I've tried doing this with a serated knife and with those pliers that have a sharp cutting type edge and everytime I end up with splinters. How can I get a CLEAN cut so I don't have to worry about getting splinters in the cake?
what are you trying to cut? The plastic dowels? or wooden ones?
The wooden ones. I almost bought lollipop or cookie sticks yesterday because they are the right size, but my hubby pointed out that they would probably start to disinigrate in the cake! lol
I've used lollipop sticks and they work perfectly well. I don't know whether they're sturdy enough for a larger cake; I've only done two tiers with them, but they don't disintegrate.
You could also try straws. Or, I saw something called "cake jacks" in the local supply store recently and thought they were interesting -- like plastic bolts in a threaded sleeve, which you can adjust to the height you want by screwing or unscrewing.
Can't help on cutting the wooden ones without splinters, but I'm curious to see what more experienced cake-stackers will say. I've only used wooden dowels for non-food-related crafts and I tend to sand off the splinters!
i don't use wooden dowels, but i believe i've seen people talk about pruning shears? or something similiar where it cuts the dowel with a straight clean cut.
Leily is correct that pruning shears work great! Just don't use the ones you use in the garden. Poultry scissors also work well, but the shears work better, IMO.
For cutting wooden dowels I use a good sturdy nail clipper for cutting large dog toenails. It kindof looks like a pliers or wire cutter. It does a nice job with no splinters. The dowels are 1/4 in dowels.
Cut with garden shears (purchased only for cakes) and sand smooth with sandpaper.
I went and bought some big plastic ones today so I'm gonna try those. Can those be cut with a normal sharp kitchen knife?
I've used the "Cake Jack's" before. Your cake has to be 4 inches or thicker but they work great and they are very easy.