What's better for storing your knives? Wood block or magnetic stripe? And why?

6 Answers 6


I prefer the block. I've used the strip before, but if it was knocked accidentally when bustling about the kitchen, it caused a rain of sharp metal death. It was also possible to get the blade of the knife being pulled off under another and cause an extra knife to come shooting off the strip.

These could probably be overcome by being less of a clutz or getting a better magnetic strip rack, but I've transitioned to something like this, which you can make at home for about $10. Works great. No need to worry about sizes of knives to holes, and doesn't let the blades rub against anything metal.

  • You can also get those for about $20 at the various chain kitchen stores.
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Jul 18, 2010 at 20:17
  • 2
    Thanks for the tip, Adam. The block you linked looks like a great idea. One question, though: How do you clean it? It looks to me like the dirt that gets there stays there.
    – Fczbkk
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 8:40
  • @Fcsbkk: Yep, pretty much does. But I can't see it, so it doesn't bother me :) Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 10:29
  • You'll run into the dirt problem with a wooden block as well...so, 6 of one, half dozen of the other. Good point (and scary mental images) with the "rain of sharp metal death"!
    – awshepard
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 17:13
  • 2
    @AdamShiemke Dead link, could you replace?
    – Will
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 19:18

I have (wait for it) . . . a magnetic block! Honestly, best of both worlds. It's a heavy wooden block with magnetic plates on each side. You're not worried about knives fitting in holes etc, it takes everything from small paring knives to my cleaver, and everything in between.

I vote for a magnetic block :)


I prefer the magnet method and have used it for about 4 years now. It's all about proper wall mounting, placement, and having one long enough to space out the knives for comfortable retrieval and return. With a strong magnet you don't have to worry about slippage or knives falling out even with a bump.

Unless you're reckless in returning the knife to the holder you shouldn't be damaging their edges.

Plus, they're pretty cheap compared to overly cosmetic knife blocks and save counter space.

  • I like my magnetic strip, but if were to buy a different one I'd ensure that the magnets were covered by plastic or another material, mine are exposed and seem to slightly scuff my knifes if I don't remove them carefully. On the plus side, it makes me always carefully handle my knives, which is a good practice. Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 3:14

I use both, as well, I have too many knives.

In my case, I actually have the magnetic bar hanging vertically, just because that was the only place to mount it. (it's a bit tricky, as you have to get the bolster of the knife in tight against the magnet, or it'll try to rotate due to gravity.)

What I don't like about my knife block is that it takes up too much counter space, and you're rather forced into what size of items you can place in it. I've never managed to find an under-counter knife block, and I don't have enough drawers in my kitchen to justify giving one up for a drawer knife block like we had growing up.

If I ever redo my kitchen, I'm going to do what my grandfather had -- a section of the countertop was butcher block, with slits cut along the back wall -- knifes were dropped in there, so only the handles were showing above the counter, and the blades dropped into the cabinet below. (with the top shelf having a back that'd prevent you from shoving anything back there and hitting the knives).

Oh, and because I have too many knives, I keep some of my larger knives in cases, in a drawer. (specifically, LamsonSharp Knife Safe; also useful for when you need to transport your knives for sharpening or picnics or whatever)


My kitchen has a dearth of open wall-space, especially near the areas I do most of my cutting, so a mag-stripe method is counter-indicated. The wooden knife block (with horizontal holes) has a very good knife-density-to-counter-space ratio going for it. I have a lot of unpowered counter-space, so this works for me.


I prefer wooden blocks as well, because it guards/protects the sharp edges.

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