Magnetic knife racks, which way up to store the knives?

September 08, 2016

It might sound like an odd question but it's not the first time I've been asked it. I've played around at home with different ways to store my knives, adjusting it sometimes when I spot if something is dangerous or just not as usable as it should be. There are only so many ways to do this so it's not rocket science but this is the best setup I've found.

My magnetic knife rack (I've got the walnut 300mm rackΒ which holds about 5 knives) is on my wall about shoulder height, if yours is the same then I'd recommend going handle at the bottom (pointy end up the top). Reason being when you reach up there is no danger of rubbing your hand over an edge or into the point. If I grab the second knife on the right for instance I'm safe on either side as long as I go for the handle, there is no blade exposed near my fingers.

knives pointy end up

I try to put the knife on the rack about midway up the blade and not so close to the handle, you want more weight of the knife below the rack, this prevents the knife trying to spin from the weight of the knife. Don't worry about getting everything inline let the knife stay where it is happy and secure.

I'm right handed so for safety I have all my blade edges pointing to the left of the rack and I put the longest blade on the left working back in size towards the right. Reason is that it minimised the amount of sharp edge exposed on the knife to the left of the one I'm trying to grab.

I'm likely to be moving my hand up and to the left so this way I'm not moving my hand toward the blade at any time, I should just hit the heel if I hit anything at all. As knives tend to hang down lower the longer they are so in theory I should hit the top of the handle of the knife I'm after before I get near the edge of the blade on the knife to the right.

If you have your rack quite low or as I've seen a few times on a splash back on an central kitchen island or similar then I'd go point down and handle up.

knives pointy end down

Again when reaching out you can't accidently impale your hand and nor can anyone falling or leaning over your splash back get a surprise (we've all had drunk guests in the kitchen right?). When handle down you can have the tops of the handles all inline if you like, the closer the bolster is to the rack the better as then there is less chance of accidental slippage and therefore cuts. I still have cutting edges facing to the left if right handed and therefore right if left handed.

See I really do give this stuff too much thought. All this funky well thought out placement is great but remember to never reach for a knife without looking where your hand is going, you are not on a pro chef production line, this is not about optimising your Mise en Place, take your time and enjoy your cooking and your tools. Safety first. A cook with a badly cut hand can't cook so be careful out there people.

Finally don't overload the rack with too many knives, you want room between them for both your sake and the knives. If too crowded you run the risk of blunting or chipping an edge by snapping one knife over the heel of another, knives don't like that much. Metal on metal is always bad which is why we only stock wooden knife racks, they protect the edge better. Buy another rack if you have that many or retire your old knives, it's better than damaging your new pride and joy.

Cheers

Pete

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