We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

The Biggest Drawback Of Magnetic Knife Strips

You've invested in a quality cooking knife – now, how do you keep it nice? Proper knife maintenance is wicked important, but it's perhaps a little ambitious by the average home cook's standards. As Anthony Bourdain lamented in "Kitchen Confidential," expensive, exotic, name-brand knives may look impressive, they might even be impressive, but "Unless you are really and truly going to spend fifteen minutes every couple of days working that blade on an oiled carborundum stone, followed by careful honing on a diamond steel, I'd forgo the Germans."

At minimum, proper storage is crucial to keep your precious knives in tip-top shape — and metal magnetic knife strips are not the move. The ultra-strong magnet might keep your knives fastened to the wall, but that strength will also damage the blades over time and compromise their structural integrity. Knife strips can also leave cosmetic scratches on the side of your knife's blade. According to Mari Sugai of Korin Knives via Bon Appétit, some magnetic knife strips are so powerful that they can actually magnetize your knife. For thinner blades — like the ones on Japanese-style knives – a powerful magnetic strip can prove fatal, totally snapping it off. Plus, if you mount that magnetic strip over your stove, don't be surprised when you grip a row of oily, greasy knives. Perhaps worst of all, magnetic knife strips pose a major safety hazard for foodies with small kiddos (or spirited cats who just won't get off the counter).

Metal knife strips are damaging over time

Knife storage can be surprisingly tricky territory. Repeatedly inserting and extracting your cutlery from a wooden knife block is a big no-no, as it dulls the blade. (If you put away your knives while they're still a little wet from washing, that wooden block might even be harboring mold.) For all their shortcomings, magnetic knife strips are sanitary, and an admittedly killer space-saving solution, especially for apartment dwellers with criminally malnourished storage space. If you don't have any little hands or wandering paws to worry about, magnetic strips also facilitate easy access, and the zero-contact storage makes it effortless to keep those blades food-safe.

Enough home cooks were faced with this conundrum that it made it to a post on the largest gastronomic subreddit, r/cooking. The results? Online foodies advise against metal-plated magnetic knife strips, but they recommend wooden-plated ones with flying colors. Never seen one before? Instead of metal, a thin layer of wood is positioned over the powerful magnet; No metal means no scraping. This model by wooDsom is an investment at $46, but it comes in different sizes and a variety of stains to match your kitchen. It's easy to clean and install, and (most importantly) the wood covering means it won't beat up your delicate blades. To free your knife from the strip, slide it vertically downward rather than pulling it straight toward you. This will keep the blade from incurring too much torque and eventual wear over time.