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Jul 12, 2011 02:56 AM

Best material for a knife sleeve?

I need a quick and CHEAP way to protect my kitchen knife and make it clearly different from all the other knives my housemate buys. She stores all her knives shoved together in a kitchen drawer, and is the sort who will grab the first knife she can get her hands on when needed without paying attention to whether it's her cheapie 'you can cut a sneaker with this' knife or my much better chefs knife. I was thinking of sewing a brightly coloured sleeve for it and storing it out of the way in a rarely used cabinet. My question though is about the material used for a sleeve. Is any one material better than another for knives? Cotton? Wool? Linen? I would hate to assume that all are fine only to discover that I've ended up damaging my knife as I really can't afford to replace it. I've got scraps of all fabrics and was just planning on making a padded sleeve to slide the knife into when it's not in use.

Alternatively, does anyone have any ideas for a DIY knife sleeve that can be made from items commonly found around the average crafter's home?

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  1. magnetic board, stick it on that -- same as pros use. Then she's got no excuse for using your knife.
    My knives came in cardboard sleeves, so if you're looking for a cheaper alt...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chowrin

      Can't. The kitchen is absolutely tiny and she's a notoriously cluttered counter person so we don't really even have any wall space that I could put a magnet up on except for behind the stove top, and I don't think I want to put it there. If I had space like that I would have filled it with tins of spices by now instead of the jumbled cabinet of spices, some if which are a decade old. I keep meaning to purge it but she might flip out that I'm THROWING HER STUFF AWAY. OMG! She's not a chowhound. Can you tell?

      1. re: JasFoodie

        I made sleeves for my knives from old telephone book covers(cardboard?) and blue duct tape.Cheap, easy and good protection for the blades.

        1. re: JasFoodie

          Put the knife magnet on the inside of a cabinet door.

          1. re: pdxgastro

            Maybe knife magnets are better now-a-days. I had one years ago, and my 'good knives purchased in Paris' kept falling to the counter. I eventually discarded it.

            I would worry about opening a door with sharp knives pointing down or flying outward when opening fast.

      2. Hi Jas,

        There are relatively inexpensive knife sleeves you can buy, like the Wusthof knife sleeves:

        and the Victorinox/Forschner magnetic knife protector:

        If you want to make a knife sleeves on your own, then I would use something like the FedEx and UPS hard envelopes:

        They are hard enough that you cannot readily cut through and they are thin enough that you can easily fold them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          For some reason I was under the impression that I shouldn't use just a cardboard sleeve. No clue where that came from. But heck, if a cardboard sleeve is ok, that's easy enough! I do like the magnetic one though, and I'm wondering if I can improvise something like that. I think I have a sheet of magnet somewhere in my craft supplies. I notice in the description that they claim someting about multi pole magnets so the knife doesn't get magnetized. Is that even an issue, considering how often knives are stored on a magnetic strip these days?

          1. re: JasFoodie

            "For some reason I was under the impression that I shouldn't use just a cardboard sleeve"

            I think it depends what kind of cardboard we are thinking of. The rough cardboard can be filled with hard abrasive and can scratch the blade and dull the blade. Even then, I expect that to be a minor problem storaging the knife in one. More importantly, I think that is a much smaller issue for these hard paper envelopes where the surface has been smoothen out. If you are still concern, you can use the external glossy side of the hard envelope to wipe around the knife.

            I don't think the magnet sleeves should be a concern because they use fairly weak magnet. You don't want strong magnets anyway because you want to able to open it relatively easy -- but not too easily.

        2. "I was thinking of ... storing it out of the way in a rarely used cabinet."

          Put it in a heavy man's cotton sock, tie a string around it, and bag it in a ziplock. Put it in a desk drawer where you keep bills, statements, etc. and always VISIBLE.

          However, I am not recommending the material of cotton over wool or linen; but just a way to keep it stable.

          1. What I do is I have two Totally Bamboo in-drawer knife blocks. On one side are my knives (DO NOT TOUCH) and on the other is an identical one that are OK knives.

            Of course, I have a cupboard with knives stored in their knife boxes too, but the segregation has worked so far pretty well.

            This is the one I got.


            I don't like the wusthoff one, and if you go this route make sure to measure your drawers before ordering. They are quite long and may not fit. Just FYI.

            1. Hi, JasFoodie:

              I think you're gonna cut through your DIY fabric sleeves pretty quickly unless you have scraps of Kevlar/aramid fiber material laying around.

              A few suggestions: (1) If you have just a *little* wallspace, you might try one of these single-knife magnetic "boards".

              (2) I have and like the edge-open plastic sleeves like this: I use them mostly for travel, but also for knives that won't fit in my blocks or excess. I don't care for the end-open or clamshell type protectors. Every decent kitchen store should have these; they may be available in housemate-warning colors. Just be careful to dry your knife thoroughly if it's not a SS alloy.

              (3) If you're handy with the sewing machine, stitch yourself up a knife roll with a few extra slots for additional knives. Not easy for you to get at, but not easy for her, either.

              (4) New housemate?

              Good luck,

              4 Replies
              1. re: kaleokahu

                Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Since cardboard sleeve is ok, I'm just going with that. Cut one out of a cereal box I fished out of the recycling last night and taped it together with blue painters tape. It looks tacky as all heck but the price sure was right, and that's the key thing! One of these days I may try to prettify it up by using the cardboard sleeve as a liner inside a fabric sleeve or something.

                1. re: JasFoodie

                  "Cut one out of a cereal box I fished out of the recycling last night and taped it together with blue painters tape."

                  Oh good choice, I blanked out on that one.

                  "It looks tacky as all heck but the price sure was right, and that's the key thing!"

                  And here I thought you did it to recycle the cereal box and saving our environment. :)

                  1. re: JasFoodie

                    This is exactly what I use! Except, rather than tape, I use the inside edge of the box that has the little flap piece already glued in place. I separate the glued section of the flap, cut the "back" wall of the cover to match the "front" (fro size), & re-glue the flap down with a little Elmer's. It works great with thinner blades.

                    I originally used those melt-folded heavy plastic sleeves, but the cut corners scratched up the faces of my clad Shun & Kanetsune blades pretty quickly.