The World Wide Brain Exchange i.e. Internet had this little jewel for me. Tired of storing knives in an ever overflowing compartment of the divider in the kitchen drawer, risking my fingers to get cut in the process, I searched for a cheap and adaptable idea to store the knives which had not yet a home in a knife block on the counter – ready to use. And I found endless ideas of a knife block that’s easy to get, adaptable to the knives you have and can be adapted to your liking! A skewer knife block! The bamboo of skeweres is reasonably harmless to the knives, you can stick the knives in in any horizontal twist you like, no knife known to me is too wide or small for this and the number of knives is not at all strictly limited as with ‘classic’ knife blocks. You can even adapt it to different knife sizes and numbers. Even serrated knives work reasonably well. Additonally, any little accidental amount of moisture left on the knives will be easily taken up by the wood quickly and then slowly evaporate into thin air!
One downside is that compared to a cheap knife block this is about the same price, depending on the skewer price. And compared to a knife block that stores knives at an angle to straight vertical, this needs a little bit more room above the knife block to get the knives in and out, but not all that much. One further upside is, the utensil holder (or jar or bucket or can…) can be easily cleaned and the skewers replaced when dusty or otherwise dirty. Try cleaning the small slots of a classic knife block! Overall, this skewer knife block is my absolute favourite though – decoratively AND practically!
Get a utensil holder or porcelain or wood jar which is high enough to keep the skewers upright and tight, but low enough to be well shorter than the skewers (unless you don’t like the skewers to stick out). Chose to your availability, liking or budget!
The cheapest way I could come up with would be a very large emptied can, of which the edges are either thickly taped or sandpapered down to be non-sharp. Think about whether you want to cover the inside of the can with something soft to prevent the knives of damage, in the case you may not always put the blade away from the sides. A bit of cardboard lining should do. Something like cork wood is more fancy if you want to. My utensil holder has bamboo edges on top, which are wider than the porcelain walls enough to avoid this in most cases I think.
Then buy bamboo skewers, best in a ‘1 Dollar shop’ – and buy plenty. For the knife block up in the picture, I used about 800 skewers I think (some used 2500 or 3800 skewers in their designs) ! They should be of similar length and be at least a good 5 cm longer than the longest knife of the block! The BOTTOM of the pit – eer – holder should be far away from the knives this way, since the knives are held up by the tightly packed bamboo skewers, which are longer than the knives.
Tightly pack the bamboo skewers into your choice of container. I liked having the blunt side out. Having the pointy side out has the advantage of ‘guiding’ the knives into the block, but I have not found that necessary and like to avoid pointy things pointing at me. You could support the tightness of the skewers with rubber bands (this could even be decorative) and if you have enough skewers to make a really wide and heavier bunch, you could just wrap them with rubber bands and place them on a flower pot saucer of the same diameter as the bunch, or use any other kitchen-suitable similar shaped object. Done!
Ideas from other people
If you are more picky, want to spent more money or want to (and have the tools and patience) to built it yourself, here are some awesome variations of that idea:
From MPCustomMade a knife block made from reclaimed wood. They seem to have offered it for sale on etsy previously, maybe they’ll make a new one for you!
You can make those knife blocks in all shapes and sizes. Farm Fresh Therapy have a large knife block for plenty of knives made out of a transport box and skewers on an angle. For my purposes it would lie too flat, since I like storing my knives on the counter or somewhere else where I don’t run into them, but the idea is good nevertheless, allowing easy access from above it seems.
The next one from Zombeerose has two compartments for shorter and longer knives, which I find handy.
Combining this with the idea from Aaron McCain, you can get a central utensils-and-knives storage unit for your countertop!
Erin has a housemate, who likes making things and the housemate made a long-ish knife block. Reduces the humble-jumble of different knives and allows you to store them in order – or at least a line, so searching is easier.
In this picture you can see how you may use the knife block from different angles even! However I could not find the page on which they refer to this item, but they have other nice individual knife blocks in their portfolio.
Another similar semi-naked skewer solution I found with Ben Chapman, who even tilted the block on an angle, very handy indeed! He’s got a link to an instructable page as well! He seems to be on the same level with respect to normal knife blocks. They are just good as long as you never have more or less knives and they are the same shape as the block dictates!
While the product in white is no longer available from ‘OhMyKitchen’, the pink version of this knife block and this shape gave me the idea that you could possibly make a wall-mountable version, or under-hanging-pantry mounted, to save space on the kitchen counter.
Logan on ‘Loganslearnings’ has a pretty cool knife block as well, which features a window on the side with some metal-looking columns, making it really stylish. It even comes with instructions!
To round this tour off, ‘Side by Side’ offers a round spartanic and very practical knife block, which takes a similar idea to the almost sheer use of rubber bands, albeit I think they use metal rings! Maybe egg rings work? Or buy it from them!
Behance has an interesting, inspiring and very artistic and puristic take on this knife block, which I like as well, albeit taking up way too much space for my taste and too many corners to catch dust.
Last but not least, you can use other products than bamboo skewers to hold your knives. Broom brushes have been suggested by some, but I find them way too short usually. However, these two takes give the whole idea a new dimension. PGEveryday suggests beans, lentils, peas or possibly other items such as rice, dried corn, you may even use such things as sugar-sprinkles. However, I would think the beans would need to be exchanged occasionally, since the knives will, with time, scratch and poke them. I’m also not sure how much the knives get dull from the scratching along the dried food. I assume it’s not much, but whether that much is too much for my taste I can’t say. BUT it is an alternative…
Brianna, as the last entrant, but by way the coolest for simple-cheap-design, has had the idea to use spaghetti. Do it yourself dyed spaghetti knife block.
She calls it her DIY Knife garden and with this I will close this inspiring post, which may one day get me all excited about making a knife block myself, once I have a workshop and tools available.