Occasionally I have friends and family ask me if I’ve used a magnetic knife holder before and if I have, are they any good for knives. To be honest I wasn’t a fan of this way of storing kitchen knives, I had heard many conflicting stories about how magnetic knife racks can damage knives and I wasn’t rushing out the door anytime soon to buy one.
However, on a trip to my local culinary supply store I spotted a sale on a selection of stainless steel magnetic knife holders and after talking to the sales clerk about the negative buzz I had heard about them she finally convinced me to give them a try. Not sure what finally twisted my arm? Maybe it was her convincing sales pitch or quite possibly her long blond hair and tight blouse that had changed my mind, whatever it was I ended up walking out the door with one.
It has now been 6-months since I purchased the magnetic knife rack and to be honest I couldn’t be happier with it; I really cannot understand the bad press these knife racks had got. So in this article I hope to shed some light on what I have discovered so far, the pros, the cons and if magnetic knife holders are good or bad for knives to help clear up any confusion if you are on the fence about buying one.
I’d like to reiterate that this article is based on my personal findings and your experiences may differ depending on various magnetic knife holder brands, quality and material used the manufacture the knife rack. At the end of the article I have recommended a few of the best magnetic knife racks that I can now vouch for as being good for your knives.
Can Magnetic Knife Holders Damage Knives?
Firstly, can magnetic knife holders damage knives? Well keep on reading for my personal opinion. There is no simple yes no answer to this question. There is a chance that you may damage your kitchen knives when using a magnetic knife holder but as far as I have found this only happens if you place you knife incorrectly on the magnetic strip.
When I first got my magnetic knife rack I dared not to use my expensive kitchen knives (like my Shun’s or Global’s) on it because of all the bad reports I had heard previously. So instead I tested out the knife holder using some of my cheaper knives. What I found was that yes your knives can potentially get damaged if they are placed onto the knife rack blade first.
The knife blade can become dull and actually on one of my Victorinox knives the blade edge became out-of-line and I had to give it a good hone to get the blade realigned again. This type of damage can all be avoided if you place your knives onto the magnetic knife rack spine side first (not blade first). I also recommend that to help reduce the chance of knife damage when removing your knives give them a slight twist and a pull so that the blade edge leaves the magnetic strip first then the spine.
Now that I understand how to use the magnetic knife holder correctly I have no problem placing my more expensive kitchen knives on it. The damage will only happen if the blade of the knife is constantly hitting the magnetic strip, so if you take your time when placing and removing your knives from the knife rack as I have described above you really shouldn’t have any problems.
Video: How to Correclty Remove and Place Your Knife Onto a Magnetic Knife Holder
A quick video I made to show you how to safely remove and place your knife onto a magnetic knife holder without damaging your knives. I thought it would help you to visualize and see what I have written above.
Pros and Cons of Magnetic Knife Racks
Below I have listed some of the pros and cons of using a magnetic knife holder. This is not a comprehensive list by any means but I will add to it if and when something else comes to mind.
Magnetic Knife Racks Pros
✓ Keeps your sharp knives out of reach of the kids
✓ Convenient and handy hanging on the wall
✓ Doesn’t take up counter space (perfect for small apartments with limited space)
✓ Helps reduce the risk of rust and corrosion (being in the open air rather than a damp drawer)
✓ A great way to show off your best kitchen knives 🙂
Magnetic Knife Racks Cons
✗ Possible to damage knives if not used correctly (Remember: twist so that the knife edge leaves the magnetic strip first, then the spine. Replace in reverse manner)
✗ Potentially dangerous if you have small children that like to climb your kitchen counters
✗ Magnetic knife racks may have negative Feng Shui (so I hear)
Which Magnetic Knife Holders Are Best?
Since my initial purchase I have tried and tested a few different magnetic knife holders that I feel confident recommending. The one that is in the above video is just a regular stainless steel magnetic knife holder which you can find on Amazon here.
I also have another wall mounted Bamboo magnetic knife rack which I recently purchased. The Better Houseware Bamboo Magnetic Bar is a great alternative to the steel varieties and I find that because the magnetic strips are hidden under the Bamboo my knives don’t seem to get as scratched as much. Also if I place my knives on the steel magnetic knife holder when they are wet (if i’m feeling lazy) I often find small rust spots appearing on the magnets, however they do just wipe off. This is not an issue with the Bamboo magnetic knife holder.
Another magnetic knife holder that caught my attention (I don’t own this) was a beautiful Walnut wooden magnetic knife rack. This Walnut 12-inch wood magnetic knife holder isn’t cheap and at just under $50 (at the time of writing) it might be a bit too costly for the typical home kitchen.