Kitchn Love Letters

The Totally Smart (and Easy!) Way to Protect Your Favorite Knives

published Aug 2, 2022
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

In the middle of the summer, I find myself relying on my knives even more than usual. I need my big chef’s knife to break down a watermelon, a santoku for flying through cucumbers, and a very special serrated knife for my favorite of all summer ingredients: fresh tomatoes. And to make sure these knives are fully protected when not in use, I also have a smart storage solution, too!

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

But first, let me explain just how special this knife is to me. Last year, my friend Elliott gave me this tomato-slicing knife as a gift. It’s got an incredibly sharp point for breaking through the skin, and its dual-serrated edge allows it to slice through tomatoes like a laser without squishing the fruit. 

While the Rada Tomato Slicing Knife is literally made for tomatoes, it’s no unitasker. The five-inch blade makes quick work of mangoes and peaches, and I love it for slicing semi-soft cheeses like mozzarella for caprese salads.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

And to store my beloved tomato knife (and all my other precious steel babies), I opt for an in-drawer storage solution. (I also keep it in its original paper sheath to make sure it stays razor-sharp.)

In my last home, I was a devotee of the magnetic knife strip, but in this kitchen, the configuration of the cabinets, under-cabinet lighting, and backsplash prohibits me from using a magnetic strip, so when I moved, I found a new storage solution that I like even more — an in-drawer knife mat from Simply Essential.  

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

The mat slides right into my drawer (with a few inches left over, where I stow my can opener, honing steel, and vegetable peeler), and it gives me plenty of space for my most frequently used knives (as well as my 4-year-old daughter’s knife collection, which is objectively adorable). Once it’s in place, the mat stays put, so there’s no sliding around in the drawer, which can dull or even damage knives. 

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Every few months, I pop the knives and their mat out of the drawer for deep cleaning. I sharpen, clean, and sheath my knives. Then wipe out any crumbs in the drawer, and toss the mat right in the dishwasher! I love the way the knife mat frees up counter space and declutters the kitchen by keeping all my knives out of sight, but is still easy to access and ready to use.

Do you have a special knife you love? In the comments below, tell us your tip or favorite product for keeping it safely protected when not in use.