To keep your knives handy and in good condition, you need to organize and store them properly. If you throw your knives in a drawer with other metal objects, the blades can become dull and damaged over time. It’s also not easy to find the knife you want, and you run the risk of cutting yourself searching for the knife you want to use in a crowded drawer. Before you choose the best way to store your kitchen knives, there are a few important things you need to consider:
- What is your available counter/wall space?
- How many kitchen knives do you have/need?
- What material and design would you prefer?
- Are there small children in your house?
Below are several most common knife storage options with their potential benefits and limitations.
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1. Magnetic Knife Racks
A magnetic wall-mounted rack can be a real space saver if you have limited kitchen or counter space. These knife holders contain powerful magnets that keep your knives secure and within easy reach. A magnetic holder is multi-functional and can hold kitchen scissors, other kitchen utensils, and small metal items, like keys.
A magnetic knife holder also gives you the option to mount it high enough from the reach of small children.
A magnetic knife rack is usually mounted on the wall in the kitchen to keep your favorite kitchen knives handy. For people who don’t like drilling into the walls, an alternate solution can be to stick the magnet side to the fridge or other metal surfaces in the kitchen.
This is a more sanitary option for storing knives, compared to standard knife blocks. There are no hidden places that collect dirt or germs. The magnetic rack can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth and mild dish soap.
The possible drawback: Some heavier knives may slide if the magnet is not powerful enough. If you place your knives pointing down, the handles will prevent the knives from sliding.
To avoid possible damage to the blades, make sure to gently attach the side of the blade to the metal rack and gently twist and pull the handle when removing the knife from the magnetic strip.
Magnetic knife strips with a wood finish are more elegant versions than stainless steel magnetic knife holders. The wood surface is also kinder to your knives than a metal one.
2. Bamboo Knife Blocks
A bamboo knife block is a sturdy and durable kitchen item, with a smooth, elegant exterior that looks nice on your countertop. A traditional knife block takes up much room, so make sure you have enough counter space for it.
Bamboo is more durable than wood, and if it gets wet, it doesn’t split or warp the same way as wood.
Before purchasing, make sure the slots are wide and deep enough for every knife you own. Look for angled slot edges as they make taking knives in and out of the block easier. The slots shouldn’t be too close to each other, to allow for easier inserting and removing of the knives. There should be extra space to avoid having handles too close together.
The knife block should be heavy enough to stay in place and not tip over when you are pulling out a knife.
3. Drawer Knife Organisers
An in-drawer block/organizer is the easiest storage solution for your kitchen knives. Your knives are out of sight and protected, yet easily accessible.
Before purchasing a drawer knife holder, make sure your drawer is long and deep enough to accommodate it. In-drawer knife block should keep the knives lying flat when you open and close the drawer. Look for a knife holder with an angled base that allows the knives to sit flat, keeping the handles and the point of the blades from sticking up. A quality in-drawer knife block will protect the knife blades from exposure, preventing other utensils from harming them, while also keeping your fingers safe.
4. Wooden Knife Blocks
A wooden knife block made of acacia or Pinewood looks elegant and fits beautifully with most kitchen decors. It could be a great choice if you own a special collection of knives. However, there is a problem to keep the block clean and sanitized. Washing the block with water can cause the wood to crack. It is almost impossible to completely remove dust, dirt, and bacteria from the slots.
To clean the block, remove all knives and turn them upside down over your sink. Shake and tap it to get out the crumbs and dust.
To sanitize the block, spray the solution of bleach or distilled vinegar into slots and leave it for a few minutes. Rinse the block and place it upside down, allowing it time to dry thoroughly. Use mineral oil to protect the wood finish and keep it looking smooth.
To overcome the problem with maintenance, manufacturers have made a wooden block that is easier to clean than a standard woodblock. Such knife blocks have a removable insert for easy cleaning. The removable fold-up plastic insert allows you to easily insert and organize a bunch of various knives. Such a knife holder can accommodate more knives than a standard knife block.
5. Slim Profile Universal Knife Holders
These knife holders have a very small countertop footprint; therefore, they take up much less space than traditional knife blocks. They are very portable, functional, and have a cute, stylish design. The weighted bottom keeps the units from tipping. This is a more convenient and flexible way of storing your knives compared to standard blocks with pre-determined slots.
The exterior is usually composed of stainless steel or hard plastic. These knife holders have a removable insert for easy cleaning and drying. The flexible interior allows you to insert the knife into any spot while keeping your knives in place and preventing them from touching one another. The highly protective interior design makes them suitable for storing ceramic knives.
Such holders can be easily kept clean and bacteria-free. The best way of cleaning them is by hand and using antibacterial soap. Rinse under running water and allow time to completely dry.
Which Knife Holder to Buy?
If you have sufficient counter space go for a bamboo knife holder. Bamboo is more hygienic than wood and is also a highly renewable source.
If you are limited in space, go for a magnetic knife holder. If there is no wall space for knife storage, select one of the modern, slim knife holders, which is the perfect space saver.
If you don’t like a bulky knife block to sit on the counter, or a wall full of sharp knives, store your knives neatly in an in-drawer knife organizer.
If your knives are not meant for everyday use, and you have a lot of space, a traditional wooden block may meet your needs.
If you want to be sure that your knives are clean and sanitized also look for a magnetic holder or stainless steel low-profile knife holder. Wood is the least sanitary option.
A knife holder with a mass of flexible bristles is a very good choice for your delicate ceramic knives.
If you have small children in your house, it would be a good idea to install a magnetic knife holder and mount it high enough that small hands wouldn’t reach them.