One of the most overlooked pieces of kitchen equipment is the method for proper knife storage. Choosing the best way to store your kitchen knives is a critical step to keeping them in optimal shape.
A lot of people are never taught how to store knives for maximum sharpness and safety, and you’ll end up with dull blades a lot sooner than you should. And a dull knife is a dangerous knife.
There are a number of ways to store knives safely in your kitchen, and I’ll go over our recommended top 5 options, in no particular order, along with the pros and cons for each.
Magnetic knife racks: a magnetic knife rack is mounted on your kitchen wall, and it allows you to store the blades vertically against the magnetic strip.
Pros: It is an easy way to organize your knife blades and keep them safely off the counter. They are quickly available as all you have to do is reach up and grab your knife of choice. And, most importantly, they keep your knife blades stable, which avoids damage to the knife or its edge.
Cons: Magnetic strips put pressure on the tang of the knife when removed, so if you don’t have a full tang knife, it can stress the knife stability over time. Magnetic racks aren’t safe with children in kitchen unless the magnetic knife strip is mounted high enough that even the knife bottoms are out of your children’s reach. And you also can’t use them with ceramic knives.
Kitchen knife blocks: This is the most common form of storage, since many knife sets come with their own knife block storage, and many people buy an empty knife block to store knives purchased separately. Countertop kitchen knife holders like these seem ideal. However, knife blocks also have some limitations depending on the block itself. Universal knife blocks can overcome some of those issues.
Pros: You’ll have all your kitchen knives in one place, and storing knives in the block can help keep the edge longer, as well as avoiding accidents between fingers and knives when reaching for them.
Cons: If your knife block doesn’t come with your specific knife set, the pre-sized knife slots are may not fit your knives, especially if you do like we do, and acquire additional preferred knives outside the knife block set.
Also, you need to be sure to get a block that stores knives sideways to prevent dulling of the knife blades. If you have to have a vertical storage knife block, store your knives upside down to protect the edges. Unfortunately that does add a safety issue, so sideways storage is best. Or you could find a block that uses plastic storage rods or other material that doesn’t harm the knives resting on them.
In-drawer knife blocks: If you really want to store your kitchen knives in a drawer, don’t leave them loose. It damages the blades and makes knife accidents very hard to avoid. Using a special knife block made to store your knives in a drawer is critical.
Pros: In-drawer knife storage keeps your knives out of the way and off the counter. That’s useful in small kitchens that have enough drawer space to use this method.
Cons: If you have children, storing knives in a drawer isn’t safe. However, you could install a lock on your knife drawer, but that means it is a pain to access your knives when you need them. Also, the blades would have to be stored upright, and that vertical position puts stress on the blades, just like a block, meaning you’ll have to store them upside down and blade up to protect the blades. Accident waiting to happen!
Under cabinet knife storage: Much like the in-drawer storage method, storing knives under the cabinet keeps them out of the way but still easy to reach.
Pros: Storage in an easy to access location.
Cons: Unfortunately, like the previous method, you’ll have the issue of storing the blades vertically and putting pressure on the knife or storing them blade up and risking accidents. Also, like storing them under the counter, they are within children’s reach, and you can’t lock a block like this.
Knife bags or rolls: Knife bags, rolls, and cases are certainly another possibility, and they are popular with people who travel with their knives, especially chefs. You can get them canvas knife rolls or leather knife rolls or bags and they do look cool and professional, but there are pros and cons.
Pros: Keeps knives packed away safely and properly stored to avoid damage to the knives. People who need to pack and move their knives or store them separately and safely in a professional kitchen, such as chefs, will love something like this. And if you are planning on moving soon, you’ll need to have knives safely packed and stored to avoid damage during the move.
Cons: Knife rolls, knife briefcases, and knife bags are a big pain in the tonsils for everyday kitchen use. Who wants to dig into their bag, roll, or hardcase knife briefcase every time you need a knife? And then wash and clean it and have to store it away again? As kitchen knife accessories, knife bag storage is definitely a special case.
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