HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


knife storage

the "block " I have my knives is this black thing with these tiny little plugs of plastic that were suppouse to be better for your knives becuse they didint have to go into a specific spot and rub against the wood and get dull.... anyway... now it is in horrid shape.. and I was thinking about putting up a magnetic strip.. but I am afraid it will warp my knives... how do you store your knives?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi, girlofthewold::

    Have no worries over warpage. The only concerns with mag strips are corrosion and dulling if you draw the blade against the strip.

    You bought the "koosh" before"


    1. +1 to what Kaleo said.

      Magnetic strips are popular among bona fide knife nerds who are very touchy about my... I mean their... knives. If you make sure your knives are dry when you put em on the strip and you're careful not to ding the edge against the strip when you're taking it on and pulling it off, you'll have no problems. And if even that sounds too risky to you, they now make magnetic strips with wood exteriors (they cost more though).

      Other popular options include a slotted knife block (as long as your knives fit in it well) and slotted knife holders that fit inside a drawer.

      I'm a fan of magnetic strips myself though.

      5 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        "they now make magnetic strips with wood exteriors (they cost more though)."

        ohhh this sounds like it may get around my moms "they are ugly" argument.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Oh my goodness! They are just gorgeous. I had no idea such a thing existed. I'm very happy with my knife block, but . . . . I want one of those.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Beautiful, but then they're still on your counter. This is definitely the way to go if you're renting, however.

              1. re: blaireso

                I agree. These magnetic blocks take up space just like regular block maybe even a bit more because the way you need to get the knives out. In my opinion, these are more for beauty, and not for saving space. It is just a beautiful piece and a nice way to present the knives to visitor. It is functional too, but not saving work sapce.

        1. The others covered most everything but I have seen a few that will not stick well to a magnetic rack due to odd geometry or metal alloys.

          Most common ones that have issues sticking to mine are the old USA made Chicago Cutlery walnut handled knives.

          Also most cheap stainless are iffy.


          3 Replies
          1. re: knifesavers

            I have those exact CC knives (wedding gift- 36 years ago). They seem to stick to my magnetic racks just fine. BTW, I do not put them in the DW & the walnut handles are still beautiful- I rub with a bit of oil occasionly.

            1. re: bevwinchester

              Kudos to you for no DW and oiling. Those suffer badly when neglected.

              CC's have a funny "taper grind" and do not have much flat to get good strip contact. Lay a straight edge on it and see how much full contact you get.

              I use a strip on my recondition station that will hold up a 2.5 lb cleaver and did about 750+ knives last year. CCs are always a slight nudge from falling off. Carbon steels I nearly need 2 hands to release one.


              1. re: knifesavers

                I have a couple of them, about the same age as bevwinchester, and think because of the grind it might put too much stress on the cutting edge unless you're pretty careful when putting them back on the magnet, especially the larger knives. Mine do stick, though I don't use them much anymore and they're consigned to the "retired" knife drawer.

          2. <but I am afraid it will warp my knives>

            It definitely cannot warp your knives.

            < how do you store your knives?>

            I put most of them in my wood knife block.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I store mine on magnetic strip too. Have never had a problem, plus - they look so pretty on display! ;)

              Had a knife block years ago. Big, bulky & takes up too much counter space.

              1. re: chloebell

                "they look so pretty on display"

                I know some of mine are beautiful...

                I know mom would love her coulnter back

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                thank you ... I was worried about the "ruination" of them!

              3. No magnetic strip at my house, I'd be too afraid of the cats knocking them off and getting hurt. I use a knife block and store some in the drawer in sheaths

                18 Replies
                1. re: rasputina

                  I plan on installing a couple mag strips inside cabinet doors. Always handy...always hidden.

                      1. re: rasputina

                        Until someone slams your cupboard door. ;)

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          yeah, I'd think that would not be ideal

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            ok good point, I didn't think of that. I wouldn't have put it inside the cabinet anyway. My cats can and do open the cabinet doors and get inside on occasion and I don't want to put childproof locks on them.

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              Until the cat slams the cabinet door from the inside?

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                HA HA, no, but my cat can--and does--slam coming or going. I meant until A PERSON slams your cupboard. But rest assured, my cat slams it hard enough to be heard wherever I am in the house!

                                  1. re: JayL

                                    :) As you can probably guess (hear), I don't have them. Love the concept, tho'.

                                    1. re: JayL

                                      Oops, should have read more before posting. I can't imagine NOT having them.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        We have the "self closing" hinges, but not "soft" closing hinges.

                                        To remedy that I have installed the soft close add-ons. Just a simple thing that installs with one screw. Works great.

                                        I have 3 strips installed inside doors so far. Two 13" and one 18" strip. All purchased at a restaurant supply store.

                                        Some blades are more magnetic than others, but the soft close on the doors prevent issues when closing.

                                        All of my strips are mounted in the lower cabinets by the floor.

                                    2. re: kattyeyes

                                      I have those nifty, automatic closer thingies on all my cabinet doors. Not possible to slam.

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        What about putting a felt sticker on the corner so it softens the "slam"?

                                        1. re: blaireso

                                          That's a good idea, actually. But the cat says, "How will she know when I'm HUNGRY?!" ;) Thank you for the suggestion.

                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                            My dog goes to the back door and rings the sleigh bells hanging on the knob, and when I get up out of my chair to let him out he races to his dish. Hey, I'm up, why not feed me? My 3 cats just yowl. I free feed so with them it's not banging on the cupboard, it's let me OUT NNOOWWW!! I had one who gently patted my eyelids to wake me up to feed him. Now THAT's a wake up call.

                                            What about a rubber band wrapping between the cupboard knobs? Or those child-proof thingies?

                                            1. re: blaireso

                                              I'm giggling now. I have sleigh bells on my front door--you know, so I'll know when someone comes in? Back in the winter, I thought someone broke into my house and was scared to death...until I saw my snowshovel had fallen and hit the sleigh bells in the middle of the night. Oh, that was a scene.

                                              I actually don't mind the cupboard banging. It's kind of funny except if I'm on a conference call (then there's mute). One day, when I grow up and have a nicer kitchen, I want those slick drawers you can try to slam and they never do, kinda like the "soft eject" feature...and all the bells and whistles. But for now, my cat and I are slummin' it in this kitchen. :) Not to mention, the cat would love to eat the rubber bands!

                                1. I have both magnetic strips and one of these http://amzn.to/1oEiQs6 in a drawer

                                  1. Mag strip is the bomb! They're off my counter, I can display my blades, I can see and grab the knife I want to use, they stay dry.....and it ain't gonna warp your knives. You'll love it. And frikin' cats don't belong there anyway! raspy ;)

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                      Amen to "the cats don't belong there anyway".

                                      Why would you allow your cats on counters?

                                      Our cat stays on the floor where he belongs.

                                      1. re: JayL

                                        Tufts of cat fur tied up in kitchen string make excellent bouquet garni. And we all know how cartilage benefits stock... ;;

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        ha ha ha, and here I thought I was going to see your cats!

                                      2. I do not own a magnetic strip myself, but I have been doing some research about knives and what is the best way to store them. I would recommend that you purchase a magnetic strip for your knives, I have never heard about knives being warped because of a magnetic strip. Yeah that's very helpful, I know. :p I do have some concern about cats becoming hurt because of the way the knives are stored, and you cannot control what your cats do when you are not home.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: DatatheAndroid

                                          True, but where does it end...will they turn on the stove? The toaster? A good pet owner who loves their animals, will train'em properly. Besides, give the cat some credit...a knife isn't that interesting

                                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                            I do train my animals, but they also think everything is interesting. I'm also one of those ultra-paranoid cat 'Mothers' who worries about every little thing when it comes to their animals health and welfare. As soon as I find a good magnetic strip I'll buy it, but that won't stop me from worrying. :p

                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                              I have no problems with mine being on the counter. In fact they eat all their meals there. They also hang out on top of the upper cabinets because of the gap between the top of the cabinet and the vaulted ceiling.

                                              No they can't turn on the stove. They don't have opposable thumbs to grab the knob.

                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                Ewwww! Paws on the counter that may have just been in the litter box...hair, puking, stinky food, and the perpetuating of the weird cat lady sterotype! But, hey, this is America. I'm sure some folks find my clean kitchen off putting

                                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                  I'm sure secret camera footage might reveal paws just might get where you don't want them when you're not looking. ;)

                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                    yeah, yeah, true dat...what has YOUR footage revealed?

                                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                      Oh, that's why the footage is secret. If I told you, I'd hafta kill you.

                                                      Seriously, AK jumped on my cooktop precisely once. Unfortunately, though there was nothing on it anymore, it was still in "hot surface" mode and she very quickly learned not to do that again.

                                                      Plus, I have so much stuff ON my counters, there's not much room for her to roam. :)

                                                  2. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                    I don't take advice regarding cat care from people that clearly are cat phobic. Those same paws you find evil on the counter are also the ones that are sitting on your lap and laying in bed with you.

                                                    Guess what your dog licks it's butt too.

                                                    Funny that you assume I don't wipe the counter off multiple times a day.

                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                      This would be a good poll for the Not About Food Board...."Do you allow pets on your kitchen counters." Care to wager? Friskes vs beer? Good thing for you I like cheap beer

                                            2. Knife block here with the blades flipped upside down so pulling and placing them do not dull the blades via the wood.

                                              Unless you are rocking steel toed shoes or Dansko kitchen shoes daily, I do not trust magtnetic strips.

                                              Work in a tool shop, kitchen or production floor and anything magnetically held can be lodged by force with only gravity to guide it.

                                              Bumped knife on magent strip + tile floor + open toe strappy shoes (or flip flops or bare feet) = blood, hospital or possible loss of didget.

                                              Cool as they look, gravity will win at some time. Ask any kitchen cook or home user.

                                              16 Replies
                                              1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                shudder.. just got a horrid image of a beheaded cavlier king charles at my feet with the other huddled in the corner thinking "damn I aint ever going to beg again!"

                                                1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                  Maybe I'll be punished somehow for saying so, but to paraphrase my buddy Sean, my knives on their magnetic strip ain't going NOWHERE. In case of an earthquake or other natural disaster, most they're going is down off the wall next to the microwave, away from my non-steel-toed/non-Dansko kitchen-attired (sandals/sneaks) feet.

                                                  I had to read "didget" a couple of times before I could follow. Gotcha. Digit.

                                                  Could be I'm just a bad girl for life.

                                                  And, much as my cat likes to keep me company in my kitchen, she has never expressed a whisker of interest in any of my knives.

                                                  1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                    Has anybody actually had a knife fall off a magnet?

                                                    I've had a magnet up for years, have a dog (70 lb, and rowdy) and a toddler in the house, and never had a knife fall, or even shift position. Granted I don't live where earthquakes are common. Likewise, I haven't seen many (any?) posts here or on the knife forums about knives falling off magnets and damaging themselves/the floor/their owners. The issue of knives falling sounds more like speculation than an actual documented risk. The strips I've seen have some pretty strong magnets.

                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                      I just pounded on the wall above and below my knives. I GOT NOTHIN'. To repeat...they ain't...goin' nowhere...they ain't...goin' nowhere.

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        kind of like the "IT HAPPENED TO ME!" colum in my aunts parenting magazine which my mom tells her is the" scare the shit out of new parents colum"..it takes the most weird freaky accidents that a parent would never would never think of and and then some parent writes about how this 1 in 1 million thing happened to them and how their baby will now nevvvvvver be the same....and it sends a panic over parents allll over the country.
                                                        " My knives were alllllllways safe on the magnitic strip then one day mittens jumped on the counter and released the Chicago Cuttlery Cleaver and pushed it four feet off the counter and onto the head of little Legend cutting the tip of his left ear off!"
                                                        Suddenly magnetic knofe strips are banned for household use in the US.

                                                        1. re: girloftheworld

                                                          Serious biz, girloftheworld, you will love your magnetic strip. If you like the one I posted, I'll dig out where you can find one too (as you mentioned you liked the wood look). Amazon is our friend. :)

                                                        2. re: kattyeyes

                                                          Magnets are good at retention until the bond breaks due to an unforseen bump.

                                                          They are good if up and out of the way but still not failsafe.

                                                          Knives are sharp and deadly instruments no different than guns.

                                                          Do I hang my loaded Glocks from the trigger on my coathooks by the door? No. Could I? Hell ya.
                                                          But others may vary.

                                                          Knife safety is penultimate to me. For those that can only count to 19 or 18, well, good for you.

                                                          Have a Henkel knife dice a bare foot due to gravity and you learn your lesson quick.

                                                          32ft per second squared is my rule.

                                                          Plus tile floors ruin your blade tips very very fast.BTDT.

                                                          1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                            I can still count to twenty, not to worry!

                                                        3. re: cowboyardee

                                                          Never. It's possible in a pefect storm of conditions my truck can spontaneously explode too...but it hasn't.

                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                            When loading the knife rack if I have a CC 61S, 62S, 66S, 45S, RB10, or 78S up there, a slight bump when putting something next to them it is very common for them to drop.

                                                            I load them upside down with the butt of the blade up and the handle just touching the rack to give it more support. Hung handle down, I often end up fishing them from behind the freezer.


                                                            1. re: knifesavers

                                                              Wow, this is so interesting- I have 3 Dachshunds, 1 cat & a fairly clumsy DH, but have never had knives tumble off of my magnetic knife strips. I even have 3 of them, fully loaded!

                                                              1. re: bevwinchester

                                                                Granted this rack could be a little weaker but same rack and lots of different knives the CC's have less holding power.

                                                                I attribute this to the lack of flat space so that there isn't a great magnet to blade contact patch, coupled with the possibility they have a fair bit of non ferrous metals in their alloy, and the blades I list are narrow so there is even less of a contact patch than a 42S or 44S.

                                                                Other blades with a similar taper grind also do not hold as well. So I lean heavier on blade geometry and contact patch size as big factors.


                                                              2. re: knifesavers

                                                                Never heard of that kind of thing, but I'll take your word for it. FWIW, my vintage carbon dexter 45A12R sticks to a magnet like glue. Big knife - wouldn't want that one falling. Pretty straight grind though.

                                                              3. re: cowboyardee

                                                                Yeah, I had it happen. Light knife with a very heavy handle. The knife doesn't belong on the metal strip, but one of my guests put it away. Then I put away the cleaver (ka-chunk).

                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                  Only time was when I didn't secure the knife so only one of the two magnets had contact. My fault, not the knife rack.

                                                              4. All these people with mag strips with knives just falling off or being bumped off. Where on earth are you buying those pieces of horse dung?

                                                                I've never knocked a knife off a good mag strip. I certainly have never seen one spontaneously just fall off.

                                                                If you have knives that aren't conducive to staying on a strip, don't use one...please.

                                                                Otherwise, purchase a good commercial mag strip...and don't put it in a stupid location.

                                                                All will be well.

                                                                1. Regarding knives falling off the magnetic strip...
                                                                  I just performed an experiment with my 7€ (about $10US) Ikea magnetic knife strip. With the knives (including a very heavy butcher's cleaver and a steel) still on, I unscrewed it from the wall, took it to the bedroom and shook it vigorously over the mattress... Nada.
                                                                  If your knives have a tendency to fall off, throw out your magnetic strip and buy one from anywhere other than a dollar store.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: phanmo

                                                                    Excellent point- any kitchen item that is popular with have examples in all price ranges & of widely varying quality. Look around, consider what you are using it for & purchase the best you can afford for the allotted task.

                                                                  2. Until my current home had a wooden knife rack built in to hold maybe 75-100 knives, was beautiful and protected knives perfectly. The current place has 4 wooden framed magnetic strips hanging 2 over 2 and holding a total of @ 35 knives. Not as many but now the blades show as well as the handles and it looks awesome. In 4 years none have been damaged and none have fallen, am quite happy with my choice and saved a fortune.

                                                                    1. I have a magnetic strip and in drawer wooden slides.
                                                                      I was always told to place knives on the magnetic strip spine first. I've had no issues and love it for my more frequently used knives.
                                                                      The in drawer blocks work well too.

                                                                      1. My one exercise in cabinetry was an ash top for an old cabinet base, about 30" x 48". Not only did it turn out ridiculously well - most of my "wood-butchering" is truly "butchery" - but the best part was the strip of flat molding I ran along the back edge, held away from it by three small spacers of the same molding. This allowed all of my knives to hang down behind the worktop, back where even the cats couldn't go, and stay clean, dry and well within reach. How I wish I'd been able to bring that with me when we moved, since now I just have an inadequately-sized knife drawer with a block that holds about half of them. But all of my remodeling plans call for a long slot at the back of my next worktop that will let the blades hang down just beyond where the drawers end. Magnetic strip is out of the question, unless the kitchen magically grows an extra 5' of width or length!

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                                          How very clever you are! I love that idea. Cabinet makers should pay attention.

                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                            A friend of mine built the most wonderful home a few years ago. She's such a stickler for detail and everything is perfect. Including what you describe, the knives holder at the back of the counter. Very smart.

                                                                          2. My parents bought a magnetic strip at least 65 years ago, and it's fine. Nothing falls off of it. They are attached extremely well.

                                                                            1. I've a very secure magnetic strip. Dry your knives and place carefully. I have a small kitchen and no rooom for a hefty knife block. I organize knives according to size and function and face them all the same way so I can grab what I need during prep. A big believer in having only what one really needs on the kitchen counter, moving things up the wall does save time and energy in the kitchen and even my 12" chef knife has never fallen.

                                                                              1. I have used these magnets for years, to me they are the best and safest answer. I have a rather large set of knifes, in number and size. All of them hang in plain sight, makes it easy to always grab what you are looking for the first time and saves what little kitchen space I have for prep work.

                                                                                1. When I built a new kitchen in 2012 I added a magnetic knife strip...actually it is for tools...it is mounted on the bottom of my cupboard, because there really isn't adequate room on my wall....Absolutely love it....

                                                                                  1. Knives are at the same time the most used and the most dangerous tool in the kitchen. They should always be cared for and handled with care. Magnetic strips used with reasonable caution are convenient for you and easy on the knives. They, of course, should be out of reach of children and pets. Be sure to place the knives solidly on the strip, and remove them with reasonable caution.
                                                                                    I have two sets - one for the smaller knives and scissors, and one for the larger knives. I recommend them as a part of every well equipped kitchen.

                                                                                    1. I have one of these:


                                                                                      My knives fit in this for now and it is very safe, keeps the blades sharp too.

                                                                                      1. one of the best kitchen decisions we ever made was replacing a knife block with a magnetic strip!

                                                                                        1. Do it, girloftheworld. I've had mine for more than 25 years; it's indispensable. It holds even a Chinese cleaver on one end and a heavy poultry shears on the other -- buy one on which the magnets are usable on the sides (about 1 1/4 ") as well as the front. Mine is situated on a wall perpendicular to the countertop and I've never had a problem, though I do make sure knives are dry before I slap them onto the magnetic bars.

                                                                                          1. a little pricey, but a friend says these are very strong (I asked if he thought it would hold a fry pan, he thought so), and I like the idea of a rubber face. anyone have any experience with them? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00022M400

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: G3T 1N MY B3LLY

                                                                                              My sole objection to these would be the price, since I'd need more than 2 sets.

                                                                                              1. I've had magnetic knife racks in the last 7 houses I've lived in, and have had cats consistently for the past 50 years, usually a couple at a time, and occasionally litters of curious kittens. They've never been interested in my knife racks. I tend to mount them over a counter or cutting board, not over a drop to the floor, however I've never encountered one where a knife has fallen unless I put it back wrong. Mine have always been pretty powerful, so I'm careful to put the knives back gently. I've got a good sized Japanese cleaver that is solid steel and that one I'm really careful with since I've discovered it adheres rather violently to the magnetic strip. It hangs off the end so the edge never touches the strip. I also point all knives in the same direction, edges away from my right hand, to increase the safety factor. I think a knife block would also be safe, but it takes up a lot of room on the counter. Not so happy with the Bodum type of block because I'm cautious about knicking my knuckles if I grab one carelessly (and isn't that always the issue).

                                                                                                Your cats won't bother your knife strip--and if you think they will, consider smearing some Bitter Apple or other deterrent on the knife strip, it won't get on the knives if you avoid the magnets.

                                                                                                1. I got a magnetic strip at IKEA for a 10" chef's knife and a large cleaver that I didn't have room for in my block. Cost me $12.99 and they don't budge. My model isn't available anymore...but this one is only 2 bucks more.


                                                                                                  1. I worked on large yachts for years and loved the magnetic strips... I would load them up with a full range of cutlery from 12" chef knives, to 3" paring knives and every size in-between. With all of the slamming and pounding the yachts went through on South to North west coast passages, South Pacific, and late-fall Atlantic crossings, I never had a knife drop. Not once.

                                                                                                    1. In cabinet storage.

                                                                                                      Soft close doors for safety.

                                                                                                      1. I have in the drawer knife trays. If you have the drawer space for them.

                                                                                                        1. I have a drawer full of knives I don't use very often, most of them in plastic blade protectors or sheaths.

                                                                                                          I keep six or so knives I like to use a lot in a block on a kitchen counter.

                                                                                                          There's no accounting for taste, but I don't like the looks of most contemporary wooden knife blocks. So I cruised eBay and found, for not much money, a 1970s Dansk block made of oiled teakwood. It's a beautiful thing. Only holds a half dozen knives, but that's good enough for me.

                                                                                                          1. I use a wooden block with (mostly) horizontal slots.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. I use a wood block that hangs "horizontally" under my upper cupboards. I have used the magnetic strips in the past... no worries about warping your knives. If that happens, you need better knives :-)