10 Best Knife Blocks | December 2016
- good choice for small kitchens
- insertion is possible at any angle
- holding rods bend and flex over time
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- slot edges don't shred
- fits under low-hanging cabinets
- slightly rough to the touch
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
- flexible placement options
- soft plastic material doesn't stain
- cannot hold very much
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- angled for easy removal
- holds scissors and honing rod
- broad slots leave excess wiggle room
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
- doesn't take up much space
- very well balanced
- shorter knives may fall out
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- eco-friendly sustainable wood
- has three layers of slots
- some handles don't rest flat
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- blades secured with plastic rods
- rods are dishwasher safe
- non-skid rubber feet prevent sliding
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- heavy-duty hinges for daily use
- won't dull blades
- made with quality usa craftsmanship
|Brand||The Drop Block|
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
- solid bamboo construction
- allows for quick removal
- great for tight spaces
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
- large center panel
- comes in three colors
- makes a great kitchen showpiece
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Common Ways People Ruin Their Knives
A quality knife set is an investment and should be treated with care. In addition to storing these tools in a good knife block, there are certain habits one can avoid to prolong their lives. One should never put their knives in a drawer. The blades of unsheathed knives rub against other items and can become dull. Having a loose knife sitting in a frequently used drawer also poses the risk of cuts; in fact, accidental kitchen injuries cause thousands of emergency room visits per year.
While hand washing the dishes may be time-consuming, it's the only way one should clean their knives. Quality knives should never go in the dishwasher because the chemicals in the detergent can cause corrosion to stainless steel. Plus, while the knives are in the dishwasher, they bang up against other items and can again become dull. Running stainless steel knives through the dishwasher can also cause them to form rust. While cutting one's food with rusty knives may not pose enormous risks, accidentally slicing through one's skin with a rusty knife can cause infections.
Another common habit that can deteriorate a knife's sharp blade is using the tool to scrape food particles off of a cutting board. If one does this several times a day, they can quickly dull down a knife's blade. A simple solution to this problem is to turn the knife over and use the dull backside of it to clean off cutting boards.
The Different Styles Of Knife Blocks And Their Attributes
For those who are limited on counter space, a knife block that can be laid flat in a drawer or mounted on a wall can be useful. While one ideally never places a damp knife back in their block, most people will do it at some point and time. If you believe you may be guilty of this at some point in the future, consider a bamboo-built model. This type of wood resists water, so it will not warp if you accidentally do put wet knives inside of it. Bamboo is far less porous than other types of wood so it absorbs very little bacteria.
Considering that cutting boards are some of the most germ-infested items in one's home, some bacteria is bound to travel with a knife into the block. If the block is made from bamboo, the bacteria cannot seep into it and continuously spread onto subsequent knives.
One popular space-saving style of knife block resembles a drawer. This type of block can be attached beneath a cabinet, and slides out, presenting knives which are usually firmly held in place by magnetic strips, and spread out across the wood. Because knives do not need to be inserted into this block, their blades can remain sharper. This style of knife block may, however, not be safe for households that have children as it leaves sharp items rather exposed. One option that neither dulls knife blades or leaves them exposed is a block that contains plastic flex rods. These small rods barely apply pressure to knives, while still holding them in place.
A common nuisance of many knife blocks is that the user cannot see which knife they are pulling out when they grab a handle. Chefs with extensive knife sets should consider an entirely see-through block, so they always know which knife they are retrieving. Many blocks have angled tops for easy knife removal, too. Some also have a designated slot for kitchen shears.
Essential Knife Safety Rules
Chefs should never cut into food immediately after sharpening their blades. The process of sharpening produces microscopic pieces of metal that can infiltrate your food. Rinse and wipe off knives after sharpening them, and before putting them on any food. Using a dull, unsharpened knife also poses certain risks. When your knife is not sharp enough, you are prone to apply more pressure to your food when cutting it. This puts you at risk of losing control of the knife. Never cut with a dull knife, and try to use mostly wooden cutting boards since these do not have as slippery of a surface as silicone or plastic ones do.
It's also important that one doesn't leave food residue on their knives for long periods of time. The acids in food can corrode a knife, which can also result in unwanted materials in one's food, as well as weaken the blade. Leaving a sharp knife in a sink full of water is not only bad for the blade, but it is also a safety hazard. Someone can easily put their hand into the murky water, unaware of the knife's presence, and cut themselves.
Another safe practice is never putting a knife near the edge of a counter. This rule may seem obvious, but when one is rapidly preparing food and reaching for several items, they may not think of it. If a knife's handle is hanging off of a counter, it's very easy for a cook to hit it, sending the knife flying up and cutting them.