Updated: May 13, 2019
Although I am good at many different things, and consider myself an experienced soap maker, I have a weakness: cutting straight lines. I am absolutely terrible at cutting straight lines and steer clear of anything that requires me to cut evenly, including knives, scissors, and even letter openers. I was never any good at sewing because I could never cut the fabric evenly and don’t even get me started on paper cutting. Unfortunately, soap making requires a lot of cutting and its essential to the craft.
If you asked me to cut a loaf of soap by hand, you might as well get prepared to rebatch the entire thing because every bar would come out uneven. True story: I was recently on a trip and made the “Sweet Pink Peony” soap. I spent a lot of money and a lot of time on the recipe and design, but because I was on vacation, I didn’t have my soap cutter with me. I thought to myself, “I can do this; I have an excellent cutting knife," which was borrowed from the hotel kitchen. The short story is that I failed miserably. I got 2 “regular” size bars, and the rest had to be rebatched. Luckily, I got some good photos out of it though!
If you Google “Soap Cutter” you will find many different single-arm cutters ranging from $75-$200 (and that doesn’t even include shipping!). That is a sizeable expense, especially for beginners and budget soap makers. Although many of these cutters are wonderful and useful tools, they are not only expensive, but they are also large, bulky, and take up a lot of space.... and did I mention expensive yet?
Soap makers often think that they need to spend thousands of dollars to have professional soap making tools, including a professional soap cutter, but this simply isn’t true. At The Ultimate Guide to Hot Process Soap, we believe that quality soap making tools, and supplies should be accessible and affordable for all soap makers, not just the Pros.
For less than $15, you can have a professional-quality soap cutter delivered to your door from an online retailer like Amazon, or you can drive to your local culinary or home store and pick one up today.
Wait… they sell soap cutters at Walmart? Nope! However, they do sell cheese cutters. Yep! You heard me! A cheese cutter and single-arm professional soap cutter work and cut exactly the same way, with the same precision, but with some other exciting features as well. Cheese cutters are inexpensive, lightweight, compact, and they can easily be transported and stored in a small drawer. They also don’t have expensive shipping fees, and they don’t require long wait times while they are custom made. You can find a cheese cutter at any cooking store, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Amazon, Walmart and more.
To make my cheese cutter even more efficient (and goof-proof), I screwed in a piece of wood along the side to keep my soap straight while cutting. This acts as a sort of “bumper” and prevents the soap from moving. You can easily do this with a piece of scrap wood, although it is not necessary if you happen to be more proficient at cutting than I am. You can also use washi tape or a permanent marker to mark your desired soap widths to ensure that you get an even, same-sized cut every time. I have used the same cheese cutter for years and have cut thousands of bars with it. It has been the same cutter that we use for our Eat-Sleep-Soap donation soap bars, which has been over 7,000 bars and counting!
Soap making does not have to be an expensive hobby. Get creative and learn to work with the tools you have around you!