Ranking among the most popular ways for chefs and cooks to store their most prized possessions (kitchen knives) is in the trusty and battle-tested knife roll.
But many aspiring chefs have questions about how to use their knife roll to the fullest. In this guide, we explore the different types of knife rolls available, the pros and cons of each, how to use the knife roll properly, and more.
What is a Knife Roll?
Sometimes referred to as a ‘knife bag’ or ‘roll bag’, the knife roll is a specialized soft carrying case for kitchen knives. Featuring several compartments for various small kitchen tools, and individual slots for each type of kitchen knife, these cases are durable, capable and affordable. the perfect companion for any chef who is ‘on the go’, the knife roll makes transporting razor-sharp kitchen knives from one kitchen to the next a breeze.
Why Would a Chef Need to Use a Knife Roll?
Chefs may want to consider a knife roll for several reasons. Here are a few of the most common reasons you too may want to add a knife roll to your collection.
- Safe storage of knives to avoid injury
- Protects blades from damage during transport
- Easily organizes knife sets in one ‘toolchest’
- Makes the transportation of chef knives safe and easy
- Can be used to store knives when not in use
In most cases, chefs who travel between different kitchens and prep areas will benefit most from having a knife roll loaded to the brim with their own set of blades.
How to Properly Store Knives in a Knife Roll
- Moisture is the Enemy
NO matter how big of a hurry you’re in, never put your knives away in the roll when damp. Moisture can cause corrosion, damage to the blade, reduced edge retention, and pose a health hazard, fostering the growth of mold and bacteria.
- Clean Up
Similar to the hazards of storing knives when wet, storing them dirty poses many of the same health hazards, and can damage your blades over time. Further, you’ll contaminate the knife roll itself, requiring even more work to get that clean per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Don’t Force It
Each knife roll is designed to hold both a designated number of knives as well as various types with specialized compartments engineered to fit these. Trying to force a knife that doesn’t belong there is akin to shoving a triangle through a round hold. In other words, don’t try it.
When purchasing your knife roll, ensure it is made to house all of the knives (sizes and types) you need to take with you on the go.
- Consider Edge Guards
In addition to storing your knives in the knife roll, the use of blade covers designed to protect your knives’ edge and maintain edge retention is advisable. These inexpensive additions can protect your knives and well as make sure they are ready for action right out of the roll.
- Make Certain Everything is Secure
Don’t rush this step. Make sure each knife is secured in its proper slot, the bag carefully rolled up, and its outer straps, latches or other securing mechanism is snuggly in place. If your roll features knife flaps, make sure these are down over the blades prior to closing up the roll.
Types of Knife Bags
Leather Knife Rolls / Bags: Both durable and stylish, these rolls offer an upscale element that may be important when hosting lavish private dinners or working for a high-class restaurant or employer. Although on the higher end of the cost spectrum, leather tends to be quite durable, lasting for decades with proper care.
Canvas Knife Rolls: Durable and affordable, canvas knife rolls are a great mid-price range option. Canvas tends to travel well and if waxed is fairly impervious to spills and stains. One potential downside, however, is that canvas rolls tend to be a bit on the heavier side, which may or may not be an issue for you.
Nylon and Synthetic Materials: Among the most affordable options are nylon and synthetic material. Although cheaper made, these value-based options are lightweight and can often be found in a wide variety of configurations.
Other Items You Can Store in a Knife Roll
- Honing rod
- Measuring spoon sets
- Meat hook
- Small scale
- First aid items
- And more…
Storing Your Knives in a Knife Roll: quick, easy, safe
Whether for travel or work, transporting your kitchen knives in a knife roll is a safe and easy way to ensure your blades remain in peak condition, and safe from causing injury in transport. If you’re a chef, you know just how important having your own set of knives is to get the job done right. A knife roll makes sure you can take your prized blades with you no matter where life or work takes you.