The bread knife is a staple within most western kitchens. At first glance, they look quite similar to other kitchen knives, until you notice that the blade actually has a different edge.
These blades are highly serrated along the entirety of the knife. This is what allows bread knives to cut bread, cake, or other similar foods without compressing the material or ruining it’s original shape.
For example, if you were to use a knife with a flat blade, such as a santoku knife, then it would crush and flatten the bread as you tried to cut it. This is because bread is soft in the middle, yet a bit crunchy on the outside. Due to this, the outside requires more pressure to cut then the inside does, which results in the soft inner portion compacting.
A bread knife is also usually quite long. This gives it plenty of other uses such as cutting bagels, cakes, pastries, or other foods with similar qualities.