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Seeking advice on *making* a knife block

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Seeking advice on *making* a knife block

tanuki soup | Jan 21, 2011 04:03 PM

I'm currently using three different Henckels knife blocks on my counter top to hold my knives, but my small kitchen is pretty cramped and so I've been thinking to make a knife block to hold only the knives I use most. The current knife blocks could then be moved to another room, where they would serve as storage for knives I don't use often (never?) or have replaced with nicer ones.

I'd really appreciate hearing the opinions of the folks here at CH as to how to make the *perfect* knife block. (This project will probably take a while, and I'd hate to finish it and then kick myself because I overlooked something.)

1) Vertical or horizontal slots?
I'm leaning toward horizontal. All my current knife blocks have vertical slots, and I've noticed that since I learned to sharpen knives better, the blades tend to cut into the slots and kind of "stick" when you try to pull them out. Are there any disadvantages to horizontal slots?

2) How many slots, how big?
I suppose I could really get by with just two knives (santoku and paring), but I like to use a variety of knives for different tasks. The knives I reach for regularly are, in order of frequency of use:

17-cm santoku
6.5" nakiri
22-cm bread knife
21-cm gyuto
6" spatula (for spreading)
kitchen scissors
12-cm petty knife
12-cm ceramic knife

(All of the above are stainless steel, it it matters.)

I also use plastic-handled Victorinox/Forschner paring and serrated tomato knives and an 18-cm cleaver, but the former get tossed in a tray so I don't have to dry them after every use and the latter has a hole in the blade for hanging.

So I'm thinking 4 big horizontal slots down right side of the front of the block, 3 smaller horizontal slots between them offset toward the left side, and a squarish hole for the scissors underneath.

Should I make a big slot for the cleaver?
Should there be extra slots for new acquisitions, or would that just return to the clutter that I'm trying to minimize?
Should I add slots for my steak knives, or should they just live in a drawer?
Should I allow sufficient depth for a 24-cm (or longer) gyuto, assuming that my knife skills improve in the future and I will move to longer blades?
Should I add slots for other kitchen utensils (a ceramic steel, vegetable peeler)?

Thanks for reading this far. Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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