How To Transport Your Knives

When I went out and got my knives sharpened recently, I had to solve the question of how to transport them safely, and my intuitive idea was to roll them up in a kitchen towel.

When the guy at the shop handed them back to me to take home a week later, I was pleased to hear him say that this was the best method. I also noticed his fold was a lot neater than mine, so I thought I would share it with you.

Learning how to transport your knives

Naturally, if you’re a traveling cook who has to carry knives around frequently*, it might make sense to buy a special carrying case such as this knife roll, but if you’re only transporting them a few times a year to cook at a friend’s house or to get your blades sharpened, you can definitely save the money and use a simple kitchen towel.

The trick, as you’ll see in the animation below, is to pick one of your thicker kitchen towels, and to fold it so that the tips of the blades push against a double layer of fabric, so they won’t just slice through.

How To Transport Your Knives

And once the blades are all rolled up, you can tie an elastic band around the bundle and be on your merry way.

Join the conversation!

Do you sometimes need to carry your knives around? How do you like to wrap them for safe transport?

* The French law considers that a knife of any type or size is a weapon, and it is strictly forbidden to carry one around on your person, unless you have a legitimate motive, such as being a professional chef, going to get your blades sharpened, attending a picnic where there will be yummy cheese and charcuterie to slice, etc. Here’s a detailed discussion (in French) of what the law says.

  • I had about 20 knives sharpen last spring while visiting with friends 1,000 miles away and asked about the best way to take my knives back home, I was fully expecting to be sold individual knife sheaths but they simply said, no worries and wrapped them individually in triple pages from the local newspaper. And I did see 3 different knife sheath styles on their shelves along with various knife rolls and cases.

    • The newspaper tip is a great one, James. What in the world will we do when the print newspaper completely disappears? ;)

      And I love it when a business doesn’t push you to unnecessary purchases. It’s a smart move on their part because I imagine they’ve gained your eternal trust.

  • guglielmo

    actually I still have my knife case for when I bring my knives with me, But I admit your solution is way too far better :D so I will adopt it the next time!

    thanks to share :D

    • french cravings

      Guglielmo, I brought four knives back from Paris, after a bit of shopping fun at E. Dehillerin. They put wine corks on the tips, loved that, and then simply wrapped them in newspaper. No problems at all.

      • Oh, that’s right, they do the cork thing at Dehillerin — that’s pretty clever too.

      • guglielmo

        these are all good sugestions! thanks everybody

    • When I bought my chef knife in California last fall, I brought it home on the plane in my checked luggage, in the box I had purchased it in, and had zero questions/problems. I’m sure wrapping it in a kitchen towel or in your knife case would be fine too — as long as you’re not carrying fifty of them, plus a kalashnikov and a hand grenade. :)

  • french cravings

    I find that using knife sheaths are the easiest way to transport my knives. Actually, I store them that way as well.

    • Knife sheathes are great — I bought a couple recently to protect the newly sharpened blades of my bigger knives, which I keep in a drawer.

      But I find that these sheaths have a tendency to slide off when pushed, and the very tip of the knife can pop out, too, so I think I would still wrap the sheathed knives in a kitchen towel to secure them.

      • french cravings

        I suppose the type I used is better described as a case. Each one is the approx. size of the blade and snaps closed to completely encase the blade. :)

  • Annabel Smyth

    We, too have problems carrying knives around in the UK. If I need to take a sharp knife with me – as, for instance, when going on holiday – I make sure it is where I would really struggle to get hold of it in a hurry!

    • What I’ve been told is that, like most things law enforcement, it’s also a matter of appearance and demeanor: if I’m walking around with my kid in a stroller, or if you’re driving out to the beach house with your family, it’s unlikely that we’ll get in trouble for carrying a knife on me. I don’t think it’s right, but it makes statistical sense. :)

  • I lived in London for a short period of time and took a trip to Paris to purchase knives, among other things, at A. Simon. When I returned to London I had to clear through the non-EU security line and was asked if I had any weapons in my possession. I said ‘no’ then stopped dead in my tracks, looked at the Officer and said ‘well, I don’t have any weapons but my new meat cleaver could do some serious damage if one were so disposed’ fortunately he laughed. Apparently the Brits still have a better developed sense of humor than TSA.

  • Patron Saint of Knives

    I am a professional Knife Sharpener here in Vancouver Washington and people bring me their knives wrapped in every imaginable way, from dish towels to wooden knife blocks to jumbled in boxes. I’m not terribly find of the dish towel idea, because it means I have to keep track of who left what towel and make sure they get it back, but honestly I don’t really care. When the knives come to me, they are dull usually don’t pose much safety risk, it’s the return journey that I find important. At that point, the knives are sharp enough to shave with and are dangerous to carry. I use a heavy duty plastic wrap and wrap each blade separately, then I roll the whole bunch into good grade butcher papers, bind it with red and black masking tape (looks dangerous), and lastly put a gold seal on the outside. The whole package looks nice, is as safe as possible and shows the customer’s that you respect their knife and your craft… For bringing them? Newspaper is easy.

    • Thank you for sharing your tips! You’re quite right that the problem isn’t so much bringing them in as carrying them home — hadn’t thought of it that way — and I love that you chose a masking tape color that inspires awe. Maybe you could get some “crime scene” tape from the local police station? :)

      • Patron Saint of Knives

        I used to use Skull tape, but it was expensive and hard to find. The red and black tape is suggestive, but not overtly so. I also include a disclaimer on all order forms regarding accidental injuries and sometimes a couple of Bandaids with my contact information printed on them. If you’re ever in the neighborhood!

  • David Orbeton

    I am a professional knife sharpener and recommend customers put knives in an oven mitt and then carry them in a canvas grocery bag. I will accept knives in dish towels but not the towels or the mitts as at the end of the day I would have a pile of dish towels and no idea where they came from. I put all sharpened knives in sleeves for the trip home.

    • That’s a nice gesture, I imagine the cost of the sleeves adds up quickly.

  • Franklin Q. Levin

    I try to buy a knife at Dehillerain when I am Paris and the Euro treats the dollar well. They jab the point into a cork and then wrap it up in stiff paper.

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