Sourdough Calculator

My Favourite Baker's Lame is a UFO!

baking tools
Wire Monkey UFO Baker's Lame

What’s different about the Wire Monkey lames?

From the title of the post, you should have an idea which Wire Monkey baker's lame is my favourite. But I’m sure a few people are wondering what UFOs have to do with lames and baking bread. If you use the wire monkey affiliate links in the post you'll be offered a 10% discount on your order at checkout.

A UFO lame is a tool used to safely and precisely score bread dough. It's made from two discs that tighten together housing a razor blade. By turning the discs you can engage the blade or tuck it away for safe storage.

The UFO design is one of three Wire Monkey designs that I’ve tested out this week, I’ve also had the pleasure of playing around with the ARC and the POCO.

My relationship with traditional lames has been a little rocky. The traditional lame measures around 20 cm with their blade mounted at the opposite end of the handle. This is great for safety as your fingers are safely out of the way of the blade.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. As my fingers are far away from the blade I lose a degree of control over the blade. This isn't an issue if you are making long cuts, but it's not great if you are making precision cuts for more decorative purposes.

I find it a little clumsy holding a traditional lame and it doesn’t give me as much control as I enjoy, which is why mine is gathering dust in my cupboard. Long ago I fell in love with the run-and-gun approach, ditching the lame completely and holding the razor blade between my thumb and forefinger

Using the razor blade handheld always fills me with a small amount of dread each time I’m baking. These are lethal little weapons that are extremely easy to lose and I promise you a misplaced blade is enough to double your heart rate. Now my daughter is starting to bake with me in the kitchen, I thought it was about time I addressed the safety issue.

Wire Monkeys baker’s lames have been designed with precision in mind. The lames fit snuggly into my fingers giving me maximum control over the blade. They’ve even designed the Arc which boasts the same curved blade configuration as a traditional lame. Each model has been designed to be natural to hold and can be used in the right or left hand.

I really like the Wire Monkey products, but I have also found the company great to deal with. Both Tyler the owner and Carter the office manager were super helpful and great to communicate with. Their US-based company is family-run and driven to be as eco-friendly as possible.

Click here to visit the Wire Monkey Website

What material are the lames made out of?

The UFO NUX and Zero, the POCO and the ARC are crafted from American black walnut and arrive pre-seasoned with fractionated coconut oil. The contrast between the shiny razor blades and dark walnut looks fantastic. Lots of care has been taken during the final finish of the lames and the surface is beautifully smooth. The machining of the lames has been done carefully and I was unable to find a flaw in any of the four lames I received.

The UFO lames have small stainless steel fixings that allow you to unscrew the two pieces of walnut for inserting the blade, and opening and closing the lame. I was surprised at how smooth the fixings operate. The thread is really fine and runs through the nut closely so there is no wobble between the two pieces of the lame. This is apparent when you open or close the UFO Nux, it’s extremely satisfying to smoothly wind the lame open and closed with one finger (see UFO Nux video). Similar to the razor blades, the surgical appearance of the stainless steel is a beautiful contrast to the natural dark grain of the wood.

How do I maintain and look after a wooden lame?

As with any natural wood product the wire monkey lames benefit from TLC from time to time. Remove the blade and then use a stiff brush to remove any stubborn bits of dough. A soft-bristled paintbrush works great for dusting off any flour.

I use mineral oil to season my wooden cutting boards, peels and rolling pins. A change may be on the horizon as Wire Monkey suggests using fractionated coconut oil. Add the oil to a small container and place the lame inside. I left mine for an hour and wiped off the excess with a lint-free cloth. Pour any leftover oil back into the bottle.

Don’t wash these lames in water, keep them dry at all times. If you do get the lame wet I would suggest removing the blade, separating the pieces of the lame and leaving it to dry at room temperature.

The Ufo Nux lame


The Wire Monkey UFO Nux bread lame is made from two circular pieces of American Black walnut which has three impressions carved into the surface. The quality of the stainless steel fixing is excellent, there is no wobbling around when you tighten the pieces together. It’s a pleasure to open and close.

The razor blade is placed between the two discs of walnut which tighten together using a stainless steel fixing. The razor blade is held firmly in place while scoring and tucks away safely for storing.

The Wire Monkey logo is stamped on the inside surface of one of the pieces of walnut, you'll see it when changing the blade.

Fitting the blade

An Astra double-edged platinum razor blade is supplied with the lame. To fit the razor blade you simply unscrew the two pieces of walnut, the blade is placed over the central screw on one piece of walnut, and the other piece is placed over the top and screws down tight.

It took me 20 seconds to unscrew the lame, fit the blade, and screw it back together.

Extending & retracting the blade

When it is time to use the lame the two pieces of walnut can be loosened by unscrewing and after a little wiggle the blade will reveal itself. The blade will not come out further than needed as the screw mechanism fits through the central channel of the blade. To close the blade you lossen again, push the blade in carefully and tighten.

My fingers fit perfectly into the impressions machined into the walnut which makes opening and closing this model easy. This model is thicker than the other UFO models, again making it easy to handle and operate.

It took me 14 seconds to retrieve the blade ready to use, and 10 seconds to put the blade away safely.

Dimensions and weight

The Nux measures 46mm across the diameter and was just under 13mm thick. The lame weighs 9.2 grams including the razor blade.


This is a super-safe, pretty much bulletproof lame to store. As long as the blade is retracted and stored securely in the lame you can keep it in a drawer, an apron pocket or out on the side without worry of cutting yourself or losing the blade. Fits snuggly into the wire monkey holster.

Handling the lame

The UFO NUX fits extremely well in my hand, it’s tactile and easy to move around the dough while scoring. I’m used to handholding a blade so there was an obvious difference but the UFO design made the blade easy to move and flip around when changing direction or moving between cuts.

If you’ve ever scored dough while holding the blade in your hand you’ll know you can nick into the dough with the leading corner of the blade. There is zero chance of snagging the blade with the Ufo design as the opposite corner is tucked away safely.

Perfect for long cuts and more detailed incisions, a terrific all-rounder.

Buy the UFO Nux on the Wire Monkey website

The Wire Monkey UFO ZERO lame


The two pieces of American black walnut are thinner in this model with softer engraving than the NUX. The same high-quality stainless steel fixings are mirrored in this model delivering super-smooth operation.

The razor blade lives happily sandwiched between the two pieces of walnut. Unscrewing the discs of walnut allows you to extend or retract the blade which is secured in place when the discs are tightened together.

When it’s time to change the blade you will see the Wire Monkey logo stamped on the inside surface of the walnut.

Fitting the blade

An Astra double-edged platinum razor blade is supplied with the lame. To fit the razor blade you simply unscrew the two pieces of walnut, the blade is placed over the central screw on one piece of walnut, and the other piece is placed over the top and screws down tight.

It took me 26 seconds to unscrew the lame, fit the blade and screw it back together

Extending & retracting the blade

When it’s time to use the lame the two pieces of walnut are unscrewed, and after a little shake the razor blade drops out. The central stainless steel screw stops the blade from falling out, and after tightening, the lame is ready to use. Reverse the process to put the blade away for storage.

This is an easy lame to open and close thanks to the machined grooves on the outside of each piece of walnut. It took me 17 seconds to retrieve the blade ready to use, and 11 seconds to put the blade away safely.

Dimensions and weight

The diameter of the Zero measures 46mm and the thickness is just over 6mm. When fitted with the razor blade the UFO ZERO weighs 6.4 grams.


Again this lame is super safe to store when the blade is retracted and stored correctly. You won't have any panic attacks leaving this in a drawer or even an apron pocket. It fits inside the Wire Monkey holster perfectly.

Handling the lame

The Zero is light and nimble and easy to use in either hand so if you don’t own a turntable for spinning your dough while scoring then this is a big bonus. Easy to switch up directions and jump from one cut to another.

As one end of the razor blade is housed between the walnut there is no danger of snagging the leading corner of the blade in the dough as you score. Suits long cuts and detailed scoring. This lame has you covered for all scoring tasks.

Buy the UFO Zero on the Wire Monkey Website

The Wire Monkey ARC lame


The lame is made from two pieces of American black walnut, a curved base and a curved handle that holds the blade. The Arc lame boasts the classic curved blade configuration while safely getting you up close with the cutting edge.

The handle section that hosts the blade slots seamlessly into the machined groove in the base. The Wire Monkey logo is embossed on the bottom of the base section.

Fitting the blade

An Astra double-edged platinum razor blade is supplied with the lame. To fit the blade you place one end into a groove in the walnut. Then you bend the blade and insert the other end into the remaining groove. Now the blade can be snapped back into place. When you need to change the blade you carefully slide it out of the grooves. I can fit a new blade in this model in 10 seconds.

Extending & retracting the blade

This lame is ready to use in a second or two by lifting the blade section out of the base, it’s just as simple to put away. The two sections don’t lock together on this lame and are designed to sit united on its base.

Dimensions and weight

When closed together the ARC lame is 50mm across its length, 26mm high and 19mm at its widest point. Including the razor blade, the lame weighs 8.4 grams.


This lame isn’t designed to sit in a drawer or an apron pocket. The blade section of the lame will detach from the base. This lame is designed to sit on its base. If I wanted to store this and was worried it may open I would purchase a leather holster from Wire Monkey to keep it safe.

Handling the lame

I think the design is genius as the Arc lame holds the blade in the classic curved configuration, but you can safely get your fingers close to the blade. The curvature of the black walnut that houses the blade is the perfect place to lay your thumb, increasing control over the lame. As I said, pure genius.

This is well suited for those long cuts that open up into amazing ears on the final loaf. You could use this lame for more decorative scoring but I would probably reach for one of the other lames first for this task.

Buy the Arc on the Wire Monkey Website

The Wire Monkey POCO lame


This little lame is made from one piece of American black walnut and is close to the feeling of hand holding a blade, without the inherent risks. While I’m a little hooked on the operation of the UFO lames, this Poco lame is simplicity at its best.

It’s my “run and gun” style of lame as the operation is super simple. The Poco is a beautiful little sheath of black walnut that wraps itself around the razor blade. The blade is held in place by grooves in the wood and two simple rounded pins.

The Wire Monkey logo is embossed on the inside face of the lame and is visible when the blade is removed.

Fitting the blade

An Astra double-edged platinum razor blade is supplied with the lame. The blade s slides into the grooves of the lame. 

Extending & retracting the blade

The razor blade extends and retracts with the slide of a thumb. There is something very satisfying as your thumb rides over the pin when sliding the blade in and out.

Dimensions and weight

Including the razor blade, the POCO weighs 3 grams. It's 45mm long, 28mm wide and 3mm thick.


As the blade isn't fixed into place I wouldn’t leave this rattling around in a drawer or an apron pocket. While the blade is held in place by the groves and pins it could become detached. Keep this somewhere safe or tuck it away in a Wire Monkey holster.

Handling the lame

This is as close as I can get to hand-holding the blade without the inherent risks. It is nimble and quick to move around the dough and works perfectly for long cuts or precise work. The opposite edge of the blade is enveloped in the walnut sheath which means it is impossible to catch the leading edge on the dough while scoring.

Buy the Poco on the Wire Monkey Website

Wire Monkey Holsters

I have been using the Viper Green and the Sassy Moss holsters. They are made from upcycled leather with an antiqued brass stud to secure the holster closed. The Viper Green has a soft suede finish and the Sassy Moss has a shiny leather surface.

Both the UFO lames, the NUX and the ZERO fit snuggly into the leather holster and I guess that they were designed with these lames in mind. The POCO and the ARC both fit into the holsters, with room to spare. I have found myself storing the POCO and the ARC in the holsters as they aren’t quite as safe as the UFO lames to leave laying around.

Buy the leather holsters on the Wire Monkey Website


You would need to twist my arm very hard to choose between these lames, but I will do my best.

The UFO NUX is my top pick. It is beautifully crafted and I love the detailing in the black walnut. I’m a sucker for the macaroon-shaped design and machined finger grips as it makes it easy to retrieve the blade or pop it away. The shape of this lame fits my hand very well and was not only a pleasure to use but felt completely natural, an extension of my fingers.

The POCO comes in second, and it's a very close second. I like the run-and-gun style as I’m used to handling a razor blade without a lame. It's simple but cleverly crafted at the same time. If my daughter wasn’t in the kitchen with me as much as she is, this could well have made the top spot.

The ARC lame put me flat on my back, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed using the curved blade. The fact that you can grip the lame so close to the blade is a big improvement on the traditional longer lame.

In many ways, the UFO ZERO is similar to the UFO NUX. It's very smooth to operate but the Nux fits my grip a little better.

That concludes my round up and if you've got any questions feel free to drop me an email.

I discovered Wire Monkey’s products while researching lame designs and reached out to them directly. They were kind enough to send me out the lames FOC to try with no request to feature them. These have made it into my baking kit because they are beautifully crafted products supplied by a company with a great team and great philosophy.

Hybrid Muesli Sourdough

Jun 15, 2024

Create a Thriving Sourdough Starter

May 04, 2024

Malted Sourdough Milk Bread

Feb 17, 2024