The best way to store kitchen knives and cutlery
The best way to store kitchen knives and cutlery is with some form of organiser. Unlike cutlery and the odd cheese knife, loose knives are best kept in some form of designated knife storage, such as a knife block or magnetic knife holder, especially if they aren’t part of a complete knife block set.
Think of it this way, knives are an investment. Whether you’ve gone to the trouble of hand-picking knives to feature in your ‘made in Japan’ knife collection or gradually inherited a random paring knife, chef’s knife, bread knife, utility knife, boning knife, carving knife or santoku knife to form a complete set over the years, you’ll want to look after them and protect the knife blade.
Factors to consider when buying a knife block
Quantity. How many knives do you have? Instead of a holder for existing knives, maybe what you’re after is a multiple piece knife set that comes with all your essential knives included (some even come with an integrated steak knife set). Consider the amount and types of knives you want to display and buy accordingly.
Space. Depending on the size of your knife collection, you will want to think about how much space you have. Although a knife block makes an attractive display, it can take up room on your countertop. If you have a small kitchen and you want to keep your knives in the open, we recommend either purchasing an upright knife block with a small footprint or opting for a magnetic knife holder.
Cleanliness. Some knife blocks can collect more germs than others, which can transfer onto the blades and therefore onto your food, so select a knife block that’s easy to clean and always follow the care instructions for optimum hygiene.
Knife sharpening. A knife block with a built in sharper can be more cost effective and convenient than those without. However, if you already have a knife sharpener that you rely on, stick with that one and remember that stand alone sharpeners such as whetstones can be more effective than those that are part of a block.
Warranty. If you require added protection, shopping around for a knife block or knife block set with a warranty can really help with peace of mind.
Universal knife block vs. magnetic knife block
Universal knife rack
A universal knife block or universal knife rack is essentially an empty block or holder that has slots or inserts that fit all types of kitchen knives, regardless of the brand or style. This is a great option for people who already have an existing array of knives and want to change the way they store them in order to reclaim some all-important drawer space. You can buy all kinds of empty, high quality knife blocks, however one variety that is particularly popular is the magnetic knife rack.
Magnetic knife rack
A magnetic knife block or magnetic knife rack is a type of universal knife block that stores knives using a strong magnet like neodymium magnets. They come in a variety of design options from double sided wooden boards to knife magnet strips, which can be mounted onto a wall. Knives remain in place because of the magnetism, and they're favoured because you don’t have to worry about knives being able to fit into a certain slot like you do with a traditional wood block.
Stainless steel or wood, which is best for a magnetic knife holder?
Stainless steel knife holder. Stainless steel is usually the main material found in wall mounted magnetic knife racks or magnetic knife strips. It not only adds a professional look to your kitchen, but it’s also really durable and very easy to clean.
Wooden knife holder. Acacia wood or bamboo is usually the main material found in freestanding magnetic knife holders and where the magnets are concealed inside.
Do you need a knife sharpener?
Yes! Knife sharpening is an important part of maintaining the blade’s sharpness and so regular sharpening is required. Finding the right knife sharpener depends on your level of skill and confidence.
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Do magnetic knife blocks work?
They do indeed. They use strong magnets, which can be found either inside a freestanding knife block or within a magnetic knife rack that can be mounted on the kitchen wall.
Are magnetic knife strips safe?
Yes, magnetic knife strips are safe but you also get what you pay for. It’s always best to go for a high quality magnetic knife strip or magnetic rack.
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