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mzer
05-17-2013, 03:04 PM
Looking at getting a new board and am really open to anything. My questions are about materials and how they differ in their gentleness towards knives.

1) natural vs synthetic - Assuming that the natural is an end grain wood and the synthetic is hard rubber, which one is going to be better on my knives?

2) which wood - there is clearly a hardness difference between maple, cherry and walnut, but what I am wondering is whether the difference is just nominal or whether it is significant. Also, is bakko yanagi a reasonable choice?

3) which synthetic - between sani-tuff, asahi rubber and hi-soft there are several choices. What are the differences and do they matter?

Thanks.

keithsaltydog
05-17-2013, 03:57 PM
The Synthetic boards are lighter & more portable over an end grain wood.Most Hotels & Reasturants use synthetic as wood is not as practicle for dishwashers etc.

Chinese use Wood blocks for cleaver use & some Japan reasturants use wood boards for fine single bevel blades like Yanagi's.For home use an end grain wood board is the best for your knives & a joy to cut on.They are heavy & some extra care is needed.It's no big deal though.If you take care of your endgrain it will last many years.Boardsmith not only makes quality endgrains at a reasonable price,he also gives info. on how to take care of it.Maple is a good wood.

ejd53
05-17-2013, 04:03 PM
The Synthetic boards are lighter & more portable over an end grain wood.Most Hotels & Reasturants use synthetic as wood is not as practicle for dishwashers etc.

Chinese use Wood blocks for cleaver use & some Japan reasturants use wood boards for fine single bevel blades like Yanagi's.For home use an end grain wood board is the best for your knives & a joy to cut on.They are heavy & some extra care is needed.It's no big deal though.If you take care of your endgrain it will last many years.Boardsmith not only makes quality endgrains at a reasonable price,he also gives info. on how to take care of it.Maple is a good wood.

:goodpost: What Salty said.

edge25
05-17-2013, 04:44 PM
I always hear end grain maple is best.It's not to soft(won't scratch as bad as others) & not to hard for knives.If you are on a tight budget You can get a John Boos 12" x 18" x 1-3/4" for $37.87($12.14 S&H in my area,$50.01 total) from cooks direct(Item # 5573A9 Manufacturer # CCB1812-175).Or a Boardsmith 12"x18"x2" for $114.35 shipped.I'm getting a boos.And for maintenance i'm getting this,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Howard-Butcher-Block-Conditioner-12-Oz-BBC012-NEW-/320949197607#vi-content
I heard sani-tuff is the best synthetic cutting board.
http://www.globalindustrial.com/g/foodservice/handling/cutting-boards/sani-tuff-all-rubber-cutting-boards

bkultra
05-17-2013, 04:52 PM
I agree that end grain wood (hard rock maple, cherry, walnut, and mahogany) are the best to use. Higher end synthetic boards likes sani-tuff are gentle on knives as well, but I find there is more drag when cutting on them.

Also make sure to pay attention to the glue used on the construction of the end grain boards. This plays a very important role and is often over looked. Titebond III is what you want to look for.

Salty dog
05-17-2013, 05:03 PM
I guess I'm in the minority. I have a really nice end grain board I never use. Most likely because I use my boards in a commercial kitchen. It's great for home use if you want a hard board.
Personally (I know I'm in the minority) I like a side cut cutting board. In maple. My butcher block tables are comprised the same way and wouldn't dream of anything else. Not sure of where the end grain came from but I'm sure it's based on experience. Never liked them, never will. too much glue to wood. give me a nice soft edge grain board that will be easy on my knives.

El Pescador
05-17-2013, 05:10 PM
I have a Sanituff that I use all the time. I feel like it treats my edges the best out of everything else I have used. I had to get used to it though. It took a dozen trips through the dishwasher to get rid of the rubber smell and it feels...rubbery when you use it.

mhlee
05-17-2013, 05:56 PM
I'm definitely a Japanese synthetic board convert. I got mine from Jon at JKI. I don't recall the brand, but it's awesome. My edges feel like they last a long time, it's not slippery like other poly/plastic boards, and it's easy to clean and soft. It definitely feels different than a Sani-Tuff. The only drawback that I've found is that it can stain.

But, because it requires no maintenance, washes off quickly, and feels good to cut on and doesn't damage my edges, it's what I almost exclusively use now. I have a large one that I just leave on my counter all the time.

FWIW - I used a Boos edge grain board for years (I believe a 1 1/2 inch thickness board), but it warped and I had to get it re-sanded. I don't use my Boos board because of this board. I also have an end grain board that I don't use because of this board.

Duckfat
05-21-2013, 04:24 PM
End grain Maple for me. The only time I swith to edge grain is for butchering as edge grain is less absorbant. I've had shite luck with boos boards. I've been using 3" thick Michigan Maple Block for the last several years. If I had to replace one I'd probably get Walnut or Cherry from Boardsmith just to try something new.


Dave

EdipisReks
05-21-2013, 06:00 PM
I guess I'm in the minority. I have a really nice end grain board I never use. Most likely because I use my boards in a commercial kitchen. It's great for home use if you want a hard board.
Personally (I know I'm in the minority) I like a side cut cutting board. In maple. My butcher block tables are comprised the same way and wouldn't dream of anything else. Not sure of where the end grain came from but I'm sure it's based on experience. Never liked them, never will. too much glue to wood. give me a nice soft edge grain board that will be easy on my knives.

i have a Boos edge grain maple, and my knives stay a lot sharper a lot longer on my end grain boards (http://www.amazon.com/Maple-End-Grain-Chopping-Block/dp/B00009OWEE). the end grain boards are also somewhat self-healing, which is nice. the end grain boards certainly soak up more moisture, but i find them to warp less too, despite that (i have my end grain boards mounted on rubber feet (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00346LJ2A), fwiw).

Jmadams13
05-21-2013, 06:45 PM
I'm with salty, I like side cut maple. My home board is made from a old bakers table I cut down after the kitchen fire. Nice and soft. Once a year I take a light sanding to it, ad it comes back good as new. Is stored flat too (meaning it never leaves my counter).

don
05-21-2013, 08:26 PM
I have a few Boos edge grain boards, and the smaller ones started to split at the glue seams. I also have a few edge grain BoardSmith board, and these have been rock solid. I'd be reluctant to buy a Boos board, but would happily buy more BoardSmith boards.

clayton
05-21-2013, 08:49 PM
I have a few Boos edge grain boards, and the smaller ones started to split at the glue seams. I also have a few edge grain BoardSmith board, and these have been rock solid. I'd be reluctant to buy a Boos board, but would happily buy more BoardSmith boards.

Yup. Have 2 Boos EG boards and both split at the glues seams here too. Experience with my BoardSmith has been good so far but only have had it for year, while the Boos are close to 6 years old.

Marko Tsourkan
05-21-2013, 09:20 PM
I use a cherry end grain and like it a lot. It was one of my seconds from back in the day (warped on me) so I kept it. Good size, matches cherry cabinets, and I just enjoy using it. The warpage is still there, but it doesn't bother me.

We all have our preferences. Mine is wood. End grain when selected for looks, is so much prettier than edge grain, particularly after you oil it.