What to Look for in a Quality Knife Roll

Vagabond Knife Roll

Every superhero has one item in their kit that makes them feel truly invincible:

For Spiderman, it’s his spidey suit.

For Wonder Woman, it’s her tiara headband.

For a chef (like you!), it’s your knives.

“Japanese chefs believe our soul goes into our knives once we start using them. You wouldn't put your soul in a dishwasher.”

- Masaharu Morimoto, world-renowned Japanese chef

So, your knife roll carries your knives, which in turn hold a little piece of your soul. You shouldn’t skimp on the quality of the very item you use to carry and store your precious knives.

Buying a knife roll is a crucial decision, second only to choosing your knives.

You need the best quality knife roll on the market. 

When making your choice, carefully consider:

  • Style
  • Quality
  • Material
  • Compartments for your knives

With that, let’s dive into the world of knife rolls so you can make an informed addition to your essential kitchen tools. 

What Is a Knife Roll?

Man in black apron zips up a brown leather knife roll on a wooden tableVagabond Knife Roll - Full Grain Leather - California Brown

When you’re working in the kitchen, you will always feel more comfortable with a set of knives that you know and love. Using your favorite knives will keep you calm and in control throughout your meal prep.

Whether you are catering an event or hosting friends, your knife bag matters. You need a bag or case to store and safely transport your knives. A good quality knife roll will protect your knives while providing extra space for tools such as:

  • Peeler
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Scraper
  • Grater
  • Tweezer

What Are the Characteristics of a Good Knife Roll?

12oz Heavy Duty Canvas & Leather Blue | Nomad Knife Roll | Dalstrong12oz Heavy Duty Canvas & Leather Blue | Nomad Knife Roll | Dalstrong

Size and Capacity

This is one of the most important factors you need to consider before making a purchase. Your knife roll should have enough space for all of your knives and essential tools. You need enough pockets to handle the different shapes and lengths of your equipment. 

You should also choose a bag with special pockets for other accessories you might have on hand. This can be extra pockets with zippers or even a slot for an apron.

If you are starting out and have a small knife collection, choose a basic knife bag. It should have enough pockets for all the essentials.

A good quality knife roll offers enough space for you to carry each knife in its own slot.

Why Do Size and Capacity Matter?

A bigger roll gives you more space for all your tools.

You want a roll big enough to keep your knives from touching when transported. This will protect them from knocking against each other, which can damage the knives or lead to premature dulling of the blades.

A larger capacity also gives you more room to handle the knives. If your knives touch the edges of the pockets while handling, it can affect their sharpness.

You can further benefit from the additional room to hold your knives safely. This protects your fingers from accidents that can happen when putting away or removing tightly-stored knives.

A bigger capacity also gives you room for more tools. You want your rolls to remain useful even as you expand your knife and essential tools collection.

If you find a larger, high-quality roll, the investment will pay off in the long run. These spacious and top quality rolls from Dalstrong are made to last you a lifetime, even as your knife collection grows.

Basic Building Materials of a Knife Roll

When choosing a knife bag, you need to seek out options with:

  • An attractive material you can carry around with pride.
  • Strong interior material to protect your tools.
  • Flexible material you can roll up on the move.

The fabric used on the bag can influence your choice. You want a material tough enough to withstand the sharp edges of your knives. You also need an easy-to-clean fabric that can survive in dirty kitchens or outdoors.

While working in the kitchen, you will expose your bag to different types of dirt, which can stain your roll. You need a fabric that can withstand various cleaning agents and multiple washes.

Which Is the Best Material to Choose?

The top three material options for knife bags include:

Vagabond Knife Roll Vagabond Knife Roll

Leather is by far the best quality material for knife rolls. It is durable, stylish, weather-resistant, and timeless.

Its strength and flexibility make it extremely practical in a kitchen setting. You can be sure it will protect your tools.

Leather gets better with age. Over time, it gains character to last for decades. This makes it the perfect material for a collector’s roll.

This material is also perfect in the kitchen as it is easy to clean. You simply need to wipe it down with a damp cloth after use. Since you’ll be cleaning it a lot, you’ll want to invest in a leather cleaner and conditioner.

Leather further lends its semi-water resistant quality to kitchen use. It can survive in moist environments and even in light rain outdoors.

When choosing a leather knife bag, you will come across two popular options: full grain and top grain rolls.

Both options will protect your tools. But, there are some significant differences between the two types of leather:

Full Grain Leather
Top Grain Leather
Comes from the top layer of the hide and is the highest quality Comes without the outermost layer and is the second-highest quality
Is extremely thick and hard to manipulate Is thinner and easier to manipulate
Features a natural, unique grain Features an imitated grain print on the surface; most of the natural grain disappears when removing the outermost layer
Ages well and develops a natural, sought-after patina character that cannot be replicated Ages based on the finishing coat, applied after removing the top layer; this reduces its ability to develop a natural patina over time

Both types of leather make for some of the best quality knife bags in the market.


Canvas comes in as the second-best option for knife bags. It is highly durable, resistant to snags and tears, and ages well.

However, canvas in the kitchen must be coated with heavy-duty wax. A wax coating makes the canvas water, stain, and chemical resistant. This way, you can use it in the kitchen and clean it on a regular basis.

Canvas works best when combined with leather straps and accessories. The two fabrics blend together to create a stylish and functional accessory for every chef.

You can find strong canvas rolls from Dalstrong like this attractive option with leather accents.

Ballistic Nylon
Dalstrong Ballistic Series Premium Knife Roll Dalstrong Ballistic Series Premium Knife Roll

Ballistic nylon started out as a wartime fabric. It was meant to protect soldiers from shrapnel and bullets in World War II. Even though it wasn’t successful in the war, it became a popular synthetic fabric. A lot of people love it for its strength, durability, and resistance to abrasion.

In the kitchen, it combines perfectly with your tools as it is:

  • Easy to clean
  • Resistant to stains and chemicals
  • Lightweight and fast-drying

Dalstrong offers premium ballistic rolls in three colors.

Accessories in the Bag

If you move kitchens frequently, you will need a bag with extra pockets for all your other tools. The availability or absence of pockets can influence your choice.

For other accessories, the choice you make is more of a style preference. You can choose a bag with a lock or one that is easy to open. The former might work better if you are wary of losing your tools.

Some other accessory choices you can find in a knife bag are:

  • Clips
  • Snap buttons
  • Zippers
  • Hook and loop fasteners

You can choose one dominant style or a combination of two or more accessories.


A good knife bag is an investment.

The price on most rolls will vary depending on the:

  • Number of knives it can carry.
  • Material used.
  • Number of usable compartments.
  • Style of the bag.

Since this is something you will use to protect your most valuable tools, do not skimp on quality.

Even if it costs you more in the beginning, the investment will pay off in the long run.

Choose the Best Quality Knife Roll

A chef places a leather book into his black leather knife roll on a wooden tableVagabond Knife Roll - Top Grain Leather - Midnight Black

As a chef, you are better off choosing a brand trusted by chefs around the world.

Dalstrong goes the extra mile to spoil you with quality choices.

You can choose from a wide selection of knife bags made to protect your knives (and the piece of your soul contained in them).

The rolls available from Dalstrong come in:

  • A wide variety of materials to suit different needs.
  • A broad selection of styles to fit your personal taste.
  • Durable materials that improve with age.
  • Different carrying capacities for chefs at different levels.
  • Strong buckles that make the rolls easy to carry around.

Top Quality Knife Rolls From Dalstrong

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.


  • 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. 

2. Nomad Knife Roll - 12oz Heavy Duty Canvas & Leather

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.

2. Dalstrong Ballistic Series Premium Knife Roll

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.

3. Vagabond Knife Roll - Top Grain Leather

Vagabond Knife Roll - Top Grain Leather - Midnight Black

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.

4. Vagabond Knife Roll - Full Grain Leather

Vagabond Knife Roll - Full Grain Leather - California Brown

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.

You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs. 

Dalstrong Expert Knife Finder

What to Look for in a Quality Knife Roll

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