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Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

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asked November 19th 2012

Cutting dowels

What do people use to cut dowels? So far I have ruined a pair of kitchen shears and broken brand new secateurs! The dowels I have at the moment are clear plastic and even if I do manage to cut them bits fly off across the room. It’s a danger zone!

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accepted
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Hi Doodlecake

I use wire cutters, the type used in jewellery making. They’re quite small but very robust and do the job. There’s always going to be bits flying around, just cut them well away from your cakes. x

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Hi Doodlecake

I use a serreted knife just enough to score the dowels where I want to cut them and then I snap them, it works fine and stops the bits flying about. Hope this helps.

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Hi Doodlecake

I bought plastic dowels from thecakedecoratingcompany.Dont know if anyone else has used them but they seem to work and they cut really easily with kitchen scissors .The thinner ones for sponge cakes are red so you can see them easily when the cake is cut and there are much thicker white ones for fruit cakes.

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Hi Doodlecake,

I use a pair of pliers from B&Q (only used for cake-y stuff). Never fails! Although some are softer and will just snap after scoring with a knife. If you are suffering from DFDS (dangerous flying dowel syndrome), snap or cut them inside a bag (large freezer or carrier will normally do). Or, don’t bother, let all the little bits fly everywhere, and enjoy the dulcet tones of your spouse howling in agony as they trod on the offcuts in their bare feet (works for me!).

I normally don’t bother cutting the rounded bottoms off – by the time I have inserted all of the dowels, some will have rounded ends and some flat where they have been cut further up the dowel. It’s personal preference though and I have sometimes made them flat if the cake is particularly soft – just in case!

Haven’t had a collapsed cake yet so must be doing something right!

Hope that helps.

JC x

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Thanks everyone. The white dowels I had before I could score and snap but these ones I can’t even make a mark on! I think I will just give up on them and get some new ones and a pair of wire cutters! One other point, do you cut off the rounded end? Makes me wonder how effective it is if its not sitting flat on the board?

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JC you did make me laugh!

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