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Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Nick112, Jun 29, 2019.
Thank you, yes I should have said "positive experience when used for its intended purpose "
Hasegawa is another decent option. I have one of the 5 mm Hasegawa boards (without the wooden core) for putting on top of my main cutting board when I cut meats or fish. It's light, thin, and very easy to clean in the sink. And it doesn't murder my knife edge…
i'm still that guy sticking to the unpopular opinion that edge retention is one of the least important factors in choosing a cutting board (unless of course you are talking about glass, where it is so bad that it outweighs all other considerations).
a good cutting board should be attractive to look at, feel good to cut on, present a solid and stable work surface, be easy to keep clean/sterile, resist cracking and warping, and be kind to your edge, but there are going to be some trade-offs. it's hard to find a material that is both attractive and can be sterilized, for example, and the woods that are easiest on edges tend to be more susceptible to cracking and warping...
There is one more factor here in deciding on board materials and dimensions. Do you like to leave a board in one place all the time and clean it there, or carry it to a sink to wash?
Thick, heavy, end-grain boards in my experience are best used in fixed locations. My personal drift away from hardwood boards and into thin Hinoki boards and Hi-Soft is because they're so easy to carry to the sink and wash. I think I can do a better job there of making sure something like raw chicken is properly cleaned, and it's easy to swap boards in and out to avoid cross-contamination. Warping *can* be an issue with Hinoki, but they're so cheap that it's easy to replace when needed. I think the Hi-Soft board will probably last a good 10 years, the way it's going.
There are also some aesthetic concerns: the "attractive" element mentioned above, and I get that. My boards aren't very pretty. Nice end-grain boards dress up a kitchen, whereas Hinoki boards can pickup stains, even Hi-Soft rubber boards might get some stains that are hard to clean. In my home kitchen that doesn't matter. The "aesthetic" value is in the huge maple butcher block island these boards temporarily rest on when I'm cooking. I have plenty of nice wood in my kitchen aside from the cutting board.
In a different style of home kitchen, a hardwood end-grain board might be more of a centerpiece. Especially in a modernist home kitchen that's mostly granite and stainless steel.
Sorry for my late reply. I’ll stay away from a great mix of woods and i’ll focus on a walnut vs sapele choice. I found about two table 40cm x 35cm x 5 cm made one of walnut and one of sapele. I can’t decide
Get both, donate the one you don't like to me
Personally, I have found that my sapele board is more scratch resistant than my walnut boards (duh, from the higher hardness). The walnut boards were fine when I used cheaper knives, but my J knives kept digging into them and it started to become really annoying, so I had to look for a harder wood.
Ahahah I love the sapele when is not so dark but I love the walnut when is really dark. I can’t decide
If I’m reading the OP’s first post correctly, Edge retention is the main goal;
If that is in fact the case, I’ve not experienced a more edge friendly board than Aomori Hiba.
It is incredibly kind to the cutting edge and it smells absolutely beautiful when you get it wet.
I find Aomori Hiba to be more edge friendly to the one Hinoki board I have.
You’ll find lots of info about Aomori Hiba but essentially a slow growing type of cypress which is used in building temples, pagodas and shrines.
It is meant to have anti bacterial properties and repel pests - apparently.
Unlike Hinoki, the only Aomori Hiba boards I have been able to find are made from a single piece of wood.
Biggest downside of it is the size - because it’s a single piece of wood, the width is restricted to the diameter of the tree trunk.
I have been told that the largest pieces are reserved for above mentioned construction purposes and not for cutting boards.
I have managed to source a large Hiba board finally, however it is not made from a single piece (and cost an arm and a leg)
End grain hard maple (Acer saccharum) has a pretty good reputation for cutting boards in North America.
I have seen quite a few maple boards wrecked by inattention to keeping them properly oiled, leaving them set upon on a wet surface/in a wet sink overnight or otherwise warping/splitting/delamination of these boards via changes in moisture content.
One of the claimed benefits for the "baked" maple I experimented with last winter is a decrease in moisture absorption and a reduction in the related dimensional instability.
Anyone tried to make an end grain board of heat treated hard maple?
Still crazy busy with my day job, will be a couple of months before I have time to play with this.
Last question before I make the order. Is it better with or without feet? I like the double side use without feet but I like the stability with them.
The woods will be walnut or sapele
Ultimately its a personal call...and depends a bit on your countertops
and whether you plan to keep the board in 1 place all the time, etc...
its alot harder to store a board on its side with feet, for example.
Generally I'd probably skip feet on small to mid size boards,
and include them on large boards likely to stay in one place.
Consider each side you use needs sanding/oiling etc also
so a larger board is maybe better used 1 side kept perfect.
Smaller board spread the wear and maintenance still
is not so bad because combined surface is smaller.
Lastly, you Probably want to use a side-towel (under your board) if you don't have feet,
...if you hate the idea of this, maybe consider feet also...etc
Or maybe some anti skid matt? I found it to be the most secure solution in all surfaces.
I use a piece of anti-slip mat under my boards. Available at camping stores or eBay for next to nothing.
I like mine with feet and without the juice groove.
I use a a cheap piece of rubberized mesh drawer liner as an anti skid mat. I DO like to be able to use both sides of a board.
I have learned the hard way NOT to just leave the clean board on the anti skid mesh sitting on counter top overnight/between uses, a fair amount of water can be lurking in the mesh if some was spilled on counter & the moisture will warp the board.
I like feet if you plan to leave the board out on the counter and no feet if you put the board away after cleaning.
With my quite large board (60 cm x 52 cm), I have a piece of non-slip mat underneath that is quite a bit smaller than the board, around 40 cm x 30 cm, so there is a 10 cm wide strip around the perimeter of board without the mat.
If there is a minor spill, the liquid doesn't reach the mat. If there is a major spill, I know about it anyway and can make sure that things underneath are properly dried.
A good scenario- I am frankly envious of you.
Regrettably, I don't have continuous on site control/habitation at either of my two primary cooking sites. It makes me a bit crazy at times... Because other people can do "interesting" things in my kitchen(s) while I'm gone for a day or a week. Or a couple of weeks! It's to the point where I stash my better knives and leave out the beaters when I must go out to do a job or visit factories in China, etc.
I need to get some alternate, "sacrificial grade" cutting boards to leave out when I'm not around too!
And you wouldn't BELIEVE what happens to my shop tools when I'm out of sight (off site?) sometimes.
I feel for you…
I have two 60x40cm boards and both sit on trolleys. I prefer no feet as they are turned on a weekly basis. Surface is well scrubbed and allowed to dry, then oil or board butter is applied before its flipped over and that side has a week off from kitchen duties. My Larchwood board has ~clocked up around 35 years of service. A new Tasmanian Blackwood board has just arrived to take over most of the workload.
Edit: I thought this Janka hardness chart might be of interest - especially those in Oz. Choppa Block make very nice boards and are happy to customize to your needs.
Thanks for all the help. I will buy a board around 40(45)x35 cm and about 5cm thick. I use it on the countertop and then I store it in a dedicated drawer in the kitchen. I know that you have to oil also the side you don’t use because the risk of warp but I don’t have priblem to oil both sides every time. It’a a tough decision about feet
Suggestion: buy one without feet first and see how you go. If you feel you want feet, you can easily add them later, but you can't do the opposite without leaving holes behind…
Consider a mix of bees wax and oil for your board, more durable than just oil in my experience.
This is a nice tip. Thanks usually I use a cheap ikea board without feet but with a nice one I don’t have experience
I have both thanks
My personal preference is to not have feet. Being able to flip a board over is useful, IMO. On the other hand, once a board gets large and heavy enough, you probably don't want to flip it over, in which case it might as well have feet (assuming you don't mind the added height).
In my opinion, the anti-slip mat is a good solution because it, in effect, provides "removable feet".
I love this one here. Small but I think is enough
Good suggestion Michi!
BTW, my new board came supplied with self-adhesive silicone feet. These would be a better solution than screwing feet into the board.
Given the size, I'd use it without feet. You may find that you don't even need an anti-slip mat, depending on your benchtop surface.
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