If you are in the market for a simple, handsome, very well made knife magnet, you might be having a hard time finding something. I certainly was having this problem before arriving on the Benchcrafted Mag-Blok. I purchased one and here are my thoughts.
The Benchcrafted Mag-Blok is a magnetic tool holder, generally what I would call a knife magnet, but the magnets are strong enough to hold cleavers, knife steels, thermometers, scissors, and all sorts of other things.
Benchcrafted is a company that makes tools and accessories for woodworkers, like vices, workbenches, tools, and more. They make their products in the US and everything I’ve used of theirs is made to exactly standards and very high quality.
The Mag-Blok looks like piece of wood because the rare earth magnets are hidden inside. With no visible magnetic rails, the block has a really clean, natural look to it. As soon as you pick up the block you will know something is up though, because it’s quite heavy.
The block looks like a piece of wood with no seam or anything like that in it, which hits at really nice construction techniques and top-notch craftsmanship, which is just what I’d expect from Benchcrafted given their target audience.
The Mag-Blok mounts with two included screws which are countersunk into the block and include two countersink washers so the wood isn’t damaged. The screws and washers are gold which looks quite nice — through I’m sure some owners would prefer black. The screws are flat head, which looks nice but is easy to strip if you aren’t being careful (or don’t pre-drill your holes). So make sure you use a nice wide screwdriver when installing these.
The Mag-Blok also includes Bloc-Butter, a beeswax based coating that will protect the wood from stains and oil spots. This is important because the knife block ships with unfinished wood, which means you can stain it if you’d like to adjust the color of the wood.
Speaking of wood, the knife magnet is sold in Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Quartered White Oak, and Quartered Sycamore. It’s sold in two sizes, 12- and 18-inch. It might be difficult to tell from my pictures, but I purchased it in 18-inch maple, which is a nice, light wood that gets a handsome satin finish once the beeswax is applied.
I’ve been quite happy with the Mag-Blok. It has no wobble and the knives are held quite firmly in place. If you don’t want to use this in your kitchen, it can also be used to hold keychains, wood planes, and all sorts of other things thanks to its strength.
Personally I really like the additional strength brought by the rare earth magnets. More force is required to pull tools from the block, but it’s never too much. I’d say this magnet block has about twice the hold strength of my conditional knife magnet strip I used to use, so make sure you are OK with some extra pull.
I’ve been using the Mag-Blok with some pretty sharp knives, including from Fiskers and Pallares Solsona, and I haven’t scratched the wood at all. Maple is relatively tough, but certainly not immune to scratches, and I don’t see any damage.
Pricing And Availability
The Mag-Blok is primarily sold through Benchcrafted’s website. The 12-inch model is $39 and the 18-inch model is $52, so it’s more expensive than the knife magnet you’d get from Amazon but more affordable than what’s sold by luxury knife brands.
Overall, I’m quite happy with my purchase and can very much recommend this magnet.