What Is A Deli Knife Used For?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/12/21 •  5 min read

The Deli knife, at times referred to as a sandwich knife, is used to slice sandwiches. It isn’t hard to identify this piece because of its unique design: an offset blade which means it is situated lower than the handle and has a scalloped edge. This is a must-have in delicatessens and restaurants that serve dishes that involve meat and veggies in between two sliced pieces of bread.

One of the most task-specific knives ever created is the Deli knife. And when you have tried slicing sandwiches at home, you’ll realize why it’s a must-have.

Bread has a very different texture compared to meat and veggies. A serrated edge is a must-have for the former while incredibly sharp, straight-edged knives are needed to slice through the latter.

Since it’s completely impractical to use two different blades to halve a sandwich, the deli knife was invented.

Interested to own one? Read more below to get to know this piece.

Related: The best bread knives for your money

The serrated edges

The use started as a bread knife and it gained recognition in 1893 when the Friedrich Dick company placed this technology in the exhibition, World’s Columbian Exhibition.

The idea of having the serrated attracted so many people and Fredrich soon became the first person to construct the blade that had serrations or grooves.

Why are they important?

The serrations are basically the small edges that are perpendicular to the blade and thus help you in proceeding with the cutting process without tearing the bread.

The deli knife is also known as the sandwich knife and has a lot of micro serrations that prevent any kind of tears and give the perfect final form of the fine sandwiches.

You no longer need to apply a lot of horizontal force and the serration performs all the functions on its own.

The cuts or the serrations have the potential to dig inside the sandwich holes just like the wood saw.

Bread knife vs sandwich knife

Here you might be wondering:

What is the difference between the bread knives and the sandwich knife? Are they similar knives? Even if they are different, what is the difference?

First of all, keep in mind that a sandwich does not mean only bread.

It may contain a lot of fillings and other substances that give it the final big shape.

In other words, while cutting the sandwich, you not only need to cut the bread but also focus on the straight cutting of the substances that are filled inside.

They can include chicken, salad, lettuce, or any other foodstuff.

Due to this reason, the sandwich cutter has more deep and fine micro-serrations that not only fit into the holes of the bread but also pierce the fillings inside.

The micro-serrations are the extremely small cuts that make it possible to cut the corners of the bread without crushing them.

On the other hand, the bread knives are mainly used for the slicing of the bread loaves and are least concerned with their use on the breakfast table.

So they do have serrations but they are mostly not the micro ones.

However, nowadays, bread knives with very fine serrations are available in the market that makes it possible to proceed with the cutting of the edges as well.

The sharpener

If you are concerned about the sharpness, keep in mind that you do not need to buy the new one every time.

Nowadays, various deli life sharpeners are widely available in the markets that provide you with amazing experiences.

It is better to buy a specialized sharpener at the time of the purchase because it will save you from any future hassle at the time of the sandwich cutting.

If you love to explore more about the sandwiches and the tools to serve them better, then you must know about the deli knife sets.

The sets often contain the pair of deli knives, a sharpener as well as the plate to serve the sandwich.

In simple words, it is an all-in-one deal for sandwich lovers and can leave you with amazing experiences.

How can I differentiate it from others?

It is interesting to note that there exists a major difference between the deli knives and other types of utility knives.

The blade of the deli knives is slightly lower than the handle and it is perhaps the most distinguishing feature that can help you in recognizing the difference in the sandwich knives and other major types that are used for food cutting purposes.

The advantage of having the lower blade is that you can avoid touching the knuckles from touching the board and end up with a smooth cutting experience.

Final Verdict

If you have used the chef knife, bread knife as well as deli knife, you can easily understand that the latter provides the maximum balance when it comes to choosing a blade for sandwich-cutting purposes.

If you have not bought it, you should proceed with the purchase to make sandwich slicing an easy task.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.