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If you have successfully collected several knives for your kitchen, it is time to take care of it. You will now sharpen them regularly, dry them thoroughly, and avoid putting them in a dishwasher. You also need to store them well. So, have you thought about your knife storage option?
Finding the right knife abode is not just a matter of kitchen organization. This is because such an abode retains the sharpness of knives for a longer time than what you may expect, makes it easy to find the knife in need, and gives instant access to the knife you want.
Well, this is the perfect kitchen scenario that turns into a reality when an ideal block adorns your countertop. When well-placed, this storage option can make prep considerably smoother than before, provided it fits your needs.
A knife block not only securely stores your knives but also minimizes the risk of blade and finger damage. Fingers are at risk, otherwise, while storing the knives in a drawer. While the knives are within your reach, they are yet not so easily accessible by small members such as kids and pets.
In this article, let’s explore the different types of blocks with their benefits and limitations along with the factors that help you select the best knife block.
2020’s 3 Best Knife Blocks Reviewed
Bellemain 100% Pure Bamboo In-drawer Knife Block – Best knife block for drawer
This in-drawer block is ideal for those who have small countertops and probing children at homes. Capable of fitting in any standard drawer, this block can hold up to 16 knives of various sizes that can be up to 15 inches long. The edge goes downward for ensuring secured storage.
Interestingly, it is made using the eco-friendly MOSO bamboo that is lacquered, resistant to water, and approved by the FDA as food-safe. The material is also pretty strong and durable due to which it is a sleek alternative to wood.
It is also easy to clean this bamboo block. You only need soap and water. However, occasional oiling is essential.
- Environment-friendly build material
- Resistant to water
- 16 slots
- Easily washable
- Tight such that it becomes tough to pick a knife
Boker 30400 Wood – Best Magnetic Knife Block
This is a distinctly designed magnetic block with a stylish knife showcase, sturdy construction, and strong magnet. The magnet is so strong that there is no need to bother about knives falling. The knives stick safely to the block’s sides. For removing knives, just twist and pull.
The magnet is middle in each wooden plank. Thus, you need to make an effort for putting the blade in line with the middle part. This block can hold only seven knives, including the bigger ones the seventh pane in the middle.
- Ultramodern design
- Robust magnet
- Easy to detach and clean
- Value for money
- Significant countertop space consumption
Kuhn Rikon Vision Clear Slotted Knife Stand/Block – Best clear knife block
This is a compact and transparent countertop model made up of plexiglass acrylic plastic. The integrated, flexible inlay can store up to 18 knives of different sizes with the supported maximum length being eight inches.
You can easily remove the inlay for cleaning the block. The base is weighted well so that the block does not tip over. Further, the accordion separations defend the blades while accommodating blades of any size.
- Superb storage capacity
- Balanced base
- Transparent due to acrylic build
- Easy cleaning due to disassembly
- Sliding of smaller knives due to lack of tension
How to Choose The Best Knife Block
When it comes to buying a knife block, most people tend to visualize the conventional, slanted block of wood residing on the kitchen’s countertop. Even today, there are many attractive models in this style. However, they are not preferable by those who have used them.
The main issue with these classic blocks is that it is not easy to clean them and that no one can promptly view the kind of knife being picked. Further, they need oiling at regular intervals.
However, these issues are eliminated by several modern-style blocks. These blocks, if featuring quality construction, prevent knives from becoming scratched or blunt. They are also resistant to bacterial and residue accumulation. After all, saving your financial digits is not the only goal here, right?
So, how do you choose the best knife block featuring a modern style? Well, for that, you first need to identify your needs and budget and then compare the most promising blocks based on their features, also known as buying factors.
Based on these features, you can also identify the pros and cons of making a more profound comparison. So, let’s explore these buying factors that also include some analysis of your needs.
Knife Block Types
Storage blocks for knives are split into three types or categories, namely, the in-drawer ones, the conventional countertop designs, and magnetic blocks.
As the name suggests, an in-drawer block fits into a normal drawer in a kitchen. It comes with separate slots, each of a different size so that different types of knives can go inside. For ensuring additional safety, most models store the cutting edge downward. However, some models store it upward to minimize edge damage. A downward storing model with a padlock or child lock is ideal if there are kids around.
As the name indicates, a countertop block is designed to rest on the kitchen’s countertop. It comes with measured slots to accommodate knives of specific sizes. A few models also come with more slots for storing extra tools such as sharpening steel and scissors. Countertops blocks are usually made natural or synthetic materials, which are as follows:
- Natural or Synthetic Wood: This material is chosen for its classic evergreen look. However, on the flip side, it makes a bit challenging to pick the right knife at work, mainly when the handles are identical and are from the same brand. The conventional wooden models also need considerable effort to clean. Another issue is that any type of woodblock slowly leads to blunting. This is because whenever you pick a knife and set it inside after use, the edge has to pass along the wooden surface, causing friction. This can be prevented by keeping the spine pressed against the surface instead of the edge.
- Acrylic: This synthetic plastic material is transparent due to which it becomes easier than before to pick the correct knife. The overall look also mixes well with the latest contemporary kitchens. Most of them are sized to accommodate the knives of a specific brand or manufacturer.
There are large modes as well. They are usually diagonally spacious so that you can easily pick knives. This angled design also allows placing the block in a cabinet on the kitchen wall such that kids cannot access them, yet you can safely pick and replace knives. On the flip side, these blocks if kept on countertop consumes much space.
There are blocks having top slots, which consume less space than angled blocks. The knife handles are positioned on a bit higher level than usual so that the younger members cannot easily access them. As a limitation, it is inconvenient to pick knives from these top-slot models if they are stored in an elevated cupboard.
Designed as a countertop model or a wall-mounted strip or block, a magnetic block can accommodate both knives and other silverware items. It features powerful magnets or their strips to which steel cutlery tightly attaches.
The underlying notion behind creating such blocks is to see the handles and blades of knives. Thus, you can easily pick the one you need. While this is beneficial to you, it is likely to be harmful to kids. This is when they can easily access or touch a knife on this kind of a block. They can hurt themselves or dislocate a knife from its slot.
For removing a knife, simply hold the handle, turn, and pull it such that you do not dislodge any adjacent knife. A magnetic block is likely to apply pressure to the knife’s tang section at the time of removal. If there is no tang, some additional stress may affect the knife’s stability with time.
As these blocks are usually completely magnetized, you have some liberty to decide as to where you can put your knives. Magnetic blocks are typically made using natural or synthetic materials.
At times, they are also made using metal. Such blocks are not advisable, as they can result in scratches on the blade, unlike the wooden ones. They are also not suitable for storing ceramic knives due to insufficient magnetic attraction.
However, magnetic blocks ensure simple maintenance. Unlike a traditional block, there is no risk of food or grime accumulation. Further, you only need to wipe the block using a wet cloth. In case of natural wood, it is essential to polish the surface occasionally using a food-grade oil to increase the wood’s lifespan.
Magnetic blocks are likely to be more useful than before if they are kept on the countertop while cooking. If placed at the rear of the countertop or on its adjacent wall, they can act as a temporary knife holder for some seconds during which you can add ingredients to the pan. This is safer than putting it on the countertop or cutting board.
A few magnetic knife blocks are designed as under-cabinet tools that affix underneath an upper cabinet. However, there should be enough space under the cabinet for putting and removing the knives safely. These blocks typically have no child-proof features, but you can affix one such fitting by buying it separately.
At the time of buying a magnetic block, ensure that it is robust enough to hold knives but not weak enough to snap or chip their blades while putting them on the block. In case of too strong magnets, the risk of chipping is always high.
Do not buy a magnetic block if there are kids around or if you are not going to place in an appropriate cabinet that is mounted high or has a lock.
This is the first factor to consider before you go ahead and start looking for the blocks and their features. Just look at your counter and measure the space you can give to your modern, elegant knife block.
This will tell you whether you have enough countertop space for the block or not. If not, you should choose an in-drawer block, as it can easily go inside a drawer in your kitchen. It is also ideal for those who have curious small children from whom the drawer hides the sharp knives while retaining their sharp edges.
Another option is to choose a wall-mounted magnetic model. Even for this block, you need to ensure sufficient space on the wall.
Knife Size and Quantity
The next important factor is to consider the knives to be stored in the block. Find out how many knives you want to store and what their sizes are. This will help you choose a block with the desired number of slots that are versatile enough to accommodate kitchen knives of different sizes.
Approximately 15-16 slots are sufficient for a typical chef at home. However, if the cutlery collection is more, you may want something larger. You will find blocks with different capacities.
When it comes to size, you need to know that most countertop models will not be able to accommodate any knife whose length is beyond a chef’s knife of eight inches. However, an in-drawer block can accommodate more than this size.
If you are also looking for slots for other tools for additional convenience, look for a block with dedicated slots for bulkier tools such as a knife sharpener and shears.
This factor may not seem so important. However, there will be times when you need to pick the whole block for cleaning or storing somewhere else. Thus, it is essential to choose a knife block whose weight is comfortable for you.
The best knife block is the one that has a comfortable weight, accommodates the desired number of knives of any size, and is child-proof. So, just look for these features amongst the collection dedicated to the most suitable block type for your needs.