Unitasker Wednesday: Even more elaborate butter cutters

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

We believed the Butter Cutter was quite the ridiculous unitasker when we featured it back in October of 2007. Little did we know that there were even larger and messier competitors in the non-knife butter cutting market. Behold the Gourmet Butter Mate and the One Click Butter Cutter:

I am 100 percent serious when I say that I don’t understand why someone would prefer to use one of these devices instead of a knife. A knife is relatively small, dishwasher safe, and can be used to cut hundreds upon hundreds of things. Neither of these devices can be used to cut anything other than butter and they’re huge and made up of many plastic parts and complete overkill and … well, you get the picture.

In comparison, these two devices make the original Butter Cutter we featured feel much less like a unitasker.

39 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Even more elaborate butter cutters”

  1. posted by TMS on

    What I don’t understand is once you’ve cut your butter onto your toast as per the picture you need a knife to spread it.

  2. posted by Karyn on

    Not to mention that the second item is tacky looking and butt-ugly, destined to end up in the “FREE!” box at a garage sale near you. A nice cut-glass butter dish–or any nice butter dish that coordinates with your kitchen style–is much more pleasant to view at the breakfast table.

    By the way, the cheap little paring knives that come in packages of two for about a buck cut lovely, neat, thin slices of butter to put the Tacky Butt-ugly Device to shame.

  3. posted by Marie on

    If your butter is so hard that you can easily cut it like in the picture, you’re going to punch a hole in the bread when you try to spread it.

  4. posted by luxcat5 on

    “If your butter is so hard that you can easily cut it like in the picture, you’re going to punch a hole in the bread when you try to spread it”

    I’m sure that the Post-ButterCutter Butter-Mate Warming Device is on its way to a store near you…

  5. posted by Dawn F on

    Plastic, plastic, plastic.

    Ugh.

  6. posted by Allison on

    I can’t wait to read replies from people defending this one! I. Just. Don’t. Understand. I bake a lot and often need to soften butter quickly. I frequently need a tablespoon or two of butter. Miraculously, I am able to use a plain ‘ole knife and bang presto have portioned butter!

  7. posted by Amy on

    Yeah, and I’m sure clean-up’s a breeze ;)

  8. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    Just realized I forgot to thank reader Bill for tipping us off to the One Click Butter Cutter featured in today’s article. Thank you, Bill!

  9. posted by Kalani on

    So one thing that is completely ignored by these devices is that butter sticks are slightly different proportions in different parts of the country. On the west coast they are slightly longer and thinner, and on the East coast they are slightly shorter and fatter. Same size, ultimately, and the difference in proportion is slight. But are these east coast or west coast butter cutters? And do I need one of each in case I move?

  10. posted by Celeste on

    Pros:
    1. Perfect portion control for careful diets and frugal living.
    2. No toast crumbs in the butter.
    3. Store it full and use to drop butter pats into dishes one-handedly as you cook.

    I think if you cut the pats off ahead of time they’d soften a lot but you’d still need the knife to spread them. Note that these are pros I can think of for somebody else; I much prefer soft butter at the table. A butter bell is a unitasker but it’s decorative and keeps the butter soft and ready to spread.

  11. posted by Elizabeth on

    Well, I can see it’s applications in a restaurant setting…

    At home, never in a million years. But when serving large amounts of food quickly if you don’t want to purchase the little individual pats of butter, it could be a money saver. Of course, most places give you butter in a little plastic thing on the side, and that stuff is never as good.

  12. posted by Lori Paximadis on

    Kalani has a good point, and I’ll add that butter sticks have a third configuration: in Hawaii, they’re squat and fat, maybe three inches long by about an inch and a half square or so. Still a quarter pound or half cup, but in a stick with different dimensions. (One of the many common foods that come in “odd” form out there.)

  13. posted by Dawn on

    It’s funny how people think they are doing themselves a favor by getting a gadget like this one (and many others) by thinking “this will save me so much time…”, when in the long run it will take longer because I’m sure it takes an act of Congress to clean this thing out – wasting more time, energy and water in the process, ya know?

  14. posted by Celeste on

    @Lori: Cooks Illustrated had an article on why butter is sold in two different sizes in the US. It comes down to an east/west difference. Butter processed in the eastern states is longer, butter processed in the west is shorter. It has to do with the equipment used. A possible explanation given was that the equipment needed to do it the eastern way was not available and/or could not be shipped west, so somebody made a new one that made a different shape and its use proliferated out west.

    I really hate the butter at restaurants that is patted into paper and cardboard. If it gets too warm it melts away and it can pick up off flavors much more easily. I like the ones wrapped in foil.

  15. posted by David on

    Actually, you should thank Jez for pointing out the One Click Butter Cutter in the comments section of the Butter Cutter posting (dated 12/10/07) :-)

  16. posted by Allison on

    Interestingly, some brands of butter here on the East Coast (I live in Virginia) are long and narrow and some are short and fat. I hope Whole Foods isn’t trucking in their short and fat butter from the West Coast.

  17. posted by Pat on

    I can usually think of some defense or multiple use of a Unitasker Wednesday but… nope, I got nothin’.

    Woah, but looking at the Amazon reviews, people seem to love it. (And not all of them look fake ;)

    I guess it depends on how butter-intensive your life is!

  18. posted by Karyn on

    So what kind of butter sticks do we have in the Midwest? Is it a Continental Divide thing?

    P.S. – No crumbs get in the butter if people learn to use their own knives for spreading their butter on their toast. ;-) The knife in the butter dish is for serving, only.

    (I’m not generally a pedantic formal-manners type, but c’mon, it’s common sense… not that kids–including middle-aged “kids”–see it that way.)

  19. posted by CCherry on

    @Karyn- here in Colorado, just a short drive to the Continental Divide, we have both shapes of butter. Guess that’s why I’ve always prefered the midwest- the best of both worlds.

  20. posted by Rosey on

    We have both shapes here, too, and I’m in SC [home of the latest disgraces to national politics.]

    Actually, most people here use the long skinny kind. I’m vegan and I use the short fat margarine.

  21. posted by Brandon Green on

    Thems some beautiful-looking butter patties.

  22. posted by Sasha on

    Well as someone from a family with people with food intolerances and allergies I can see how this would prevent cross-contamination by keeping crumbs out of the butter. So I do see a specific, if somewhat limited application.

  23. posted by knitwych on

    Thanks for the laugh. I saw something similar to this today while I was browsing at Bed, Bath & Beyond (where MANY unitaskers live).

    Re: the crumbs in the butter thing…my great-grandmother taught me to take a portion of whatever I’m scooping out (butter, jelly, honey, etc.) and apply it to the edge of my plate, *then* use that portion to apply to my food. Result: No crumbs in the communal condiment. I think this may be a Southern U.S. thing and a British thing, because the only other people I’ve seen do this are from the U.K. It took me years to break my Ohio-born boyfriend to this habit. I cannot abide crumbs in the butter bell (which is, as one poster pointed out, a unitasker, but oh such a worthwhile one!)

  24. posted by Beth Frede on

    Did it truly NEVER occur to the Butter Cutter inventor that his/her invention was simply more trouble than help?

  25. posted by Laurie on

    But…but…but *look* at that perfect pat of butter! Perfection, I tell you! :)

  26. posted by Doug on

    I’m actually going to defend this a little. It stores AND cuts butter! It would be nice to have one of these locked and loaded in the fridge so I don’t need to dirty a knife to drop a pat of butter onto a pan or a bowl of grits or rice.

    Of course, my wife insists on separate, soft spreadable chemicals for toast-like applications.

  27. posted by WilliamB on

    I thought it was bad when I first saw the pix. After I read the comments I realized it was worse than I thought. I know butter sticks come in different dimensions but still missed that problem.

    I can think of two applications. As with any unitasker, if you do that application a lot, then a specialized tool makes sense. So yes, restaurants or caterers may be interested. (I think half the objections to something being designated a unitasker for situations where someone is doing the action a lot.) Second, if you need to restrict butter intake and inevitably cheat when you cut your own butter, then the price and cleaning hassle may be outweighed by the health benefits.

    And yes, please!, don’t uset he butter/jam/sugar utensil in your own food.

  28. posted by Lynda on

    and you can’t send it as a gift to friends in the UK as the butter in the UK is even less likely to fit this unitasker as it’s shaped like house bricks…

  29. posted by Linda on

    I’m glad our European butter packages don’t fit in one of these.. so I don’t have to worry about someone ‘thoughtful’ getting one for me ;)

    Greetings from the netherlands!

  30. posted by Lynoure on

    If you have someone in your household who has coeliac disease, this device is probably very useful, as it allows cutting of butter without the butter being touched by a knife (too easy to have that contaminated from touching bread) and instead drops the butter handsfree onto your gluten-free bread.

  31. posted by Joy on

    As a household that does have a person with Celiac Disease, I can see a use for this, but we just keep two different butter containers–one for our son and one for us. That way we don’t contaminate his butter with our crumbs. Yes, yes, we should all have a butter knife out at all times, but really, most of us haven’t seen our butter knives since last Thanksgiving!

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  34. posted by Thistle on

    I actually tried the one-click butter-cutter here as part of a story I was writing on kitchen gadgets, and as soon as I pressed on it, the clicker part snapped off and ricocheted back against my hand, cutting my skin instead of the butter. Totally useless.

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  36. posted by Jennifer on

    OK … as much as this seems like a silly thing. I am very interested as I have Celiac Disease which means I am gluten intolerant and thus need to keep two seperate butter dishes (one for me and one for everyone else). This would allow my family to have one butter as there is no knife touching anything that might be poison to me and then coming in contact with the butter again.

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