The wide slot spacing of this wood storage block from Mundial of Brazil makes it a good match for most American and European brands as well. Thinner Asian knives will also fit, but the Mundial KB-9 block was designed for heavier blades.
With dimensions of 8-1/2 by 4-3/4 by 9 inches and a weight of about five pounds, the 9-slot block is stable and doesn’t take up too much space. The block actually has a smaller footprint than a comparable Wusthof block with the same number of slots. The largest Mundial knife slot in the block should hold an average santoku or chef’s knife but certainly not a cleaver. Consider whether the Mundial block fits your style of knife best before you buy. The block provides slots for 7 knives, with two other slots fitting a sharpening steel and a pair of kitchen shears.
The Mundial block does have a nice polish with smoothly chamfered edges and seamless laminated construction. Layers of hardwood lumber stacked with opposing grain patterns resist swelling and cracking but require some regular care. Spills wipe off easily, but all accessible surfaces of the block will need occasional oiling to protect the finish and repel moisture. Rubberized feet keep the block off the countertop and above most spills, but don’t leave water standing beneath it for long.
Wooden blocks are still the best way to store fine cutlery, protecting knife edges and wicking moisture away from blades. Place the block where it will be least exposed to steam and radiant heat. Uneven heating and constant moisture can put considerable stress on the block’s glue joints.
For a block of the same general size but with a different selection of slots, see the Wusthof 9 Slot Beechwood Block.
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