I am trying to make a salad but I can't find a knife at my work. Is there a way I can cut the tomato without a knife?

  • Any sharp, relative "hard" plastic parts - like a credit card or a thinnner card? Clean paper (drawback: can be used only for one slice :D )? Oct 28, 2014 at 13:45
  • 6
    I wish you luck getting answers, but frankly, a chef is the last person likely to have experience with what to do when there are no knives at his workplace.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 28, 2014 at 13:52
  • scissors? Box cutter? cutting edge on a box for a roll of plasic wrap or tin foil or wrapping paper?
    – Jolenealaska
    Oct 28, 2014 at 14:06
  • Where do you work?
    – moscafj
    Oct 28, 2014 at 14:18
  • 2
    If you're really desperate... your teeth?
    – talon8
    Oct 28, 2014 at 16:16

4 Answers 4


I'd just cut it at home that morning and bring it. If that didn't work out, I'd bring a pocketknife.

I'm sure you can kludge things, but really, ripe tomatoes are one of the worst things to try to cut with a dull knife. It's so easy to make a mess of them, juice everywhere. And even if your tomatoes aren't that ripe, this still seems easier.

(And if I ended up at work with a salad and a whole tomato and no knife somehow, I'd probably just eat it like an apple while I ate the rest of my salad with a fork.)


Gossamer thread works great if you have any handy. Baring that almost any kind of thread will do the job with the right back and forth motion. The tricky part is you usually need three hands for this method.

More likely to be present at most workplaces is paper. Card stock is best, but any weight paper will do if you pull it tight (much like the thread above).

Baring that, bust open your wallet and put your plastic to work. Credit cards are a bit thick, but you could hack at a tomato with one.

If all else fails, order in pizza. It almost always comes with plastic knives. Give the pizza to a co-worker that isn't so hot on salad and keep the plastic-ware for your own use.

  • 1
    Non-flavored dental floss works well too. Not only for this application, but for cutting cheesecake, also. Oct 28, 2014 at 16:24
  • 1
    You'll have to score the tough skin before the thread works. And paper will soak through and become uselessly limp before the tomato is cut.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 28, 2014 at 18:11

I'm seriously questioning suggestions to use common non-foodie objects like office scissors, business cards, keys(!), rulers and fingernails to cut tomatoes. Can you imagine the amount of dirt on those things? If your office does not have a knife, does it have the required facilities to properly clean the above tools to use them for cutting food?

Don't get me wrong, I'm far from a germaphobe and will gladly eat a "just-from-the-field" tomato without washing, but I would rather bite into it than cut it with random office tools.

Cutting it beforehand is a reasonable suggestion, but depending on what kind of tomato you have, it may not be optimal. The better (ripe, tasty, juicy) tomatoes are best eaten right away after cutting, otherwise they will start release juices and will become more soggy and unappetizing.

  • I personally keep a bottle of isopropyl alcohol in my office to clean and disinfect things, but then again, I also tend to have at least one pocket knife on me at all times ... unless I'm going through an airport or to the courthouse.
    – Joe
    Oct 30, 2014 at 20:13

It's hard to imagine any workplace where you cannot find a plastic knife or the like but here goes: Scissors, business cards, keys, sharp fingernails, rulers, the pocket tab of pen caps, the pen itself can be used to stab a hole through which can then be widened with fingers.

  • Apparently button factories prohibit having a knife (see @philip's user info) :D Oct 28, 2014 at 17:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.