I just wanted to share my experience with the Igo Kapoosh universal knife block. I have had it for a year now and I think it is much more versatile than a traditional wooden block.
It is comprised of tightly packed plastic rods w/ a wooden frame, and allow you to place lots of knives of any shape and size in them. It's like sticking a knife in a sandbox. And at $30, it's cheaper than wooden blocks!
The only minor issues I have with it are that my 8" chefs knife sticks out a little bit, and the angle is a little too upright, which does not allow me to push it to the back of my counter because the cabinets impede removal of the longer knives.
I see there is a new oval shaped one, but I think you lose some usable space near the edges.
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