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Magnetic Knife Bar (magnetism question)

SanityRemoved Jul 20, 2010 08:02 PM

Currently I store my knives on a magnetic knife bar mounted inside a cupboard. Like some of you, the addiction results in the need for more storage space. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any magnetic knife bars 10 inches or under in which to mount on the other two interior walls of the cupboard. The easiest option in my mind is to get a magnetic knife bar as small as I can and then saw off enough of the bar to make it fit and possibly drill a new mounting hole. My only worry is that there may be a degradation of the magnet's strength. Has anyone attempted this? Those with scientific knowledge of magnets and magnetism can help dust the rust off my brain because I can't remember all the physical ways to harm a magnet.

  1. r
    rtms Jul 20, 2010 08:36 PM

    I'm not sure about magnetizing kitchen knives by storing them with magnetic bars but I'll offer a suggestion. It might be difficult to cut the metal and the magnet.

    Lee Valley Tools (Canadian on-line store...love it!) has a magnetic knife bar with the magnets hidden inside a wooden bar (go to the website to look at the picture....www.leevalley.com 12K18.90). You could buy a beautiful piece of wood drill out depressions and glue rare earth magnets inside and then secure the wooden bar to your cupboard door. Space the magnets far enough apart so that your knives don't touch. Good Luck

    1. Chemicalkinetics Jul 20, 2010 09:23 PM

      I took my physic quiet some time ago. I am not 100% sure of your concerns. Are you worry that you may de-magnetize or realign the magnetic field of the magnet? You probably don't need to worry about it. It is not easy to do so unless you heat it up hot or bang the heck out of it.

      I think you will have greater problems of cutting the magent which is made out of metal and often brittle. In other words, you need a strong tool to cut the magnet and you need to cut it clean or it will fracture as you cut it. Drilling a hole through a thin magnet seems difficult (if that is what you are thinking) because you may crack it as you drill it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        SanityRemoved Jul 21, 2010 11:43 AM

        Yes the concerns were of losing the magnetic strength to hold the knives securely. I have a circular saw with a metal cutting blade( it's an abrasive disc, no teeth to make a mess) that I'm sure can cut through it.

      2. alanbarnes Jul 20, 2010 10:14 PM

        I've done it. It works with no adverse effect on the magnet's strength.

        You'll need a way to cut through the magnet. A chop saw with a metal cutoff blade is probably your best bet, although a hacksaw and a lot of patience would do the trick, too. When you're making a new mounting hole, drill through the plastic, not the magnet itself.

        Also - rather than cutting down two smaller knife bars, consider getting a single 18-20" unit and cutting it in half - that way a single cut will give you two new knife bars - one for each side wall of the cabinet.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alanbarnes
          SanityRemoved Jul 21, 2010 11:46 AM

          Thanks Alan that's great to know. I thought of doing one longer one also and splitting it into two. Initially I thought I would save money if it didn't work on a smaller one but a larger one should prove to be more economical.

        2. Robin Joy Jul 21, 2010 01:35 AM

          Would mounting it at an angle, rather than horizontally, get round the space issue? Vertically might look good.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Robin Joy
            r
            rainey Jul 21, 2010 09:04 AM

            I have mounted a magnetic knife block upside down underneath my cabinet for my veggie prep area. Works great -- it's out of sight but conveniently within reach. The space underneath a cabinet isn't very deep so I have the paring and utility knives that I use constantly up there rather than long bread knives, santukos and chefs knives. Those are in an in-drawer block along with the non-metal ceramic blades. But I suppose rather than mounting the bar from side to side, you could mount it back to front so there was room for long knives as well.

            Occasionally, a knife that wasn't up there securely (the bolster was on the magnet rather than the flat blade) will fall when disturbed. So I have mine over the mail collection area that also acts as a safety net. Otherwise, it's a great and fully functional arrangement for my space-challenged kitchen.

            I also have a second magnetic bar mounted inside a cabinet door over my meat prep area. In that case, the void created by a panel on the door didn't correspond with the length of the magnetic bar. I mounted the bar on a longer piece of clear plexiglas and then mounted the plexiglas on the deeper margins of the door. Also works great. That one houses my long slicers and a chefs knife and they've stayed secure on the door as it opens and closes.

            1. re: rainey
              r
              rainey Jul 21, 2010 11:35 AM

              Rethinking this, I don't think mounting a bar from front to back would be a good idea. When it's side to side each handle is facing the cook so each one is available to grab easily and securely. If it were front to back the handles would also be front to back and only one would be available and that at an awkward handle.

              I guess this is a solution for short 6" and shorter blades.

              1. re: rainey
                SanityRemoved Jul 21, 2010 11:53 AM

                This got me thinking again and so I will have to do a little prototyping and see what can be done with a standard or long length mounted diagonally, low end to the rear of the cabinet and high end towards the front and check on the accessibility issues.
                Thanks all, some good ideas have come up.

                1. re: SanityRemoved
                  davmar77 Jul 21, 2010 01:24 PM

                  would something like this work for you?

                  http://www.amazon.com/W%C3%BCsthof-Un...

                  we had one in my old house and it very good considering our lack of space.

                  1. re: davmar77
                    SanityRemoved Jul 21, 2010 01:50 PM

                    Although I like that, I have to worry about little hands that by this age should know better (not my children by the way). It took me a bit to finally decide on going with a cupboard interior because it wasn't my preferred method of storage. In the end I decided it would be safer for children and safer for my knives and it would keep me from blowing a gasket over damage to the knives.

          2. John E. Aug 1, 2010 06:04 PM

            Here is a 10-inch model that might work for you:

            http://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Endurance-...

            If that link doesn't work, just google "RSVP Endurance Magnetic Knife Holder - 10-inch"

            The only space I have for a magnetic knife holder is the side of the cupboard over the sink. It too would only fit a 10" knife holder. I may have to consider the under the cupboard idea. I kind of don't like the idea of reaching in there without looking and don't really wish to have to bend over to look every time I reach for a knife.

            1 Reply
            1. re: John E.
              SanityRemoved Aug 2, 2010 12:28 PM

              I haven't committed yet, thanks for the link.

            2. John E. Aug 1, 2010 06:21 PM

              Robin's post got me thinking. My kitchen cabinet isn't very deep so I also could only fit a 10 inch magnetic knife rack. But the cabinet is tall so here's my question. Could I install a longer magnetic knife rack, say 24 inches, vertically on the cabinet so the knives are horizontal instead of vertical with the blade tips point up? Would that present any problems? I'm getting this memory of Julia Child's kitchen and I think she has magnetic knife racks mounted vertically.

              6 Replies
              1. re: John E.
                Chemicalkinetics Aug 1, 2010 06:25 PM

                If your magnetic strip is strong, then you are fine. Otherwise, there may be an issue of torque.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  John E. Aug 1, 2010 06:33 PM

                  As soon as I posted that I thought of that. If the handle is too heavy, it might drag on the knife. I've been thinking about some sort of magnetic knife thing for a while. I've considered making one with the rare earth magnets mentioned earlier but the easiest thing would be the vertical mounting. I guess I can go to the restaurant supply store that sells them, talk to them and maybe stick a few knives to it to see if I think it will hold ok. I suppose the knives should be stuck on there blade facing up. But if it's good enough for Julia Child, it should be ok for us too.

                  1. re: John E.
                    Chemicalkinetics Aug 1, 2010 07:08 PM

                    Hey John,

                    Yeah, it all depends if the magnet is strong and if the knife is placed close to its center of gravity. Here is a photo of the vertical magnetic knife rack you mentioned from the Julia Child's reassembled kitchen at the Museum of American History. What is interesting is that there are many nails on the wall and they appear to be used to hold the knife handles, preventing them from rotating.

                    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/dc/JC%20Kitchen2-316-Kristen.jpg

                    I don't know if these nails were there when she was cooking or they were only placed there by the museum workers.

                    What I would do is to test the magnetic knife rack with a few heavy knives, like a Chef's knife. Pick the magnetic knife rack with stronger magnet and preferably the two magnetic stripes. Assuming all else equal, it is easier to rotate on a single magnetic knife strip like this

                    http://www.gizmodude.com/entry_images/0408/02/magnetic_knife_rack.jpg

                    than on a double magnetic strip like this:

                    http://letthemeatlentils.files.wordpr...

                    Finally, place the knife's blade closest to the handle to the magnetic strip. This will minimize the torque.

                    best

                    P.S.: I think blade facing up or down should be the same. I can see advantageous from both. Having the blades facing up may be marginally safer in case a knife drops. However, you will be rotating the knife midair if the blades face up which can increase your chance of swinging the knife against the counter or a person.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      John E. Aug 2, 2010 08:25 AM

                      OI don't know what I was thinking. Sure I could mount the magnetic holder in the vertical position, there just wouldn't be any room for more than a paring knife because the cupboard is so shallow.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        n
                        Nugentrocks Nov 29, 2010 12:38 PM

                        I do exactly the same thing with my open stock knives.(Sets are in a knife block) I have a two strip with my Shuns and Globels on it. I mounted it vertically with the knife edges pointing upwards so no accidents. It has worked great for me so far. Hope you figure out the best way for you. Happy cooking.

                      2. re: John E.
                        Robin Joy Aug 1, 2010 08:03 PM

                        2 vertical strips, about 4 inches apart?

                  2. j
                    Julz219 May 3, 2012 08:49 AM

                    You may have solved your problem already but I just found a dual magnet knife bar, one side will attach to the side of the fridge and the other will hold my knives. Contact www.fastenal.com find a store near you and order. Simple.

                    1. s
                      schmaf Jun 16, 2012 12:38 PM

                      http://www.magnetic-knifeholder.com has 12" refrigerator-mount knife holders. I have 6 of them and I put my most-used stuff on the strips.

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