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The Best Bread Lames

For the best-looking bread, you need the right scoring tool.


Published Oct. 27, 2022.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

The best lames score bread dough nicely and are easy to use and grip in different ways. They also make it easy to attach and remove blades. Our all-around favorite lame is the Baker of Seville Artisan Bread Lame. It’s a cinch to configure and can be held comfortably in different ways. Best of all, it can be adjusted so that the blade is either curved or straight, making it a great option for both simple and complex scoring alike. For the most intricate scoring, we also love the Wire Monkey UFO Bread Journey. It’s a little tricky to attach and remove blades on this lame, but it provides unparalleled control for the most detailed designs. 

What You Need to Know

When you’re making crusty white or sourdough bread, it’s important to score, or cut, the dough before baking. Scoring is first and foremost functional: It allows your bread to expand properly, in a predetermined way, as it bakes. If you don’t score your dough, the loaf will develop odd ruptures and blowouts as the moisture inside it heats up. But scoring is also decorative: Cutting lines, patterns, or shapes in the dough will give your finished loaf an attractive, professional-quality look.

You can score dough using any sharp blade; a paring or even utility knife will do. But if you bake a lot of bread, it’s worth getting a dedicated tool called a lame, which can make the task easier and the results better-looking. The word “lame” (pronounced lahm) means blade in French, and indeed, a lame is basically a razor blade attached to a holder. This particular type of razor blade is much thinner and sharper than any other blade you might use, so it slices through sticky dough far more nimbly, dragging less and creating cleaner, more well-defined lines.

We tested a variety of lames on different types of bread doughs to see which features mattered. Here’s what we learned.

What to Look For:

  • Easy Blade Attachment/Removal: Because a lame’s blade is incredibly sharp, we prefer to handle it as little as possible when attaching it to or removing it from the holder, the better to avoid cutting ourselves. Some lames required fussy, finicky, or slightly risky tinkering to attach the blade; we liked models that made the process simple, quick, and safe.
  • A Holder That Exposes Both Cutting Edges of the Blade: When scoring, we generally cut with the top corner of the blade. We preferred models that exposed both sides of the blade, as these were easy for both righties and lefties to use. Straight blades that were exposed on both sides had an added advantage: they were also more convenient for users of either dexterity. Once one corner got dull or gunked up by dough, we could simply flip the ...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Miye Bromberg

Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.