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Thread: How important are cutting boards?

  1. #1

    How important are cutting boards?

    I want to buy a cutting board,but there are big price differences.

    I've read,that it is important to choose hardwood like oak,maple,walnut aso and that its favourable to choose end grain.

    but how impoprtant is it really in maintaining sharpness?
    will there be major differences in edge retaining,when choosing oak vs. bomboo or maple edge grain vs maple end grain?

  2. #2
    Senior Member

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    Yes, cutting boards are important.

    The best ones are end grain maple, cherry, walnut or mahogany. Oak is not the best choice.

    Answers to your questions can be found on the FAQ page of The BoardSMITH:
    http://theboardsmith.com/boardsmith-faqs/

    A hard rubber board like a Sani-Tuff is an alternative to an end grain wood board.

    Even an edge grain maple, cherry, walnut or mahogany board is preferable to a hard plastic or bamboo board.

    The effect on edge retention varies with your cutting technique.
    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

  3. #3
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    Advantage of well done end grain board is similar to one of high end knife. It allows the edge on your knives last longer, it is pleasure to use and often it also looks very nice. All that comes at a cost, of course

  4. #4
    Senior Member MAS4T0's Avatar
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    Another consideration is the longevity of the board. Cheap plastic boards are throw away items and are often past their best within a few weeks; while a good quality wooden board can be good as new after decades of use if well looked after.

    A good board is much more enjoyable to use and does make a big difference. I'd much rather be using a decent knife on a good board than a great knife on a cheap board. A good board is an important component, like tyres on a car.

    If you can afford it then go for it, you won't regret it and it will serve you well for a long time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MAS4T0's Avatar
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    Avoid Oak; the grain is very open which can cause a lot of problems.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pensacola Tiger View Post
    Yes, cutting boards are important.

    The best ones are end grain maple, cherry, walnut or mahogany.

    Even an edge grain maple, cherry, walnut or mahogany board is preferable to a hard plastic or bamboo board.
    +1

    Bamboo is a grass, so to make a board out of it requires a lot of glue, which is hard on your edges.

    Either make the commitment to an end grain that will serve you for decades, or get a smaller edge grain now and upgrade to a nicer board later.

  7. #7
    I like the Hi-soft cutting board fro Korin.

  8. #8
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    When I talked to Andrey from MTMWood about different species of wood used in end grain cutting boards, he told me that European species of Oak are very different from americans White and Red Oaks species. European version is a lot less porous and is much denser. He told that actually about half of his boards are made from European wood.

    There's also a good introduction article about end grain boards on MTMWood site that's worth reading.

  9. #9
    TimoNieminen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddnmd View Post
    Bamboo is a grass, so to make a board out of it requires a lot of glue, which is hard on your edges.
    Even without problems with glues, bamboo itself is pretty abrasive, due to silicates.

    Other grasses have high silicate contents too; sugar cane is abrasive to cutting tools, too. Non-grasses can be problematic too; I find palm fronds very abrasive. Not an issue for cutting boards, though.

    Sani-Tuff boards look interesting.

  10. #10
    Do your end grain boards stay absolutely flat? All my end grain ones are curved after some use, from the constant washing and drying.

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