Now you’re moving or renovating and you need to pack the kitchen knives and you want to do that in a way that avoids damage to them or to something or someone else. Here I cover what to do with step-by-step instructions when it comes to safely packing knives for moving including those with ceramic blades.
What you need to Properly pack knives for moving
- Moving box or another large container
- Packing tape
- Scissors or a cutting tool
- Permanent marker
- Shoe boxes or similar small rectangular boxes (optional)
- Padding material – e.g. bubble wrap, towels, sheets, or paper
- Cardboard or thick card paper (optional)
I focus somewhat on ceramic knives because they are fragile but the following also covers how to pack knives for moving, in general. Here’s a bit on why ceramic knives are special…
On packing ceramic knives
I wrote about why ceramic knives need special care in my article: Do Ceramic Knives Break Easily? What To Know.
If you’re wanting to know how to pack ceramic knives for moving, there are a two impacts with regarding these knives. One is the chipping of tips and edges and the other is breakage from being dropped from a height or with decent strength force.
Thinking you’ll need extras or replacements? I wrote a guide on what to look for in ceramic knives for the kitchen that you will find helpful. And I’ve also covered how to sharpen ceramic knives without harming the edge.
How to avoid damaging tips and edges
If you’ve kept the packaging in which the knives original came when purchased, then this is simply packing the knives away in the way that they came, and then packing it in the large moving box with padding placed around it for protection.
Otherwise, read on…
First make sure the knives are clean and dry. You don’t want any surprises when you later open up your packed belongings.
How to store knives using sheaths or sleeves (+ DIY)
If the knives came with sheaths or sleeves, you can use these to protect the blade edges and tips from damage and from ceramic knives chipping while in storage or in transit. The same applies to your kitchen scissors.
If you don’t have these, there are a few hacks you can use.
What I’ve done in the past is to use DIY cardboard or thick card paper sleeves. These involve cardboard or thick card paper cut to size, bent, and taped in place to form a sleeve.
This works well. Make sure the sleeve fits firm but not overly tight. You should be able to slide it in and out. And be sure to handle your knives with care – so do this where you are not likely to drop the knives on a hard surface.
Instructions for a DIY knife sleeve
- For this homemade sleeve, measure the length of the blade at its longest and the width at its widest point.
- Cut out a cardboard rectangle to match but with the width doubled and about an 1/8 inch added to the length and to each side of the width to ensure the edge and tip are covered.
- Now double the cardboard over length-wise.
- Tape in place.
Another way to protect the blade is to wrap the knife in a wash cloth, kitchen towel, dish towel, or some other thick material in a size that will cover the knife’s blade in a neat wrap.
How to pack a knife block for moving
To pack a knife block for moving, you can simply wrap the complete knife and block set in bubble wrap, or a thick wad of paper, and securely tape it for a firm hold. If you don’t have bubble wrap, you can also try using a towel or a sheet as a wrap to hold them in place and provide cushioning.
If your knives are stored in a knife block or in-drawer organizer, you can pack them in their holder but you’ll need to secure them to stop them from moving around or sliding out and getting damaged.
Securing individual knives for transport
What you want to avoid is damage to your knives or inflicted by your knives from strong force while in transit.
When moving, you’re never too sure of how much your gear will get knocked around. So it is better to play it safe (even overly cautious) if you wish your gear to stay intact or without damage.
Padding or cushioning around the ceramic knives will protect them from hard knocks by softening the blow.
Padding is important to cushion the knives. Make sure you put padding around the knives grouped either in the block or in sleeves. Here are some options for padding or cushioning.
- Unprinted packing paper
- Shredded paper
- Bubble wrap
You’ll note that your linen cupboard can be a source of padding material when you are on the move.
Packing in the larger box
If they fit, you can package them in small cardboard boxes, such as shoe boxes, before placing them in the larger moving boxes.
You can group the knives with sleeves in these boxes adding a cushioning beneath them and around and on top. You can use shredded paper, crumpled paper, bubble wrap, popcorn, or similar cushioning.
Finally, place the knives in the larger box adding padding around them for protection.
Don’t forget the packing tape to secure the boxes and the permanent marker to label contents so that at a later date you know what’s what.
Cheatsheet on how to pack knives for moving
Here are the step by step instructions for packing knives including knives in a knife block.
No knife block
- Protect with sheaths or sleeves. Use DIY ones or those that came with the knives.
- Bundle by alternating the direction of the handles. Keep to around 4 or 5 knives to a bundle, depending on their size.
- Check to see the knife blades are covered to eliminate any chance of chips during transportation.
- Wrap the bundle in padding, such as bubble wrap or more eco-friendly choices as listed above. Alternatively, place them with padding into a small box, such as a shoe box.
- Secure the padded or boxed bundle using packing tape.
- Label. Use the permanent marker to write CERAMIC KNIVES on the bundled set.
Knives in a knife block
- Wrap the knives in the block with bubble wrap. You could alternatively wrap the set in a towel or sheet.
- Secure the wrapping using packing. Tap to ensure the knives don’t slide in and out when in transit.
- Label. Use the permanent marker to write CERAMIC KNIVES and label the bundled set.
- For all types, transfer each wrapped or boxed bundle containing your ceramic kitchen knives into the larger box or container you have prepared for these sharp objects.
- Once the box is full, fill up any empty spaces with padding, such as crumpled paper, towels, sheets, or old pieces. This will not only cushion them but stop them moving around and getting damaged in transit.
- Close the box and use packing tape to secure it.
- Use your marker pen to label the box clearly on at least two sides, with words such as KNIVES, KITCHEN, and HANDLE WITH CARE
Video showing how to pack knives for moving
Credit: (Image ID 116703620 © Dmytro Zinkevych | Dreamstime.com)