Blade or knife guards are devices which are designed to attach to the blades of kitchen knives. In addition to preventing injuries, blade guards are also an important part of keeping knives sharp, since they reduce wear on the blades. Many kitchen supply stores sell blade guards, and they can also be special ordered through cutlery companies. As a general rule, high quality knives come with blade guards, and when you purchase one, you should ask the staff of the store for the accompanying blade guard. Never carry a knife home with an uncovered blade!
Whenever someone transports knives, blade guards are absolutely necessary. An alternative is the knife roll, which is used by some professional chefs. A knife roll is made from sheet of heavy duty canvas with sewn on pockets for an assortment of knives. The knife roll can be rolled up for easy transport, and it keeps the blades tucked away. Blade guards, however, ensure that each individual knife in a set is secured. They also make knife sets somewhat less bulky.
Around the house and kitchen, blade guards can be placed on knives which are left out or stored in drawers, to ensure that no one is injured. A knife block can also be used for this purpose, although in kitchens with limited space, this may not be an option. Some knives are also too big to fit in a knife block, and some cooks prefer not to use knife blocks since they believe it dulls the knives. Blade guards also prevent damage to the blade of a knife, which is an important function.
As a general rule, blade guards are made from plastic, leather, or similar heavy weight materials. The guard may be designed as a simple cover which slips over the knife, or it may actually snap on to secure the blade. Some blade guards are made from magnetized strips which grip the blade of a knife, reducing the possibility of slippage.
Knives and other sharp kitchen objects should never be left loose around the kitchen. The possibility for injury is very high, especially when a visitor is using the kitchen. In addition, blades can become damaged by being knocked about and roughly used. Even with blade guards, it is a good idea to keep knives out of reach of children and curious pets, and to stress safe knife use with children from an early age. High quality knives are very sharp, and if a cleaver can disjoint a cut of meat, it can also remove fingers!