I'm pretty sure I once saw the Mishna Brura talk about how it's best not to cut tzitzis with metal and that there's a custom to cut tzitzis strings with your teeth. But now, although I keep searching through O.C. Siman 11, I can't seem to find it. Can anyone come up with marei mekomos?

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    would a ceramic blade knife be also an acceptable alternative to teeth and metal? Ceramic blades are made out of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) – user1111 Dec 23 '11 at 17:59
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    @TzitzMan, welcome to Judaism.SE! If you have a follow-up question, please consider posting it as a question, rather than as an answer. Also, please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features, including leaving comments like this one. – Isaac Moses Dec 23 '11 at 18:10
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    @TzitzMan Yes, you can use a ceramic blade, and it is how most companies today cut their tzizit. – avi Dec 24 '11 at 16:24
  • @Ben ShmuelBrill gave you the Mare Makom in the Mishna Berura – Hacham Gabriel Dec 25 '11 at 1:26

Look in Mogen Avraham sif katan 18 and Shulchan Aruch Harav (11:24) where it says that one should not cut Tzitzis with metal (like a Mizbeyach (Altar)) but cut them with his teeth.

It's also in the Mishna Brura s"k 61

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    I was also told a flame is OK; I use a candle. Easier and neater than teeth. – yitznewton Oct 27 '11 at 13:57
  • What did the rishonim hold? Was this discussed before the achronim? – Yehoshua Feb 28 '16 at 12:44

The Yalqut Yosef may write that it is better not, but if one needs to he may. I think the Ben Ish Hai brings the Rashash who writes to refrain from doing so.


Kaf HaHaim Palagi (Siman 10:12) writes that one should not cut the Sisit with metal because of "Lo tanif aleyhen barzel." See Kisur HaShela 53b.

  • What did the rishonim hold? Was this discussed before the achronim? – Yehoshua Feb 28 '16 at 12:44

Shulchan Aruch HaRav Chapter 11 section 24

It is preferable to make a point of not cutting tzitzis with a knife, recalling the command, “Do not raise iron upon them.” Instead, one should bite them off with the teeth.

(From Chabad.org)

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