In our younger foolish days, we may have scoffed at knife blocks as completely unnecessary. “Why would I put my knives in a wooden block when I can just toss them in a drawer with the other silverware?” The wise person may get cut once reaching for a spoon before realizing a knife holder may not be such a bad idea after all. If you’re slow like me, it takes quite a few scars before this realization hits.
Protecting your digits is not the only reason to invest in a separate home for your cutting tools. Quality blocks will also protect your knife from becoming dull or scratched. Newer models are also bacteria resistant. If you take pride in your cutlery, there are a variety of units that will put your best pieces on display in an elegant manner.
When you think of a knife block, you may envision the traditional, slanted wooden block that sits on your counter. There are many excellent blocks in this style, but none of them made our list. The main problems we have with the classic block are that it is difficult to clean and you can’t readily view the type of knife you are grabbing for. There are plenty of modern styles that sufficiently address these issues.
We spent hours looking closely at the many different styles and researching expert reviews and ratings of the models that were best in their class. For this buying guide, we chose the knife blocks that did the best job of capturing the positive characteristics of their particular style. The blocks in the following slides were included because they are durable, have a history of quality performance, and keep your knives easy to access and sanitary.
The Kuhn Rikon Vision Clear Knife Stand holds knives in place using a series of flexible sleeves that widen as needed for larger blades. Up to 18 knives can be safely stored in this block, and the longest blade it will accommodate is eight inches. It’s big enough for most types of knives, excluding the occasional bread knife or cleaver.
The dimensions of the block are 10 by 4 by 10 inches, and it weighs about one pound. We didn’t find any reports of the block falling over. Unlike traditional wooden knife blocks, this Kuhn Rikon block is not tilted. You remove the knife by pulling straight up. This might make accessing your cutting tools annoying if you store your block under a cabinet with low clearance. However, this type of holder is more sanitary and keeps your knives sharper since they do not rest in wood slots.
Rantings of an Amateur Chef tested the Kuhn Rikon Knife Stand and loved that the clear block made it easy to identify the knife you are looking for. The reviewer was also impressed with how many knives the flexible sleeves could hold in place. Kitchen Byte approves of this block because it is simple to clean, well-balanced, has a slim fit, and is see-through. The writer does mention that smaller knives may not stay in the slots.
On the plus side, the block does not take up much counter space and cleaning the plastic tray is effortless compared to traditional knife blocks that have several hard-to-reach slots.
The In-Drawer Bamboo Knife Block by Shenzhen Knives has slots to fit up to 15 small knives or 10 larger knives. The dimensions are 17 by 5.5 by 2 inches, which is small enough for most drawers with some clearance in all directions. The entire block is made from bamboo, which is more sustainable than the hardwoods generally used for in-drawer knife blocks. Bamboo continues to grow after it is cut and can be harvested each year.
In its review, Mama Testa Taqueria liked that the grooves can fit large and small knives well, the holder has sufficient capacity, and it fits most drawers. However, you may want to add non-slip grips or a shelf liner since the block tends to slide inside your drawer. Kitchen Byte says it’s a great option because you can store larger knives and it’s easy to access all of your cutting tools.
The In-Drawer Knife Block frees up space on counters as long as you have the necessary 3-inch drawer depth. The block itself is 2 inches high, but you need additional clearance for the knife handles.
The Böker Wood Magnetic Knife Block is 11.25 inches high by 10 inches wide by 6 inches deep and weighs just shy of three pounds. It can hold seven knives of any size, though you may have difficulties fitting cleavers with wider blades. Rather than keeping knives in place with slots, this block uses magnets, which makes it easier to find the knife you want and to clean the unit. Böker has manufactured knives in Solingen, Germany since 1869, and the company stands behind the craftsmanship with a lifetime limited warranty.
Foodal liked the stylish, unique presentation of the knives on this knife block and found the magnet to be strong and construction sturdy. The Böker Knife Block topped Ezvid‘s list because of its appearance and center panel that accommodates larger knives. The block is rated highly by Kitchen Byte due to its one-of-a-kind look, strong magnet, color varieties, and easy visibility. However, the reviewer didn’t like that it only holds seven knives.
The magnet is incredibly strong, so you won’t have to worry about falling knives, but at times, it’s almost too strong. You need to twist and pull to remove the knife. If you just pull, the entire block may slide forward. The magnet is centered in each wood slat so you need to make a conscious effort to align the blade with the center of the slat or it will fall.
With its clear plexiglass construction and flexible parallel slots, the Kitchendao Universal Knife Block is essentially a smaller, more budget friendly version of our top pick.
While it doesn’t hold as many knives as the Kuhn Rikon – the Kitchendao holds eight to 12 depending on the size of the knives – it makes up for lack of capacity with a small footprint. This cylindrical knife block has a 4.4-inch diameter base and is just over nine inches tall, accommodating most kitchen knife sizes.
The Kitchendao Knife Block has a stainless steel ring hidden in its base, weighing it down to make sure it sits securely on your counter without tipping. There’s also a vent hole in the base that allows your knives to stay dry, preventing rust.
The flexible slots are arranged parallel, so your blades will never come into contact with one another ensuring that they remain sharp.
Kitchenistic recommends the Kitchendao for cooks who need a knife block that will accommodate a variety of different knife sizes in a customizable arrangement. They also appreciate that the top and base both detach for easy cleaning.
The Drop Block is a great space-saver if you’re tight on counter space. Its two hinges screw into the underside of your counter and the knife block pulls down to reveal three magnet strips that keep your knives securely in place.
It comes in three sizes with the smallest taking up 18 by 9.5 inches and the largest taking up 24 by 9.5 inches. It’s 1.5 inches deep, so you won’t have to worry about it taking up too much visual space underneath your cabinets either. The downside is that it may not fit knives with thicker handles or tools like kitchen shears.
Ezvid appreciates that The Drop Block installs with just four screws and comes with a template to ensure you put them all in the right place. They also point out that the under-cabinet configuration keeps knives up out of the reach of children.
Some users have complained that a fully loaded Drop Block sags a bit, appearing just slightly open at all times, so if you have heavier knives or plan to fill up the block, you may need to reinforce it. If you experience this issue, contact the company. The customer service team will send you small magnets to adhere to the bottom of your cabinet and the top of the block to keep it closed more securely.
Pros: Doesn’t take up counter or drawer space, fits most blades, magnetic strips keep knives in place
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