The Knife Box, for Culinary Students, Chefs, and Avid Cooks!




Introduction: The Knife Box, for Culinary Students, Chefs, and Avid Cooks!

In this instructable I am going to show you how to make an efficient storage solution for your knives and other culinary tools.  I am a professional chef for a living, and bringing your own tools to work is the name of the game, especially when you are a caterer; part of being a caterer is going to all different places to cook i.e. inside office buildings, peoples homes, parks, etc.  so being able to have a little mobile kitchen box is the best possible answer.  This setup would also work amazingly for anyone who is a culinary student, or anyone who is an avid cook that want to there knives to be safe and protected. 

Step 1: The Box

 The box that I used is an aluminum tool case from harbor freight.  I bought it for 25 dollars, it comes full of dividers and foam inserts, you can lose the dividers but save the foam.  also the shoulder strap is optional (I don't use mine). also you can order one right here

Step 2: Making the Supports for the Knives

This part is pretty straight forward, all you need is some wood glue, a drill and a small saw.

What i did is found a small piece of thin plywood and cut it just to make a base to glue my two 3/4"x3/4" pieces to. then I drilled holes every 3/4" along the two pieces and glued them down to the piece of plywood. Then just take some small dowels and insert them into the holes with more wood glue, then wham bam thank you ma'am! you have the part the holds your knives in the upright and locked position.  sitting next to the support in the photo is the pieces of foam that I cut just to go in the gaps between the legs of the supports. 

Step 3: Put Some Blades in There

 The next thing to do would be to lay your knives in there, in between the slats.  I would highly recommend some kind of blade protector. you can use a simple plastic one that your blade slips into, these can be had for around a dollar each. Or you can go for the Cadillac of knife covers the knife safe by lamson sharp these range from between 2 and 6 dollars a piece depending on the size.

Step 4: Lets Talk About Knives

Ok so at this point you have a pretty sweet setup going but what kind of knives should a culinarian carry. That all depends on each individual, I myself am a severe bladeoholic, hell I'm a bladeophile! So  I have duplicates of some knives, like a carry two different santokus and three paring knives but odds are you don't need to. So first things first the French or chef's knife. If I could have only one knife this would be it. I personally carry an 8 inch Shun chef's knife. 

Another good knife to have that is basically interchangeable with the chef's knife is the santoku. I carry a Furi 6 inch granton edge santoku as well as a Kyocera ceramic santoku

Step 5: More Multi Purpose Knives

Two other knives that are really not necessary to have but can be another alternative to a chef's knife or a santoku are:

 a mini prep knife, its kind of like a small santoku. Mine is a global.
or a japanese style nakiri; also known as a vegetable cleaver. I use a shun from their wasabi line of knives.

Step 6: Boning Knife

The next knife is one that is an absolute necessity it is a flexible boning knife, this is used to clean and break down many different cuts of meat from beef to poultry to fish.  I use a flexible boning knife made by J.A Henkels.

Step 7: Next Up the Bread Knife

A good quality bread knife is indispensable, I am a huge fan of a scalloped blade rather than serrated. Scalloped seem to stay sharper longer. My current bread knife is by far the best i have ever used, the thing is like a bread scalpel.  It is from Shun's pure komachi series of knives.  

also kind of falls into the same category, I have what is called a bagel knife its like a bread knife but short and fat.  I use mine for cutting tomatoes and delicate fruits. it is from Shun's pure komachi series

Step 8: The Paring Knife

 one knife that everyone must have is a paring knife, a paring knife is good for doing anything from peeling ginger to mincing garlic. I carry three because as I said I have a knife addiction

I have a furi, a shun, and a l'econome
my favorite one is the l'econome you can get one online for about 5 dollars.

Step 9: Utility Knife

To be honest about the only thing I use this for is slicing sush or carpaccio and other thin sliced stuff.  the utility knife I have is a shun 

Step 10: Last But Not Least the Slicer

 One other knife that you really should have is a decent slicer, great for filleting a side or salmon or slicing a beef roast, mine was a bit too long for my box so I had to saw the handle down to make it fit. I use a slicer made by Chicago cutlery.

Step 11: Garde Manger Tools

I do a lot of fruit and vegatable carving as well as garde manger, so I made myself a small kit with the necessary tools to do a whole gamut of garde manger stuff. I found a little roll up kit and just built from there this kit includes:

Birds beak paring knife
thai style knife
u/v cutter
micro parisienne scoop
 channel knife
citrus zester
large parisienne scoop
and a butter curler

Step 12: Other Tools to Complete Your Setup

Here are some of the other things that make the box of culinary wonder complete. I find myself using these items on a daily basis.

Bowl scraper 
Vegetable peeler: I have three you only need one
A couple of small offset spatulas, I use them for everything from spreading chocolate to cool, to lifting and placing small things.
kitchen shears, great for cutting twine or trimming chives
citrus reamer
small whisk-indispensable 
egg topper, odds are you don't need one of these
small can opener, you definitely need one
instant read thermometer, one of the most important tools in the box
honing steel
measuring spoons, I found some that fold up
Small pliers for pulling pin bones from fish fillets
infared thermometer, i use this for pulled sugar, melting chocolate, etc
kitchen timer
Wine key
Box cutter , for you guessed it ...opening boxes
a couple of small mandolins one the slices one that shreds
microplane grater
and last but not least a smal cutting board

Step 13: The Complete Box

Here is what the whole box looks like put together, you can fit a remarkable amount of tools in this box, and the best part is they stay all in place and secure.  The box itself is super rugged and takes a lot of abuse. Well I hope everyone found this helpful. feel free to leave some comments and even ask some questions.  Now get out there and cook! 

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    10 years ago on Step 13

    Nice Idea these cases are found at around £30 and even less from a boot sale or from ebay ..Great result for little work ..Most knife cases or wraps are kinda expensive ...Nice One


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Great collection. I'm glad I'm not the only one obsessed with knife perfection. The G.I. can opener brought me back. I used to carry one on my key chain as a kid. What kind of kid does that? Is food-nerd a term? If you can fit a cleaver in there, might I suggest the Kiwi line. Great inexpensive knives.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    i wanna thank you while we were in the process of moving out of state my brothers knifes were stolen from our house.

    something like this would be a great way to help him start rebuilding his kit


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Nice I'ble! I'd like to do something like that with my knives instead of just dumping them in a drawer.
    I would add an ulu to the set. It's a quarter circle, single ground Alaskan skinning knife with the handle at the center of the circle. Ergonomic and fun to use for chopping, mincing, and slicing.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

     yea the ulu is a pretty cool knife similar to the mezzaluna knife that typically comes with a cutting board in the shape of a bowl

    also yes an egg topper takes the top off of the egg, so that the egg can then be used as a serving vessel.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    what's an egg topper do?
    does it cut off the top of an egg?
    if so, why?


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this is awesome and thorough!  Thanks for sharing your kit.
    I'm putting together a wish list from the contents of your knife box. ;)


    12 years ago on Step 12

    FIRST AID KIT - I went to the dollar store and got a neat metal latchable box (about 4 x4 x2), and always keep aspirin, band aids (only the coolest looking ones though), finger condoms, nail clippers, and super glue.


    12 years ago on Step 4

    I am going to comment everyewhere hahaha :)

    I have the Shun as well, but I took the 10". My chef knife I prefer to be a little longer; works great for slicing, and there's been times where an 8" just wouldn't cut it (skinning large fish for example).

    My Santoku is a pretty sweet budget folded steel knife. Calphalone, a store brand, with VG-1 steel, 7". Wicked knife for the price


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I myself prefer a toolbox with a removeable upper tray. All my knives get snap on type guards, and it's pretty easy to organize everything inside. Lockable, sturdy, and makes me relive my days working on cars :)


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, and also the fact I can plaster all sorts of cheese stickers from all the various cheeses I've had the pleasure of tasting  all over it :)