Our 5 Favorite Knife Blocks

Any chef will tell you that your most basic kitchen tools should include a well-sharpened set of knives. Once you've got those in your arsenal, then it's time to show them off. Here are five our of favorite knife blocks. Not surprisingly, as so many design trends are taking a natural direction these days, most of these blocks showcase their woodland materials as much as the knives themselves — but with a slick modern edge, so to speak.

New York-based bladesmen the Schmidt Brothers collaborated with West Elm on this awesome starter set. Acacia wood, magnets and acrylic create one cool display for up to 13 knives (included). $200 at West Elm

Sourced from 20th century water towers, the wood, reclaimed and repurposed by hand for Uusi's sleek, magnetized "Puukko" knife racks is over 300 years old. Choose from Cypress or Redwood. $125 at uusi.us

Supergrau's "Saddle" knife storage unit has a deliberate flap-like shape to also facilitate storing a cutting board on its side. One very stylish component: the magnetized surface is covered with brown or black leather, which will only look even better as it gets worn and scratched up by your blades. $660 at supergrau-shop.de

Namesake design: the product of Australian-based designer Toro Legno, the Kitchen Bull is a triple threat storage unit, with the capacity to store up to 10 knives and kitchen shears, as well as nearly a foot's worth of cookbooks and an included bamboo cheese or cutting board. $570 via Etsy

A contemporary angled holder in matte aluminum by Danish designers Claus Jensen and Henrik Holbaek. $130 at the MoMA Store