A Clean Slice with JonoKnife – Having recently been converted to sourdough bread, which is often unsliced, my latest challenge is the art of cutting bread at home with the precision a machine cut offers.
Handcrafted on a small farm in the English countryside; the JonoKnife is inspired by an age-old bow bread saw or fiddle bow bread knife design from the Appalachian Mountains in America. The Sheffield made tensioned scalloped blade is about 6X thinner than a conventional bread knife blade and for this reason, it slices soft and fresh bread with hardly any pressure.
Sealed with food-safe mineral oil and shipped standard with a free magnetic safety cover, the Jonoknife is an affordable and lifelong bread slicing solution.
I touched base with founder Jonathan Slater at a recent food festival to find out more about this kitchen wonder.
What makes a JonoKnife the best?
“Due to the unique design the knife slices hard and crusty bread like sourdough like no other. It can also slice soft, fresh bread straight from the oven! My knives are available in a variety of hardwoods, come in original and extra-large size and come in left and right-handed versions.”
When did you start making knives? What was your inspiration?
“I have always loved three things: woodwork, good knives, and fresh homemade bread. Making something that is both beautiful, useful, and very effective at its use for a living brings me a great deal of satisfaction. My work enables me to spend time doing what I love, making something that is my own while at the same time providing a product to other bread lovers who soon wonder how they ever lived without it!”
Has carpentry/design always been of interest to you?
“Yes. From when I was a little boy, I liked making things at home. Even though I never went to a technical high school, I was fortunate enough in that my school had a fully kitted out woodwork centre. Woodwork was therefore an optional subject that I took up. In my final year of school, the usual year project was a grandmother clock. That’s the kind of clock that one hangs on the wall. My woodwork teacher, Mr Moore, appreciated that I had a flair and talent for the subject that none of the other boys seemed to demonstrate. He, therefore, offered me the opportunity to make a full-size floor-standing grandfather clock. My school was so impressed with the outcome of the first (and only to date I believe) grandfather clock that they awarded me the trophy for technical excellence – an award that only gets awarded every few years. “
“The experience impacted extremely positively upon me and left me with a heightened sense of confidence and interest in woodwork design and manufacture ever since.”
Where do you make your products?
“I hire a workshop (a converted feed silo actually) on a little farm on the outskirts of Reading in the Berkshire countryside.”
Will you be adding more product lines to your range?
“I added the “crust killing” breadboard last December. I would like to add another product in time for Christmas this year. It’s hard to keep up with the demand for knives and boards now so I can’t promise when the next product will come out. All I can say is that it will be quite different to all other products of the same sort of thing.”
“The XL knife is the most popular amongst sourdough bakers and lovers and the original size seems to be the most popular when people are buying as a gift or just for their more “normal” bread slicing needs. Beech is the most popular wood that people order.”
How do you personalise the products?
“I can laser engrave anything that one would want to be written on the knife handle up to 50 characters long.”
I was thrilled to find that Jonathon had catered for the left-handed knife users and amazed at the ease of using the knife. It is comfortable and easy to use, let the knife do all the work and you will get perfect results every time.
Mine has taken pride of place hanging on my kitchen wall.
If you are looking for a unique gift idea or a trusty bread knife for yourself visit the JonoKnife website here