Magnetic knife holder - Pros / Cons?

txpepperNovember 30, 2010

Does anyone have any thoughts pro/con to using a magnetic knife holder?

I have a drawer planned for knife storage but I'm thinking to switch to a magnetic holder mounted in a recessed space thereby freeing up the drawer for other utensils.

Thanks in advance!


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I have one and I absolutely love it! No dangerous drawer full of knives...they are all safely away from my kids fingers (and mine). And they are very convenient and handy hanging on the wall. Plus it doesn't take up counter space.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:06AM
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I was told by a chef once that those can dull knife blades. As you pull the knife off, most people twist the blade against the magnet and the knife edge digs into the magnet, wearing down the edge. Most regular home cooks don't sharpen their knives like chefs do.

They sure look cool, but somehow they look dangerous to me. A drawer full of knives like I have doesn't seem very safe either.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:11AM
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I've had one very similar to your picture for around 30 years. It's very handy. Two problems: since it's on the wall under a cabinet, my long butcher (term?) knife won't fit, and the fork falls off. Those problems could be avoided if I put the tools at an angle, but then I couldn't put all the knives on it. The magnet is strong enough to hold a cleaver.
Don't know about dulling blades since I use a sharpener anyway.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:11AM
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They give me the "willies". I just imagine hitting the handle of one and dislodging it. I must have been stabbed in a previous life. lol

Or I imagine a child climing up on the counter (and they do) and knocking one off.

And breezygirl is right about the blades. I used to work in a culinary store, and pro chefs didn't like them. Better to just protect your blades with a knife guard and keep them in a drawer, (child proof if you have kids). We have just installed an indrawer knife block, love it. No little kids in my house, though.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:16AM
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When removing the knife, you simply twist so that the edge leaves the magnetic bar first, then the spine. Replace in reverse manner.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:45AM
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I put one up to see how I like it before my backsplash goes in. I've found that it holds the large heavy knives better than the smaller,thinner ones because the larger knives have more magnetic surface area. So far I like it - and its in a corner where it should be safe, although I do not have young children to worry about.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 10:38AM
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What Breezygirl said is correct about the magnetic strips dulling knives. However, there is a wall-mount magnetic knife holder that solves that problem. The Epicurean knife holder (also known as the Tom Douglas knife holder) sheaths the magnetic strip in a knife-friendly soft wood composite material. It looks nicer too than the hardware-style magnetic strips. There are two downsides to the Epicureans: (a) they are very expensive compared to plain magnetic knife holders, and (b) you need to allow room on your wall to slide on the cover for installation, i.e. you can't install it on, say, a 20" space between the fridge and a cabinet or something like that. The Epicurean/Tom Douglas comes in 14" and 20" sizes, and in a black or natural color.

Here is a link that might be useful: Epicurean Wall-Mount Magnetic Knife Holder

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 10:50AM
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I'm toying with the idea of using a very powerful magnet to hold a couple of knives upright inside my silgranite sink. Or to hold to one side those objects that can be held in that way. Of course, this is for those few things that are already in use or being rinsed instead of going to the dishwasher. Just f.y.i. Powerful magnets are easy to get. They work through the sink wall because it's not steel.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 11:20AM
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I know this is weird, but I've never been able to have a sharp knife (not being used) laying on the counter, and knife strips on the wall just freak me out. I think it goes back to seeing Psycho long, long ago! I keep knives in a holder on the counter now, but will probably put them in a drawer holder when we reno. However, I do like the idea of the magnetic strip holder hidden on the side of a cupboard that laxsupermom used and I saved to my clippings. laxsupermom is the 5th respondent down along with a pic.

Here is a link that might be useful: knife strip behind side cupboard door

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Sounds a bit dangerous. An 8 inch razor inside the sink, even if it is being held to the sink's side.


I'm appalled when people come to my house and use my knives. They use the wrong knife (usually choosing a paring knife to cut up a roast), don't have safe cutting habits (how do they still have all their digits?), put the knife in the sink where it rattles around (losing its edge and ready to slice off a finger), or stick it point-down in the cutlery basket (damages edge), or wedge it point-up in said basket (the idiocy of this should be obvious), or throw it in the dishwasher (damages knife and also a potential finger-slicer).

I go to their homes and the knives are so dull, you could draw them across your palm or throat without fear. But these people have no idea their knives are dull. One of my friends bought his wife a set of Victorinox Forschner knives for XMas 2009. I asked her recently if she wanted me to sharpen them all for the holidays, and she said that they still seemed ''okay''. Sorry, but a Forschner that has been used for a year with no attention but occasional steeling is not okay. Another friend said his Wusthofs were sharp because his partner puts them through the Chef's Choice electric sharpener. I looked at his favorite santoku: the bevel is wavy, uneven, and palpably rough.

In my view, a knife should be as sharp as you can possibly get it. The ideal blade would instantly slice anything that touches the edge, and you shouldn't even feel your finger being laid open.

That said, I don't see how a magnetic bar can dull an blade if the edge never touches the bar. If the knife is slapped onto the bar edge-first, then sure it will dull.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 11:53AM
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We bought a couple of strips at Sur la Table on clearance. I painted the trim to match the kitchen -- then realized there was not good place to put them. I didn't have a wall space that wouldn't get in the way of other things. We considered using them like an insert in the cooktop backsplash for utensils -- until we realized none of our utensils would stick to them. They are out in the garage now. My knives are in a drawer block and that works best for us.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:41PM
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I was going to post a pic of our solution, but flwrs beat me to it. Thanks!

I agree with johnliu on all counts. So long as you train yourself to twist it the other direction, the blade shouldn't dull from the strip. And what is it with other people not taking care of their knives? We stayed at a friend's cottage and DH caught a nice sized bass that I proceeded to torture instead of quickly fillet for want of a good knife. I was practically in tears, I felt so bad for the fish. DH thought I was nuts until he saw another friend sawing away at a watermelon with another knife. The knives were in such poor shape.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:13PM
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I use a Global magnetic knife bar in our little sailboat galley and it works beautifully, even in a seaway (the one time that I didn't pack up the knives in sheaths before sailing). However, much as I'd like to use a similar setup at home, for some reason, the thought of doing doing so makes me think of slasher movies, so I don't. In general, though, I do like equipment to be ready at hand. (Oh, I've also read that followers of feng shui recommend against exposed blades.)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:32PM
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The ideal blade would instantly slice anything that touches the edge, and you shouldn't even feel your finger being laid open.

These sorts of visuals are why I don't have exposed blades in my kitchen! [shudder] :)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:42PM
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I've always used one -- actually, two, one about six inches above the other, so long knives are held top and bottom.

I keep knives sharpened, and I remove them carefully as several folks above discuss.

My feeling is that if I have a dangerous edge close by, I want it *always* in sight, and a drawer provides too many possibilities for something getting out of place. Plus knives get more use than any other kitchen utensil, so at-hand storage makes sense. Use it, give it a quick hand cleaning, and back on the holder it goes.

The hazard with the configuration shown up top of this thread is that if something knocks the handle of a long knife toward the wall, the blade swivels forward away from the holder, the magnetic bond is lost, and the knife falls off. Which is alarming. The solution is two parallel holders -- any knife should be magnetically clamped securely enough that it can't get knocked off.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:50PM
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I to have one and love it.

I have a different types and sizes of knives and keep them very sharp. And since I am right handed I have the blade facing left so when I remove a knife (just in case I twist my wrist when removing them) it keeps the sharp part from touching the magnetic strip.

My knives are investment and besides,I use the knives as a decoration on the back splash. LOL

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 8:31PM
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Thank you for your responses.

J-Lui....I love your digressions. If you were to offer to sharpen my knives...I'd take you up in a heartbeat. : )
KitchenDetect....if my CabGuy doesn't use my knives against me, my recessed knife cabinet will have a set-in door covering them so the feng-shui aspect is taken care of.
Davidro1....I'm thinking about mounting some of those supermags inside a cabinet as a component of a post-it-note board. I really don't want to hammer nails or use screws on the outside of the cabinet.
laxsupermom....Trying to cook at my aunt's home, I once went through ten knives trying to find one that was half-way sharp. I finally went out and bought a santuko and told everyone that if they wanted me to continue to cook when I visited, NO ONE was to touch that knife except me and my sister. : D

For those concerned about kiddie access, they will have to be little mountain goats. I plan to have this customized recessed mini-cabinet positioned in an upper cabinet adjacent to my main sink and prep area. Grab it, use it, wash it, store it. No extra footshuffle needed.

I am a firm believer of never leaving sharp items in a sink....knives, microplanes, processor blades, etc. It only took me getting one cut (when I was a very much younger person than I am now) for me to teach everyone else a lesson. It was not me that had a knife soaking in soapy water. : )

Again...thanks for all your input!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 12:29AM
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I was toying with the idea of one, and also of the in-drawer block so I was glad to see this post. My mother has a magnetic one on the wall, and it is VERY strong, it's almost hard to get them off, so I know they wouldn't fall off or knock off. Her knives are SOOO dull and now I wonder if there is any correlation between them being so dull and that knife holder!

I think I've decided I don't really want to see them "displayed" like that. I have a lot of knives and don't want to only put up half and still have to store the others. Also, I have two sets of knives, and although they coordinate, both being black and silver- I would want them all to match if they were up and visible like that. I think I'll keep using my block on the counter.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 6:44AM
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I love my knife magnet. I have it mounted on the side of the fridge cab, with the longer knives in towards the back of the counter. I really didn't want the knives on the countertop. In my dreams I am going for that uncluttered look, but usually their is junk everywhere anyways :)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 7:38AM
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