Does magnabar scratch knives?
March 3, 2005 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm lusting after new cutlery and am considering forgoing the knife block for a magnetic knife storage device like the Magnabar. Will the bar scratch the side of the knives? I know it is totally cosmetic but after dropping a few hundred dollars on knives, I want the cutlery to look great on the wall.
posted by KrustyKlingon to Home & Garden (13 answers total)

If you'd read my amazon review of the magnabar, you'd have discovered this, too! You want to twist the knife onto its back edge to get it off the bar, though - don't drag the knife around on the bar or allow the cutting edge to contact it.

Data obtained with Henckels high-carbon, non-Solingen steel.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:33 PM on March 3, 2005

Never hurt my stuff.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2005

Never hurt our knives. Though one of my friends says it makes us look like a bunch of murderers, having large knives on display like that.
posted by zsazsa at 1:16 PM on March 3, 2005

I have a magnetic bar and it's great for a small kitchen with limited counter space and not enough drawers for an in-drawer block. The magnet is strong and it makes a very satisfying "thwuck" when you place the knives on it. Thanks for the twisting tip, ikkyu2.
posted by matildaben at 1:36 PM on March 3, 2005

I have one, too, matildaben, for the same (small kitchen) reason, and love that "thwuck."

The twisting tip is good, also, if one of the magnetic strips comes detached, as it did on mine. Pulling a knife straight off the bar would sometimes bring one of the strips with it, causing all the knives to fall, usually behind the stove, of course. Twisting the knife reduced the pull enough so that didn't happen. (I eventually epoxied the strip back down.)
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:49 PM on March 3, 2005

I've never had a problem as long as I don't, as someone else mentioned, scrape the knives over the metal surface (twist and lift does the trick).

That being said, as someone on a knife sharpening faq said, knives are tools, and tools get dinged when they get used. There's something to be said for a well-broken-in set of knives that look that way, rather than trying to keep something pristine forever that will inevitably gather it's fair share of scratches and nicks. As long as they're cosmetic only (i.e. not on the blade edge), be proud of them.
posted by wolftrouble at 2:14 PM on March 3, 2005

Since so many people in this thread have them, may I ask—don't you worry about cutting either yourself or things on the exposed blades? I have edge protectors on my knives (I have to, I keep them in a drawer) and I'd be afraid, if the blades were just out there, that I'd reach for one and knick myself on another, or something.
posted by kenko at 2:19 PM on March 3, 2005

Kenko, I'm a big klutz but I have never nicked myself in this manner. I am guessing that the main reason for this is that the blades are stuck on at the widest part, the bottom, so that basically the only thing I can grab when I'm picking one up is the handle.

On topic: I love my magnetic bar and have had it for some three years. The thing doesn't leave marks on the knives, but occasionally it gets a little dusty and a tiny bit of dust gets onto the knife. Easily cleaned up, though.

We also have a pot rack and spice rack to save counter and cabinet space in our small Manhattan kitchen.
posted by lackutrol at 3:08 PM on March 3, 2005

If price is no object, you may want to consider a vertical clear glass knife block.
posted by Caviar at 3:09 PM on March 3, 2005

I don't like wood knife blocks because I imagine colonies of weird bacteria growing and evolving in those uncleanable blade-holes.

kenko: the blades all go one way and the handles the other, so you can't really cut yourself. I've even got two magnabars, one above the other, and it's not a problem.
posted by nicwolff at 3:14 PM on March 3, 2005

I grew up with knives on a magnet bar. My mom still has them there. No one in our house has ever cut themselves on one of those knives while getting them off/putting them on the rack, and she taught 2 kids to cook in that house.

Didn't seem to hurt the knives any....Mom's still using knives she got as wedding gifts 40+ years ago (yes, they're good knives). And you're right about the twist. I'd forgotten that, but I know we always used it.

I keep my knives in a plastic grid block, where the grid keeps the blades from banging into each other, but there's open air in the block. I'd prefer a magnet strip, but Mr R doesn't like them, and (more importantly) there really isn't room for a strip anywhere near where I use the knives.
posted by jlkr at 6:45 PM on March 3, 2005

I'm pretty sure magnetic strips are supposed to be the "proper" way to store knives anyway, on account of the fact that the actual sharp bit doesn't get bashed about like it would if you stored them in a block or loose in a drawer. And if you are just worried about what they look like, any scratching would surely occur on the side that isn't on display, so cosmetically scratching would be a problem, assuming you hang them on the same side every time.
I don't have problems with scratching on my knives, and I don't even twist, I slide them off the metal strip, because it makes a cool swishing noise, like in the movies when a baddy pulls a knife on someone. I am easily amused.
posted by chill at 5:28 AM on March 4, 2005

If you're still not sure about the magnetic strip, my favorite knife storage is loose in a drawer with blade guards -- to protect the blade from damage caused by hitting other things in the drawer more than to protect me.
posted by mendel at 7:00 AM on March 4, 2005

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