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Equipment & Gear: Kapoosh Knife Block (not recommended)
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 16776766

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:43 pm    Post subject: Equipment & Gear: Kapoosh Knife Block (not recommended) Reply with quote

Tina and I have different preferences when it comes to knives. I have chef's knives that are well-suited to my hands and my cutting style, while she has her favorites. The problem is, my knife block has only two slots that will fit a 2-in. wide blade (and I want both of those slots). Tina uses a couple Japanese vegetable knives (also with 2-in. wide blades) so our options are limited - buy another knife block (only to use the two larger slots), get a cabinet mounted vertical knife rack (which is too large so sit on the counter and we can't wall mount it in our current place), get a custom knife block (expensive), or try the Kapoosh Knife Block which lets you put in knives however you want in whatever size and shape you've got.


We picked up a Kapoosh Knife Block (Model 650) with high hopes that it would solve our knife storage problem. On top of each box, there is a large hole so you can see the black plastic rods that hold your knives. It has a little blue plastic strip that you can stick in and out of the rods to see how it works (it's fun!) before you buy it. Unfortunately, this also means that dust from storage and transportation also get into the rods and washing is necessary once you bring the knife block home.

The plastic rods come as a complete unit with a solid base - just tilt the block over and out it comes. The wood block itself is just a shell with an open top and open bottom (the bottom has a couple metal brackets that hold the plastic rod assembly up). The plastic rods are dishwasher safe... and that's pretty much the only way to wash them. We tried to wash them by hand first but the water just wouldn't penetrate too deeply into the thick mass of rods. Soaking would work, but if you're going to fill a sink full of water, you might as well just use the dishwasher instead (which will use less water and do a better job sanitizing). Our next problem was drying. Following the instructions, you just let it air dry and the Kapoosh is ready to go in about twelve hours or so. The next day, it seemed that there were still parts deep in the forest of rods that were still damp. I didn't really want to stick expensive knives into a moist environment for storage.


Another concern about moisture that we had was that there is no airflow once the rods are placed in the block and the knives are inserted. The bottom of the rods are held together in a square plastic tray which does not allow air to flow through the device. Once a knife or two goes in, the rods are packed together really tight providing minimal airflow around the knife. Also, once two of our knives when into the block, it was so dense that sticking additional knives in became more and more difficult.


It was very nice to have the freedom of sticking knives in however we wanted and not have to worry if they'd fit or move. However, my 8-in chef's knives (which this model is supposed to accommodate) wouldn't go in all the way. The spacing between the rods was such that the knife still had about 1/4-in. of the blade uncovered.


In addition, when we pulled a knife out, tiny little black plastic flakes (sliced from the rods) came out on the knife with it. This is "normal" according to the thin sheet of paper that serves as a manual. This is also annoying since I don't like tiny black flakes in my food no matter how food-safe it is. Having to wipe down the knife or rinse it off just feels like an unnecessary hassle that I shouldn't have to go through.

Because my knives don't go in all the way, the rods get too tight to easily insert more than two or three knives, and plastic bits get on your sharp knives when inserting and removing blades, I can't recommend this knife block.


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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1012
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ouch. a seemingly good idea that actually isn't . . .

thanks for saving me the temptation!

I have a 'std' block, came up short on slots, so I took it down the shop and cut a couple extra kerfs in in, the used some scrap rock maple as a 'side car' for my fork, thermometer and paring knives. actually I'm debating getting a custom made or making another myself - no room for my santoku.
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CosettheTable
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:24 am    Post subject: no knifeblock!! Reply with quote

You missed an option (if I parsed the "vertical knife rack" thing correctly) -- A knife magnet! I currently don't have a place to put mine in my current apartment, and if you don't have a place to mount something else, you might still have trouble finding a place for the magnet. But it was completely customizable, safe for the knives, and avoided knife block germ concerns. And was super easy to use, clean, etc.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: no knifeblock!! Reply with quote

CosettheTable wrote:
You missed an option (if I parsed the "vertical knife rack" thing correctly) -- A knife magnet!

Yes, I did forget to mention a knife magnet (or two or three). Unfortunately, we did consider it and it's always been my number one choice (Tina hasn't always been comfortable with the idea of exposed knife edges - I think she's okay with it now) but the problem we have now is I don't want to mount one in this house and in the new house they're putting in a tile backsplash that I probably don't want to drill into. We also considered knife racks in the drawers, but I don't want to take up a drawer for eight or a dozen knives.

Right now most of my knives are stored in knife bags with edge protectors.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry. I like the Kapoosh. I have it full of at least a dozen knives, from small gave-away paring to large chef's knives (3). I just keep sticking them in and they stay put. Just my opinion.

You might look at knife racks that drop down from below your upper cabinets.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:00 pm    Post subject: Rice? Reply with quote

I wonder if you could replace the plastic thing with a couple pounds of rice? You could even get forbidden rice, for the stylish purple look. Anyway, you wouldn't end up with plastic bits in your food (rice bits being preferable, IMHO). You wouldn't ever need to wash the rice. It's cheap, just replace at will. And rice is really good at absorbing water, so I doubt you'd have moisture problems.
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visitor
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:54 am    Post subject: kapoosh knife block Reply with quote

I bought a Kapoosh block because I have a variety of large knives (and smaller ones) that wouldn't fit in a conventional block. They all fit into the kapoosh and I love that you can throw it in the dishwasher (top rack). I have never had any problems with plastic bits on my knives and although it may take a little longer to dry we're not talking days. I would happily buy another.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had one of these for at least ten years and while it's not the perfect knife block, it does well for the assortment of knives we have which includes two chefs knives, a santoku, and a bread knife, all pretty long.

If you don't load in the long knives with the thickest bolster first, they won't go all the way in. (After everything is loaded in, taking one knife out and returning is generally problem-free.)

If the block is too tight when you put in the knives you run the risk of bending the plastic rods (in addition to slicing as you described)

This happened over time and the bent rods prevented the knives from slipping all the way down. Frustrated, I pulled the block out and pulled out all the bent ones with needle-nosed pliers. Although I wound up with an impressive pile of bent rods, the block didn't look the worse for it.

When I put the block back in I discovered a nifty side benefit...the block was less 'tight' and I was able to fit a couple more knives in.

When I have washed it (not very often and in the dishwasher), I splayed out the plastic rods and it dried just fine. Of course when you push the block back in, the rods go where they're supposed to.

So if you can't return the one you have, try pulling out random rods and see if it doesn't work better. I do agree, though, that it's far from perfect.
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kate7047
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:55 am    Post subject: magnetic knife block Reply with quote

I have a magnetic knife block which sits on my kitchen counter, like this one http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=761252&CCAID=FROOGLE761252. While the knife edges are technically exposed, they are held so closely against the wood that I think I would have a really difficult time cutting myself by accident. I really like mine. It also seems much more sanitary than the old block I had which eventually accumulated crud in the slots.
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Dynila
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Love my Kapoosh Reply with quote

My MIL is a bit of a QVC junkie and bought us a knife set a few years that has been surprisingly useful, but did not get the knife block. Turns out the block to hold the full set is more expensive than the knives since it goes from garnish knife up to a cleaver. This knife block made those knives usable for us, and I didn't have to store them in the box they came in. It has a few downsides (the cleaver's blade sticks out a bit) but all in all we love it.
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chef boy R puds
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject: love my kapoosh too! Reply with quote

Although I did not know that was it's name.

I have a few large (12") chef's knives, a sankotu, a cleaver, a sharpening steel (a very long, marquise (pointed oval) shape), fillet, bread knives in mine. I never had plastic flakes. I bought mine at Harbor Freight for $20. Got 3 more for my father and brothers. It works great for the odd assortment of odd shaped knives we have. We do a lot of butchering, utilizing curved, rubber handled boning knives which never fit traditional knife blocks. They all find homes now! Even the scissors. No prob!

BTW, why would you want to wash the block? Mine is clean. I never put dirty knives in it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could probably use the shell that came with it and craft you own custom block insert from cut pieces of wood.
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polymathamy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:24 pm    Post subject: Knife Safe Reply with quote

I use Knife-Safe blade covers so I can put my knives into my regular cutlery drawer:
http://www.kidsmartliving.com/knifkitknifc.html
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: I also have one and love one Reply with quote

I also have a kapoosh, and I also love it. I keep a steel, two large chefs' knives, a medium santoku, a small chopper, and two paring knives, with no problem. Keeping the thing clean doesn't seem to be much of a problem, but then I'm pretty aggressive about cleaning my knives.

We used to have a magnetic bar on the wall, but the current place we live just didn't have room (poor us... too many cabinets!). The Kapoosh is a great solution for mismatched sets. And, frankly, there really is no other if you're restricted to a knife block for whatever reason.
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Melocity
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Kapoosh = good Reply with quote

I got the Kapoosh and it has solved my storage problems, I had 3 knife blocks taking up my entire counter top to hold about 10 knives. I put them all in the Kapoosh and my woes were over. I have seen the plastic flakes on the knives, however when I cook I always have a kitchen towel nearby or over my shoulder so it doesn't take too much effort to wipe the knife before using it, its almost one motion of taking out the knife wiping it and using it. I do agree that it took a long time to dry (2-3 days) when I washed it but it wasn't so bad for the space issues it fixed.
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