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Knife Storage

Where and how do you keep your knives? In a block, on a magnet, in a drawer, or...?
Currently outfitting a small kitchen and considering where to place these everday tools.

I mostly use a 6" Sabatier (the primary workhorse), 7" Santoku and 8" Chef, both branded Calphalon-Chinese made, and a razor sharp German paring knife. The ones I will eventually be replacing are no-name ones for bread, carving, and a cleaver.

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  1. I have an in-drawer wood knife block that I use and really like. It has large slots on the bottom for larger knives and then small slots along the top for steak knives.

    1. I have a built-in wood block for my knives. I line them up so when i open the drawer i know which handle to grab.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        I have a couple of in the drawer knife holders. I get neurotic about putting each knife back in it's own slot and do get irritated when the DH just puts them where ever there is an open slot!

        1. re: Candy


          Your DH and my DW. This weekend i told her i would make lables to assist. :-))

      2. I use the wooden knife block my knives came in. My parents have way more knives than they know what to do with so a standard block wasn't enough. They don't like storing them in drawers. I bought them the Kapoosh universal cutlery block. It has thousand of little plastic spokes inside the wooden block so that any knife can fit anywhere and you can pack in as many as will fit. They like it.

        1. I think the best is a slot style knife holder built-in /adjacent to a big chopping block/island, but as not too many kitchens have that second best is a heavy block with slots that are NOT fully enclosed and store the knives on their sides. If the block is fully enclosed dust and moisture accumulate in there leading to a yucky and potentially hazardous (to your health and that of your cutlery) situation. Blocks that store knives on their edge inevitable get cut up and dull your knives.

          I don't like the magnetic holders becuase you give up a lot of of room in front of them to easily access the knives, mounting the bar is a tricky thing -- too high and long knives up against the cabinet, too low and the whack the counter's back splash, paring knives, with their smaller blade-to-handle proportions are hard to store.

          I suppose the in-drawer holders would be OK if you had drawers to spare, but I don't, and I think that I never will...

          2 Replies
          1. re: renov8r

            We have all our knives on two magnetic bars (one above the other) on an otherwise pretty much unusable bit of wall - the patch between the doorway to the pantry and the doorway to the butler's pantry that transitions the kitchen to the dining room. There's nothing in the way and knives are always ready at hand. The cleaver (which has a hanging hole in the front upper corner of its blade) and the steel both hang on a nail right next to the knife racks.

            We actually just ditched a knife block that we've had for a few years holding some of our less-used knives - we realized that we'd be more likely to use the less-used ones if we saw them all the time, so we threw out a couple of really cheap, bad knives and made room enough on the magnetic bars for everything else.

            1. re: Allstonian

              I watched the show Food 911 a few years ago, and Tyler Florence told the lady to use the magnetic strip, because of the possibility of bacteria build up in the wooden knife holders. I had a magnetic one installed by one of my sons, and he put it in a place where it is very safe.
              Also, I watched Tyler's Ultimate a couple of times, and noticed his magnetic knife holder. He said on his Chefography, that the show duplicated his kitchen from his NYC apartment. While I love Tyler, I hate the colors in his kitchen....wow.

          2. The wall magnet things are great. That's what I use now. I guess the only concern would be if you had children of an age tall enough to reach the knife rack but not tall enough to use knives safely. :> Also, if you have a really small kitchen (like the one at the place I'm moving out of), you REALLY want one of these.... worked great for me. I got a Wusthof one (nice, but a pain to mount), but you can get a big, cheap one at Ikea. The Ikea ones are solid; not sure if it works as well as the ones w/ two magnetic strips. A local kitchen supply store would be another good place to look for a cheaper one than you'll find at the fancypants kitchen stores.

            Putting them in a drawer works too - but I recommend putting edge guards on them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: will47

              I started with the Ikea Strip, but as my collection expanded, I switched a pair of 2 strip magnets made by Paderno mounted on the wall above my stove. I like the 2 strip type better as the Ikea one had really strong magnets and were hard to get the knife off compared to the Paderno ones.

            2. Some in a drawer lined with nonskid mat. Others in a block, stored upside down (sharp side up). I've heard storing them sharp side down dulls the edges.

              1. We use a block inside a drawer that we got at the Container Store after we remodeled. I like it a log and I even like having them off the counter--I was reluctant at first.

                1. I have the wooden block that came with my knives (Shun). I'd prefer a magnetic strip but my smallish kitchen is not condusive to it.

                  I always make sure my knives are dried before i put them in the block to prevent the aforementioned bacteria....although I'm sure its not overly effective.

                  1. Another vote for the magnetic strip. We removed a mirror from the space above the sink and installed there. When I wash the knives, I immediately dry them and hang them up so they don't sit in the drying rack. The magnet also holds the kitchen shears. We were using two knife blocks, which take up precious counter space and were often shuffled around with the coffee maker.

                    This along with the installation of a pot rack changed my life (in the kitchen anyway) and look great.

                    1. In a drawer with covers. Good for travel, also.

                      1. Currently: an under cabinet knife block, which swivels out to retrieve/put away knives, and then back to be flush with the cabinet. DH found it on Amazon, I think. It was a great solution as my main cooking area next the stove was getting cluttered. It holds about 8 knives & a steel.

                        New House: I have an embarassment of drawers but not a huge amount of counter space, so I'm going with in-drawer storage. I like the idea of magnets but I'm pretty clumsy, so I nixed it.

                        1. I use the magnetic knife bars. I put one in a very small kitchen years ago and was immediately sold. Depending on the wall space available I put up one or two. One holds all my knives and the other can hold things like a microplane, clam knife, olive spoon, etc. I love them and my knives hold their edge longer than when I used a block or a drawer.

                          1. I am curious about one thing with people who have either a magnetic bar or a block on the counter. Do you have little ones in the house

                            The jfoods were always nervous about having these within harm's way when the little jfoods were growing up.

                            Any thoughts on this?


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: jfood

                              Good question, and a fair point. Magnetic holders here, as noted above - no little ones in the family and almost never even small-child visitors.

                              1. re: jfood

                                We don't have little ones in the house. Though, after having read your post and surveyed my kitchen, I actually think that where we have our knife bar is safer than any of the drawers insofar as you'd have to be at least 5'6" tall (my wife's height...and she curses me sometimes for where I put it) to reach the bar from the floor.

                                Of course, now that I think about it, a drawer with a drawer lock of some kind would likely be safer than having the knives higher. Kitchen utlity would certainly have to take a back seat to little one safety.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  Two little el puercos at 3 and 5. My only concerns about knives is when they're on the counter between using and washing. I generally push them to the back and wash them fairly quickly. As stated, I immediately dry them and replace them on the magnet for safety and edge preservation.

                                  When we had knife blocks, they were inconveniently placed, thus not a hazard.

                                2. I had a magnetic strip for years and it was OK. Sometimes the knives feel down to the counter. Recently, I purchased a knife block and
                                  like it a lot. It has room for about 16 knives, so now I keep everything in it. All the big knives, all the smaller paring, slicing, etc plus all the steak knives.