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Transporting knives requires some planning, which involves the safety of the packer, the transporter, the unpacker, and the knife itself! We can offer some expert guidance on the best methods to pack your knives for moving or transport that are tried, tested, and safe!
Packing knives for moving or transporting them requires taking steps to protect the knives and anyone who will be handling the package. Protecting the blade with a blade guard or protective wrapping and using a solid container is the best way to protect your knives and people.
Packing kitchen knives for moving or travel requires proven, safe strategies that protect the people handling the packaging and keep the knives undamaged during the journey. Our top tips for traveling with knives will help you and your knives get to your destination trouble-free!
If you are interested in checking out the best roll-up knife bag, we recommend trying the Dalstrong Nomad Knife Roll. You can find it by clicking here (Amazon link).
How To Safely Pack Knives For Moving
Whether you are moving, on a trip, or going camping, traveling with kitchen knives requires forethought and planning to get your knives to their destination incident and damage-free.
Packing your household for a move can be stressful, especially trying to keep all your precious possessions safe, including your expensive kitchen knives.
Packing kitchen knives for moving are some of the most difficult household items to pack (and unpack) because of the added danger presented by their sharp points and edges.
Some kitchen knives, such as Japanese kitchen knives, are also surprisingly fragile and can be damaged if dropped. If pressure is exerted on the knife in the wrong direction due to improper packing, it can cause the blade to snap.
Packing your kitchen knives correctly and following a few practical and safe tips will reduce your moving stress, knowing your knives will get safely to your new home.
Some of the packing considerations you need to bear in mind when preparing kitchen knives for moving are as follows.
- Preparing the knives for packing. The knives must be well prepared before being wrapped in protective packaging.
- Choose the right packaging material. Using the right packaging will optimize the safety of your knives in transit.
- Box your knives correctly. Wrapping the knives is a key part of the process; boxing the knives correctly for transport also requires careful thought.
- Mark the package as fragile. This helps movers realize the box must be handled with care to protect the contents and their own safety.
- Careful unpacking. Unpacking your knives when they have reached the destination requires as much care as the packing process.
We have some proven methods to safely wrap, pack, and unpack your kitchen knives to help the moving process go off without a hitch as far as your knives are concerned!
What Is The Best Way To Pack Knives For Moving?
Packing your kitchen knives the right way will protect your investment during the entire process of moving and unpacking.
The best tip I can give you for packing your knives is to not leave packing them to the last minute. If you do this, you will be in a hurry to get the knives packed, and you will rush the job and not pack them correctly.
Some of our recommendations require purchasing protective products for your knives, which implies you need time to order and receive these items before the move.
The following proven tips will help you to pack, transport, and unpack your knives safely.
1. Prepare Your Kitchen Knives For Packing
One of the most important packing aspects for kitchen knives is to protect them from corrosion during the trip.
Ensure your knives are clean and dry before packing them. If they are dirty or damp, it increases the chance that the knives will develop rust during the move.
Wash your kitchen knives, dry them thoroughly, and leave them out for any residual moisture to evaporate before packing the knives.
2. Oil the Knife Blade
If you live in a coastal environment, are moving to a coastal environment, or the trip will take a few days, it is a good precaution to give the knife blade a light coating of oil before packing it for the trip.
A light oil coating on the blade will act as a moisture barrier between the air and the steel, preventing corrosion from developing during transport.
The best oil for kitchen knives is a food-safe oil such as food-grade mineral oil (Amazon link). Do not apply too much oil, which can leak out of the packaging and damage other items you are transporting.
Use a soft cloth to wipe a thin layer of oil on all exposed steel parts of the knife. This offers enough protection to get your knife safely to the destination.
TIP: Part of the knife maintenance is keeping the blade in good condition and free from corrosion. Check out the best oils for your knives and how to use them in the article below:
These Are The 2 Best Oils For Kitchen Knives (+ How to Use)
3. Protect The Cutting Edge And Tips Of Your Kitchen Knives
The knife point and the cutting edge are the most fragile and dangerous parts of your kitchen knives, making it important to protect these areas properly.
Guarding the edge and the knife point protects not only the knives but also anyone packing, transporting, and unpacking the knives.
There are several methods you can employ to protect your knives’ point and cutting edge, but in my experience, there is nothing better than Professional Knife Edge Guards (Amazon link).
These guards are essentially a plastic sheath for your knives. They can be purchased for individual knives (Amazon link) if you do not have many knives, or you can buy a set with sheaths of various sizes and shapes to suit most kitchen knives.
They are made from durable plastic to protect the entire knife blade, including the tip and the cutting edge. The plastic sheath is lined with felt to prevent the blade from being scratched.
The knife edge guards are useful for transporting your knives and storing your knives in a kitchen drawer.
Many Japanese knives come with a wood sheath, called a saya, but these are generally custom-made to fit a certain blade shape and are not universal. If your knife comes with a Saya, it is a great alternative to a plastic sheath and will protect the knife blade during transport.
A saya can be purchased separately for your Japanese kitchen knife, but you must ensure it will fit your knife snugly, without room for the knife to knock about inside the sheath.
4. Wrap Each Knife Individually
A mistake many people make when packing knives for moving is to bunch a whole lot of them together and wrap them this way.
This method is not good for your knives and can potentially cause damage to the blades and handles of the knives, especially if the blades have not been adequately protected.
There are various methods you can use to wrap your knives safely, and we will discuss the best options in a detailed section below.
Never leave your knives in a knife block, and wrap up the handles protruding from the block. If lateral pressure is placed on the handles, it can snap the blade where it enters the knife block. The knives should be removed from the knife block and wrapped individually for transport.
5. Choose A Sturdy container to pack Your Knives
When your knives have been prepared for packaging and suitably wrapped, it is time to put them in a container for transport.
Selecting the right container is crucial to prevent damage to your knives in transit. A sturdy container with rigid sides is the best option to protect your knives. A sturdy box will prevent damage to your knives if other boxes are piled on top of it.
You can pack your sturdy knife box inside a cardboard box containing other items but do not pack other items in your knife box that can fall around inside the box and damage the knives.
The knives should be packed individually in their sturdy box, with enough padding between the knives to keep them away from each other.
The best orientation to pack your knives in the box is standing on the cutting edge, which a knife guard and wrapping should protect.
TIP: Don’t forget about your whetstones when packing for moving. Correct use and storage of your whetstones will contribute to protecting and preserving them. Find out more in the article below:
Buyer’s Guide: The Best Whetstone Holders & Storage Boxes
6. Label The Knife Box Clearly
Labeling the box to indicate the contents is a good way to let the movers know that the box must be handled carefully.
Label the box as “Fragile” and indicating “Kitchen Knives” on the box will clearly indicate the handling the box requires to protect the contents and for the movers’ safety.
The clear marking will also allow the box to be unloaded and taken directly to the kitchen upon arrival at your new home. It will also let you know what is in the box when you begin unpacking the knife box.
Packing your knives properly for a move is important to ensure that they arrive safely at your new home. By following these simple, proven steps, you can rest assured that your knives will be well-protected during the moving process.
7. Unpack The Knives With Care
Unpacking your knives once they have safely arrived at your new home requires as much care as the packing process.
Make sure your normal knife storage method, whether a knife block or magnetic wall-mounted strip, is unpacked, installed, and ready to receive your knives before you start unpacking them.
Take your time as you remove each knife from the box and unwrap the packaging. You don’t want to rush the unwrapping and cut or stab yourself in the process! Unpack one knife at a time and put each knife away in storage once it is unwrapped.
BTW: If you are interested in buying the best cutting board, you can find our recommendations below:
- The best overall: Virginia Kitchen Boys Cutting Board (Amazon link). This fantastic cutting board is made from sustainable walnut wood from the United States and brings almost perfect safety when cutting with your knives.
- Alternative: Yoshihiro Cutting Board (Amazon link). Professional traditional Japanese cutting board that chefs around the world use.
- Cheaper option: Shun Cultery Cutting Board (Amazon link). Another Japanese cutting board stands out, especially for its simplicity and affordable price.
How Do You Properly Wrap A Knife?
Wrapping a kitchen knife for moving can be done in a few different ways. The most important consideration is to ensure the blade is covered so it doesn’t become damaged by other knives or the box itself.
Ideally, the blade should be protected by a blade guard before wrapping. If you could not obtain knife guards for your knives, you could wrap each blade carefully in a soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth.
Once the blade is protected, the knife is ready to be wrapped. In my experience, the best wrapping material for knives is bubble wrap (Amazon link). Bubble wrap is easily available, inexpensive, and does a great job of providing a cushioned layer around your knives.
Wrap the entire knife, handle included, with bubble wrap to thoroughly protect the entire length of the knife.
Another way to wrap a knife is to use a kitchen towel. Place the knife on the towel and then fold the towel over so the blade is completely covered. Secure the towel in place with tape, and then wrap the entire knife with bubble wrap.
TIP: Many knife owners don’t realize the cutting board material’s importance in preserving their knives’ sharp edges. Check out the best cutting boards for knives in the article below:
3 Best Cutting Boards For Your Knives (Materials Compared)
How To Pack Knives For Travel
If you are packing for a short trip, you will probably transport the knives yourself. In this case, you do not necessarily need a box to transport your knives, but a box is still a good idea for extra peace of mind.
Wrap each knife individually in bubble wrap, ensuring the blade is covered. This will protect the knife blades from damage and prevent them from cutting through any other packaging material.
Another alternative is to use cloth dish towels. Place the towel open on a flat surface, and place the knife on the cloth with the edge at least an inch beyond the knife’s tip.
Roll the knife up in the kitchen towel and fold the extra piece at the end over the tip of the knife. Secure the cloth on the blade with two elastic bands; one near the tip to keep the fold over in place and another close to the knife handle.
Another useful method to pack knives for travel is in a roll-up knife bag, such as the Dalstrong Nomad Knife Roll (Amazon link) which is a high-quality product but a pricy one. A cheaper option is this roll-up knife bag (Amazon link).
Knife rolls are designed to safely transport an entire knife set in a compact, easy-to-carry package. However, knife rolls are not rigid, so you should never pack anything else on top of the knife roll.
How To Transport Knives Legally
Different states have different regulations for legally transporting knives, which may make crossing state lines with certain knives troublesome.
While kitchen knives are typically not a problem, some regulations may restrict how you can transport your knives.
In some cases, it may be safer to ship your knives ahead of you to your destination rather than transport them yourself if you will be crossing into a different state.
If you travel in the same state, you must ensure your knives are packaged safely and securely and won’t threaten anyone during your travels.
If you are traveling by air, you cannot take your knives as carry-on luggage. Your knives will have to be packaged properly and packed in your bags that will be stowed in the aircraft’s cargo bay.
TIP: Rust is a known problem on any knife in the kitchen, which requires maintenance and a prevention strategy. Check out the proven ways to prevent rust on your knives in the article below:
6 Proven Ways On How To Prevent Rust On Kitchen Knives
How To Pack Knives For Camping
Generally, you will be taking a couple of kitchen knives with you on a camping trip rather than a complete set. This makes the packing a little more complicated since you generally will not be taking the knives packed in a box.
One of the best methods to pack knives for camping is to wrap them in a kitchen towel, as previously described, and place them in a sealable plastic container, such as Tupperware, which replaces packaging the knives in a box.
If you have blade guards or sheaths, it is a good idea to protect your knives with these devices as well before packing them in the plastic tub.
By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your knives will arrive at your campsite safe and sound.
TIP: Are you looking to buy a knife for camping? Check out the complete guide on why and which Swiss army knife you should buy in the article below:
Buyer’s Guide: Why & Which Swiss Army Knife You Should Buy
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Packing Kitchen Knives
When preparing for a move, packing your kitchen knives requires careful attention to detail. While our guide covers the best practices for packing knives safely and efficiently, it’s equally important to be aware of some common mistakes that can lead to damage or safety hazards.
Here’s a rundown of typical errors to avoid, ensuring your knives remain in top condition throughout your move.
1. Neglecting Knife Maintenance Before Packing
Ensure your knives are clean and completely dry before packing. Packing knives that are dirty or even slightly damp can lead to rust or corrosion during transit. A simple but thorough wipe-down can prevent these issues.
2. Using Inappropriate Wrapping Materials
Avoid materials that don’t provide sufficient protection, like thin cloth or paper. These materials can fail to prevent edge damage or scratches. Opt for bubble wrap or specialized knife protectors for optimal safety.
3. Packing Knives with Other Kitchen Utensils
Knives should never be packed in the same container as other kitchen items. This common oversight can lead to scratches on the blades or accidental cuts when unpacking. Always pack knives separately and clearly label the box.
4. Ignoring the Need for Individual Wrapping
Each knife should be wrapped individually. This prevents knives from damaging each other’s blades during the move. This is a straightforward step that can save you from costly repairs or replacements.
5. Neglecting to Secure Loose Blades
Ensure that the blades are securely wrapped and won’t come loose during transit. Loose blades can be a significant safety hazard, not just for you but also for anyone handling your moving boxes.
6. Incorrect Labeling and Handling Instructions
Clearly label boxes containing knives as “Fragile: Sharp Objects” and provide handling instructions. This not only ensures the safety of those moving the boxes but also helps in the careful unpacking of these items at your destination.
7. Forgetting to Plan for Unpacking
Have a clear plan for safely unpacking and storing knives at your new home. This includes having your knife storage solutions, like blocks or magnetic strips, ready and easily accessible.
Packing your knives correctly for moving or when traveling with your knives will protect your knives and everyone involved in the process of transporting and unpacking the knives.
Taking the time to properly pack your knives will prevent damage and extend the life of the knives, which is particularly important if you have expensive high-end knives.
TIP: Knife care and maintenance do not only involve honing and sharpening your knives but also how they are kept when not in use. Check out the complete guide in the article below:
Storing & Organizing Kitchen Knives: 5 Proven Tips & Hacks