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The Ultimate Guide to Safely and Effortlessly Cutting Bagels

The safest and easiest way to cut your bagels

Bagels are a popular breakfast staple known for their delicious taste and versatile flavor options. However, if not handled properly, cutting a bagel can be a risky endeavor. To ensure safety and precision, it’s important to know the proper technique for cutting bagels. In this article, we will explore the safest and easiest way to cut your bagels, whether you prefer to use special tools or your trusty kitchen knives.

Why cutting bagels can be tricky

Before we dive into cutting techniques, let’s understand why bagels can be difficult to cut properly. Unlike other types of bread, bagels are typically cooked before baking. This process gives them a chewy interior and a crispy exterior, which makes them incredibly delicious, but also more difficult to cut.
The dense texture and round shape of bagels can make them prone to rolling or slipping during the cutting process. This instability, coupled with the risk of using a sharp knife, can lead to accidents and potential injuries. That’s why it’s important to use the safest methods when cutting bagels.

Option 1: Bagel Slicer or Bagel Cutter

If you prefer to use specialized tools to simplify the cutting process and increase safety, a bagel slicer or bagel guillotine can be a great investment. These devices are designed to hold the bagel securely in place while a sharp blade effortlessly slices through it.
Both bagel slicers and guillotines are similar in shape and operation. To use them, you place the bagel in the device and push down on the handle, allowing the blade to cut evenly through the bagel. Some models even have safety guards for extra finger protection.
By choosing a bagel slicer or guillotine, you eliminate the need to handle a knife directly, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring consistent, perfectly sliced bagels every time.

Option 2: Cut bagels with kitchen knives

If you prefer not to invest in additional kitchen gadgets or simply enjoy the art of using traditional tools, you can achieve the same precision and safety by using your ordinary kitchen knives. It all comes down to proper technique and following a few simple steps.
1. Lay the bagel flat: Place the bagel on a flat surface, such as a cutting board or countertop. This will provide stability and prevent the bagel from rolling or slipping during the cutting process.
2. Position the knife: Hold a serrated knife in your dominant hand and position it in the middle of the side of the bagel. Make sure the knife is parallel to the flat surface of the bagel.
3. Make a horizontal cut: Using gentle pressure, make a horizontal cut until you reach approximately the center of the bagel or the hole in the center. This initial cut will help create a stable base for the subsequent slices.
4. Stand the bagel upright: Without removing the knife, stand the bagel on its side. Hold the top of the bagel firmly to prevent it from moving during slicing.
5. Complete the cut: Push the knife through the bagel, moving vertically downward until it reaches the cutting board. By maintaining a steady grip on the bagel and applying controlled pressure, the knife should move through the bagel smoothly and effortlessly.
Following this technique ensures that you have complete control over the cutting process, minimizes the risk of accidents, and still produces beautifully sliced bagels.


Cutting bagels doesn’t have to be a dangerous task. With the right techniques, you can slice your favorite breakfast treat safely and easily. Whether you choose to use a bagel slicer or your kitchen knives, the key is to prioritize safety, stability, and precision. With a little practice and the knowledge shared in this article, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly sliced bagels with confidence. Happy slicing!


Why is it important to cut bagels safely?

Cutting bagels safely is important to avoid potential injuries and accidents when using sharp knives. By following proper techniques, you can protect yourself and enjoy the process of making delicious bagels.

Can I use an ordinary knife to cut bagels?

Yes, you can use an ordinary kitchen knife to cut bagels. However, it’s important to use a serrated knife to ensure a clean and precise cut through the dense texture of the bagel.

Are bagel slicers or guillotines worth the investment?

Bagel slicers or guillotines can be a convenient option for those who enjoy bagels frequently and value safety and efficiency. They provide stability and eliminate the need for direct knife handling, resulting in consistent and evenly sliced bagels.

How do I keep the bagel from rolling or slipping during cutting?

To prevent the bagel from rolling or slipping, lay the bagel flat on a cutting board or countertop. This provides a stable surface and reduces the risk of accidents. Also, holding the top of the bagel while cutting helps maintain control.

Should I remove the knife after the first horizontal cut?

No, you should not remove the knife after the initial horizontal cut. Leaving the knife in place and standing the bagel on its side allows for a more controlled and consistent cut, resulting in a cleaner cut through the bagel.

Can I use these cutting techniques on any type of bagel?

Yes, these cutting techniques can be applied to any type of bagel, whether it’s plain, seeded, flavored or filled. The key is to maintain stability and follow the proper cutting steps for consistent and safe results.

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