The Origin of the Pizza Cutter

There is nothing more iconic in the food gadget world than the circular pizza cutter. And, much like pizza’s origin, the pizza cutter’s was created through acts of repurposing.

Born out of Silvio Pacitti’s need for cutting vegetables and herbs in a very Italian 1708 was the mezzaluna (Italian for “half moon”). Its name describes its shape: a large knife with a curve in the shape of a half moon. The mezzaluna works by rocking back and forth, perpendicular to the top of the pizza.

Mezzaluna Pizza Slicer
Screenshot of Mezzaluna Pizza Slicer from “Vacu Vin pizzaszeletelő fekete/fehér” Youtube Video

The mezzaluna is still used today, mostly for chicago deep dish-style pizzas and crack-thin crusts: pizzas where larger tools or precise cuttings are needed.

From there, it took a while for what we officially call the pizza cutter to be created.

In 1862, an American wallpaper-ist, David S Morgan, looked one of his wallpaper cutters and decided that the round handheld wheel may work for pizza.

David S Morgan’s U.S. Patent for the Wallpaper Cutter (Full Patent Here)

The next blip in the history of the modern pizza cutter was in 1922 by another American, Carl A Frahm, who borrowed design from a cake cutter. The intent of this circular cutter was for separating dough pre-baking.

Carl A Frahm’s U.S. Patent (Full Patent Here)

Since then, these more American versions of pizza cutters were built upon to bring us what we picture when we hear “pizza cutter” today.

Round Wheel Pizza Cutter


This article contains images from the US patent archive. The complete patents are linked in the caption underneath each photo.

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