Bread slicing guides are indispensible tools for home bakers. They help you slice homemade bread evenly and quickly.
While their design varies between manufacturers, they are typically a rectangular-shaped box with three sides. Two of the sides have slots that act as the guide, and the bottom side is a continuous surface used to hold the bread and (in some cases) catch crumbs.
To use, you would place the bread in between the slotted sides and cut with a knife. Bread knives work best because they cut better and are long enough to extend through the slots on the far side.
As long as your bread fits inside these slots, you can use these bread slicing guides to slice any type of bread: baguette, artisan, sourdough, rye. But most people use them for slicing homemade loaves to get uniform sliced bread for making sandwiches and other things.
To get the perfect sliced bread at home, it’s also important to choose a bread machine that makes a rectangular, horizontal loaf rather than an off-shaped loaf. The best bread machine to do this is the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread machine.
Not all slicing guides are made equal. In our opinion, a good bread slicing guide should have these qualities:
- Durable. The guide should not split or fall apart or come unglued. Unfortunately, this is often not the case with bread slicing guides. The guide should also remain intact if you happen to drop it. Unfortunately, they often break when dropped.
- Easy on your knife. The guide should be made of a material that does not dull or harm your knife. Some of these guides are made out of a cheap plastic that does just that. Ideally, it should be made of a material similar to a cutting board and that does not harm your knife.
- Assembles quickly. This includes being able to take the guide apart quickly. Ideally, the guide should fold away flat so that you can store it easily.
- Easy to use. It should not feel like a chore to use the guide. It’s supposed to help you make even bread slices effortlessly and comfortably. You should also be able to cut various thicknesses.
You would think that it’s easy enough to find a good slicing guide, especially since people have been baking bread at home for centuries. But it’s actually a tall task! Most of the guides we’ve used are too fragile, too flimsy, or too troublesome to use.
That said, we think we finally found the one. The best bread slicing guide that we have ever used and that we want to share with you today is…
…the Better Bread Slicer by BlackHillsbyDesign.
With a name like that it’s got to be good right?
Review of the Better Bread Slicer
First of all, the Better Bread Slicer (which we will call BBS from here on) is made by someone like us who found the current products on the market to be subpar. It’s not a large company which is probably why you’ve never heard of them.
BlackHillsbyDesign is based in South Dakota, and Patrick is the guy behind the company. Their philosophy is to build products that last, and we completely agree with this vision. We don’t believe in constantly having to replace a product. It is a hassle and just creates waste.
Having said that, the BBS is probably not the cheapest slicing guide you can find. Heck, it’s probably the most expensive. We’re not going to sugar coat this. But we believe in paying for truly good products.
Low prices these days often means lower quality and lots of frustration. And you end up spending more to replace them. So we believe in getting it right the first time.
The BBS is exactly the first and last slicing guide you will buy.
The guide is made out of ponderosa pine – yes, real wood. You can smell it right out of the box. Pine is a softwood so it will be easy on your knife. But the trade-off is that marks from your knife will show.
Nonetheless, the construction of this guide is solid. It weighs about 5 pounds and feels extremely sturdy.
What we like best about this guide is that it’s a natural product. Not something made out of a man-made material. You can see the beautiful detail of the pine wood. The wood is stained using coffee or tea – again, all natural – and finished using a food-safe mineral oil and beeswax. The end result is a beautiful and safe product.
Because it’s made out of real wood you would have to oil and wax it occasionally. We simply use olive oil and beeswax.
In terms of using the guide, there are four grooves for the two slotted sides. So you can place them according to the size of your bread. What’s interesting is the horizontal loaves from the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread machine fit this slicing guide perfectly, as if it were designed for it.
The slotted sides are tall – a big plus. You can cut your slices both thin and thick because the guide comes with different-sized slots.
Before slicing your bread we recommend placing a towel underneath to catch the crumbs. And after you’re done simply sweep the crumbs off the guide with a brush.
The guide is not dishwasher-safe, and it’s best to keep it dry at all times because of the wood. If you need to clean it, simply hand wash with soap and water and set it aside to dry.
The guide sets up and stores away easily. You just have to take the slotted sides and slide them underneath.
All in all, the BBS is an outstanding slicing guide. Made by a great company too. If you have any problems with your guide, Patrick will be the first to respond to your concerns. The customer service offered by BlackHillsbyDesign is exceptional.