What Is Butter Knife Used For Exactly?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 03/16/21 •  7 min read

The Butterknife, as the name implies, is used to slice butter and other spreads and smear it over bread, pastry, or anything you want this rich and creamy dairy product. Ever since it was invented (reportedly in the early 1600s), this table cutlery has undergone numerous design changes. Today, there must be thousands of butter knife styles one can choose from.

Legend has it that the French Cardinal Richelieu has had enough of his guests using the table knife as a toothpick that he had these rounded off in the year 1637.

This, it would seem, is the start of the butter knife – dining cutlery that is blunted at the edge and the tip.

If you don’t have a butter knife yet, (let us be honest and say) that’s odd.

If you’re thinking of getting one but still aren’t quite sure, please do yourself a favor and read on to get to know this breakfast table must-have.

What is it?

In essence, the structure and physical appearance are dull and boring.

It does not have any kind of tip or spine, instead, it is made solely for the cutting of butter.

Coming to the point, this type of cutter is a knife that is not only used to slice the butter but can also be used to spread it on the bread.

Let me share my own experience as well.

Usually, I love to have jam and butter for breakfast and I have two butter knives.

I use one for slicing and cutting purposes, and use the other one for the picking up of the jam and spread it on the bread slice.

So I want to say it here that they have made my life easier and now I can enjoy a tastier breakfast.

The best part?

The construction is very technical.

It is made up of silverware or flatware that does not stick, and you can enjoy a healthier breakfast.

If you have a flatware set, you will observe that it always has one butter knife in it.

The special structure

While studying the knife, the question may pop up in your mind,

“What is the purpose of the rounded tip?”

Well, according to the experts, the purpose of the round and broad tip is that it helps you in spreading the butter on the bread.

So yes, the structure supports that it can be used for spreading purposes as well.

But the bread is not the only thing, in this case, you can also use it to corn on the cob or anything that needs the butter as a topping.

What is it used for?

The uses depend on how much you are oriented towards the use of round-tip knives to carry out the slicing tasks in your kitchen.

The most abundant use is observed in the kitchens and bakeries, where people use these knives to cut various bakery items such as buns, cakes, pastries, patties, rolls, chocolates, cream rolls, etc.

It is due to this reason, all the bakeries always have several of these and they cannot imagine the clean slicing process without these knives.

As discussed earlier, these knives are widely used by the common people to slice the butter and spread it on the bread.

However, the interesting thing is that not everyone wants to use the same knife for both cutting and spreading purposes.

They keep separate knives for slicing and spreading on the bread.

Another use is that they are widely required for commercial and local occasions.

These knives are the major component of almost every dinner party, night party, wedding, birthday party, and small or large event.

In short, wherever something needs to be served, no one can imagine dining without these knives.

Such huge importance of these knives makes them unavoidable objects of our lives.

Modern designs

Till now, a lot of variations are observed in the overall structure.

However, the latest knives that are part of every table, are very smart in their structure.

Their beautiful and attractive appearance is because they are smaller in size as compared to the traditional butter knives.

If you want to get an idea of how small the butter knife can be, keep in mind that its length is half the length of the traditional ones.

However, some people like antique knives and do not want to proceed with modern ones.

The fact is both modern, as well as traditional choices, are equally beautiful and attractive.

However, if you are in search of affordable options, you should opt for the traditional ones.

Modern designs can be more expensive than you think.

The prices of modern products depend on the shape, appearance, and quality of the material used.

If you want to know how to purchase these things at affordable rates, you can get special discounts if you order them in bulk.

Various online selling platforms such as Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba have a wide range available with special discounts.

If you want to have more than one knife for special occasions, wedding functions, and parties, you can always buy them in a bulk order and get the additional knives at discounted rates.

Online auction sites are the major places where you can get discounts especially on the traditional silver knives that are made up of silverware.

Till now, you have learned about the definition, structure, function as well as uses of a butter knife.

Now in the next portion of the article, we will cover the frequently asked questions related to these knives.

We have gathered the list of these questions after consulting social media platforms and other online sites that buy and sell kitchen products.

If you have any questions related to the butter knives, you should read these FAQs.


Is a butter knife dangerous to use?

This is one of the most innocent types of knives, however, you may get stabbed with this knife if someone uses enough force to harm you using this knife.

The interesting fact is that people have been even killed with the forceful use of these knives.

But still, they are safe for common usage.

Should I use the same butter knife both for slicing and spreading?

No, it will definitely contaminate the butter and the particles of the bread may go into the dish.

So even if you want to use it for both slicing and spreading, you should use the two separate butter knives.

What is the other name?

They are sometimes called the spreaders.

What if I am not provided with one at a formal dinner?

In that case, you can use the diner knife for slicing and cutting purposes.

Very few people know that a diner knife is the best alternative for these knives.

The best part is it is also cheap and inexpensive.

How they have become an essential component of our lives?

Just imagine, you are going to have the coffee part with pancakes and all the bakery stuff.

Will you enjoy the party without butter knives? This is where the role comes into the picture.

Is the table knife and the butter knife the same?

No, they are not the same, but entirely different from each other.

Unlike a butter knife, a table knife is used for cutting large pieces of food into smaller ones, and its use is not associated with fragile foods like cake.

Is it expensive?

The traditional knives are not expensive, and they have larger sizes.

The modern knives are available in modern and compact sizes and can turn out to be much more expensive than you think.

Highly attractive modern knives are available online at $100-$1000.

Final Verdict

In the above lines, you have clearly read all about butter knives.

They have accompanied us in every phase of our lives and proved to be interesting dining tools.

This article was an in-depth guide on butter knives and I hope it has increased your knowledge about the butter knives.

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.