Designed specifically for Shun’s high quality Asian cutlery, the 11-slot bamboo knife block from Shun also accepts a wide range of other brands. With slots wide enough for chef’s knives and spaces for a sharpening steel and kitchen shears, the block offers convenient storage for most of the knives of a mid-sized kitchen.
The slot system is widely spaced for easy access to individual knives and uses a horizontal layout to protect knife edges. Vertical slots place unnecessary stress on cutting edges as knives are inserted into or retrieved from the block. With horizontal slots, the side of the blade takes the abrasion, leaving the edge unaffected.
The best feature of this 11 by 5 by 5-inch knife block is the bamboo itself. The bamboo in the block comes from stands commercially grown for renewable harvest. Unlike hardwood forests, bamboo plantations can be clearcut without major damage, returning to harvestable size again in as little as three years. Bamboo’s density and toughness matches the functional quality of the best American hardwoods like rock maple, and the beauty of a bamboo block may even exceed the traditional American butcher block woods.
Laminated with food-safe permanent adhesive, the bamboo block should be protected from excess moisture with regular applications of mineral oil. Once saturated, the wood requires only a touch-up now and then. As with any wood storage block, position in the kitchen is everything. Choose a location where access is convenient and the block is away from extremes of heat and humidity. Plastic non-skid feet on the block’s bottom keep it above the level of most countertop spills.
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