Summary List Placement
Knife blocks are a good way to organize knives neatly and keep yourself from ever accidentally getting grazed by sharp edges. But protecting your digits is not the only reason to invest in a knife block for your cutting tools. Quality blocks will also protect your knife from becoming dull or scratched. Newer models are also bacteria resistant. If you take pride in your cutlery, there are a variety of units that will put your best pieces on display in an elegant manner.
When you think of a knife block, you may envision the traditional, slanted wooden block that sits on your counter. There are many excellent blocks in this style, but none of them made our list. The main problems we have with the classic block are that it is difficult to clean and you can’t readily view the type of knife you are grabbing for. There are plenty of modern styles that sufficiently address these issues.
We spent hours looking closely at the many different styles and researching expert reviews and ratings of the models that were best in their class. The blocks in the following slides were included because they are durable, have a history of quality performance, and keep your knives easy to access and sanitary.
Here are the best knife blocks:
The best overall: Kuhn Rikon Vision Clear Slotted Easy-to-Clean Knife Stand
The best in-drawer: Shenzhen Knives In-Drawer Bamboo Knife Block
The best magnetic: Böker Wood Magnetic Knife Block
The best on a budget: Kitchendao Universal Knife Block
The best under-cabinet: The Drop Block Under Cabinet Knife Block
Updated on 9/2/2020. We updated prices and links.SEE ALSO: The best knife sets you can buy
The best overall
If you’re looking for a knife block that makes it easy to locate the knife you need, try the Kuhn Rikon Vision Clear Slotted Easy-to-Clean Knife Stand.
The Kuhn Rikon Vision Clear Knife Stand holds knives in place using a series of flexible sleeves that widen as needed for larger blades. Up to 18 knives can be safely stored in this block, and the longest blade it will accommodate is eight inches. It’s big enough for most types of knives, excluding the occasional bread knife or cleaver.
The dimensions of the block are 10 by 4 by 10 inches, and it weighs about one pound. We didn’t find any reports of the block falling over. Unlike traditional wooden knife blocks, this Kuhn Rikon block is not tilted. You remove the knife by pulling straight up. This might make accessing your cutting tools annoying if you store your block under a cabinet with low clearance. However, this type of holder is more sanitary and keeps your knives sharper since they do not rest in wood slots.
The flexible sleeves can hold an impressive amount of knives in place, though smaller knives may not stay in the slots.
On the plus side, the block does not take up much counter space and cleaning the plastic tray is effortless compared to traditional knife blocks that have several hard-to-reach slots.
Pros: Easy to clean, clear view of the knife blades, compact footprint, relatively affordable
Cons: Small knives may not fit well
The best in-drawer
The Shenzhen Knives In-Drawer Bamboo Knife Block fits into drawers, making it an excellent option when you have limited counter space.
The In-Drawer Bamboo Knife Block by Shenzhen Knives has slots to fit up to 15 small knives or 10 larger knives. The dimensions are 17 by 5.5 by 2 inches, which is small enough for most drawers with some clearance in all directions. The entire block is made from bamboo, which is more sustainable than the hardwoods generally used for in-drawer knife blocks. Bamboo continues to grow after it is cut and can be harvested each year.
The grooves can fit large and small knives well, the holder has sufficient capacity, and it fits most drawers. However, you may want to add non-slip grips or a shelf liner since the block tends to slide inside your drawer.
The In-Drawer Knife Block frees up space on counters as long as you have the necessary 3-inch drawer depth. The block itself is 2 inches high, but you need additional clearance for the knife handles.
Pros: Frees up counter space, fits knives of all sizes, bacteria-resistant, affordable
Cons: Doesn’t have grips to keep it from sliding around in your drawer
The best magnetic
If you want to display your best knives in a cool way, the Böker Wood Magnetic Knife Block fits the bill.
The Böker Wood Magnetic Knife Block is 11.25 inches high by 10 inches wide by 6 inches deep and weighs just shy of three pounds. It can hold seven knives of any size, though you may have difficulties fitting cleavers with wider blades. Rather than keeping knives in place with slots, this block uses magnets, which makes it easier to find the knife you want and to clean the unit.
The magnet is incredibly strong, so you won’t have to worry about falling knives, but at times, it’s almost too strong. You need to twist and pull to remove the knife. If you just pull, the entire block may slide forward. The magnet is centered in each wood slat so you need to make a conscious effort to align the blade with the center of the slat or it will fall.
Böker also stands behind the craftsmanship with a lifetime limited warranty.
Pros: Attractive design, strong magnet, accommodates larger knives, limited lifetime warranty
Cons: Takes up a lot of counter space for how many knives it holds, expensive
The best on a budget
The Kitchendao Universal Knife Block is a great affordable pick that fits up to 12 knives in a fairly small amount of space.
With its clear plexiglass construction and flexible parallel slots, the Kitchendao Universal Knife Block is essentially a smaller, more budget-friendly version of our top pick.
While it doesn’t hold as many knives as the Kuhn Rikon — the Kitchendao holds eight to 12 depending on the size of the knives — it makes up for lack of capacity with a small footprint. This cylindrical knife block has a 4.4-inch diameter base and is just over nine inches tall, accommodating most kitchen knife sizes.
The Kitchendao Knife Block has a stainless steel ring hidden in its base, weighing it down to make sure it sits securely on your counter without tipping. There’s also a vent hole in the base that allows your knives to stay dry, preventing rust.
The flexible slots are arranged parallel, so your blades will never come into contact with one another ensuring that they remain sharp.
Pros: Knives of any size can go in any slot, small footprint, inexpensive
Cons: Larger knives could get stuck in the top, shears do not fit
The best under-cabinet
The Drop Block Under Cabinet Knife Block utilizes under-cabinet space that would otherwise go unused.
The Drop Block is a great space-saver if you’re tight on counter space. Its two hinges screw into the underside of your counter and the knife block pulls down to reveal three magnet strips that keep your knives securely in place.
It comes in three sizes with the smallest taking up 18 by 9.5 inches and the largest taking up 24 by 9.5 inches. It’s 1.5 inches deep, so you won’t have to worry about it taking up too much visual space underneath your cabinets either. The downside is that it may not fit knives with thicker handles or tools like kitchen shears.
The Drop Block installs with just four screws and comes with a template to ensure you put them all in the right place. The under-cabinet configuration is also handy for keeping knives up out of the reach of children.
Some users have complained that a fully loaded Drop Block sags a bit, appearing just slightly open at all times, so if you have heavier knives or plan to fill up the block, you may need to reinforce it. If you experience this issue, contact the company. The customer service team will send you small magnets to adhere to the bottom of your cabinet and the top of the block to keep it closed more securely.
Pros: Doesn’t take up counter or drawer space, fits most blades, magnetic strips keep knives in place
Cons: The weight of too many knives may cause The Drop Block to sag
Check our other knife-related buying guides
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Sharp knives make cooking easier and safer. To keep your knives sharp enough to slice through tomatoes like butter, you need a great knife sharpener. Here are our top picks.
The best cutting boards
The cutting board is perhaps the most essential tool in your kitchen for meal prep. Plastic and wooden cutting boards both have their pros and cons, so we’ve found the best of both worlds.