Walnut vs Hinoki

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vk2109

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Hello,

I wanted to see it there is a preference among people on whether an End Grain Walnut vs Hinoki cutting board is better for japanese knives ?

Thanks
Vadim
 

Barmoley

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Walnut end grain is heavier, much more durable and looks nicer. It is most likely thicker too. Hinoki is much softer, lighter and gentler on the edges. Hinoki also has a very strong smell, especially when new. Depends on what you want.
 

Paraffin

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I use large and smaller Hinoki boards for vegetables, and a Hi-Soft synthetic rubber board for raw protein. Here's my take on the Hinoki boards from the last year and a half or so that I've used them:

PROS
  • Gentle on the blade edge compared to harder woods.
  • Exceptionally lightweight, very easy to carry to the sink for washing.
  • Easy to resurface with a few licks from an orbital sander, if it gets too many scratches.
  • Relatively inexpensive, easy to replace if they warp or get too beat up over time.
  • They dry fast, which is useful when washing between product types on the board.
CONS:
  • There is a risk of warping, but it hasn't been consistent in my experience (one warped just a little, the other is still dead flat).
  • They aren't very stain-resistant, so cosmetically they don't "dress up" a kitchen the way a hardwood board does. It's not a big deal for me because I store them under the counter, but it might be for some folks who consider cutting boards decorative as well as functional.
  • You have to be careful to cut no closer than a 45 degree angle to the direction of side grain. The wood is so soft, a sharp knife will tend to stick when parallel to the grain.
  • The wood is too soft for slicing bread if you have a really sharp serrated knife like the Gude bread knife I use. It will quickly scar up the board in a way that vertical chopping garlic or slicing veg doesn't. I have to pull out an old side-grain maple board for bread slicing with that knife.
So there are a few downsides, but I like the boards so much I'll continue to use them. I've never liked how heavy hardwood boards are, since I carry boards to the sink to wash, rather than washing in-place and leaving the board out. The Hinoki boards are a delight to carry and clean, compared to thick, end-grain hardwood boards.
 

parbaked

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I have both and would agree that Walnut is much heavier and harder feeling and that Hinoki is light and feels soft, in a good way.
I'd use walnut on feet if I wanted to leave it out; or a smaller hiroaki board if if I want to wash in the sink and put away.
The better, thin Hinoki boards have a slat of wood inserted across the grain to help prevent warping:
IMG_5414.jpeg


Konosuke make a nice hinoki board with the anti warp slat and a flip out pice of hardwood to support the board during drying:
konosuke-hinoki-cutting-board-small-with-stand-152.jpg
 

DitmasPork

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Hello,

I wanted to see it there is a preference among people on whether an End Grain Walnut vs Hinoki cutting board is better for japanese knives ?

Thanks
Vadim
Curious on why you've limited the choices to just those to woods? Personally I'm a huge fan of end grain maple.

However, on my wish list is the Hasegawa Wood Core Soft Rubber Cutting Board, easier on blades than wood.
 

Garm

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I used to experience some warping on one of my thinner Hinoki boards.
The key to avoid this is wetting/moistening both sides prior to use, not just the side you're going to cut on.
I love my Hinoki boards for all the reasons Paraffin mentioned.
If I could just find an Aomori Hiba board(the bee's knees IMO like Khashy said) that was around 30 cm deep I would be ecstatic.
 

khashy

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I used to experience some warping on one of my thinner Hinoki boards.
The key to avoid this is wetting/moistening both sides prior to use, not just the side you're going to cut on.
I love my Hinoki boards for all the reasons Paraffin mentioned.
If I could just find an Aomori Hiba board(the bee's knees IMO like Khashy said) that was around 30 cm deep I would be ecstatic.
IMG_5586.jpg


They’re not cheap but they exist!
 

khashy

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That Aomori Hiba board is 305x610x30mm btw
 

inferno

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Hello,

I wanted to see it there is a preference among people on whether an End Grain Walnut vs Hinoki cutting board is better for japanese knives ?

Thanks
Vadim
i think there was some test published here that determined plastic was actually the best or was i bamboo?? talking edge retention.
 

Garm

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That Aomori Hiba board is 305x610x30mm btw
Oh please do tell where you got that one. I know what I want for Christmas this year..
I have the 480 x 235 mm Wasabi board. It's a bit too small for a 240-ish gyuto and doesn't really have enough room for many ingredients at the same time, but man I love that board.
 

khashy

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Oh please do tell where you got that one. I know what I want for Christmas this year..
I have the 480 x 235 mm Wasabi board. It's a bit too small for a 240-ish gyuto and doesn't really have enough room for many ingredients at the same time, but man I love that board.
Here:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BuzACDsnY6J/?igshid=1833ldgr8uvjm

He was kind enough to make a special order for me direct to Japan. Contact them and I’m sure they’ll be able to help
 

vk2109

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Curious on why you've limited the choices to just those to woods? Personally I'm a huge fan of end grain maple. .
I already have a walnut but considering a ~16-17" x ~10-11' x 1-1.25" cutting board and tempted by another walnut or hinoki to try.
I don't like maple.

Thank you all. I will give a try with a hinoki
is there a brand you would recommend ?
i see this one https://www.amazon.com/Single-Piece-Hinoki-Cutting-Friendly/dp/B01HFW1N3S?th=1
or https://www.ebay.com/itm/Miyabi-Cutting-Chopping-Board-40-x-25-cm-Hinoki-Wood-Japan-import/283574885519?epid=1975740902
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKYMEM6/ref=psdc_289863_t3_B003Y8YUW4

if anyone has other recos . thank you !!
 

DitmasPork

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I already have a walnut but considering a ~16-17" x ~10-11' x 1-1.25" cutting board and tempted by another walnut or hinoki to try.
I don't like maple.

Thank you all. I will give a try with a hinoki
is there a brand you would recommend ?
i see this one https://www.amazon.com/Single-Piece-Hinoki-Cutting-Friendly/dp/B01HFW1N3S?th=1
or https://www.ebay.com/itm/Miyabi-Cutting-Chopping-Board-40-x-25-cm-Hinoki-Wood-Japan-import/283574885519?epid=1975740902
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKYMEM6/ref=psdc_289863_t3_B003Y8YUW4

if anyone has other recos . thank you !!
Have you checked out BoardSmith? Top notch cutting boards IMO.
 

Garm

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I already have a walnut but considering a ~16-17" x ~10-11' x 1-1.25" cutting board and tempted by another walnut or hinoki to try.
I don't like maple.

Thank you all. I will give a try with a hinoki
is there a brand you would recommend ?
i see this one https://www.amazon.com/Single-Piece-Hinoki-Cutting-Friendly/dp/B01HFW1N3S?th=1
or https://www.ebay.com/itm/Miyabi-Cutting-Chopping-Board-40-x-25-cm-Hinoki-Wood-Japan-import/283574885519?epid=1975740902
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKYMEM6/ref=psdc_289863_t3_B003Y8YUW4

if anyone has other recos . thank you !!
Those all look fine IMO. Personally, I wouldn't pay the premium for the Miyabi board compared to the others. I may be wrong, but I can't see it being that much better than the alternatives. After all we're more or less talking about a piece of Hinoki plank.

If you have the space for it I would recommend sizing up a little to something like 18-20" x 12". The extra room for both your knife and ingredients just make things a little easier and more comfortable, just a little less constrained, especially using a larger knife. It's still going to be lightweight and very handy.
 
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