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Thread: Epicurean wood-fiber cutting boards

  1. #31

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Top of Georgia
    I would retract my comment if I could, but alas I can't remove it.


  2. #32
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    I would retract my comment if I could, but alas I can't remove it.

    Just edit it to remove all content, pretend you're a politician, and deny it ever happened!

  3. #33
    Senior Member K-Fed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Palm City, FL
    One of the kitchens that I work in has wood fiber cutting boards on the line, and was never a fan of them. They've got a strange gritty feel to them while cutting along with feeling hard, similar to the side grain bamboo cutting boards at friends houses that I've cut on.

  4. #34
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    St. Paul, MN
    Well, in the end a lot of stuff we do here with stones, blade steel, edges, angles etc is all 'feel' and we develop a sort of 'gut' like or dislike. Before I owned a BoardSmith and other end-grain boards I used Epicurean and Bamboo boards exclusively. But slowly I stopped using both Epicurean and bamboo boards with my good knives, and never when serious cutting needed to be done.

    My gut tells me that bamboo boards are easier on my knives than Epicurean boards (though I used to feel differently about this). The bamboo scars more easily, feels more tactile, and it seems that the knife edges have a bit 'softer landing'. Yes, there is the silica issue with bamboo, but that is just my feeling about knife feel (I can't feel wood silica content really). But these are both resin/glue impregnated wood/grass products at the end of day and somewhat similar.

    The biggest difference for me is that end-grain boards cleave when the knife edge hits it, and these manufactured woods do not. They will scar through force, but there is no natural give. Maybe end-grain bamboo is different, but I have never had one so I don't know.

    After using Epicurean and bamboo boards for years, I never use them anymore for intensive chopping sessions. I would use bamboo in a pinch though. And again, for light-duty paring knife stuff or messy cutting, Epicureans are just fine IMO, and I actually prefer them.

    It's all a tradeoff. If I really wanted to be super nice to my knife edges, I wouldn't cut butternut squash either and only eat softer veggies -- but what fun is that

    Danny 'Zwiefel' Owen - 1971-2016 Moderator and Knife Knut for Eternity. RIP

  5. #35

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    Sorry, I don't see the analogy.

    I wasn't asking how a knife wears.

    Perhaps I didn't ask my question very well so let me try to illustrate.

    Let's say a knife has a hardness of 60 HRc. At the top of the spectrum we have glass and granite. Let's assign an arbitrary hardness of 100 HRc for them. Since glass and granite are much harder than the knife, those materials are detrimental to the knife's edge. I don't think anyone hear would argue with that.

    Now looking at the the other end of the spectrum, wood and polycarbonate. Both are too soft for the Rockwell C scale. So let's just switch to Rockwell B and arbitrarily assign a value of 20 HRb to wood, well below 0 HRc. We generally consider wood to be a preferred material to cut on. So where does poly fall? If the hardness is near that of wood, then the two material should perform near equally. It seems to be generally accepted that poly is significantly harder than wood and therefore more detrimental to an edge, but is that true?

    But the wood part of the equation is complicated a little by the use of resins and glue. What is the hardness of the resins as compared to the wood and poly? I would think that the resin hardness is about equal to that of polycarbonate so I would not think there would be much difference between the two. However on these Epicurean boards the consensus seems to be that because the resin content is so high, the boards are hard on knives.

    The silica content of bamboo is an excellent point as mentioned above and kind of differentiates those boards.

    It seems widely accepted that these Epicurean boards are significantly harder and therefore knife contact should be light. I'm wondering if that is just an assumption that has been taken as fact. I haven't seen anything to support it and if the resin hardness is on par with polycarb then the two styles of boards should be about equal.

    This might be helpfull.
    Hardness of resins


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