The Best Way to Store Your Knives to Keep Them Sharp and Safe

Posted by Tara Hohenberger on

Storing kitchen knives properly is important for a number of reasons. The utmost is for safety, but also the way you store knives can maximize your counter space and make you a more efficient cook. The following article will delve into several knife storage methods and discuss the pros and cons for how you choose to store your kitchen knives. Types of Knife Storage for Multiple Knives / Knife Sets

Countertop: Knife Block

Most people are familiar with the knife block that sits on the counter. Usually this knife storage solution is the one provided when you purchase a set of knives from a department store. There are several iterations of this style of knife storage. Some have slots designed to correspond with each knife in the set, whether it’s a chef’s knife, paring knife or cleaver. Slotless options exist that are flexible to work with anything you add to the block. There are also magnetic knife block options where the shape is the same but the knives are secured with a magnet rather than a dedicated slot. Countertop knife racks, like you would see at a sushi counter are a beautiful way to show off a special knife collection.

Pros and Cons

The main pro of countertop storage is safety and accessibility. With this method the blades are safely stored while your knives are quickly at hand within arms reach. The cons of countertop knife storage is space efficiency. You might not have enough counter space to devote to a knife block or rack. If you don’t have enough knives to fill it, there is wasted space. Lastly, slotted wooden knife blocks can be rigid, and not adaptable to a growing knife collection. Ill fitting slots can dull or damage a blade. Lastly, high quality knives are often sold piece by piece, rather than as a set, making the typical countertop knife block obsolete.

Wall Mounted: Magnetic Knife Bars and Strips

Magnetic knife strips offer an aesthetically pleasing option to store knives while also being easily accessible. There are many options on the market and come in different sizes, materials and can be expanded by simply adding another strip. Magnet Strength: Magnetic strength varies quite a lot depending on the quality and construction of a magnetic knife rack. Choose something suitable for your knife blades.

Types of Strips
  • Exposed magnetic strips - Usually the most economical option, magnetic rails are a barebones storage solution. One thing to be extra careful about is drying your knife blades properly before sticking them on the magnet.
  • Wooden magnetic strips - A more attractive option, a wooden covered magnetic strips looks nice and can put chefs at ease about potential dulling of blades.
      • Placement
        • Magnetic Knife Strips can be mounted above the kitchen counter and keep knives out of the way, yet within easy reach.
        • Your most used knives can be stored within arms length of your work station. A convenient option for home cooks
        • Be conscientious of where you mount the magnetic bar. You want your knives in a location where they won’t easily be bumped by children or pets.

In-Drawer Inserts

If you have sufficient kitchen drawer space, using a drawer storage knife organizer is a great option. Often made of cork, or other soft yet sturdy materials, you can safely slip your cutlery and other knives into a designated slot without fear of blades scraping each other, other kitchen tools or causing injury.

How to Store Individual Knives

Blade Protectors are a quick and instant solution to protect your knife either in a drawer or on the go. Available in three sizes, they will fit most knives in your collection, with a soft felt liner to prevent scratching. Traditional wood blade covers known as sayas are a more specialized option, since each knife needs a saya made for that shape and size. Sayas are the best option to protect a sharp edge whether for kitchen storage in a drawer, or for chefs on the go.

Mobile Knife Storage Options

Knife Cases - like a toolbox for your knives and other tools, this option is popular with chefs who take their knives back and forth to work.

Knife Rolls / Roll Bags - also a good option for people who carry knives. Roll style knife bags have slots to organize different knives and small kitchen tools. It’s best to use this type of storage solution with sayas or blade protectors to secure a knife edge. They can be carried as is, or put into a larger bag or luggage.

What to Look For When Buying Knife Storage

Choose quality materials. Whether it’s wood for a storage rack or knife block, or sturdy fabric for a bag, choose something that will last a long time, especially when coming in contact with a sharp knife.

The Don'ts of Knife Storage

Avoid storage methods that cause dulling, such as loose blade protectors or too tight knife blocks or sayas.

Don’t install a knife strip on places that move like a cabinet door or refridgerator. Slamming doors could knock off knives, and they are less likely to be tucked away and undisturbed.

Don’t buy cheap storage - If you have high quality knives, it’s worth the investment to buy high quality storage solutions.

FAQs and Additional Tips

Using two storage options

Most knife enthusiasts have more knives than they use on a daily or weekly basis. If you find yourself in this situation, consider using a magnetic strip to keep your most used knives at arms distance. The knives you use less frequently can be stored with sheaths in a drawer.

Before adding your knives to a knife case or roll, make sure your blades are covered with protectors or sheaths for extra safety.

Storing different types of knives

Specific knife types may have more specific needs. In the case of steak knives it might make sense to store them in their orignal packaging or box, bread knives and serrated knives can be extra long and may require their own storage ideas.

How do chefs store their knives: Knife cases and rolls are the most popular option with chefs.

How to keep your knives sharp: Use a good quality cutting board, sharpen frequently and keep your blades clean, dry and protected. Never put quality knives in the dishwasher.


Whether you are a home cook, professional chef or work in a test kitchen, keeping your knives easily accessible, but safe and secure should be a high priority. We hope this article answered some questions about the best way to store your kitchen knives.

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