Industry Dish

Chef Insider: How To Choose The Best Knife Roll

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A chef undoubtedly needs many different kinds of knives when they’re working a shift. Whether it’s a chef’s knife you’re using to cut meat or dice veggies or a more precise paring knife to peel fruit, your knife collection is an essential part of your craft. How you keep it organized and how accessible your knives are to you when you need them are incredibly important. 

The best option for knife storage and accessibility for a chef has to be a knife roll. The best knife roll for chefs is one that is durable and won’t get punctured by freshly sharpened knives. It can hold all the knives you need and maybe some other utensils, too. Let’s take a look at how to choose the best chef knife roll and how it can impact you on the job, no matter what kitchen you find yourself in.

What is a Knife Roll?

What is a knife roll? Simply put, it’s basically a knife bag, usually made of leather, that you can roll out with all of your tools accessible and at the ready. As a chef who might work different shifts at different restaurants, your knife roll is a source of stability; you can’t be sure every kitchen will have the tools you need or prefer. However, if you bring your favorite knives with you to every shift in your knife roll, you’ll never need to worry about having what you need on hand.

How To Choose the Best Knife Roll

When choosing the best knife roll for chefs, you have a few things you need to consider. What is it that you should be looking out for?

Does It Have Enough Storage for All Your Knives?

First, the knife roll has to have enough slots for your knife collection; secondly, its quality has to be such that you know it can take a lot of punishment. Third, it should fit your style in terms of design, color, and material. Finally, it should have enough room not just for your knives but other utensils you may need, especially when, as hinted at before, you can’t be sure every kitchen will be as prepared as you are!

How many knives do you have? Six? Ten? In the end, it doesn’t really matter; what matters is that you’re able to take your knives wherever you go to work. Your knife roll should be able to carry all of the knives you prefer to use and even a few that you don’t often use but may see the need for at some point. So, a knife roll’s knife capacity really matters.

Focus on the Quality of the Material

Beyond that, what is it made of? Is it the sort of material that can be easily punctured by paring or a santoku knife? Will it fray with repeated use? The quality of the material your knife roll is made of matters immensely; it could take a lot of punishment, so you want it to last! It should also be easy to clean, so keep that in mind. Some of the best materials for knife rolls include leather, canvas, and ballistic nylon.

Think About the Impression It Gives

Furthermore, how does it look when others see you with it? When you walk into a kitchen with your knife roll, what impression do you want to give? Does it fit your style? Is it a knife roll that you can show off and display with pride? Or does it look cheap? These things may not matter that much to you, but they will matter to those who see you—and can offer you jobs.

Does It Have Space for Everything Else?

What about the other tools you have, like peelers, scissors, scrapers, small spatula, and thermometers? How will you transport them? You heard about how the best knife roll for chefs will have enough space for all of your knives, but the overall best knife roll will also have room for the other tools of your trade. 

Is It In Your Price Range?

The price range of knife rolls starts at around $25 and can go up to over $100. You will need to decide what price point you want to stay at for purchasing a knife roll. There are high-quality options are various price points such as the ones below.

Affordable Option

HERSENT Waxed Canvas Chef Knife Roll

Open canvas knife roll

This waxed canvas chef knife roll is an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality. There are 10 knife slots and a zippered section to hold additional utensils. It can hold knives up to 18.8 inches and comes in multiple colors.

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Mid-Level Option

Shun 8-Slot Knife Roll Travel Case

Knife roll travel case


This knife roll from Shun is a mid-tier option that costs around $50. It is made from PVC laminated polyester and holds up to eight knives. Additionally, it has padded handles, a detachable shoulder strap, and space for business cards and writing tools. 

 

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Premium Option

Aaron Leather Goods 10-Pocket Knife Roll

Leather knife roll

This leather knife roll from Aaron Leather Goods has 10-pockets, is travel-friendly with a detachable shoulder strap, and is made from high-quality leather. It has a zippered pouch and room to store knives up to 18 inches. 

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You should never assume that every kitchen will have whatever you need. The more you’re able to bring with you, the more confident you’ll be during any given shift. You should be good to go if your knife roll has enough space for your knives and other specialty utensils.

Find a Chef Shift with Qwick!

Now that you’ve picked out a new chef knife roll, it’s time to get to work! And, since you’re ready for any kitchen, you can work shifts all around town with Qwick! Qwick is how the hospitality industry works. Our platform connects chefs like you in need of a kitchen with restaurants in need of staff. You get to make your own schedule and get paid in just 30 minutes after clocking out, all on an easy-to-use app! 

To see how Qwick can help you find open cooking shifts when you want (or need) them, sign up for free today.

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