Leather Knife Roll: The Tool You Didn’t Know You Needed

Black leather knife roll on a wooden table with several kitchen knives in it
Vagabond Knife Roll - Top Grain Leather - Midnight Black

A leather knife roll is a transportation device where you can carry your kitchen knives from place to place without worrying about them knocking against each other or becoming damaged. Leather knife rolls usually also contain additional pockets for tools such as meat thermometers, kitchen shears, and other accessories.

Four chef knives being placed into a brown leather knife roll with carrots next to it on a wooden table

What We’ll Cover:

  1. What is a Knife Roll?
  2. Why Do You Need a Leather Knife Roll?
  3. How to Choose a Leather Knife Roll
  4. Best Leather Knife Rolls to Buy
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is a Knife Roll?

    Setting yourself up for success as a home chef doesn’t just mean learning the tricks of the trade, picking up the right skills, and arming yourself with the best tools possible (such as a great assortment of top-quality knives). As it turns out, it’s also about accessorizing. 

    If you’re anything like me, you went through most of your life not really knowing what a knife roll was until the moment your mind was blown by seeing someone carrying theirs. And in that moment you realized you absolutely needed one for yourself.

    Here’s the setting: you’re at a cookout. Everyone’s helping out in one way or another (you’ve been put in charge of hot dog watch, a job you take seriously). When suddenly, Josh – the foodie chef in your friend group –  shows up furnishing a nice-looking leather bag. He unfurls it to reveal an assortment of kitchen knives, and suddenly it becomes clear to you – nay, to everyone – that Josh isn’t just the “resident chef”. Josh is the man.

    A knife roll is a knife bag, simple as that. It’s a tool that helps you store and safely transport your knives. And a good quality knife roll will also allow you to carry additional items such as scissors, peelers, meat thermometers, graters, tweezers, and more.

    A knife roll comes especially handy if you’re a chef working a catering gig, you’re hosting people, or you simply need a way to transport your precious knives from one place to the next. Whatever the occasion, a good knife roll is a fantastically useful (not to mention stylish) way to ensure the safety of your kitchen arsenal while you transport it from one point to the other.

    2. Why Do You Need a Leather Knife Roll?

    If you’re already the type of chef who buys premium-level kitchen knives (as opposed to the cheap stuff that chips and blunts and you’ll be replacing within a few months), then chances are you’re someone who values things like quality, design, construction and aesthetics of your products. You realize that long-term durability is more important than short-term economy. And you want to make sure you get the best of the best.

    For this reason, it’s important that your precious kitchen chef knives (that you have surely spent a considerable amount of time selecting) are well taken care of; protected from chips, scratches, or any kind of damage. If you’re going to be traveling with your knives from place to place (perhaps as part of your job if you’re a professional chef, or even just for fun) then you want to make sure you’re doing it as safely as possible.

    Why a leather chef knife roll instead of a regular bag? Well, regular knife bags are great as well (see the Premium 4 Pocket Knife Bag | The Culinary Commander as a bonus option in our list of selections below), but there’s something deeply satisfying about unrolling a special chef’s knife bag. It’s easy to open and close with a practical (and beautiful) strap. 

    Bringing a top-of-the-line knife roll, carrying top-of-the-line kitchen knives, is a bit of an ego boost too. Unrolling the bag and seeing the kitchen knives spread out in front of you to quickly choose from feels like you’re a chef who’s got things under control. It feels good, and there’s something to be said about the experiential pleasure of it.

    And since you’re a chef with high-quality kitchen knives, the way you’re storing these knives should be high-quality as well. Not only in terms of functionality, but in terms of looks. Top-notch design and manufacturing, as well as premium materials, make for a luxurious piece of cutlery luggage. And nothing says luxury like leather.

    3. How to Choose a Leather Knife Roll

    Now that you know why you need a good leather knife roll, let’s talk about what exactly that is. There are many factors to take into consideration, and which specific ones you prioritize is going to depend largely on your own personal preferences as a chef. Still, we could boil it down to a few key points:

    Design

    A leather knife roll is a functional tool. It gets a job done, and that is its main use. But it’s also, in a way, an accessory. And said accessories should be stylish, good-looking, and personal. Whether you prefer the colorful and flashy or the understated and classy, you want a leather knife roll that says something about your personality. 

    It’s hard to talk about the looks of something because it’s so deeply personal, and completely depends on your own aesthetic inclinations. But as long as you pick the leather knife roll that looks good for you – that makes you feel good about showing it off – you’ll be fine on that front. Don’t be content with a “good enough” leather knife roll that you chose just because it gets the job done. It’s good to care about how things look!

    Size / capacity

    You have a bunch of kitchen knives, and you want to make sure you can transport them safely (and stylishly) from one place to another. The big question at this point is: how many kitchen knives will you be storing? How many knife pockets do you need? This will determine the size of the overall knife bag.

    However many you need, it’s important that they are properly separated within the knife roll so as to keep the knives from touching each other. During travel, they may knock against each other, which can damage the knives or dull the blades.

    It’s not just about the knives; a good knife roll will also have space for essential tools. This means you need enough pockets, zippers, or slots to accommodate everything you may need – from kitchen shears to an apron

    If you’re starting out and have a small collection, feel free to go with a basic knife roll. But if you have a large connection of knives of varying sizes, maybe look into some of the larger knife rolls (with a large amount of internal pockets).

    Materials and build quality

    When it comes to leather knife rolls, you need to know they’re made to last. The last thing you want is to be constantly worrying about one of your knife rolls coming off at the seams and sending your precious kitchen knives spilling out everywhere. 

    Traveling also means your bag might be exposed to different kinds of dirt and elements that can create blemishes. You need a material that is sturdy enough to fight off these blemishes, which is why many top makers of leather knife rolls favor leather.

    Why is a leather knife roll better? Well, leather is durable, stylish, weather-resistant, and also looks pretty darn good. It’s also strong and flexible, which makes it practical. And it’s also quite beautiful, which is a rarity when we’re talking about “practical” products. 

    4. Best Leather Knife Rolls to Buy

    Now that we’ve talked about what a leather knife roll is, let’s take a look at some of the very best options to purchase out there. Here are our picks for the best leather knife roll bags.

    1. Nomad Knife Roll XL - 12oz Heavy Duty Hard Waxed Canvas

    Nomad Knife Roll XL - Canvas

    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.

    Pros: 

    • 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.

    Cons: 

    • 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. 

    2. Midnight Black | Full Grain Leather Knife Roll

    Midnight Black | Full Grain Leather | Dalstrong

    Nothing says stylish like a beautiful, elegant, pitch black bag made of full grain leather. Look at this thing – the ultra-premium, extra durable midnight black leather knife roll looks (and feels) like serious business. Top quality materials and craftsmanship make this the last knife roll you will ever need, featuring top-notch construction and design.

    PROS:

    • Handcrafted with ultra-premium, fine-pored, 100% top and full grain Brazilian leather; durable, tear resistant, puncture resistant, while being extremely soft and non abrasive. It’s the kind of bag that feels good for a chef to carry around.
    • Featured thick, extra strength, military grade buckles to secure your kitchen tools firmly in place.
    • Features unique and elegant quick access zip closure rear pocket, where you can keep note pads, labels, thermometers and other small tools or belongings you might want to carry around with your knives.
    • Alternating pockets make this a balanced, comfortable bag, truly the ultimate leather knife roll for the serious chef.

    CONS:

    • This is a premium product, made of premium materials and featuring top-of-the-line craftsmanship. As such, it is towards the upper end of the price range featured in this list. If you’re a serious chef, this is for you.
    • The pitch black look may not be for everyone.

    2. California Brown | Full Grain Leather Knife Roll

    California Brown | Full Grain Leather Knife Roll

    There’s something about the timeless look of a brown leather knife roll bag like this one that screams class and elegance. The color is absolutely gorgeous, and the design projects strength and sophistication. This california brown full grain leather knife roll is constructed for maximum durability, featuring reinforced leather, extra thick buckles, and intricate stitching. It’s a product for dedicated chefs, that’s built to last.

    PROS:

    • Handcrafted with fine pored, 100% top and full grain Brazilian leather; durable, tear resistant, puncture resistant, and feels amazing to the touch.
    • Features a lovely leather sleeve cover with two custom molded Dalstrong buttons that will absorb any impact as you walk, run or bike, ensuring that your knives are always protected and held in place.
    • Features 14 double stitched knife pockets with a deep, perfect fit elastic gusset that will safely hold all your chef knives up to 15” in length. It also features two extra-long knife pockets with multi-sized blade fasteners where you can store all your longest knives, up to 20” in length.
    • Encased with a stunning microfibre binding that wraps tightly around its edges, preserving the perfect shape and structure of the knife roll.

    CONS:

    • Much like the previous knife roll, you get what you pay for. A premium product like this is going to be a little more expensive than some of the other ones in this list.
    • This knife roll features 14 knife pockets for knives with a max length of 15” and two extra-long knife pockets for knives up to 20”. This will be more than enough for most chefs, but if you need more knife pockets you could look into the Premium 4 Pocket Knife Bag, which features 45 interior knife pockets for your vast collection.

    3. 12oz Heavy Duty Canvas & Leather | Smoke Grey Knife Roll

    12oz Heavy Duty Canvas & Leather | Smoke Grey Knife Roll

    This heavy duty canvas and leather knife roll bag, part of the Dalstrong Nomad series, is made of 12oz hard waxed canvas with ultra-premium 100% top-grain Brazilian leather straps and accents. This is your knife-carrying workhorse. It’s meant to develop over time into a rugged piece of heavy-duty knife luggage, carrying the lived experience of every trip, every cookout, every time you took it out into the world. For an experienced chef, that’s awesome. 

    PROS:

    • Distinctive smoke grey look, meant to wear into a rugged look over time.
    • Built to last, with ultra-premium durable materials and extra-thick stitching to ensure that it stands the test of time.
    • Thick, extra strength, military grade buckles to securely hold your chef knives in place.
    • Very spacious, with 10 knife pockets for knives up to 15” in length.
    • An incredible value for the price, and a great gift for the knife lover in your family.

    CONS:

    • This knife roll is made of heavy duty canvas with full-grain leather highlights and straps; if you want a fully leather bag, check out other knife rolls in this list.
    • This knife roll only features 10 interior knife pockets, which is more than enough for most home chefs. But if you need to carry more knives, this isn’t the right chef knife bag for you.

    4. 12oz Heavy Duty Canvas & Leather | Crimson Red Knife Roll

    An absolutely gorgeous crimson red color that will only get more unique over time, this 12oz heavy duty hard waxed canvas leather knife roll bag, featuring ultra-premium top-grain Brazilian leather straps and accents, is an absolute looker and conversation-starter. Not only is it a safe, comfortable way to carry around your kitchen knives, it also communicates that you care about the aesthetics of your knife luggage, and will have more than one person asking where they can buy one.

    PROS:

    • Handcrafted with extra thick 12oz waxed canvas and 100% top and full grain Brazilian leather. Extra thick stitching and an under seam hem to ensure awesome looks and performance.
    • Features a super soft top grain Brazilian leather handle.
    • 10 internal knife pockets to safely secure all your prized knives (up to 15” in length).
    • Detachable, fully adjustable, extra-strength cotton webbing strap.
    • An amazing value for the price.

    CONS:

    • The ten internal knife pockets carry knives up to 15” in length; if you have to carry longer knives, check out some other knife rolls in this list.
    • If you’re the kind of person who prefers muted, less flashy colors, this crimson red knife roll won’t be quite your bag (get it?)..

    5. Premium 4 Pocket Knife Bag | The Culinary Commander

     

    Premium 4 Pocket Knife Bag | The Culinary Commander

     

    The culinary commander is serious business. This absolutely gorgeous chef knife bag makes it clear that you know what you’re doing, that you’re equipped with the right tools to do it, and that you know better than to carry those tools in a sub-par vessel. Truly top-of-the-line bag (featuring 45 interior knife pockets) that looks a little closer to a traditional leather bag than the other knife rolls featured here. 

    PROS:

    • Handcrafted with ultra-premium materials, 100% premium and genuine top-grain brazilian leather exterior for comfort, strength, longevity, and stunning looks.
    • Has a storage pocket that is lined with an extra-durable polyester mesh to store small items, such as pastry bags, disposable gloves, tasting spoons, etc.
    • Features 45 interior knife pockets to securely accommodate knives that can be up to 15” in length. Each of the knife pockets is fitted with an adjustable velcro fastener that gently secures them for maximum protection.
    • Built with comfort and mind, featuring two detachable shoulder straps, with extra-large black vegan leather shoulder strap pads.

    CONS:

    • This gorgeous 4-pocket knife bag is a little smaller than some of the other items featured in this list.
    • Design-wise, this looks closer to a bag than a “knife roll.” This might suit some tastes more, but if you’re looking for that classic knife roll design, look at some of the other options available here.

    5. Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I choose a leather knife roll?

    The first thing you must ask yourself is how much space you need. How many knives will you be carrying? This will influence the size of your choice, which will ultimately influence the design and looks of the leather knife bag you eventually go with.

    How do I clean a leather knife bag?

    Obviously the first thing to do is to empty your tools and items from the bag (you’d be surprised at how often people forget to do this). Remove the strap, then use a clean cloth and leather cleaning solution to gently buff at the surfaces of the leather. Once you’re done, you can use a clean cloth and leather conditioner to give your bag its soft, attractive look.

    What types of knives can you store in a knife roll?

    All kinds! Chef knives, paring knives, slicers, santoku knives, all kinds. Some knife rolls are bigger than others, of course, and this may pose an issue with some of your larger slicers. However, for the most part, you can store any knife that hits 15” (or, in some instances 20”) – more than enough for most home chefs.

    Shop All Dalstrong Leather Knife Rolls Today

    Written by Jorge Farah

    Born on the coast of Colombia and based in Buenos Aires, Jorge is a cooking enthusiast and kitchenware obsessive with a tremendous amount of opinions. 


    Leather Knife Roll: The Tool You Didn’t Know You Needed

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