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7 Ways to Store Your Knives Properly

Paul O’Brian asks:

My father has all these knives that are super expensive. The last time I was over at his place, I found that he had them all in a drawer, knocking against each other. I freaked! I told him he should not store his knives that way, and he asked me, “Okay, so what is wrong with storing them that way?”

I told him that I use a knife case, but he doesn’t want to do that. What are some of the ways he can store his knives?

One of the biggest purchases made in a professional kitchen are our knives. We are taught to respect them, and treat them as if they are gold. I understand how you would see your father’s knives in the drawer and freak out. I would too. I agree that storing those nice knives in a drawer is not only counter-productive (to the sharpness of the knives) but it is also just downright dangerous!

I spent well over $3000 in my career with knives. It pays to take a bit of care when protecting your knives.

I have done some research, and here are some ways that you all can store your knives. See which one is best for you:

  1. Knife bag – This is more for the professional who has to carry their knives on the go. The advantage of the bag is it is portable, and all of your knives (and tools) are in one place. The disadvantage is that it is more geared towards a professional. A home kitchen is a little different. While you can use the bag at home, it would not be as convenient for some people.
  2. Knife Case – I used to own a metal briefcase that held knives. It was a little costly, but the inside had black foam that held my knives in suspension. The drawback was it was cumbersome to carry around. In the home, it may even take up too much space, and be counter productive. All aside, everyone thought I was carrying a million dollars with that case. Fun times.
  3. Knife block – While you cannot use it in a professional kitchen for sanitation reasons, at home it is acceptable. In fact, I use one at my home. As long as your knives are clean and dry when they go in, you will not have any problems. If you like to put your knives away when they are dirty – you will end up with an issue of cross contamination.
  4. Knife strip – I hate them, but they may work for you. You place the metal blade on a magnetic strip that holds your knives up for everyone. You don’t see a lot of these in a professional kitchen, unless you have the dreaded “Kitchen” knives. (They are the community knives, always available, but always dull as well.) The main issue is the magnet puts strain on your tang when you take your knife off the strip, and eventually your knife will break unless you have a full tang. (The metal goes to the bottom of the handle.)
  5. Drawer insert – If you like your knives in a drawer, it would be okay in my books if you had the holder for knives that holds your knives still. The drawback is you would have to dedicate a whole drawer to your knives. The advantage is that your knives would be held secure, and they would not be banging against each other.
  6. Inside the counter – Also known as in between the stove and counter, or in between two prep counters. I lose my mind when I see this. Are the edges of the counter clean? How about the underside of the counter? Is storing the knives this way safe? Please do not do this at home or at work.
  7. Knife Sleeves – Your knives usually come with something for protection. If they are high quality knives, they will usually come with something in plastic to cover the blades. If they are cheaper quality knives, then invest in the blade covers. They will keep your edge for longer, and help protect you. Finally, if you must keep your knives loose in a drawer, at least the covers will protect their edges.

That is what I have for storing knives. Each point above will have a link to Amazon with the respective item. I have tried to find what the best deal for what you would buy would be. See if you like what I am talking about, and go out and buy the items to protect your investment today.

Finally, how do you store your knives in the kitchen?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Connie October 20, 2009, 11:52 pm

    I divide my knives amongst a bag, sleeves and a block. (I have way too many knives as I’m sure most professionals do.) Never knew that a knife strip could do damage like that, good to know.

    That “Inside the Counter” category sounds really scary for all the reasons you listed, I think I remember only one time seeing a cook do this at a job. Of course, the work tables shifted at one point, his knife fell to the ground and broke off the tip. Luckily, no one got hurt.

  • jasonsandeman October 21, 2009, 10:24 am

    Scary indeed. The thing that I hate the most though is the total lack of respect for the blade. An IKEA knife may not mean much, but when I see a Henkel or a Wushtof, I get a little tick.

    I know exactly what you mean about having way too many knives. I have a complete set for work, and for home. Guess which ones are duller? LOL

  • jasonsandeman October 21, 2009, 10:27 am

    I had this guy named Cole that worked with me in Alberta. He had this huge knife block that held all of his knives for the kitchen. He would set it up every day, and cook from there. Super strange to see in a professional kitchen. It worked for him though, until the Health Inspector got wind of it. When I told him that he had to lose the knife block, he almost quit. Imagine.

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