One of the few applications in the kitchen where a serrated knife edge actually makes good sense is when slicing bread. Serrated edges also usually mark knives intended for occasional use or eventual disposal. The Shun Kramer Pro bread knife is in a different class, a knife you’ll love to use and will want to keep.
The most simple reason you’ll like this knife is length. A 10-inch cutting edge works much better on home-baked bread than an 8-inch blade. Rustic loaves find their own dimensions, and the more blade you have, the more able you are to deal with those home-baked shapes. Actually slicing the bread calls for something that grips better than the smooth edge of a slicing knife, but not all serration patterns work smoothly on hard crusts. Sharp points tend to sink and tear as the blade cuts, but the rounded teeth on this knife drop into the work without ripping the crust.
You’ll value the good looks of this knife as much as its efficiency. Damascus-style steel creates a blade with a beautiful rippled texture, showing the thin layers of high carbon stainless steel that give extra strength to the harder core layer of SG-2 steel. SG-2 gives the knife a long-lasting cutting edge with more toughness than the hard but fragile SG-1 that’s standard in other Shun cutlery. If you do happen to drag the edge across a hard surface while cutting, you’re less likely to chip the teeth of this knife.
Handle slabs of Pakka-wood give the full-tang grip the look of Brazilian rose wood, but increase the knife’s durability. With proper care, including careful use and hand washing, the cutting edge could last for years. Pair the knife with a compatible cutting board of poly, hardwood, or bamboo to extend the life of the edge.
See the Wusthof Gourmet Bread Knife for a more utilitarian style of bread knife.