If you've been wondering why your kitchen knives get blunt so quickly, consider how you store them. Have you considered whether a magnetic knife holder or a knife block suits you best?
Do you simply keep them in a drawer with other kitchen stuff like spoons and forks? Keeping knives in a common drawer, where they rub against other things, blunts their edges faster than they should.
There are better ways to store your collection of kitchen knives so that they remain sharp and functional. Magnetic knife holders and knife blocks are two common methods of storing kitchen knives so that they last long. The question is, which of the two is better and why? That depends.
Let's get into it.
A magnetic knife holder is basically a strip of magnetic material mounted on the kitchen wall. Kitchen knives are placed onto them and remain there due to the magnetism.
The magnetic strip is convenient because you can immediately pick out the knife you want without having to pull it out to see which one it is. It can also be mounted in any direction- vertical or horizontal, and anywhere in the kitchen: on the walls, on the sides of cupboards, and even on the fridge. Magnetic strips consist of a surface material that holds a magnet within.
The most common materials used are plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, or wood.
Plastic strips are generally cheap and of lower quality, but they compensate for this with great colors and designs.
Aluminum and stainless steel are of better quality, last long, are affordable, and look professional.
Wooden strips are more pricy, but they give the kitchen a classic look. They are, however, more difficult to clean.
The Magnet Within
The magnet inside the strip has to be strong enough to hold the knives safely, but not so strong that you have to wrench the knives off the strip every time you want to use them. A good magnet is a neodymium magnet. It is strong and retains its power for quite some time if well taken care of.
Advantages of Magnetic Knife Holders
Magnetic knife holders have a number of advantages over knife blocks:
- They can be mounted anywhere on the kitchen wall, so if you have a space problem, magnetic strips are just the thing.
- Because they're magnetic, they can be used to store other metallic kitchen tools- like pizza cutters and shears.
- They are more hygienic than knife blocks. Since they are just strips on the wall, they are easy to clean. Bits of food don't hang on to them, and they are visible from all angles. The slots in a knife block are hard to get at, and consequently provide a healthy breeding ground for germs.
- Magnetic holders are exposed to the open air, meaning they dry quickly. Again, this reduces the risk of germs due to dampness. Since the slots in a knife block are narrow, they take time to dry, providing the perfect home for germs to live.
- You can use the magnetic strip to store knives of all shapes and sizes, unlike a knife block, which has slots to match specific knives.
- Depending on the version, magnetic strips are expandable, so if your knife collection grows, all you need to do is extend your stip. Knife blocks, on the other hand, are limited, and if your collection of knives grows, you have to buy a new block.
- Some magnetic strips come with hooks that you can use to store additional kitchen utensils and save up on even more space.
Disadvantages of Magnetic Knife Holders
Magnetic strips are great but they fall short in certain aspects:
- If the magnetic material is not strong enough, the knives could fall and cause a serious injury. Even if the fallen knife doesn't injure anyone, the impact could damage the knife itself.
- You have to drill into your kitchen wall to attach the strips using screws.
- The exposed knife tips are a risk to animals and children. The knife block is safer in this regard, as the knife tips are enclosed.
A knife block is a chunky piece of wood that has vertical or horizontal slots that hold a given set of knives. Knife blocks are specific for the set of knives they come with- you can't just slide any knife into a slot. It may not fit. Knife blocks are generally placed on the kitchen counter within easy reach. They are an organized and convenient way of storing your knives.
Some knife blocks are designed to fit in drawers and are called in-drawer blocks. These are even better than the stand-alone knife block. They save up on space and are safer, as the knives are more discreetly stored.
Knife blocks come in different materials- metal, plastic, and wood. Some large knife blocks also come with additional kitchen scissors and a sharpening steel. In addition, they are sometimes designed with a forward tilt so you can draw them out and insert them back in with ease.
Advantages of Knife Blocks
Knife blocks are better than magnetic holders in a number of ways:
- They come in different attractive sets and designs.
- Since the knife blades are inserted into the slots, knife blocks are safer than magnetic strips. There is less risk to children and animals. In-drawer knife blocks are even much safer because the knives are completely out of sight.
- They look great and professional in the kitchen.
Disadvantages of Knife Blocks
The slots in knife blocks are defined for specific sizes- a knife has to go into a specific slot. The slots in a knife blocks are hard to get at and thus difficult to clean. This means that tiny pieces of food and others could get stuck in there and attract germs.
By opting for a knife block without thin slots like the Furi Knife Vault or F. Dick Knife Holder below, you can have a stylish knife holder on your counter without worrying about germs growing, thus keeping your blades clean, in prime condition and within easy reach.
So, magnetic knife holder or knife block? That will depend on which of their best qualities is most important to you. Use the above information as a guide to make your next choice more sensible and reasonable.