Most professionals affirm that a chef’s knife is the handiest knife to have in their arsenal of kitchen tools. This knife usually has a straight blade that is around 7 to 10 inches long and possesses a tapered point.
Such a blade, although simple, is capable of handling several types of kitchen tasks. However, if there are special tools designed exclusively for specific tasks, the whole execution becomes more efficient and smoother. At times, the old gears are merely matchless.
One such special knife is the mezzaluna. Stirred by the prep cooks of the old world, a mezzaluna is an interesting tool that looks more suitable for close-range combat instead of mincing items.
Still, it has retained its significance and popularity over time in the world of cooking and continues to have value in a chef’s arsenal. Let’s know more about this famous knife.
Overview of Mezzaluna Knife
Mezzaluna is an Italian word that stands for half moon. The knife is named so because of its blade curve whose shape is that of the half-moon. At each end of the curve, a handle exists so that you can rollover the produce’s bundles for chopping them finely without leaving behind anything.
The presence of a carbon steel blade and big wooden handles, at first glance, gives an appearance of a tool that is useful for a woodworker and not for a chef or a cook. However, it is not so.
Its unusual appearance may be deceptive. However, do not allow its retro visuals fool you. It will reduce whatever goes under its blade to tiny pieces. Above all, it does not need much practice to hone your skills for using it to have great results.
Whether vintage or modern make, a mezzaluna is a simple tool designed for being efficient in fulfilling just one purpose: Quickly handling stacks or piles of ingredients with a recurring rocking motion.
Because a mezzaluna takes on a smooth and even rocking motion to chop herbs and veggies, it proves to be a lifesaver while making swift and tasty meals. Chop lettuce or slice a pizza; a mezzaluna makes preparation quick and full of fun. Until you use it, you will never know what you were missing.
Reviews of 2019’s 3 Best Mezzaluna Knives
Not all mezzalunas are identical. Even if two of them have a single-blade design, they are likely to differ in the blade’s build material, handle material, and blade length. Thus, it is worth finding out these differences through comparison. However, doing so is a time-consuming job. Therefore, this post shares with you reviews of our favorite mezzaluna knives.
Wusthof 2-Piece Mincing Knife and Cutting Board Set
Made by one of the most esteemed brands called Wusthof, this two-piece mincing set comes with a 6.5-inch wide mezzaluna along with an 8×8 inch concave cutting board that is made to suit the blade’s shape.
The mincing knife has a height of 4.5 inches in the middle, while its overall blade length is 6.5 inches, as well as weight, is 5.6 oz. The board is 1.5 inches deep and measures below 2 pounds in weight.
These dimensions of knife and board are suitable for dicing raw and cooked herbs and veggies. They are also perfect for making small slices of pizzas.
Unlike the typical mezzalunas, this one has semi-circular convex handles to facilitate comfortable one-hand use. The synthetic handles are firmly riveted to the blade’s full tang.
The knife is made using the proprietor laser-cut technology applied to the stainless, high-carbon German steel technically named as X50CrMoV15. This steel material is known for its high strength, excellent toughness, and remarkable resistance to stain, rust, and corrosion.
Apart from using the best build materials, Wusthof firmly seems to believe in precisely tempering each blade. This is what is done with this mezzaluna knife too. It has been tempered well so that it can hold its edge for an exceptionally long time.
The blade’s cutting edge elongates throughout its length and is precision ground using the laser technology. The result is a precise, finely ground edge that assures you long service with the least maintenance and easy sharpening.
The large handle is made using a synthetic material called polyoxymethylene (POM), and it passes along the spine via solid rivets to ensure a comfortable, secure grip while using it with one hand.
Having a square shape, the companion cutting board is made using elite beech. It features a concave cutting area for accommodating ingredients at the time of chopping.
The bowl area is a bit larger than the cutting edge, so that the ingredients remain nicely in place. This contributes to a swift and efficient slicing. Further, the rubber layer at its feet ensures that the board does not slip while in use.
It is simple to wash the knife with hands using warm, soapy water. However, you need to be careful, as the edge is quite sharp. It is also easy to clean the board by just wiping it using a wet cloth. It is more beneficial to rub it using the cutting board oil occasionally.
You can easily store the knife on the cutting block or hang it from a sturdy hole close to the blade tip. This set seems to be famous amongst many users for its size, convenience, and performance.
Consider it for small tasks, for which using a food processor seems to be a time-consuming affair. Although it is made in China, its quality and performance are pretty upscale.
- Compact size
- Sleek appearance
- Efficient chopping
- Super sharp
- Well-balanced knife
- Easy to clean and store
- Comfortable in hand
- Not-too-heavy, anti-slippery board
- Fits the bill
- A bit flimsy board
Paderno World Cuisine 11-7/8-Inch Stainless-Steel Double Blade Mezzaluna – Expensive high-quality mezzaluna knife
This double-blade mezzaluna from Paderno World Cuisine is a reliable mid-length product to use for making quick salads. While there are 14-inch giants and 9-inch models are considered to be of average size, this 11-7/8-inch knife is highly recommended to those whose top priority is a versatile tool for efficiently covering different cutting tasks.
This design features double blades due to which you can efficiently and more swiftly cut nuts and herbs than the single-blade models. Efficiency is the #1 selling point here. Consider this model if you want to prepare food for a big group or work in a busy kitchen.
Expect the result to come down quickly from in-between the two blades. They are made up of stainless steel and are pretty sharp out of the box. For sharpening it later, you can easily rely upon a diamond sharpening stone.
You can quickly chop lettuce, nuts, onions, and herbs with perfection. In the beginning, you may need to push lettuce from between the two blades. This is perhaps due to the need to make a big bowl of salad. However, this is fine. You can easily make two or three salads without any hassle.
On the flip side, the double-blade design needs more focus at the time of cleaning it. This is because of the probability of some particles been left inside. Well, this is not a deal-breaker and cannot overcome the fact that you enjoy super cutting speed.
- Extremely sharp
- Stable and double cutting power
- Efficient chopping and mincing
- Comfortable handles
- Durable to survive several drops
- Easy and safe use
- Medium priced
- A little challenging to clean due to two blades
BruArcher Premier Pizza Cutter Stainless Steel 14″ Heavy Duty Rocker Style Blade – Cheap mezzaluna knife
This is a heavy-duty, professional-grade mezzaluna from BruArcher. The brand claims to have produced its design after conferring with chefs and holders of the best restaurants. Thus, this is a high-quality knife featuring top features expected from a top-notch consumer product.
It is big and strong. The blade is 14 inches long due to which it can easily cut through a pizza diameter of 12 inches quite smoothly. It is very, very sharp.
Although a pizza cutter whose quality is similar to what is being used in an authentic pizza café in a medieval Tuscan hamlet, it is well suited for chopping other ingredients too. These ingredients could be toppings, such as herbs and nuts.
This knife is a multipurpose tool that you also use to mince spices or slice through the frozen desserts and veggies. BruArcher is known for its top-quality stainless steel of kitchen-grade in its mezzaluna. It is the steel that is made in the FDA-approved labs.
The rocker tool comes with the standard two handles residing vertically on the blade’s extreme ends. They are composed of tough plastic to ensure longevity. Their build is such that you can have a comfortable grip while using the knife. You also use it safely without worrying about accidental slips.
You can easily wash it using water, soap, and sponge. It is also dishwasher-friendly.
- Sturdy, heavy-duty construction
- Premium quality, FDA-approved steel
- Large size for fun-filled cutting
- 100% satisfaction guarantee by the brand
- Very affordable
- A bit awkward for some due to its heaviness
The knife with a half-moon-shaped blade and contorted handles at each end is a simple tool in terms of design. Its design was earlier when there were no food processors, and when the cooks at home lacked knife skills equal to that of a chef in a restaurant kitchen.
The mezzaluna’s simple blade is rounded, long, and very sharp enough to chop with matchless efficiency. You can quickly shred a basil bunch to green traces, slice dry nuts into bits, and reduce pecan nuts to fine pellets.
Yes, it is true that a food processor can perform these jobs and that you may have invested a substantial amount of money on it. However, a mezzaluna surpasses a food processor by delivering extraordinarily. The knife chops herbs into coarse pieces and nuts unevenly. Thus, it provides the organic warmness of cooking at home instead of a machine’s consistent results. You can even chop almonds in just a few seconds without washing a blade and other three parts of a machine. Above all, you can do so with hardly a pause from other jobs in the kitchen.
The mezzaluna handles rock the crescent blade forth and back over a cutting surface to chop the ingredients per move. Unlike a chef’s knife whose belly is not that big, rocking is less smooth and tends to push ingredients, making them out of reach, a mezzaluna grabs the ingredients properly at each end.
This ensures that none of them go outside the rocking path. It is also easy to change directions. In the case of not-so-sharp knife skills, you only have to increase your speed for using this knife efficiently.
The dual handles and the arched cutting edge trigger a seesaw motion. The blade keeps going in this motion with the least effort due to the applied momentum. It is evident that the larger the blade, the more it can process.
Mezzalunas tend to differ in terms of both size and quality. While it is true that you may not use it as frequently as a chef’s knife, it is wise to invest in its high-quality blade.
It is recommended not to go with a small mezzaluna, as it is tough to maneuver it. For chopping little herbs, you are less likely to use a mezzaluna. This is because you can do the same with a regular chef’s knife.
Moreover, the small mezzalunas are not that efficient for chopping something similar to a cup of nuts. A long blade is required to chop them efficiently.
The best models come with heavy and strong blades coupled with comfortable handles. Due to the trend of chopped salads, this knife has undergone a bit of a revival.
Do you want to mince a big mound of herbs in a couple of seconds? If yes, this curvaceous knife is just made for it! Wish to reduce a pile of walnuts and a slab of chocolate to small pieces? A mezzaluna is just for it!
Cannot meticulously shred lettuce? A mezzaluna will hop through all its layers for you to assemble freshly chopped veggies for a salad in minutes. All this will happen without pulling out a food processor and washing its parts.
With this curved knife, it is easy to obtain different textures at the time of chopping nuts, vegetables, and herbs. For getting the desired texture, you only have to repeat the rocking movement.
The mezzalunas are in use since the 18th century for both chopping and mincing. They are also used as a pizza cutter. Initially, the knife was introduced for mincing garlic, herbs, leafy veggies, nuts, and other ingredients for making Italian sauces such as salsa and pesto.
Its big and sharp blade is capable of dicing even hard cheese and vegetables. It performs these tasks without allowing your fingertips to get close to the cutting edge.
While a chef’s knife is a better option for chopping most items, a mezzaluna is the best tool for chopping a lot of herbs at once, as it is easier on the hands.
You can use it for finely mincing the fillings for pastries and pasta. The knife yields a good consistency such that it is possible to taste the individual ingredients. For pizza lovers, this knife performs a killer job by cutting a medium pepperoni into slices.
A traditional mezzaluna features one or more crescent-shaped blades with a handle at each end. Thus, you need to use it with your both hands.
The models with dual blades are known to cut twice the quantity of ingredients without taking any extra time. On the flip side, the ingredients are likely to get jammed between the blades. However, there is a solution.
If you wish to go with this model, find the one with blades far apart to keep jamming at bay. There should be a minimum of an inch of space between the two edges to allow ingredients to drop quickly below without being stuck.
You may think that it is okay to use your finger between the two sharp blades for removing the stuck stuff. However, it is wise to avoid doing so. It is rather better to use a spoon, a spatula, or a knife to dislodge the jammed bits.
Mostly, there is a single blade, but it is also becoming common to see models with two or three blades. Yes, there are mezzalunas with double and triple blades.
These additional blades tend to accelerate your speed. However, there are a few limitations. While chopping dried apricots, the fruit is likely to lodge between the blades, which requires you to halt and push it out. This is the first limitation.
When you chop nuts, you will find that it chops those at the center of the cutting board too finely. In other words, you will get powder in the middle and coarse pieces around the edges.
At times, you may also come across mezzalunas with just one handle extending between the blade ends. These are not our favorites, as they do not initiate the same broad rocking motion and are awkward to use. Thus, they are tough to maneuver.
These are usually referred to as the single blade, single handle versions that are often accompanied by a wooden chopping bowl, or a flat cutting board having a concave area for cutting.
It is essential to give time for a little practice, to effectively mince small amounts of herbs and nuts.
Still, the single-handle models cannot compete even closer with those standard two-hander ones in terms of speed, efficiency, and comfortable use. However, a few people enjoy them.
Single-handed models can be ideal for small households. They may feature dual blades, but the items on target tend to jam up because of their short length. Thus, you should be very patient to use one of these mezzaluna versions.
When it comes to curved knives, those with just one blade is traditional in Alaska. They are not the standard mezzalunas, as they are made exclusively for one-hand usage. They are used for chopping nuts and herbs.
How to Choose the Best Mezzaluna Knife for You
Knowing the standard features that make up a typical mezzaluna knife is essential for buying an authentic piece. It just helps you in choosing the right model as per your requirements. So, let’s check out now!
The Characteristic Design: Single Blade and Two Handles
A classic mezzaluna has big but cozy handles on the sides, which ensure good grip and power for rocking through large mounds of items. They allow you to change the rocking direction on demand without lifting them.
The suitable blade length and sharp cutting edge allow you to apply only the lightest pressure to direct the motion to result in crisp cuts. The double handles ensure you superb control on any cutting surface, which keeps the items at a target inside the cutting zone.
Precise outcomes are accomplished easily through only a touch to a rocking rhythm. This ease of use is appealing to those having issues in arms, fingers, or hands. This is because it puts little to no stress on the disordered joints.
Indeed, the pressure is equally dispersed between the limbs. Besides, if there is an extra-long blade, it is more fun and easier to slice a big pizza made at home.
Thus, the first thing to check while purchasing a mezzaluna or a herb chopper is the number of blades. Although having more blades means more speed, they are infamous due to the issue of stuck food in between.
If you get quickly irritated with this issue, it is ideal to have a single blade. However, if swiftness is your priority, choose a model with two blades with sufficient space between blades.
The thin and sharp blade of a mezzaluna is usually made up of stainless steel, although the traditional versions confine themselves to high carbon steel. Such curved blades are likely to be anywhere between 5 and 14 inches.
The shorter blades are fine for small jobs. In other words, they are ideal for processing small quantities or a few ingredients. On the flip side, they are just not that effective for chopping harder or larger ingredients such as chocolates, nuts, whole lettuce heads, and cheese.
For handling these items, you need a long blade that is capable of ensuring more clearance. Further, a longer blade means more power for slicing thicker pieces cleanly.
In short, for handling more volume of denser or larger items, go for a greater length. This will ensure you more efficiency. Otherwise, a small blade offering greater agility is fine for mincing small herb batches.
You will find mezzalunas with polished wooden handles. The wood material is typically known for its striking visual appeal. However, it is somewhat infamous for its risk of being slippery at times. You will be able to experience this even in the case of handles made up of a metal such as stainless steel.
The only exception, and so recommended, are the wooden or metallic handles with added texture. Apart from that, those made using rubber or food-safe, hardened plastic ensure you the best grip. They are also easy to clean and capable of resisting stains.
Mezzalunas with synthetic handles are indeed highly stable. For having a long-lasting blade, blades made up of quality stainless steel simply suffice.
A few mezzalunas come with handles that tend to fold on their own for compact storage. Thus, regardless of the material you choose, it is wise to look for an ergonomic build that provides a secure grip.
You can even choose one- or two-handed models. The latter models are ideal for high-volume chopping, as the design is supportive of the rocking motion.
Nevertheless, if you need to slice pizza or dice herbs occasionally, a single handle is fine due to its controlled motion. Such models are also easier to store when not in use.
Why Do You Need a Concave Cutting Board?
For making the best use of a mezzaluna, it is worth having a cutting board featuring a concave dent or a shallow wooden bowl. In its absence, the herbs will fly across the cutting area.
It is okay to use this knife on a standard cutting board. You can use any cutting board, such as those made up of bamboo or rubber.
However, it is vital to know that there are specially designed boards. A few of them are flat and have a big round hollow. The specialty boards come with the shape of a scooped-out bowl in the middle for accommodating the bits being cut.
An indented board is better. The bigger it is, the better it is.
The indentation is usually 12.5 inches wide as well as shallow. This ensures that there is ample space to work with the knife.
The scooped boards are okay to use. However, they have a few limitations. In the case of concave boards, it is a thumb rule to have a larger size for better performance. If the indented surface is just 8 inches in width, using a 12-inch blade is going to be problematic while accommodating inside the bowl.
Thus, in case you are buying the blade and board individually, ensure that the bowl has a bigger diameter than the length of the blade. A concave board needs to be reasonably shallow for supporting the full rocking motion.
It is also vital to note that the scooped boards are just ideal for handling small quantities of items. Some models are shipped with a wooden chopping bowl. Do not get carried away by the bowls that do not facilitate a proper rocking motion. They end up rocking with the knife.
The mincing knives shipped with a bowl for a cutting surface are not recommended. The notion of chopping into the container may sound tempting.
However, in reality, the rocking motion will make the bowl move such that you will be chasing it across the counter. As a result, efficiency and speed tend to decrease.
A traditional mezzaluna is designed for use with both hands, as there are two handles and one or more blades. This makes it clear that the knife is not meant for all cutting jobs in the kitchen.
If you love making sauces with finely minced items, baking dried fruits and nuts, chopping veggies for salads, and making the mirepoix flavor base, you will surely love to have this exclusive knife to the knife collection for your kitchen.
Consider a mezzaluna as a convenient alternative to a food processor or a chef’s knife for mincing herbs, baking items, or chopping veggies for making salads. They are not only comfortable but also fun to use and are economical. You should choose the one that seems to fulfill your requirements. In case of any confusion, consider trying all forms and versions.