After discussing the various knife storage and maintenance tips that I would personally recommend, I checked out why knife blocks might be bad for you. The same treatment is being applied to magnetic knife strips to see if they are worth using at all.
So, are magnetic knife strips bad for your knives?
Poorly-made magnetic knife strips have weak magnets that do not hold your knives well which causes the knives to fall and in turn, damages the knife.
Magnetic knife strips with metal surfaces are not advised since they come in contact with the steel surface of the knife and could cause damage – from dulling to chipping.
In the latter parts of this piece, I discuss how to choose the right magnetic knife strips and ensure that this storage method works well for you, if that’s what you choose.
Do Magnetic Knife Racks Scratch Knives?
That depends on the material that the knife rack is made from.
The best magnetic knife racks have a wooden surface layered over the internal, strong magnets for a reason. When you put your knife blade against the wood, the chances of damaging the blade are lesser since the metal does not scrape against the wood.
Cheaper options – which usually come out of India and China – save costs on the magnets by using a steel surface instead. That way, they don’t have to include stronger magnets that can work through the wood.
When you opt for the latter, you are at the risk of damaging the knife blade whenever you replace or remove the knife.
What Are the Risks of Using A Poor Magnetic Strip?
Quite a few, and they are not pretty at all.
Some of the reasons that I can think of right now, from the experiences of others who have used such poor magnetic strips and off the top of my head, include:
Knife falling off
Imagine being in the kitchen or another room of the house and the knives on your magnetic strip starts falling off.
If you have hung the knives at a high spot with no breakers underneath, they could fall on a toddler or pet like this.
In other cases, your fine knives could fall on the floor which causes damage to the blade and handles also.
It is just best to invest in good magnetic knife strips from the start anyway.
Chipping knife blade
I discussed this up there already, so I won’t spend much time on it anymore.
If you don’t want your knife blade to suffer damage from storage, it is best to invest in a quality knife strip from the start.
Warping knife blade
The best balance for a great magnetic knife strip is one that uses a medium-duty magnet. Not too heavy that it causes thinner blades to warp when you’re taking them off.
If you have one of such magnetic knife strips at home, I’ve heard that taping over it works.
There’s no exact science to the depth of the tape you can use. Just tape enough till you have the right magnetism that doesn’t make the knives swing out of balance – and not too much that it requires extra effort to get the knife off.
Choosing the Right Magnetic Strips
I would generally recommend that you go with a trusted brand that makes their products out of the US, Germany, or other such premium markets.
There are also great brands that outsource their production to Chinese companies, so be on the lookout for those lest you miss them based on where they are made from alone.
Likewise, don’t choose a magnetic strip with a magnet too weak. Otherwise, you are looking at a situation where your knives could simply start dropping.
That said, you should not choose strips with magnets too strong either. The process of taking the knives off the strip could be harder and frustrating.
Furthermore, it could also cause the tip of the knives to start warping. Nothing that you won’t be able to adjust with your hands, but you can do away with the warping in the first place.
What Other Knife Storage Options Can You Explore?
I have written a full guide on knife storage practices and tips here if you want more options to store your knives well. I also have some solutions in there for when you’re traveling/ moving/ on the road with your knives.
I’m sure you’ll find something that you like there.