I haven't been able to find a post specifically on fluted knives, so hopefully this isn't a duplicate.

I was wondering if fluted knives actually work. I came across a comment (possibly an Amazon review) that fluted knives don't actually help in preventing vegetables from sticking to the knife -- causing the user to have to still have to stop and remove the cut product.

I've never used a fluted knife, so I literally have no idea. I was wondering what the general consensus on SA was: Have you noticed that a fluted knife makes enough of a difference to purchase the fluted version of a particular knife over the non-fluted version?

  • Since both of the questions have good answers, maybe they can be merged instead of one being closed as a dupe.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 22:19

6 Answers 6


I am assuming by "fluted knife", you mean what is sometimes called a granton or hollow edge knife, where there are indentations in the blade intended to reduce sticking or adhesion to the food:

enter image description here

Except in very specific circumstances, this feature makes very little difference, those circumstances being:

  • Carving large roasts
  • Cutting large and tough vegetables such as certain squashes

For most use, it simply doesn't matter. In fact, the thickness of the blade tends to have more of an effect than the voids in most cases.

Except in the specific case of a slicing knife (which is a specialty knife that most beginning cooks have no need for; you have also in other questions indicated you are a vegetarian where this knife is primarily for slicing hams and other large roasts), this is not a feature I would look for:

enter image description here

  • Is the reduction in sticking not relevant for slicing vegetables? A lot of things stick to blades, not just squash.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 20:25
  • 3
    Its not that it wouldn't be relevent so much as it makes little difference. The adhesion due to moisture is going to happen anyway; the granton hallows are more for the blade binding within a large object, like a saw stuck in a log.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 20:26

This is a pretty intricate question and my answer is based on what I have read and personal experience. If I understand correctly, knives with dimples or scallops are supposed to create more air space between the knife and the food, thus reducing adhesion and making release of the food easier. This seems to be the reason most stated for an advantage of this kind of knife.

The deeper or larger the scallops are, the more effectively the knife is supposed to work, as there is less contact with food. I find that slicing motions across the food are more effective than straight cuts down to the board. (However, I find this to be true with any knife when slicing foods that adhere to the blade.)

As you stated, even though you have upgraded and added knives to your collection, you usually reach for your Wusthof. We have knives of all types, from fairly cheap to pretty expensive. We do the same thing -- reach for those trusty favorites.

I find that as long as a knife is kept sharp and it feels good in your hand, it doesn't really matter otherwise. And back to your original question, we have several knives with scallops or the granton edge, with those being some of the more expensive knives we own. As far as performance, I don't think we've yet seen any advantage to them. (Sometimes on the first slice or two the food releases more easily, but after that I can't really tell any difference.)

I don't know if this qualifies for an ideal answer and I'm sure that there are many others with more knowledge of the science behind this. But, I do think that as long as you are using an appropriate type of knife for your task and it feels good in your hand, you can't go wrong.


It depends on what you're cutting

It also depends on how deep the channel is.

The purpose of the channels is to reduce the surface area of the knife that comes into contact with the food you're cutting. The lower that surface area, the lower the friction for cutting.

There are a number of ways to reduce surface area:

  • Use channels
  • Use a shorter blade
  • Use a midline spine or convex blade geometry
  • Use a larger edge bevel angle
  • ...and more

Channels can be effective for cutting hard products (e.g. hard cheese or vegetables) where the food product is rigid enough that it won't bend into the channels after it is cut. On the other hand, channels are less effective with products like large chunks of meat where the product will tend to fill in the channel because it's elastic.

Cutting technique also makes a difference to channel effectiveness. If you are using a drawing motion while cutting (i.e. drawing the blade across the product), that will tend to increase the effectiveness of channels because you are not giving the product enough time to reform around the channel so the surface area of contact remains small. That is why carving knives often have channels in them...the slicing movement works well with channels.


I was very pleased to find this discussion. It confirms what I'd always suspected; that for fine slicing you can't beat a good, thin, flexible and flat blade.

I'll add that fluted/scalloped/Granton blades can be a hindrance for wafer-thin slicing. That's because the food undulates as the blade passes through, and so you're likely to end up with shattered little flakes instead of delicately thin slices.

The only exception in my experience is Gouda and Edam cheeses, which are sufficiently plastic to benefit from the science involved. If you're a Dutch cheesemonger, then go for it.


Ahhhh!!!, I answered once in more detail and it deleted because inwasnt signed in!! The wells (not scallops- that makes me think bread knife). Are supposed to capture fluid and make for smoother slicing. Though, a Santoku should have a different angle of sharpened edge than a "western" edge. So you may lose slicing ability in your inability to properly sharpen. A nice knife but it doesn't replace my 6" chef's knife.

  • You can improve your answer by shortening to the facts. Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 22:21

Flutes certainly work, but they were not initially intended for retail consumption.

They were specifically designed for butchers and processing slaughterhouses to reduce both drag and adhesion of the meat to the blade, and in turn should theoretically increase yield given accuracy of the targeted cut while removing less unsalable parts to maximize overall retained weight of the meat slab being processed.

50kg slab of meat can't be increased in mass and instead has to be trimmed down by removing unwanted parts of fat/sinew/cap/etc. If a skilled butcher with a fluted knife can trim fat/sinew/cap more accurately, then the potential increase in overall weight on a yield basis by X % over the course of a work shift is compounded over an entire year by that butcher on the factory line.

Retailer consumers buy meat per lb/kg while Meat Processors sell meat per lb/kg.

Meat processing plants are ensuring the meat appears to be the best quality possible, while trying to sell as much of the meat slab as possible during the trimming process. People will buy meat with cap/fat/sinew/tendon/bone to a certain extent with tolerance.

The processing plant tries to sell all parts of the animal as much as possible given they pay for the whole animal at X dollar amount per KG, but have to absorb losses during trim process for retail packaging purposes.

Breakdown illustration:

Butcher A with Butcher Knife: 50kg slab of meat removes 6kg of unsalable material, leaving 44kg at $10.00/per kg to sell.

Butcher B with Fluted Butcher knife: 50kg slab of meat removes 5kg of unsalable material, leaving 45kg at $10.00/per kg to sell.

The extra $10 per kilogram begins to add up at slaughterhouse/processing plant as a butcher in 8-10 hour shift may work with a million dollars of meat, depending on the grade and quality. If a butcher can increase overall retained yield by 1% to sell at market, it's an additional $10,000 produced by that sole worker, per shift.

That's the original concept behind fluted knives.

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