The great sandwich debate is back: Do you cut your sandwich diagonally or down the middle?

The great sandwich debate is back: Do you cut your sandwich diagonally or down the middle?

From math to geometry, netizens explore theories for the perfect sandwich experience

The great Sandwich debate: Diagonal versus down the middle
The great Sandwich debate: Diagonal versus down the middle Image Credit:

What's the most ideal way to cut a sandwich? Do you cut it straight down the middle to make two rectangles or diagonally to make two triangles? The debate that has divided netizens for years has resurfaced, all thanks to a recent tweet.

Twitter user @TrungTPhan posted a sandwich illustration on April 2.

The caption on the picture read: “The geometry is too complicated to explain here but cutting a sandwich diagonally gives you more sandwich.”

In just two days, the tweet had over 9.5 million views, with thousands of tweeps picking sides and sharing their logic. Many swore by the diagonal rule.

Douglas A. Boneparth (@dougboneparth) responded: “It unlocks the flavour too.”

“More bites = More sandwich,” wrote @ericsalinas, agreeing with the tweet.

Tweep @theLadEli, posted an elaborate explanation about the ‘Diagonal Cut Theory’: “When a sandwich is cut diagonally, it increases the surface area of the sandwich exposed to the taste buds, leading to a perceived increase in sandwich quantity. Additionally, the diagonal cut creates a smaller angle between the bread and the filling, which increases the filling-to-bread ratio in each bite, further enhancing the sandwich experience.

“This phenomenon can be expressed mathematically as, diagonal cut + surface area increase + filling-to-bread ratio boost = perceived sandwich enlargement. And, (Complicated geometry) x (taste buds sensitivity) ÷ (hungry person's imagination) = Sandwich magic,” she wrote.

Some users, however, appear to be enraged by the idea of a diagonally cut sandwich, and called it “craziness”.

“Wrong. Rectangles have four sides, while triangles only have three. You're missing out on two free sides by cutting it like that,” wrote @HighValueMail.

A few were against the whole idea of cutting a sandwich at all.

Tweep @nickdodd posted: “Actually, there's the same amount of sandwich, just now it's cut. I prefer not cutting sandwiches...”

And, @ DancesofDragons replied: “No matter how you cut it, you always have less sandwich when you cut it. Some of it always sticks to the knife.”

Some took to sharing mathematical equations to prove their theories.

Tweep @4bid_3k found why vertical meant ‘less sandwich’: “Assuming it's a perfect square and each side equals to 2x, then, diagonally: 2x × 4 + 2 × (sqrt2) × 2 = 8x + 4(sqrt2) = 13.6x. Vertical (assuming u cut straight in the middle): 2x × 4 + x × 4 = 12x. Done.”

And, @Powerdeadmau5 calculated: “It's pretty simple, let's say hypothetically the side's length is 5cm. If you cut it diagonally its hypotenuse is √50 which is somewhere between 7-8 cm (let's say 7.07cm). You have a perimeter of 17cm. Cutting it in half, however, has a perimeter of 15cm (5cm and 2.5cm).”

Tweep @ToxicNgcobo debunked the theories, saying that cutting a sandwich, either way, would give you equal amounts of sandwich.

The math of cutting a sandwich perfectly: 15 bites

According to an article on, a social journalism website based in America, writer Aidan Baker uses mathematics to answer this question. After multiple calculations and mathematical theories, he concluded that the perfect way to cut a sandwich was neither diagonally nor vertically in two halves.

“Hear me out. Three. Rectangles,” wrote Baker.

In his calculations, Baker found that one perfect bite of a sandwich should measure 1.14 square inches.

Explaining why three rectangles would be a "much better sandwich experience”, he wrote: “First of all, slice the sandwich in three equal pieces along the long axis. This gives each piece dimensions of 4.4 inches tall and 3.75/3 inches wide. For the kids playing at home, you may notice that 3.75 divides perfectly into three pieces, 1.25 inches wide each.

“Next, we divide our bites. We began with 15 bites, and we must divide these equally among three pieces. That leaves us with a clean five bites per piece.

“Finally, we will look at our bite area ratio. Each piece has an area of 4.4 X 1.25 inches². If we divide this into 5 bites, we have a bite area of 1.1 inches². This is almost perfectly our ideal bite size of 1.14 inches²!”

He went on to explain that eating it this way would be the simplest solution. “First, take a bite at one end. Then, just keep taking optimal bites in the same place you last took a bite. It couldn’t be simpler,” he added.

Aidan Baker shared this illustration to explain the ideal way to eat a sandwich.
Aidan Baker shared this illustration to explain the ideal way to eat a sandwich. Image Credit: Aidan Baker/

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