Knife Rack vs Knife Block: Which Is Best?

There’s a lot involved in making sure your kitchen knife blades remain in the best condition. From regular honing and sharpening to proper cleaning techniques, they may be some of the most high-maintenance kitchen utensils. However, what many people fail to consider is that the way they store knives could be impacting their performance and quality.

Keeping your knives in the kitchen drawer with tools like cutlery, serving spoons, rolling pins and all manner of other things is likely to damage them. Every time the knife bangs up against another item, this dulls the blade and there’s even a risk of chipping. Not to mention that keeping your knives in a drawer is much more dangerous as one only has to reach their hand inside and a cut is not unlikely.

Of course, you could use a knife cover or knife roll but this does involve removing these before use which can be time-consuming. Using a magnetic knife holder gives you easy access to your most important kitchen tools and keeps them out of harm’s way. But which is the better option? In this guide, we’ll pit racks against blocks and discover which is the best option.

Table of contents

What Is a Knife Rack?

Most knife racks are magnetic so you can simply ‘stick’ your knives to them and they’re within easy reach when you need them.

There are different designs of magnetic knife racks. Some are made from wood while others are made from plastic and there are even metal ones. Typically, the magnets are located underneath or within the material.

Knife racks are normally wall-mounted although there are some freestanding ones but these are less common as they’re not good when you need something space-saving.

What Is a Knife Block?

A knife block is usually made from wood, sits in counter space and features slots into which you place the knives. Wooden knife blocks give you easy access to the blades but rather than being mounted on the wall like a knife rack, they are usually freestanding and are placed on the worktop.

There are also some plastic knife blocks but these aren’t as common. You may also purchase an in-drawer knife block if you’re looking for a way of saving space on the countertop.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Knife Rack?

One of the major benefits of a rack for storing knives is that it’s much more hygenic. Since the knives sit on the magnetic knife strip and are exposed to the air, they will remain dry. Even if you don’t completely dry them with a cloth after cleaning, they’ll dry out quickly meaning that there is less chance of rust or bacteria.

Magnetic knife racks are incredibly versatile as they can be placed pretty much anywhere in the kitchen. Even if you’re lacking in wall space, they can be mounted on the inside of a cupboard door, for example. You’ll also be able to store other metal items like your pizza cutter or scissors which makes them very handy.

There’s also very little risk of damage to your kitchen knives as you’re not sliding the blades against anything when you place them on. However, there is a risk of the knife sliding on the magnetic strip if the magnets are not strong enough.

One of the most obvious downsides to this type of knife storage is that your knife collection is exposed to little fingers. If a child wants to get hold of one and the rack is not placed high enough, there’s a very serious risk involved. Moreover, if a knife falls off, it doesn’t matter how high the rack is installed, there could be an accident.

You should also consider that wall-mounted magnetic knife holders will mean having to drill into the wall which causes permanent damage. There are other methods like adhesive strips but these aren’t as strong.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Knife Block?

A knife block is much safer as it can be placed well out of the way and there’s no chance of blades falling out and causing an injury.

You’ll also notice that a wooden knife block looks very attractive in the kitchen. Even some of the plastic ones can look great especially if you want to choose a colour that will match your kitchen decor. Moreover, these knife blocks are very versatile and many come with additional accessories such as scissors.

On the flip side, a knife block could cause more damage to your knives. One of the main reasons is that the blade will rub against the material as it is pushed into the block and when it is pulled out. Over time, this will cause the blade to dull more rapidly. What’s more, since moisture can build up inside the block, this can lead to corrosion, not to mention the fact that it’s a breeding ground for bacteria which reduces hygiene.

Of course, you can make every effort to keep your knife block clean and dry but this is incredibly difficult since you can’t get inside it.

Final Thoughts

Both magnetic knife racks and knife blocks are great ways to store your blades when not in use. However, there are far more pros to the knife rack than there are to the knife block. For this reason, we think that the knife rack is a good choice.

However, one of the biggest drawbacks to this is that it is not considered as safe. This means you will need to choose the right location and make sure that the rack is secured properly. What’s more, it’s imperative to make sure you choose a knife rack whose magnets are strong enough to hold the knives in place.
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