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Different types of cutlery holders include drawer inserts, wall holders, and cutlery blocks. In addition, there are also chests designed to hold silverware and other types of cutlery. The suitability of a cutlery holder depends on the type of cutlery it holds, as well as the cook's need to easily access the cutlery while preparing meals.
For the storage of everyday silverware and cutlery, many people like to use a drawer insert with slots for organizing spoons, forks, and knives. These inserts typically also have special sections for over-sized serving pieces. While some people may store kitchen knives in these holders, there are both safety and practical reasons not to do so. For one thing, kitchen knives tend to have very sharp blades, and it would be easy for someone to unwittingly cut herself while trying to retrieve silverware. Also, even if placed in a drawer insert, the knife can get jiggled around so that its blade can become dull.
Owners of fine kitchen knives often choose cutlery holders that protect their knives and make them accessible. Perhaps the most common of these is the cutlery block, which contains the deep slots into which knives of various sizes can be inserted. These blocks protect the knives from being dulled in storage and keep their blades sheathed in order to prevent injury. Cutlery blocks also serve as knife organizers, and if placed near a food preparation area, can make it easy for cooks to access the knives they need.
In very small kitchens with minimal drawer or counter space, many people choose to use cutlery holders that can be attached to the wall. Wall-based cutlery holders can vary in design depending on the type of cutlery they hold. One design is a bar attached to the wall onto which individual containers are hung and different types of silverware are placed in each of these containers. Another option is a magnetic knife rack that is attached to the wall by screws. Knives stick to the magnetic bar, but are easily accessed by a cook or chef.
In some households, silverware intended for special occasions may be kept in a separate drawer or chest. Silverware chests protect the silverware, and in some cases owners will place special anti-tarnish strips into the container. In households where specialized cutlery is seldom used, good kitchen knives may also be stored in a separate chest and retrieved only when needed so as to reduce kitchen clutter.