when we visit the in laws, just to take advantage of their bread slicer.
While I do love the bread slicers I have talked about so far, there are a couple that have drawn my attention. They were not my ultimate top choices, but they might be interesting for you. For example I think the Multiform Bread Slicer and the Generic Bread Slicer, both pictured below, should be interesting choices for people with a bucket style bread machine. That is because those machines have a tendency to bake very tall breads.
So if that is the situation in which you find yourself, you may find that a regular size bread slicer does not allow you to cut the upper half of the bread as precisely as the bottom one. However, the thing that I do not like about the Multiform or the Generic Bread Slicers is the fact that they only allow you to cut one slice at a time.
Granted, you have an exquisite level of control over how thick your slice may be, but having to set the knife down, take out one slice, go ahead and slice another, set the knife down, and so forth, seems to me to be a complete waste of time.
The other bread slicer that I thought might be interesting to some of you Norpro 370 Bread Slicer. It has a very nice, thick, wood base and a high quality, plastic guide walls. The bottom of the slicer is so exceptionally thick because it is used to catch all the crumbs that result from cutting the bread.
Having had to cut through quite a lot of bread that has a lot of seeds in and on top of it, I can tell you that just by slicing up a bread, you can make a huge mess. However, it is important to note that this specific bread slicer does not fold down or away in anyway. So it is meant to stay on top of your countertop, probably as a balance to your bread box, no matter what else you may want to do there.
My Credentials on Bread Slicers
While I would love to stand here and be able to tell you that we have personally tried in excess of 20 bread slicers and did parallel comparisons, most of you who are regulars of our website will know that I rely mostly on common sense and on the personal experience I have had with one or several of these types of products.
In this case, I personally own the KitchenCraft Bread Keeper Expanding and I have used the DB-Tech Bamboo Wood Slicer that my in-laws have. It was actually a gift from us, but they quickly grew to love it, especially since my mother in law loves trying out the latest recipes on our website.
As you may have noted there are actually just 2 types of bread slicers on the market, wood or plastic, and I have had ample experience with both. I will actually give you my impressions on these two types a bit later, but for now, suffice it to say that I would always go with plastic, but that is only because I value comfort above aesthetics.
Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I will say that I have went through several dozens, if not hundreds of reviews, before I decided on the bread slicers I did buy, so I am relying somewhat on that experience when I am giving you my more general opinions.
Later on you will find that I have dedicated quite a large portion of the article to giving you an in depth view of the 2 bread slicers I personally have experience with, but I am also going to be talking about some of the other bread slicers on the market today and the reasons why I decided not to buy them when I had the chance to.
Things to Consider When Buying a Bread Slicer
In my experience there are several things that people do not even imagine might be a problem before they actually get to buy a bread slicer. There are things like the size the bread slicer will take up on their kitchen counter, or the height of the loaf of bread they will be slicing into. Of course almost everybody will think about the difference between wood and plastic, but here is a list of all the things you need to take into consideration.
While it would be great if everybody had a huge kitchen, and an equally impressive kitchen counter top, the truth is that as many as 70% of all functioning kitchens, that is kitchens of families that do more than microwave the occasional pizza, are medium to small in size. That means you will probably have a limited space on your counter top, and you need to think very carefully on whether you want to permanently keep your new bread slicer on your kitchen top or not.
My suggestion would be that, if you are planning to use your bread slicer just once a day or every other day, then you should get a slicer that can be easily fit in a drawer or kitchen cabinet. And if that is the case, then you should spend the extra couple of dollars to get the foldable version of whatever type of bread slicer you decide to go for.
Wood vs Plastic
The big question when buying a bread slicer is whether to go for wood or plastic. Obviously the wood bread slicer will look a lot better than anything molded out of plastic. On the other hand, though, wood is slightly more difficult to clean and, as a general rule, is bulkier than plastic.
I have read several studies showing that wood is a more prodigious breeding ground for bacteria than plastic, but, then again, I have seen newer studies that talk about the antifungal properties of bamboo wood. However, the fact remains that you cannot put a wood bread slicer through the dishwasher cycle, not if you want to use that slicer for many years on end.
Ultimately though, I think that a wood bread slicer looks so much better than a plastic one, that it is worth the extra hassle. The only question is whether you kitchen counter top is big enough to accommodate the permanent presence of a bread slicer. If it is, then you should definitely go with a bamboo bread slicer, and I would actually recommend choosing the DB-Tech one that my in-laws are so in love with.
The one thing that very few people actually do think of when buying a bread slicer is what type of bread they will be using it on. Most breads will actually fit your average bread slicer, however, for reasons that I simply refuse to understand, there are several bread maker manufacturers, that use a bucket shaped pot in their machines.
Those pots will create a type of bread that is very tall, and, as a result it will not fit that well into a regular bread slicer. Some people will resort to turning the bread on its side, once they find that their bread slicer is not tall enough, but then the slices will not be equal in surface area, especially if you will try to pair one of the bottom slices with one of the top ones.
As you may have noticed my preference tends to skew towards wood bread slicer, but I did actually buy a plastic one. The thing about my Kitchen Craft bread slicer is that it doubles as a bread box. You may have noticed that if you leave bread out in the open air it will dry up, but if you put it into a plastic bag, it will spoil fairly quickly. The spoiling part is particularly true with homemade bread since we do not use any type of preservative, nor do we use copious amounts of sugar in the recipes.
The most important reason why you would want a bread box then becomes the fact that it is specifically designed to let air circulate in so that the bread will not spoil, but not let too much of the moisture run out. And that is exactly what the KitchenCraft and other bread slicers do in addition to helping you cut bread: they double as bread boxes.
Other bread slicers will act as crumb catchers, and, trust me, if you enjoy making bread with a lot of seeds in and on it, you will need to use a crumb catcher. So, as you go through our list of the best bread slicers on the market make sure to check out the secondary functionality list.
There are plenty of reasons why I think a bread slicer should be a staple of a civilized home, but if the simple economics of getting the most slices out of each bread you bake does not convince you, then I hope the idea of the perfect French toast will. In any case, a bread slicer is a fairly risk free acquisition, since it is so very cheap, and, if you see that it does not prove to be as useful as you thought it would, you can always make a gift out of it.
Whatever the case may be, I strongly encourage you to go with the KitchenCraft, since it doubles as a bread box, and that is the other staple that a bread enthusiast should own. Please make sure to let me know what you thought of my suggestions, either by leaving a comment below, or by reaching out on our Twitter account. I am always delighted when people share their own experiences with the bread recipes or the tools and accessories we talk about, and, will, occasionally, introduce the new info I get into the very reviews. So thank you for that and make sure to reach out to us.