The cheese knife is not always the most effective device for slicing cheese since semi-soft cheese is difficult to slice with a knife, soft cheese is impossible and only hard cheese can be effectively cut. Some cheese knives do work well for the harder varieties of cheese and often are equiped with a split or forked blade that can be used to stab pieces of cheese, fruits, cherries, or other condiments and can be used as a dual purpose knife, such as a bar knife.
A second type of cheese slicer is a broad metal slicer with an downward "plane-like" slicing blade cut into the slicer plane to provide a more effective tool for slicing individual pieces from a large block. Often considered to be a Scandinavian cheese slicer, this metal slicer is also best used for hard cheeses, slicing off thin pieces that can be place in sandwiches or served as an appetizer.
A third type of cheese slicer are those with a wire or wires connected to metal arms and connectors that hold the wire taut in order to easily slice through blocks of cheese. A roller may also be added parallel to the wire to assist with easily moving and maintaining the direction and width of the slice as the cheese is cut. Dual wire slicers are made so that one wire is placed close to the slicer shaft and the other slightly further away from the shaft. This allows two different widths of cheese to be sliced for serving. Although this type of slicer may not work well on very hard cheeses, it is effective at slicing semi-hard to very soft types of cheese.