“ Brand: Kitchen Craft / Product Type: Kitchen Knife „
Do you ever think that life is conspiring against you when you set out to write a review?
I requested a listing for the Adjust-a-slice knife available from the kitchen equipment store Lakeland only to find that the day after I requested it, the product had disappeared from the Lakeland website. So when you've read this review, if you think you'd like one of these knives, get straight round to your Lakeland store and pick one up - if there are any left in stock. Bring a couple back for me whilst you are at it. Please. Pretty Please.
If you have a bread maker or you like to buy un-sliced loaves, perhaps you've come up against the problem of how to get a decent slice when using a normal bread knife. I'm totally cack-handed and can't cut a straight slice if my life depended on it. Probably that's why I prefer pre-sliced bread although if pushed, I'll settle for the occasional wobbly doorstep. Sometimes though you need a more attractive, even-sized slice. And not always the same thickness - maybe dainty little thin slices for cucumber sandwiches or bread based canapés and something more substantial for the sandwich box. (Hark at me, talking about canapés - round our house you're lucky to get a bag of tortilla chips). And from a health and safety angle, these are also really useful for anyone with visual impairment - indeed a similar product is available from the RNIB website and is highly recommended.
I don't have poor eyesight and I don't normally slice bread but I work for a food ingredients company and I'm responsible for their bakery business. I've seen all sorts of clever ways of cutting bread - from complicated factory slicers in giant industrial bakeries, through to fancy bits of bespoke metalwork in bakery research institutes. But none of those are much use if you just want to cut a nice slice in your kitchen. For our product testing we need to be able to prepare regularly sized samples of bread or cake. So I was very impressed when our placement student came back from a lunch-time trip to the Lakeland store with the 'Adjust-a-slice' - a simple, effective and easy to use answer to a problem I hadn't really given much thought to before.
What it looks like
The Adjust-a-Slice has a black plastic handle, a serrated edge blade that's perhaps slightly shorter than a normal bread knife and most importantly has an adjustable L-shaped metal guide attached to the right hand side of the knife.
How it works
Using a plastic covered screw on the left side, you can adjust the space between the blade and the guide to give thicknesses between 0.25 and one inch (no metric alternatives I'm afraid). When you place the knife on the top of the loaf or cake, the guide rests against the end of the loaf and as you cut, it keeps the knife at an even distance. So simple you can't help but wonder why everyone doesn't have one.
What else you can do with it
Not surprisingly, you can cut other stuff as well - the photos on the box suggest meat and vegetables but I think it's probably best for bread. I wouldn't use a serrated knife or for that matter, such a large knife, for fruit or veg and I think there are probably better alternatives. The website used to say you could cut 'wafer thin' slices of meat but I'd not consider a quarter of an inch to be all that wafery. I'd say, keep it for bread.
The design is such that you can't put this knife in a knife block so you'll have to work out how to store it. We've decided to keep ours in its box - because sharp knives just aren't safe to leave unguarded in the drawer. We could put it in one of our knife-rolls (canvas carrying bags with slots for knives) but I doubt we'd ever find it again. So the box is the best option. Yesterday a colleague went to get the knife, tried to open the box from the sealed end and it fell out and narrowly missed her foot. So we now have warning stickers saying 'open other end' and asking people to put the knife in 'point-first'. It's all just common sense but not always common practice.
I've also not tried to wash it yet but I think the design could be a bit tricky. I checked the box and there's no indication of whether or not you can put it in a dish washer so I'm guessing a hand wash is the safest option.
Before the knife disappeared off the website, it was selling at a special price of £2.99, down from £6.50. But as I mentioned, it's no longer available on-line. Hunting around, I've found an alternative that seems to be pretty much identical. It's a Victorinox product called a 'Dux knife' and you can get them in both left- and right-handed versions. The best price I've seen is a whopping £26.95 on the RNIB website but if you are really interested, I'm sure a bit of price-searching might 'slice' a bit more off that price.
Personally, I'm gutted that the knife has gone from Lakeland. I can't recall ever getting excited about a kitchen gadget before and I wanted one of these - even though I hardly ever slice bread. I could have got a bunch for next year's Christmas presents - my mum, my sister and a couple of friends would have wanted one. It's a shame because I really do suspect it's the greatest thing since slide bread!
A SMALL UPDATE
After posting this review, a lady read it and joined the site just to leave me a message about where I could get help. Sure enough, I contacted Lakeland through their website and today - the first working day after I wrote - I had a call to say they had found 6 knives for me and would I like them.
Now that's what I call service. Well done Lakeland.
A serrated stainless steel blade helps guide to cut consistently even slices every time. Try using it on bread, cold meats, cucumber or tomato.