If dogs are a man’s best friend, knives are a chef’s best friend. The way you store your prized knife set is reflective of the care you provide your most valuable kitchen tools.
Here’s where a quality knife roll comes into play.
You want a knife roll to:
- Protect your knives at all costs.
- Give you great value for money.
- Serve as a testimony to your style.
- Only get better with age.
In the kitchen, your knives make you great. Store and carry them in a knife bag that will keep them great well into the future.
A quality knife bag will:
- Protect your knives from knocking against each other, which can lead to premature dulling.
- Keep your knives away from moisture and the elements.
- Complement your personal style in an understated way.
The best knife bag options on the market are made of leather. It is one of the materials most beloved by chefs, and rightfully so.
As Nicholas Cage says in ‘Wild at Heart’, leather is a symbol of freedom and individuality.
"This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me, it’s a symbol of my individuality and my belief…in personal freedom."
Top Leather Knife Roll Bag Options for 2023
An excellent knife bag comes from high-quality materials; in this case, you can’t get better than top-grain and full-grain leather. For a full list of knife rolls of all materials check out this handy guide.
Without further ado, here are the best leather knife rolls you can get as a chef:
The Dalstrong Nomad Series is constructed of 12oz heavy duty hard waxed canvas, and features ultra-premium 100% genuine and top-grain Brazilian leather straps and accents. Meant to blemish and wear overtime as you use and abuse it creating a unique character, this knife roll is a timeless piece you can carry with pride.
Thoughtfully designed and hand crafted using extra thick buckles, intricate stitching and ornate fasteners and zippers, this knife roll is inspired by the love you have for your most beloved knives and tools.
- 100% Premium & Genuine Top-Grain Brazilian Leather Accents.
- Has 10 Versatile Knife Pockets for an wide range of knives.
- 3 Interior Utility Pockets for Pens, Thermometer, Tweezers, etc.
- Since this is a XL knife roll, if you only have a few knives in your collection, this knife roll may be overkill for your needs.
- Only comes in one color at the moment.
Built from ultra-premium 100% genuine and top-grain Brazilian leather and 12oz heavy duty hard waxed canvas, the Nomad Knife Roll will be a powerful ally for keeping your knives safe and transporting them in the most secure manner.
Featuring extra thick buckles and ornate fasteners and zippers, this sturdy yet cool-looking knife roll has 10 interior knife pockets that can store knives up to 15” in length and plenty of interior pockets to house your recipe notebooks, pens, and other small utensils.
- Sturdy and fashionable.
- Comes in six different colors: Dalstrong Blue, Army Green, Smoke Grey, Crimson Red, Nightmaster (Black), and Desert Drifter (Brown).
- Adjustable shoulder strap.
- Despite its cool looks, some chefs will prefer an all-leather knife roll.
- Unlike other knife rolls on this list, this one has less interior pockets.
- Canvas can require a bit more maintenance than leather.
Made from 100% nylon fabric and premium leather accents, this excellent knife bag is the perfect vessel for taking your knives on hunting and fishing trips. Lightweight, fast-drying, and resistant to liquids, the Ballistic is tough on the outside and soft on the inside, providing a safe environment to store and transport your knives.
The 3 large interior pockets are lined with extra durable polyester mesh and are perfect for carrying both small items like tasting spoons and disposable gloves, and larger ones such as a grater or a whetstone. Without a doubt, this is an ideal companion to take on your outdoors adventures. And what’s more: it comes in a wide array of color options, including Dark Camo, Graphite Black, and Camouflage.
- 22 interior pockets accommodate knives up to 15” in length and wrap perfectly around the knife handles.
- Knife pockets come with an adjustable velcro fastener for maximum protection.
- Alternating knife pockets ensure perfect weight distribution.
- More fashionable chefs might consider it too rugged, opting for an all-leather knife roll.
- The color options are pretty limited.
- Nylon is generally not as durable as leather.
And now, the belle of the ball. Any seasoned chef that takes pride in their knife collection should own one of these fine pieces of engineering. Handcrafted with 100% top grain Brazilian leather, it is the epitome of a stylish knife bag.
Featuring reinforced leather, extra thick buckles, and intricate stitching, this beauty was conceived to endure the travelling chef’s busy schedule, keeping your knives protected at all costs. With 14 standard pockets and 2 more to store your longest blades, you can now sleep tight knowing that your valuable knife collection is stored and put away safely in this stunning piece of craftsmanship.
- Durable, tear resistant, and puncture resistant.
- Dalstrong’s iconic lion insignia beautifully engraved on a luxurious brass badge on the front of the knife roll.
- 14 double stitched knife pockets for blades up to 15” in length, and 2 extra-large ones for knives up to 20”.
- The price point might be a little high for some amateur chefs.
- While highly durable, leather can rot if not maintained properly.
- Home cooks who don’t travel that much might not find that much use for it.
We end this list with another iteration of the stunning Vagabond Knife Roll. Constructed with premium Brazilian full grain leather, this tough knife roll bag is pretty much all you’ll ever need to take on your culinary trips.
With the capacity to store 16 knives up to 20” in length, the Vagabond will not only safeguard your treasured chef knives but also make you look cool in front of your fellow chefs. Boasting ornate fasteners, oversized zippers, and internal protective leather flaps, this outstanding piece of luggage is ready to go the distance.
- Thick, extra strength, military grade buckles.
- Quick-access rear pocket for small items and personal belongings.
- Full grain Brazilian leather absorbs any possible impact, keeping you knives safe and sound during commutes.
- The price point might drive some home chefs away.
- Leather doesn’t need that much maintenance but it’ll rot if not taken care of.
- Owning this A-grade knife bag might be a bit of overkill if you’re a home chef.
If you are a chef who loves your knives you can get this knife bag in black.
Why Choose a Leather Knife Roll?
Chances are, you’ve dropped some real money on your knives. Treat them with respect by storing them in a high-quality knife bag.
Chefs around the world love leather because it:
- Comes in different varieties to suit your personal taste.
- Offers high-quality and durable material.
- Continuously improves over time.
With that, let's discover more about leather and why it makes the perfect case for your high-quality knives.
Different Qualities of Leather
Before investing in a chefs knife roll, you must understand the different qualities of leather. The quality of leather you choose will affect the bag’s appearance and durability. Do you want top grain? Do you want a waxed canvas? These are all things to consider.
Leather comes in four main qualities:
- Top grain
- Genuine leather
- Corrected grain
The best grains you can get for your knife roll are:
Full Grain Leather
This is the best quality leather and a chef’s dream when it comes to knife bag materials.
Full-grain leather comes from the topmost layer of the hide and preserves all of the natural grain. It lends its unique natural grain to the final product, while also giving the roll a luxurious, smooth feel.
Over time, full-grain leather develops a thin protective layer called a patina, which keeps it from wearing out. The patina gives it more character and an aesthetic unique to leather.
Adding a protective coating to full-grain leather further protects it from wearing out and staining over time.
Dalstrong offers chefs a full-grain roll made from premium Brazilian leather.
Top Grain Leather
This is the second-best in quality and the most common type of leather.
You get high quality, top grain leather by removing the top layer found in raw leather. Removing the top layer makes it thinner and more pliable.
While working with top-grain leather, manufacturers sand the surface and apply a finishing coat to improve its appearance. It also ages well and develops its own kind of patina.
If you want a reliable choice for your knives, you want this top grain knife bag from Dalstrong.
Durability of Leather
Chefs love leather for the unparalleled durability and quality it offers.
As a chef, a leather roll is the final storage piece you will need for your beloved knives.
As humans developed, we invented techniques for manipulating leather. This led to the discovery of more uses for leather, including its use in the making of knife rolls.
Most of the leather today comes as a by-product of meat production. Without leather products, most of the hide would end up in landfills.
The processing of hide into leather knife rolls creates timeless and stylish pieces. You can cut and shape leather with comparative ease. It is supple, light, and breathable, which protects your knife bag from bacteria. This also makes your bag easy to clean.
Leather in the Kitchen; Is It a Good Choice?
As a chef, you know how messy a kitchen can get, exposing your leather knife bag to grease and other food stains.
Luckily, high-quality leather is easy to clean and maintain, making it a good companion for every chef.
- Get a soft micro-fiber cloth, warm water, and mild soap.
- Mix the soap and water.
- Dip the cloth in the soapy water and wring it out. The cloth should be damp but not wet.
- Gently rub the cloth on your knife bag. This is enough to remove any grease or stains.
- Use a dry cloth and wipe off the leather gently. This should be enough to dry the leather. Leave it to air-dry overnight and it is good to go.
If you want to give your knife bag some extra love, you can use leather cream or conditioner. These products help keep it supple and waterproof.
Which Is the Best Knife Roll for 2023?
In your work as a chef, carry a leather knife roll that you can be proud of. It is a statement of confidence in the knives that are housed within.
With Dalstrong, chefs can choose between two of the best quality leather rolls on the market. When choosing between top grain and full grain, it is a matter of preference.
You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs.