I have three spreaders, a tiny one that was given to me, a medium one I inherited, and a large Cutco, probably a pressure purchase decades ago. The little one stays in the drawer because it is too small to be useful, and it has deep serrations. The medium, probably Dansk (my parents loved Dansk) gets a good bit of use, but for many jobs its tiny serrations are a negative. It is not a significant effort to look at the darned thing and turn it over, but serrations are a bother when scraping avocado, spreading peanut butter on soft bread, and other things. The serrated side is close to useless. The Cutco is quite large, has deep serrations, and is close to a one trick pony, slicing cold butter. I’ll always keep the Dansk (?), but the other two will inevitably make it to the beginning of their new lives elsewhere. I will eventually succumb to the relatively low cost but totally blunt edged Opinel spreader or Au Sabot tartineur. I just do not understand the love of serrations except on bread knives. Rant over.
I’ve never owned a spreader with deep serrations, but I have had them with tiny serrations on one edge. My mild preference is for a “blunt edge” as you put it.
I also much prefer very thin spreader blades. I like the “give” they allow when spreading, and IME the thinness helps with cutting soft things like cheese when called upon.
Wahine has a $$ spreader that looks a lot like the Au Sabot you’re contemplating, except with a ceramic handle. I hate that thing with a passion–it’s too thick, too heavy, and won’t stay put on a plate or cheese board. I reach for the little spreading knives that came with our flatware.
What I’d like to find is a thin, nonserrated spreader long enough to touch bottom in a jar of peanut butter.
My cheap, plastic handled ones have tiny serrations. They double as box openers. I think my cheese set has a non-serrated spreader; it’s been so long since I’ve had it out that I forget. I think I have a Victorinox serrated spreader in my knife block. I guess the idea of it is that you can cut your finished sandwich in half with it, which I do (when I’m not opening boxes). For getting to the bottom of jars, I have a tiny silicone spatula. Somewhere.
Edit: found the cheese knife. No serrations.
Second edit: Opinel makes a brunch knife that might do the trick.
My favorite for spreading butter or cream cheese is this one:
For peanut butter or mayonnaise, which I buy in large jars, it is this:
Neither have any serrations.
The point of a serrated spreader indeed eludes me.
At the table, a butter knife’s sole purpose is to transfer butter from the butter dish to the edge of one’s plate and the actual spreading is then supposed to be done using one’s table or cheese/dessert knife, which is usually perfectly adequate to the task IMO.
For more heavy duty spreading, especially in the kitchen, I’d probably use either one of those long and large plastic spreader (I’ve got a Nutella promotional one that the kids of all ages love to use for crepes) or a short palette knife. A model like this one might be to your liking and probably may be shipped along with your tamis :
I have seen deep serration on spreaders - although I have never own one and probably not needed in the future. I can only guess the serration is to allow it to take on more tasks. However, as you have said, it also weakens it in many situation as well.
Another smooth spreader user here. I dislike the ridges and grooves from the serration. At best, it’s an aesthetic issue or cleaning pain. At worst, it’s ripping your bread or gouging your crackers and biscuits.
I just use my finger.
It is especially useful for tearing soft bread. It can even do it with softened butter! It is also great for insuring you leave plenty of avocado on the peel.
Special “magic” spreaders have been designed to solve the problem of cold butter which is often hard and thus difficult to scoop and spread. Some even have a serrated side. Has anybody tried one? Are they effective?
I’ve got one somehere. The idea is a good one: you can “grate” up cold butter for spreading (and therefore easier/sooner).
However, it was my experience that the grated strings of truly cold butter themselves didn’t spread very well. In other words, to work as intended the butter had to be near warm enough to spread by conventional means.
I think there’s a variant of this in aluminum that is supposed to use the heat from the user’s hand to soften the strings. Too fiddly for me!
Isn’t conventional wisdom not to refrigerate butter?
Just asking. I don’t know cuz I don’t like butter.
My experience with one exactly mirrors Kaleo’s. I’ve tossed it in a drawer somewhere. Save yourself the money, folks. Don’t get one.
Proof positive that aliens walk among us.
Regarding cold butter, yeah, not refrigerating it is preferable. But there’re many of us who don’t heat the kitchen, or buy and use butter 2x/week, and many more who freeze butter and then forget to take it out to soften in time. I also like to use butter molds, which pretty much require refrigeration until service.
I confess that the proliferation of European cultured butters has increased my butter consumption. Some of them are good enough to eat by the spoonful.
Can you port a pic of the three?
Someone bought a spreader with holes that looks silly but is remarkably effective on cold butter, so I do get the point of serrations for that purpose.
But the idea is that stays with the butter, you use a different knife to spread the shredded butter on the toast.
Looks like this:
Obviously the old one in the middle has the least noticeable serrations. It is the one I use 95% of the time.
I have a simple one. More expensive models have nice wooden handles.
One of my cheese knives has a similar shape so I use it as well.
Those are lovely. I like your cheeses, too!
Yes to tasty cultured butter! I won’t buy any other kind now. And I always keep a small hunk in a covered butter dish on the counter, ready for spreading deployment. The rest stays in the fridge or freezer. Problem solved. My kitchen stays pretty cool, so leaving it out isn’t an issue.