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Space saving knife blocks?

I'm looking for some kind of knife block design to take up as little counter space as possible. I'm not big into the look of those magnetic strips so I think an actual block is the way I have to go. I've purchase my knives along the way as I could afford them or needed them so they aren't a particular set and aren't a specific brand. The block must fit a long bread knife, a chef's knife, a pair of kitchen shears, a paring knife, and a thin 6 inch utility knife. Extra points for something modern looking and stylish. Any recs?

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  1. I have Bodum's Bistro block. It fits any knife in any configuration, and it's definitely got a modern look.


    2 Replies
    1. re: yarncake

      Is it weird to pull out straight up? I'm used to a slanted block and never tried a straight one.

      1. re: foxspirit

        Not really, but I've only ever used straight-up blocks.

    2. I really like the ones that fit in a drawer, there are several options (look on Amazon). Of course, need drawer space.

      2 Replies
        1. What about these kind of magnetic blocks? :) Actually they do take up space.


          I also think this knife block from Wusthof is pretty cool.


          11 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            That Wusthof block is way beyond cool - it's magnificent. A shame it comes with a humongous price tag. And it's overseas. :::sigh:::

              1. re: josephnl

                Only marginally less expensive, but thanks for the link. I can dream, anyway.

                1. re: mcsheridan

                  Hopefully, one of these days, the price will come down. Knife blocks are usually overpriced.

                2. re: josephnl

                  I do have one of those 20% off coupons :) I'll put this into my maybe splurge budget area.

                  1. re: foxspirit

                    Be aware that it doesn't look like it will hold your scissors. For me that wouldn't be a deal-breaker, but we're all different.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      ohhh that's true. Good thought.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I've got that first one as a "maybe." I wish they had a smaller version of it.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I bought that for my sister and brother in law for Xmas one year. They have a small (800 sqft) house and a pretty small kitchen that they'd just remodeled. There was some argument about where to house the knives. He was dead set against a wall mounted magnetic strip, basically certain they were deathly dangerous and that knives would fly off the wall at random times. Insert eyeroll here.

                  Anyway, they love the compromise. And it really is beautiful.

                  1. re: MplsM ary

                    I fear more with the strips that I would some how knock into it and cut myself with my razor sharp knives because I am stupendously klutzy or that I would have to install it in such an out of the way area I would never use it. With the counter top one though the blade is fully against the block so this seems less likely. I'm guessing it probably also won't hold shears.

                    1. re: foxspirit

                      With my first magnetic strip I had the same fear. I placed the garbage can below (as a bit of a barrier), so the scary scenario was made much less likely. In my condo I have a beam that separates the stove from much of the counter, so it's set back a little. I had to angle it to fit, but it looks jaunty.

                      Sad to say I think the shears would not stick to the quarter moon block. I keep my shears in a drawer. Oh well.

                2. In my kitchen, high-use times are exposed. See picture. I don't have handy a picture of the knife rack that I use, but it's simply wooden strip with a magnetic stripe along it, and I screwed it into the side of an upper cabinet. You could also do that on the inside of some cabinets.


                  1. This knife dock cork block works well for my miscellaneous collection. I keep my kitchen shears elsewhere, but they could tuck in the front, I think.


                    1. do you have room in a drawer for a knife thingy (which is the technical term, of course)?

                      zero counter space: http://www.amazon.com/Totally-Bamboo-...

                        1. re: foxspirit

                          I heard a lot of good and bad things. I like the concepts.

                          1. re: foxspirit

                            I saw one once with hard graphite rods, which I thought was pretty cool.
                            I think your scissors might fit, at least far enough to be stable. But your big slicer will stick up.

                            In a 2011 test of universal blocks, CI rated the Kapoosh 2nd only to the Bodum Bistro, mentioned upthread. The Kapoosh held 10 knives, but anything longer than 8" stuck up a bit. The Bodum held 9 knives and (if they're angled) will store everything but a 12" blade.

                            Me? I like the Kapoosh. It's fun to play with. :-D

                            1. re: foxspirit

                              As Duffy said, the kapoosh isn't good for very long knives, and doesn't hold as many knives as you might think.

                              Also, the kapoosh also has problems holding cleaver-style knives and probably won't hold your shears.

                              That's not to say it's a bad product or anything. Just that it has some limitations you should know about.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                I also read that kapoosh can slightly scratch knife blades, and a lot of people are disappointed because they have brand new shiny knives.

                            2. This mounts under a cabinet and pivots out for easy access:


                              11 Replies
                              1. re: ferret

                                That is pretty slick, but no place for shears.

                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                    Others have mentioned shears. Do they get used often enough that they need to be in the block? Mine don't

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Mine do, because the shears in my block are my all-purpose house shears. We use them 3-4 times a week, enough to justify keeping them out.

                                      My knife block sits on my island, so they're easily reached from anywhere in the kitchen, without having to walk around to the drawer where I keep my poultry shears.

                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        <Mine do>

                                        Yes, so do mine, but even then it does not have to be in a knife block.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          Hi CK,

                                          This is true. My knife block has a slot for them, so....

                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                            Oh absolutely. I don't mean that. What I meant is that if I find a reasonable knife block, I will get it with or without a shear slot. It is nice to have though.

                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            I have a "stickies" drawer :) Anything that can stick/poke me goes in there. Shears, cork screws, veg peelers, etc. Works great for me.

                                        2. re: c oliver

                                          I use scissors and shears all the time in the kitchen. I keep them in a drawer. They don't take up much room.

                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                            I am worst. I just have mine sort of between "in a draw" to "lying around on the counter"

                                            1. re: MplsM ary

                                              I have the sharpies and the non-sharpies drawer. The former I need to pay attention, the latter will never hurt me. BTW, both are full :)

                                      2. Hi Foxspirit -

                                        You might take a look a the counter block by Global Knife.

                                        Hollow stainless steel shape with a silicone foot, easily cleaned, with the design is canted at an angle for easy knife access when working in the kitchen, or out on the BBQ.

                                        There are 11 knife slots in the model we own, and one can insert other knives in the block such as Messermeister, Wüsthof, or Rösle. It does not have to be Global alone, as shown.

                                        The Global sharpening steel slot will also accommodate a pair of kitchen shears.

                                        The other knife block pictured is a Rösle 6-22 model, available in a countertop stand version, or as shown, a model to clip onto a Rösle open kitchen rail. They are sold in a 3, 6, and 9 knife version. Ours accommodates both a Chinese vegetable knife, and a heavy boning hack, as needed.

                                        New or used, both can be found on EBAY.

                                        I hope this is helpful.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                          I like the Rosle one a lot! I didn't know you could store knives upside down like that

                                          1. re: foxspirit

                                            Ho Foxspirit-

                                            Yes, they are designed to pull the knife out handle at the bottom. The block is constructed of stainless steel and beech wood.

                                            In addition to 3 different knife configurations (3,6, 9), there are also differences with the wood block knife recess being thin, or wider, to accommodate different knife blade thicknesses. The knife block can also be unscrewed and raised or lowered from the back, adjusting for the total height of any knife.

                                            I store ours in a cabinet with the Global and pull either block out as needed.

                                            1. re: foxspirit

                                              Hi Foxspirit -

                                              I mentioned in June that there are 3 different sizes of the Rösle knife block collection. I include a photos of the high or larger knife block, which can accept 3 large knives, shears, or a knife sharpening steel.

                                              When combined with a double unit, a total of 9 knives can be accepted, and held up off the countertop, freeing space below. In this configuration there are 2 large Chinese cleavers, with the large block capable of supporting even a heavier boning cleaver.

                                              Note that there are hooks to attach the block onto a Rösle open kitchen rail in the units pictured. There is also a new version of the Rösle block that is freestanding alone for a countertop, without the rail hooks.

                                              The knives remain clean and sharp in the block, and readily accessible.

                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                Those are really super cool. Thanks for the pics. I think if I had a different set up I'd go with that.

                                          2. A friend of mine has something like this. 'Course you'd have to own your own place and reconstruct the drawer(s) below. But it works great.


                                            1. Thank you all for the suggestions. I ended up getting this one http://www.thegreenhead.com/imgs/xl/b... and its worked out great. Doesn't take up too much space and it hold everything except sadly shears however I have plans to mod it by attaching a little long metal cup to one side to hold my shears.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: foxspirit

                                                Nice choice; and I'm glad you posted that link. I'd never seen that site before; lots of good stuff there.

                                                1. re: foxspirit

                                                  And another thank you; your link led me to my answer.

                                                  Victorinox Swivel Knife Block/iPad Stand
                                                  List Price $59.99, can be found for under $48.

                                                  Integrated turnstile, holds iPad or KindleFire on one side, space for 11 knives (including 6 steak knives). Also has slots for honing steel and kitchen shears. Comes in natural wood or dark wood.

                                                  I may go for the dark wood, not sure yet.

                                                  1. re: mcsheridan

                                                    Hi Mcsheridan -

                                                    I took a look at your fotos first, thinking what a clever design.

                                                    Eleven knife slots on the front with the backside of the block put to good use for a tablet. Someone was thinking imaginatively here.

                                                    Then I noticed the Swiss flag imprint and realized it was Victornox.

                                                    Clever people in the design department. And a reasonable price.

                                                    Of course.

                                                  2. re: foxspirit

                                                    Hi Foxspirit -

                                                    That looks very modern and minimalist. Your new block would look good in any kitchen.

                                                    If you can, post a photo of your shears modification / addition.

                                                    Enjoy !

                                                    1. re: foxspirit

                                                      Yeah, I talked you into getting it. :) I didn't think you would get it just because I didn't think it is the most space-saving option. It is pretty and it is easy to use. It does save space, but it is not the MOST space-saving one.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        Yeah but I thought it made for a good combo of space saving, easy to clean, and easy for me to grab my knives from/put them into. It will hold practically any knife and it has the bonus of looking pretty nice. So was it the best at any of those points? Probably not but it had ALL of them and I'm greedy so I sacrificed a little counter space :)

                                                        1. re: foxspirit

                                                          "Easy to clean" is definitely true.

                                                          Some people are really into cleanness, and the idea that they can never clean the inside of a typical knife block or knife drawer block bug them. They say "I have just cleaned and wiped my knives, and now I am sticking them into the knife block slots which are likely to be very dirty inside" So they not only clean after use, but also before use (taking the knives out of the block).

                                                          I am glad that it is working out for you. It is indeed very pretty and it can hold any knife.

                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          Hi CK and foxspirit,

                                                          <it is not the MOST space-saving one.>

                                                          But it is by far the most off-the-hook wicked cool one. And that's a fact. :-)