Basic Ways to Store Your Kitchen Knives

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Last Updated on June 8, 2021
Annabelle

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.

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You have decided to invest in a good set of kitchen knives to up your culinary skills? Once you’ve got them, how are you going to store them? Getting a good quality set of kitchen knives, keeping them sharp and free of knicks is key to anyone’s cooking success story, even for amateurs. 

As crucial as purchasing the best set of knives is, storing them appropriately is just as important. Simply tossing those nice new, expensive, knives into the utensil drawer is a sure way to damage the blades. 

Some storage methods can end up damaging knife edges or eventually dulling the blades themselves., while other approaches will keep the knife blades sharper longer and can also be safer on your fingertips.

In this article we look at 4 different ways kitchen knives can be stored properly so that you will not make the mistake of damaging the knives and prevent knife accidents. The advantages and disadvantages of each storage method, as well as some factors to consider for each.

How to Store Your Kitchen Knives?

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There are four main ways to store kitchen knives correctly at home. 

1. Magnetic Wall Strips

Magnetic wall strips are really a great way to store your knives. These are attached to a wall in your kitchen and your knives hang on the magnetic strip. If you have an attractive knife set, this allows you to display your knives, and this is the most protective option for your knives.

  • Advantages: Space efficient, easy access, highly protective, and an attractive way to display your knives.
  • Disadvantages: You do have to be gentle with these strips. If you pull too hard or don’t pay attention to how you’re hanging your knives, you can scratch or chip your knife blades.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Magnetic Wall Strips

This isn’t an item that you skimp on. You’ve spent good money on your knives, so spend some cash and buy a good quality magnetic knife holder. Read reviews and look for items that have a strong enough magnet to securely hold your knives, but not so strong that it is difficult to remove your knives. This can damage your knives, so don’t rush on your purchase.

2. Countertop Knife Blocks

This is one of the more traditional ways that knives can be stored. Many knife sets do come with a storage block. They are a handy way to keep your knives protected, but also close at hand for when you’re cooking and need quick access to a good knife.

Most countertop blocks are made of wood, and have slots of various sizes to hold a range of knives. Knives slide into the block, and sit securely in the block until you’re ready to use them. This style of block is the most common, but there are other options that you may want to consider.

A more versatile option for a countertop block is a universal block with no slots. These are generally made from plastic or rubber rods, attached to a base. They accommodate knives of all sizes, and can be washed in the dishwasher, which is a great added benefit. 

There is also a magnetic block option that allows you to utilize the principle of the knife strip, but without having to put holes in your wall.

  • Advantages: If you’re mindful about putting knives in the right size slot, counter top knife blocks are really a great way to protect and store your knives.
  • Disadvantages: If you’ve got limited counter-top space a knife block is probably not your best option. Also, the traditional wood block isn’t easy to clean, so if you like that look, you’ll have to understand that it is important to adequately clean your knives before putting them in the block.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Countertop Knife Blocks

Do consider if you want a block that matches your knives, or if you are content with a universal option. If the goal is to have an attractive way to store your knives on the counter, then do consider one that matches your knives. If cleanliness is a thing, do select a knife block that can go in the dishwasher.

3. Under Cabinet

These knife storage options are great if you won’t want a block on your counter, or want your knives to be stored out of sight. When it comes to under cabinet options there are two basic options to consider. The first is a knife block that is mounted under the cabinet, and has the ability to turn as needed to access your knives.

The other option is a slide-down “drawer”. This option uses magnetic strips on a flat, hinged surface that you pull down when you need a knife. This option tends to be more streamlined than the under cabinet block option.

  • Advantages: Similar to magnetic wall strips, these are good for freeing up counter and drawer space.
  • Disadvantages: Depending on your cabinet design this may not be a good option. Also, not a great way to display your culinary blades.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Under Cabinet

Make sure there is sufficient clearance under cabinets to easily and safely withdrawal knives. Check that enough space is available to fit the knives you desire to put into the storage compartment.

4. Drawer Inserts

Drawer inserts are another option, and are great if you have plenty of space in your kitchen drawers. Just tossing your knives in a drawer, especially if they are unsheathed, is a sure way to get dull knives. Drawer inserts give you slots to hold your knives that protect the blades and your fingers.

  • Advantages: This is a simple solution if you want to keep your knives out of the way. This is also a great budget option, since drawer inserts aren’t as expensive as blocks or under cabinet storage.
  • Disadvantages: If you don’t have drawer space available, this isn’t the option for you. Keep in mind that you’ll need to dedicate a full drawer for a knife insert. This is a better option for larger kitchens.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Drawer Inserts

Make sure you measure the interior of your drawer carefully, you don’t want to get an insert that doesn’t fit your drawer well. Also, look for inserts that have universally sized slots, or slots in different sizes, for holding a variety of knives.