April 06, 2022 3 min read
When talking about knife care, I always make a point of asking how someone stores their knives. It often doesn’t get the consideration it deserves, but you need only put a little effort in to reap big rewards. Stored with care, your knives won’t dull prematurely, will maintain their beautiful original finish, and—most importantly—you can save your band-aids for mishaps unrelated to your blades.
You’re likely super jazzed about your brand new knife, thinking about all the ways you’ll put it to work, and haven’t given a lot of thought to that knife’s downtime. Still, there are so many incredible storage options that you can think of it as a fun way to accessorize your kitchen and show off your gorgeous knife collection! When storing a blade, the most important thing is protecting both yourself and the knife. You want the edge secured, so you’re not risking chipping or dulling it, or worse, cutting yourself. After that, it’s all about picking what suits you best! Let’s discuss the options:
A wall magnet is hands-down the most extraordinary way to show off your knife collection. Their unimposing design lets your knives speak for themselves. The magnets are super-strong rare-earth magnets, so you can trust your blades to stay put. Wood is nice and soft, so there’s no risk of scratching the side of your knives as with mental magnets, and you can choose from a wide range of hues, including walnut, maple, cherry, and larch wood. They also come in a couple of sizes to suit your needs and can be easily mounted to drywall with screws and anchors or tile with heavy-duty double-sided tape (No need to drill your tile!)
Knife blocks are what most people are used to when stowing their knives, and these blocks by Ontario-based carpenter Glen Briggs are a beautiful modern twist on the classic block. His design, made of walnut and maple wood and using stunning joinery, has an open-concept look that gives a tantalizing peek at your knife collection. I suggest going for the taller block, so your collection has some room to grow when it's time for a bread knife or sujihiki. They even have a smaller footprint than standard blocks, no more cluttered counters!
While less practical than a block, the display stand is a must-have for any knife collector. This three-knife stand allows you to show off the sexiest blades in your collection, guaranteed to generate “oohs” and “aahs” from your dinner guests. If you have a giant collection, like some of us, you can even rotate your three favourites through on the regular.
A dedicated knife roll is the best for a cook on the move. Maybe you work in a kitchen, or you just like to bring your knives with you when you travel because Air B’n’Bs might as well just provide plastic cutlery. Knife rolls have specially designed pockets to keep your knives (and honing rod, peeler, and your favourite spoon) secure and safe. I recommend using blade guards in your knife roll to avoid damaging it. This can be another great storage solution if you have roommates or young children (aren’t they the same thing?) who you don’t trust around your knives.
I hear you thinking: “you’ve spent all this time telling me not to toss my knives in a drawer!” but maybe you don’t have the space for another option. Perhaps you’ve got kids or irresponsible roommates who have no business touching your knives, and you need to keep them hidden from view. Keeping your blades in the utensil drawer is pretty simple: just pop a knife guard on each knife! You might even try out a wooden or leather saya if you’re fancy. Once sheathed, your blade is safe from damage (or causing damage). One word of warning: don’t overload your knife drawer. If the knife gets caught and someone forces the drawer open, the results can be devastating:
Knife storage can be as fancy or utilitarian as you like, but it needs to be practical no matter what. Ask yourself what’s important when stowing your knives: looks, accessibility, portability, use of kitchen real estate, etc., to decide what works best for you. If you have questions or want some expert input, shoot us a message here or visit us in-store!
Knifewear owner and president Kevin Kent’s fascination with handcrafted Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. Back in Canada in 2007 he began selling them out of a backpack from the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef in Calgary. He considers his chef years as the best education for being an entrepreneur. Being a chef takes long hours, involves hard work, both mentally and physically, and chefs must be able to put out fires, both literal and figurative, with extreme competence. Today, Kent is still just as obsessed with Japanese knives as the day he first held one. A couple times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends and drinks far too much sake. Each visit he learns more about the ancient art of knife-making. Through this obsession Knifewear has expanded to include five Knifewear stores in Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Edmonton. Plans are also underway to open a store in Kyoto, Japan. He refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns … but he admits the number is rather high
Back in the day Colin cooked at a couple restaurants in Edmonton, and he used to make knives too. He later moved to Toronto and was seduced by a career in music, though he continued sharpening knives for friends and family. By night, he DJ'd and produced beats as Ronin E-Ville, and by day he taught music at several universities, all while training to become a kung fu master. Colin eventually moved to Ireland, working as a music researcher for a couple years and learning to make shillelaghs. Since returning to Canada, Colin is stoked to be getting back to his roots with knives, happily nerding-out on steels, blacksmiths, and sharpening. If you want to know about Chinese-style cleavers (chuka bocho), Colin’s your guy! (Photo credit @davidmarionphotography)
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