Knife Storage Made Simple: 6 Easy Ways To Store Your Kitchen Knives



There are a lot of exciting knife storage options available now. Our goals for knife storage are to protect the sharp edges, prolong the time between sharpening, keep the knife clean and dry, and increase kitchen safety by not having sharp knives lying around or knocking around in a drawer. Reaching into a drawer and cutting yourself or dropping a knife on your foot are completely avoidable accidents. This article explores the pros and cons of the best knife storage options.

1. Wooden Knife Block

You’ll be hard pressed to find a home kitchen that doesn’t have one. It has been the de facto standard for decades but there can be a lot of improvements made. Unless you bought a knife set that came with one, it will likely not fit your collection exactly.


  • Keeps your knife edges from knocking into other things, which is dangerous and also dulls them.
  • Slots are fitted to the knife


  • Takes up valuable counter space
  • Only fits a few longer knives at the top. Shorter knives only fit if they are the right width. Does not fit chinese cleavers at all. I have 5 different gyutos of different variations of stainless, carbon steel, different lengths, and thicknesses. They range from 210mm to 270mm. The 270mm flat out does not fit in this type of block, the 240 does not fit in most knife blocks.

2. Kapoosh Knife Block

This design has a bunch of food grade plastic flex rods that push apart making room for your knife. It fits a variety of different knife shapes and sizes. At some point, it gets full and you can’t insert more knives.


  • No preset slot shapes, you can put any knife in
  • Good if you have a few stainless steel knives
  • Protects your knife edges


  • Still doesn’t fit too many long knives
  • Traps moisture. This is really bad for carbon steel knives because they will rust.
  • Takes up valuable counter space


3. Drawer inserts

This is geared to home cooks only. Pro kitchens don’t have drawers and they wouldn’t waste space on this. These take your knives off the counter but they take up a drawer. You have to find the right size insert for your kitchen drawer.   Even then, it doesn’t fit very long knives or any tall knives (nakiri, bunka, cleaver).


  • Keeps your knife out of the way and out of reach of curious pets or children, safely in a drawer
  • Protects the edges
  • Doesn’t trap moisture, so it’s good for carbon or stainless steel


  • You have to give up a kitchen drawer
  • Drawers are different sizes, not one size fits all
  • Doesn’t fit the longest or widest knives

4. Magnetic Knife Bar

These have been a mainstay in professional kitchens for a long time. It keeps your counters clean and makes use of wall space.   My tip for using magnetic bars is to rotate the knife onto the spine before removing or storing. You never just want to slap the knife on the flat side, this is a good way to chip the edge.


  • Fits any size knife. Long knives, cleavers, all good
  • Free up counter space
  • Open air, not trapping moisture. Good for carbon steel
  • Knives are out in the open. Have you ever reached into a knife set more than once to find the right knife because the handles are similar? Never a problem here


  • Metal mag bars can chip edges if you are not careful. NOTE: Guests think they are supposed to touch your stuff and they are never careful.
  • It’s out in the open so be careful if you have rowdy children or pets
  • Some magnets are too powerful, difficult to use with Chinese cleaver styles.   More metal, more magnetic force.
  • You have to wall mount it with anchors

5. Wood Covered Magnetic Bar

This has all the same benefits as the normal metal magnetic bars, but the wood is safer on your knife edges. There are walnut bars that are not too expensive.


  • Out of the way, clearing up counter space
  • Good on knife edges
  • Fits any knife length
  • Looks great for display


  • You have to wall mount it with anchors

6. Custom Knife Block

I am a chinese cleaver user and they don’t really fit in any of the storage available. Too wide for knife blocks, and stick to magnet bars too strongly. In this case, the answer was to go custom. It’s a good option if you have uncommonly sized knives.

This one is made by my friend at Windswept Woodcraft to my specifications for full size chinese cleavers.


Whatever storage you pick, I recommend to oil your knives for long term storage. The worst thing is to come back and discover rust. This is especially important for carbon steel knives.   You can read more about knife care in my article here.


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