The Best Cutting Board

After spending more than 120 hours on research, interviewing chefs and materials experts, chopping 23 pounds of produce, and using and abusing 22 cutting boards, we found that the Prepworks Cutting Board offers the best balance of cutting feel, durability, and ease of cleaning. Although some butcher block boards may look more pleasant, the plastic Prepworks doesn’t require any maintenance and won’t split from misuse. It stood up to sharp knives, dark stains, and strong odors better than other plastic boards. It also fits in a dishwasher and warps less over many cycles, and it’s easy to pick up and put away. And, it’s affordable enough to replace every two years or so.

Last Updated: July 31, 2015
After testing 22 cutting boards and spending more than 120 hours on research, we’ve determined that the plastic Prepworks Cutting Board is the best for most people. If that sells out, or if you need a bigger plastic board, the OXO Good Grips 15-inch by 21-inch Cutting Board makes a good alternative. And if you want a more satisfying wood board, and don’t mind the maintenance involved, we love the Proteak Rectangular Cutting Board.
Expand Most Recent Updates
June 1, 2015: After a year’s worth of long-term testing, we’re changing our top plastic and wood board picks. The Prepworks Progressive cutting board (11¼ by 17¼ inches) is the best workhorse plastic board for cutting vegetables and/or meats. It resists knife scars, cleans easily in a sink or dishwasher, is lightweight and easy to carry, collects juices in its groove, and hits a very reasonable price point. We also recommend an OXO Good Grips plastic board, our prior pick, for larger prep needs or better counter grip, and a wood Proteak edge-grain cutting board for those willing to trade some maintenance for looks and better knife treatment. We’re planning a full update to this guide, with details on maintenance, cutting mats, and expert opinions, within the next month.
October 2, 2014: Setting this guide to wait status while we investigate some recent bad reviews of our wooden board pick.
March 31, 2014: Updated with our findings for why we do not recommend composite cutting boards. It's definitely better to stick with wood and plastic.
February 28, 2014: Updated with our observations from using both the plastic and wooden picks for nearly a year. See the long-term test notes section below.
July 29, 2013: If you must get a smaller board due to space constraints, the same picks apply, just go for the smaller version.

Prepworks Cutting Board
This plastic board resists warping, staining, and strong odors better than other plastic boards, while featuring a juice groove, carrying handle, and a textured surface that makes it easier to use.
Now, we don’t regularly like to recommend kitchen products with such a short lifespan, but a sharp knife can do a lot of damage to a board’s surface over a couple of years. And although you could invest in a quality wood board that may last longer, the Prepworks is far better for working with raw meats and messy marinated stuff, since it’s easily disinfected in a dishwasher. That’s why we think most people should have at least one of these in their kitchen arsenal.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.

OXO Good Grips 15-inch by 21-inch Cutting Board
This board is expensive for plastic and isn’t quite as pleasant to cut on as the Prepworks, but it comes in larger sizes than our primary pick and looks a tad nicer.
If you need a bigger board than our main pick—say, if you regularly break down whole chickens or make enormous stir-fries—the OXO Good Grips 15-inch by 21-inch Cutting Board is a solid pick. Its cutting surface is louder in use than the Prepworks’, and it is a bit tougher on knife blades. But the OXO board looks less industrial than the Prepworks board, is quite lightweight for its size, and holds even more liquid in its juice groove. Its rubber grips also do a reasonable job at keeping the board in place on a counter.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $73.

Proteak Rectangular Edge-Grain Cutting Board
This beautiful teak board requires more careful cleaning than plastic boards, but it feels better under a knife and it’s easier to maintain than other wood boards. It gets bonus points for its size, counter stability, and eco-conscious maker.
Plastic isn’t for everyone. A great wood board will be heavier, look striking enough to leave out on your counter, and feel completely natural under your knife. For most people, that board should be the 20- by 15-inch Proteak Rectangular Edge-Grain Cutting Board, a great but remarkably unfussy wood cutting board. For millennia, boat and furniture makers have used teak for its moisture-fighting properties, and that’s exactly why this teak board excels beyond every other wood board we tried. It’ll stand up to spills and messy ingredients better. It does still require regular oil treatments, though, and needs to stay mostly free of moisture. This is by no means a cheap board, but you are paying for time-tested and sustainable materials joined in expert fashion.

Table of contents

Why you should trust us

In the two years since this guide was originally published, I’ve spent at least 120 hours researching and testing cutting boards, using a variety of them in my own kitchen, and interviewing chefs and materials specialists. I’ve scoured hundreds of customer reviews, knife and woodworking forum and blog posts, and microbiology and culinary journal articles and white papers. Since 2005 I’ve also cooked most of the meals for my household, which has given me ample opportunity to think about rectangular cutting surfaces.

To better understand what wood cutting boards require, and how they can fail, I interviewed Eva Haviarova, associate professor of wood science at Purdue University Wood Research Laboratory; Brian Brashaw, program director at the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth; and Doug Gardner, professor of Forest Operations, Bioproducts and Bioenergy at University of Maine. For professional cooking perspective, I interviewed and presented boards to Jennifer Boye, executive chef of The Mansion on Delaware and Nickel City Chef; Michael Dimmer, chef of The Black Market Food Truck and Marble + Rye; and Ken Legnon, sushi chef at Seabar (and soon to join Marble + Rye). I also interviewed Chad Ward, author of An Edge in the Kitchen, about many aspects of choosing and maintaining cutting boards, and specifically about how knife edges interact with boards.

Who should get this?

You’ll find boards made from a range of materials, but according to our experts, plastic and wood are the best for most kitchens.
A cutting board is essential for nearly any kitchen, and most experts recommend having at least two: one for cutting raw meats, poultry, and fish; the other for vegetables and other raw foods. You’ll find boards made from a range of materials, but according to our experts, plastic and wood are the best for most kitchens. Which type you invest in depends on your cooking and cleaning style.

  • Plastic: Plastics are harder on knife edges and will show more gouge marks than wood, but are much easier to clean—which is why we think they’re best for most people. They can be run through the dishwasher, making them more versatile for prepping things like raw meat. All plastic boards scar over time, and the deeper cuts are where bacteria hide out. Most of the experts we spoke with recommend replacing plastic boards every two years. When a sponge or dishcloth snags on the board, or your knife skips over deep cuts, it’s time for a new one. The same goes for warped boards.
  • Wood: Although attractive and easier on knives, wood boards require more maintenance than plastic—they must be washed carefully and oiled on a regular schedule. You’ll find them in two styles: end and edge grain. End grain boards are made of a number of board ends glued together, and they can be more gentle on knives, because the edge slides between the vertical wood fibers. Cuts and other marks tend to close more efficiently, self-healing over time, but the exposed ends also make them easier to dry out, stain, and crack. Edge grain boards (like our Proteak pick) are the sides of boards glued together in alternating strips, with the sides (edges) facing up. These boards tend to be harder on knife edges than end grain, but they also withstand moisture-based cracking and splitting better, and are easier to clean. (This diagram illustrates the difference between end and edge grain nicely.)
  • Composite and other materials: Composite boards are essentially many layers of Richlite baked and pressed together. They are food-safe and easily maintained, but generally quite tough on knife edges. You’ll also find granite and glass boards, but these are even worse for retaining a sharp blade.

How we picked and tested

Many experts strongly recommend having one board large enough to chop several ingredients at once: at least 15 inches along one side. Chad Ward notes in An Edge in the Kitchen: “A cutting board 15 inches by 20 inches is about the functional limit for most household sinks … however, you need as much size as you can get to prevent stuff running off onto your countertops.” Sushi chef Ken Legnon agreed, but said 16 by 22 is his favorite size. Since upgrading to a 15-by-20 board for the first version of this guide, I would never go back.

cutting boards group shot

The wood and composite boards we tested, over more than four months of regular use. Kevin Purdy

A groove near the board’s edges not only collects juices from roasts, ripe tomatoes, and such, but also can stop stray bits before they tumble off the board. We specifically looked for plastic boards with this feature. Plastic is a better surface for prepping raw meat, as it’s less likely to stain and can be washed in a dishwasher. Generally, a handle or two makes transporting a board easier. This also helps keep your hands free from a contaminated cutting surface.

The best boards sit solidly, without sliding on a countertop. “You want ease in movement with your knife, not the board,” said chef Boye, who dismissed many of our test boards as too light, even with rags underneath them. Plastic boards tend to be more squirrelly, although some compensate for this by adding borders or feet made of rubbery materials. Heavier wood boards move less, but can also be a bear to move for cleaning or storage.

How the board feels under a knife, and how easily it cleans and stores matter most.
How a board looks matters mostly if you’re going to keep it out on a counter. But how the board feels under a knife, and how easily it cleans and stores matter most.

cutting boards group shot

The plastic boards we put through chopping, slicing, beet-staining, garlic-rubbing, and sometimes dishwashing tests. Kevin Purdy

In our original guide, we suggested people buy one wood and one plastic board. But after long-term testing, and considering advice from more experts and Sweethome editors with wood boards, we’re convinced wood isn’t for everyone. Two plastic boards can work just fine. Others may simply not have room for a big slab of wood, or might want, as chef Michael Dimmer put it, a board they can “leave in a sink overnight, or when (they) have people over, and no harm done.”

When asked what board they’d most want to cut on, the chefs I spoke with tended to pick wood or teak blocks. But when asked what they’d buy for a 22-year-old nephew or niece moving into their first apartment on their own, they each replied with some variation of “a plastic board they’ll probably treat terribly and replace in two years”—similar to the boards they received from restaurant supply stores.

To find the best boards to test, we looked for recommendations from trusted editorial sources, like Cook’s Illustrated and the New York Times. We compiled the recommendations of commenters on our site, as well as those from Chowhound, ChefTalk, and Serious Eats forums. We also looked at the best-selling and well-reviewed boards on Amazon, CuttingBoard.com, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

For this update, we considered 30 wood, plastic, composite, and rubber boards that fit our criteria. We discarded those that were too small, too big or thick for most kitchens, or difficult to reliably locate and buy. In the end, we called in 22 boards—nine plastic, eight wood, four composite, and one set of rubber mats—for testing.

chef michael dimmer

Chef Michael Dimmer of the Black Market Food Truck trying out a plastic board. Kevin Purdy

Over the course of four months, we used all of the boards, on a rotating basis, in one editor’s kitchen for everyday cooking. We also traded a handful of contenders and quirky boards between other Sweethome editors and writers for testing.

roasted beet test cutting boards

Rubbing a roasted beet on half of each cutting board to test stain absorption and ease of removal.Kevin Purdy

Additionally, we recorded each board’s performance in specific tests. We looked to see if they fit in a standard dishwasher, semi-standard (15- by 20-inch) sink, or a divided 15- by 15-inch sink. We noted whether the boards stained or retained odors after letting beet juice and garlic paste, respectively, sit on them for 15 minutes. We cut a total of 15 pounds of onions and 8 pounds of carrots, noting the sound and feel of the boards, and whether they scarred. To see how well the boards healed after heavy knife use, we cut crusty bread and soft, raw bacon with a serrated knife, and intentionally marked them with a square of deep cuts. We also noted how much each board slipped across a granite countertop, with and without a towel placed underneath.

garlic paste cutting boards test

Garlic paste (before being evenly smeared), applied to each cutting board to test odor absorption. Kevin Purdy

Finally, with assistance from Wirecutter/Sweethome science editor Leigh Boerner, we researched materials that made up each board1: wood grains and glues, composite resins, and the major types of plastic used in cutting boards, polyethylene (high-density and low-density) and polypropylene.

In the end, we found that form, function, and feel were a better guide to picking out a good cutting board than a strict focus on knife edge retention. If you have a quality knife made of hard steel, the differences in how one plastic board affects your knife edge versus another is small, and offset by many other factors: acids, interactions with different foods, and other kitchen happenings. It was certainly considered—and one of our chef experts was particularly concerned with it—but if you regularly sharpen (and steel) your chef’s knife, none of the cutting boards we considered will cause you to lose your knife edge midway through dinner prep.

Our pick

Prepworks Cutting Board
This plastic board resists warping, staining, and strong odors better than other plastic boards, while featuring a juice groove, carrying handle, and a textured surface that makes it easier to use.
The Prepworks cutting board from Progressive International ($15-$17 in two sizes) has the best combination of kitchen performance and easy maintenance of any board we tested. The textured plastic makes for easier slicing and keeps the board from slipping better than other models. It dulls knife blades less and is quieter to cut on than harder plastic versions. It doesn’t hold onto stains or smells and it fits in a dishwasher, where it has shown resistance to warping. It comes in the best size we’ve found and has a better juice groove and handle than nearly any other board we tested. For its very reasonable price, you can’t beat what you’re getting.

prepworks board

The dual cross-hatched surfaces of the Prepworks board makes it kinder to knives, and helps it hold onto food and towels underneath. Scott Gable

The rough texture was the closest match to the kinds of plastic boards used by the chefs we interviewed, and it’s much more forgiving to knife marks.
Most plastic boards are entirely smooth, which lets food travel too much during cutting, and also tends to scar visibly. The Prepworks board has a cross-hatched texture on both sides that keeps chopped bits of food from sliding and that also helps a knife’s edge glide more smoothly. The rough texture was the closest match to the kinds of plastic boards used by the chefs we interviewed, and it’s much more forgiving to knife marks. The texture also helped it stick to a towel on a counter better than any other board.

professional chef's plastic board

What a professional chef’s plastic board looks like after nearly two years on the job. Kevin Purdy

Because it’s made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE)1, the Prepworks is softer and slightly slower to dull knife blades than boards made of harder polypropylene (like our alternate plastic pick). Knife expert Chad Ward told us that while he lacks for definitive proof, he suspects that a “softer board will be easier on your edges than the harder board. … The harder board might roll (your knife edge) more readily, leading to more frequent steeling.” Again, though: This is all very relative, as plastic is certainly not harder than the steel of your knife. We also found the Prepworks quieter than polypropylene boards when rapidly chopping. The board’s half-inch thickness helps it absorb sound.

After four months of kitchen rotation, the only discolorations on the Prepworks board have occurred deep inside knife marks, and they are barely visible except up close. Other boards, particularly harder polypropylene models, are showing some dark slices. The same goes for odors: The Prepworks was tied as the most odor-resistant plastic board we tested. It hardly smelled one hour after it was smeared with garlic paste, and it was odorless five hours later.

The 17¼- by 11¼-inch version of the Prepworks is big enough to accommodate fabricating a chicken, carving a 6-pound roast, or holding four piles of chopped vegetables. Yet it’s also small enough to fit in most dishwashers. Many of the large plastic boards we tested were too tall on one side for dishwashers and for divided sinks. And while more testing is needed, the Prepworks has warped only very slightly after a dozen (regular cycle, not delicate) dishwasher runs—less than most other boards, which all warp slightly, and definitely not enough to impact the Prepworks’s stability.

prepworks juice groove

The juice groove on the Prepworks board collects more than enough liquid for most meal prep, and it doesn’t let liquids easily escape. Scott Gable

The juice groove on the Prepworks is deeper than those on two other plastic boards we tested, holding 11 teaspoons of liquid (roughly the juice from two lemons). That’s more than the similarly sized Premium Bamboo board’s 8 teaspoons, but far less than larger boards meant for roasts, like the Michigan Maple Block and Epicurean Gourmet Series boards we tested. We did find that the Prepworks’s groove was less likely to spill over when transporting the board than any of the wood versions we tested.

prepworks juice groove

Testing the capacity of the Prepworks board’s juice groove. Kevin Purdy

Some of the handles on our tested boards cramped our fingers, or were so big and close to the center that they captured food bits. The handle on the Prepworks, by comparison, is big enough for four large fingers, and because it’s positioned outside the juice groove, food is less likely to roll into the handle’s opening.

For what you get, the Prepworks is a bargain. At $15 to $17, it costs less than any wood or composite board we tried, and it’s cheaper than all but two plastic boards we tested. It’s covered by a satisfaction guarantee stating that products are “warranted to be free from defects under normal use.”

Amazon buyers love the Prepworks: 295 reviewers give it a 4.6 average rating (out of five). We found a perfect summation of this board from verified buyer “2Dogs1Bowl”: “Doesn’t warp the way wood does, you can throw it in the dishwasher, and it has just the right texture for cutting. Doesn’t look fancy or anything, but gets the job done, and doesn’t need any special care.”

Flaws, but not dealbreakers

With heavy use, our pick’s very-white surface will darken with knife marks in the middle. White plastic doesn’t age as gracefully as a more translucent gray (like that of our runner-up), or black or dark brown—and certainly not like wood. The upshot? It’s easier to see when the Prepworks should be washed than with darker boards.

As noted earlier, the Prepworks board requires a rag, towel, or, in a pinch, a moistened paper towel underneath it to stay in place on a smooth counter like granite or composite. This is a habit you should get into regardless: Even with grips or feet, any plastic board should be stabilized.

Unlike some other plastic, wood, and composite boards we tested, the Prepworks is not NSF certified, but it hardly matters. NSF certification is mainly intended for professional kitchens, and many boards from well-known manufacturers—OXO, IKEA, and Oneida, to name a few—lack NSF certification.

Finally, while the textured surface of the Prepworks board helped keep food in place and gripped rags and towels better, minced onions and cucumbers stuck to the surface, requiring a second, more thorough knife scrape-down to get them off. And a serrated knife will quickly chew up the polyethylene surface. If you have a hard-crusted loaf to saw into, do that on another surface.

Runner-up

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.

OXO Good Grips 15-inch by 21-inch Cutting Board
This board is expensive for plastic and isn’t quite as pleasant to cut on as the Prepworks, but it comes in larger sizes than our primary pick and looks a tad nicer.
If you need a larger board than the Prepworks, the OXO Good Grips Cutting Board comes in a reversible 15- by 21-inch size ($25). It was our prior plastic pick, and we still think it’s a quality cutting board. But it’s slightly expensive for a plastic board, and it’s not as pleasant to cut on as the Prepworks.

The OXO Good Grips cutting board, after two years of solid service in a home kitchen. Scott Gable

The OXO Good Grips cutting board, after two years of solid service in a home kitchen. Scott Gable

The OXO is made with a harder, more slick material (polypropylene), with some slight marbling applied to give the surface more grip. Your knife won’t gouge the plastic on most chops and slices, but when it does cut in, it locks your knife in place as if it’s cutting on a rail. It’s a small thing that only happens sometimes, but it happens. The board is also louder to cut on than our main pick, especially if you don’t have a particularly thick towel or rag underneath it.

oxo good grips board knife marks

The knife marks on an OXO Good Grips cutting board, after two years of use. Scott Gable

Our OXO board also bent more than we would have liked through two years of use, despite never going into the dishwasher. That slight bend somewhat negated the rubberized feet, as not all four make firm contact with the counter. And in our more recent testing, it held onto odors longer than the Prepworks.

oxo god grips feet

The OXO board’s counter-gripping “feet” become less useful if the board warps. Kevin Purdy

That said, the OXO is still a better board than most. After two years of long-term testing, it has been worth its price. It is rather light for its size and easy to handle. It looks professional and more presentable than most plastic boards. The juice groove on the 15- by 21-inch board holds roughly 9 tablespoons of liquid, about twice as much as the Prepworks’s groove. It won’t fit into most dishwashers, but its smaller version, at 10½ by 15 inches, will.

The board receives an average of 4.5 stars across 981 user reviews on Amazon. Negative reviews address two main concerns: counter slipping, when the board is used with only its rubber feet and no towel underneath, and knife scarring. Cook’s Illustrated and our own testing saw an OXO board scar under hundreds of knife marks, but so does any board. Another note: Do not buy the strange bamboo version of this board, intentionally or accidentally. It is not well-reviewed.

All of OXO’s products are covered by a satisfaction guarantee, which states that you can return any product for any reason if you are not satisfied after contacting the company’s customer service department.

Also great if you want a hefty wood board

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $73.

Proteak Rectangular Edge-Grain Cutting Board
This beautiful teak board requires more careful cleaning than plastic boards, but it feels better under a knife and it’s easier to maintain than other wood boards. It gets bonus points for its size, counter stability, and eco-conscious maker.
For a wood option, we highly recommend the Proteak Rectangular Edge-Grain Cutting Board. It feels better under a knife than all but one board we tested, and it’s easier to maintain. It stays in place with minimal help, but it is not so heavy that you can’t easily move it. Proteak grows and processes its own sustainably harvested teak, and the company’s boards look striking and sophisticated. It’s still far more vulnerable to moisture damage and staining than plastic, and cleaning it after cutting meats takes far more effort, but for those with the counter space and the patience for every-other-month oilings, the Proteak is worth it.

In every test, the Proteak allowed for smooth motion with a very sharp knife, both parallel to and against the grain. Compared with the dry-feeling Michigan Maple Block, the too-hard Premium Bamboo board, or the sometimes too-soft hinoki boards we tested, the teak was hard enough to allow for clean cuts, but soft enough to feel smooth while maintaining a relatively sharper knife edge. Sushi chef Ken Legnon agreed: “It’s durable, but it still helps maintain your edge, long-term.” Cook’s Illustrated calls the Proteak “knife-friendly.” Amazon buyers cite the Proteak’s “great feel” in many reviews.

Teak also fights off moisture more effectively than the most common wood cutting board materials, so it requires less oiling. In fact, Teak has been used in boatbuilding for more than 2,000 years because of its remarkable moisture-fighting properties. It is “the gold standard for (rot) resistance.” Its 2.0 shrinkage (T/R) ratio is about the lowest of any wood considered hard enough to be used as a cutting board. That’s likely why the Proteak looked better after months of kitchen duty than our prior maple pick from Boos. In their own tests, Cook’s (subscription required) found the Proteak “retained its satiny, flat surface,” due in part to oily resins sealed in the board, even after three months of heavy use in its test kitchens (“the equivalent of years of use in the average home kitchen”).

proteak rectangular board

Slight beet stains are visible in the grain of a Proteak edge-grain cutting board, but wore off roughly one week later. Kevin Purdy

The 15- by 20-inch, 1.5-inch-thick model of the Proteak clocks in at 12 pounds, and it barely budges on some counters. Sliding even just one or two layers of damp paper towels underneath eliminates any minor movements. The Proteak board has handles that, while oddly shallow and unfinished, do help with lifting the board. If counter stability without a towel was more important to you than reversibility, you could easily glue some rubber feet to this board.

Like well-established hardwood board makers, Proteak offers reams of information about the wood it uses: its planting, harvesting, carbon policies, and certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council. The company’s edge-grain cutting boards are harvested on Mexico’s pacific coast, then processed in Vietnam. Proteak’s wood is specifically not sourced from Burma, where human rights abuses have caused some nations to ban Burmese teak imports.

Each Proteak board is different, more so than with maple boards, and ages over time into richer colors. Our sample board arrived with alternating dark stripes and rich brown sections. Chef Jennifer Boye, who collects cutting boards, was quickly drawn to its unique looks and pattern, and recommended it as her top wood pick. At least three coworkers who saw this board when it arrived praised its appearance. As it has been stained, smeared, cut upon, and slightly abused, the wood has not taken on a lighter, worn appearance at the center as with a Boos board we tested. It has simply picked up a few marks here and there.

Proteak warranties its products for one year against “defects in workmanship and material,” but not “damage resulting from neglect or misuse of the product”—a very standard warranty for a wood cutting board.

As noted, Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country (the same parent company) highly recommend the Proteak in two separate articles. Amazon reviewers have given Proteak’s boards 4.3 and 4.0 star averages (for the 20 by 15 and 24 by 18 sizes, respectively).

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The biggest flaw for any wood board is the need for maintenance and caution with liquids to avoid warping, cracking, and splitting.

Teak withstands moisture better than most woods, but you must still keep liquids or even subtle moisture from sitting on the board for more than a few minutes. After you’re done cutting, you should wipe the board down with warm, soapy water, but never immerse the board in a sink full of water. And you must oil the board―roughly once a month, or more if the board gets “thirsty” (more on this in Care and maintenance).

proteak rectangular board

The handle notches on the Proteak board are both shallow and unfinished inside. Scott Gable

The Proteak’s glaring design flaw is the handles. They’re shallow, so you get only your fingertips into the board. What you feel inside is the unfinished end of the teak pieces. It’s not an unbearable experience, but it’s an incongruous bit of an otherwise solidly built board.

The Proteak lacks a juice groove. We generally recommend cutting meats and messy things on your plastic board, but if you’re dedicated to using only one board in your kitchen, you’d do well to invest in a mat to cover this board for juicy foods.

Care and maintenance

It’s simple to keep plastic boards clean and ready for work. Whenever possible, use the dishwasher to sanitize them, particularly after working with meats. Use the dishwasher’s delicate/econo setting, or set a timer to pull out the board during the drying cycle to keep boards from warping. If the dishwasher isn’t an option, experts recommend a hard scrubbing with soapy water under fast-flowing water. Using a dishcloth is ideal, because they dry out before they can cultivate bacteria and transfer it to your board.

For wood boards, Chad Ward’s An Edge in the Kitchen offers two cleaning techniques if you need more than a quick, soapy wipe-and-dry after chopping. One is to keep a spray bottle filled with a 25 percent vinegar, 75 percent water solution. Spray your board down with the solution, then either turn it on its side to dry (perhaps in a dish drainer) or wipe it down after a bit of soaking. This works for a plastic board, too, if you can’t get it into the sink or dishwasher.

For real peace of mind, and for boards too big to pick up and turn over, Ward recommends making a thick paste of kosher salt and water, rubbing it across the surface of your wood board, letting it sit overnight, and scraping it off in the morning (with a bench scraper, if you have one). Smells, stains, and germs should be gone.

Proteak offers a variety of cleaning techniques for its boards, including undiluted vinegar, a hydrogen peroxide solution, and bleach. Ward, however, recommends against using bleach, and so do we after seeing how it dried and discolored a Boos board after one night under a towel soaked in diluted bleach (per Cook’s recommendation).

“When we’re doing long-term wood testing, when we want products to fail? We put them under water,” said Brian Brashaw, program director at the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
To avoid the chance of cracking or warping, never, ever leave liquids on a wood board (and don’t even think about immersing it in a sink!). “When we’re doing long-term wood testing, when we want products to fail? We put them under water,” said Brian Brashaw, program director at the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth. “Water is the enemy of the wood in your home.”

There is no one schedule for oiling boards, much like there is no one schedule for watering plants—it depends on the environment in which you’re storing the board. When we asked our wood experts, chefs, and Chad Ward how often they oil their wood boards, the universal answer was “less often than I should.” Proteak recommends oiling every week or two; Cook’s suggests twice a year for the Proteak board. Every month is a smart middle ground for the Proteak, with some grace built into the more humid summer months. But there is absolutely no harm in oiling your board if it looks thirsty. We like this tutorial.

The competition

Very close contenders

shun hinoki board sushi bar

A Shun Hinoki cutting board, shown at Seabar in downtown Buffalo, New York. Kevin Purdy

We loved how our knives felt under the Shun Hinoki cutting board ($60), made of very forgiving Japanese cypress. It smells like rich cedar and was the favorite board of sushi chef Legnon, and Sweethome editors were impressed. But it requires wetting before you cut on it. Even then, we found it absorbed odors. “After cutting garlic, zucchini, squash, bok choy, and broccoli, it smells a little food-y,” one Sweethome writer said. It also scars very badly; a serrated knife will butcher this board. We think this is too high maintenance for most people. At $60, it’s also spendy, and you can likely find cheaper hinoki boards.

shun hinoki beet test stain

Stains from beet testing remained on the hinoki board for weeks after initial exposure. Kevin Purdy

Oneida’s Colours 16-inch cutting board ($15) has rubberized grips on two ends and comes in a nice size, but it doesn’t have a juice groove and we found its large handle holes allow juice to drip on the counter. This would be less of an issue if the 20- by 12-inch version with a juice groove were available; the company could not help us locate one in stock.

The Dexas 14- by 17-inch Pastry Super Board ($14) feels smooth under a sharp knife, and the surface has a roughed-up texture that keeps food from slipping. The board’s Midnight Granite color hides knife marks and stains. But this board slips quite a bit, even with damp towels underneath. It’s too large for many dishwashers, and we also found it warped after a dozen runs through the dishwasher.

This reversible maple board by Boos ($80) was our previous wood board pick. It feels good under a knife and has held up over two years of testing, and counter slipping is almost non-existent (given the board’s 18-pound heft). But this board requires a lot more upkeep than the Proteak. It developed a small crack in the handle after the first year of use. Even with regular oilings, it has developed a lightened circle near the center where the majority of cutting happens. The board looks better after monthly oilings, but often appears dried out, especially in winter months.

boos reversible maple cutting board

A 24- by 18-inch Boos reversible maple cutting board. Kevin Purdy

The first version of this guide had a 15-inch Boos Chop-N-Slice board ($55) as its top recommendation. After seeing a downward trend in Amazon reviews for the board, and learning more about how the wood dries, splits, and cracks, we recommend a slightly thicker board made from more forgiving materials.

Brooklyn Butcher Block’s edge-grain board in Walnut ($80) was a wonderfully dark and rich-looking board, and its 12- by 18-inch size was about the same as our main plastic pick. It felt like it was scraping quite often during our onion slicing tests, and requires just as much oiling and moisture avoidance as other wood picks. Otherwise, it performed quite well, but we don’t think it’s quite as good a value as the Proteak.

Mats

A few different experts and chefs told us they used colored cutting mats, either on top of wood boards or on other surfaces. We tried out three Enviroboard antimicrobial mats ($25 for three), color-coded for chicken, fish, and vegetable cutting. They are thicker than most other meat mats, and round instead of square, like the popular and functional CounterArt ($10 for four) and Prepworks ($13 for six) mats. They also have a gripping texture and a very slight juice groove. The handle hole on the Enviroboards seems like an odd choice given the juices you’re working with. But being able to toss them into the dishwasher or microwave to utterly sterilize them did make cleaning up quick. Mats are recommended if you make a good number of multi-meat feasts or lack the space to store multiple cutting boards.

Composite boards

We tried out a few composite boards, including three boards from Epicurean: a 15- by 11-inch Kitchen board in Nutmeg Brown ($25), an 8-by-6 Kitchen board in Natural ($12), and a 15- by 20-inch Gourmet Series board with a slate core ($75). We also tested a 15- by 10-inch board from The Adventuresome Kitchen ($30), a family business. Overall, we found them too hard on kitchen knives and our experts agreed. When he tried them, Buffalo chef Michael Dimmer said they “feel like nails on a chalkboard … just too hard.” Chad Ward says he likes to use this kind of board when staying at a cabin or bringing food to a friend’s house. But overall, they’re not great for daily use.

Rubber

We considered some rubber cutting boards, most notably Sani-tuff rubber mats, a favorite of cooks and knife enthusiasts. But because these mats are very heavy, sometimes only available through specialty vendors, and almost always come in hospital-beige colors, we didn’t think they were best for most home cooks and opted not to test.

Bamboo

The surface on the Premium Bamboo ($35) we tested truly felt like it was grinding our knife edge. Picking up small bits of onion with our fingers was difficult, as the surface felt dry and scraped our fingertips. The unfinished juice groove was especially unpleasant, and it allowed its 8 teaspoons of liquid to easily leak out at the slightest tilt. Bamboo might work better as a stylish cheese or serving board.

Other plastic boards

Williams-Sonoma offers an exclusive antibacterial cutting board ($25). It’s a good size at 16-by-12 inches, and it has Microban-like bacterial protection baked into its plastic. Its texture is similar to the Prepworks, if not quite as gripping, and its knife feel is better than most dismissed boards. But its wide, smooth 11-teaspoon juice groove releases liquids more easily than the Prepworks or OXO, and its handles are so barely indented as to be superfluous. And $25, plus shipping, is a bit much for a plastic board this size.

We liked the counter-gripping feet and the surface texture on the Dexas Granite Grippboard ($14). If Dexas made this board at a size larger than 11-by-14 inches, it would have made it into another round of testing, but this model could barely hold half a diced onion. It also took on deep orange/red stains after a run through the dishwasher and it warped slightly.

The 15-by-20 Cutting Board Company plastic board ($18) doesn’t have handles, grooves, or any other stand-out features. Onion dicing felt good, carrot dicing was a bit loud, and a very sharp knife made mostly shallow surface scratches. But this board slips wherever you push it on a counter. It is so flat and lightly textured that it can suction itself to very smooth counters if moisture gets underneath it. There’s just nothing particularly great about this board.

We found the Stanton Trading Company’s board ($25) softness can be off-putting while slicing and chopping, and after a week’s worth of meal prep, the board had cuts on it that felt too deep . A serrated knife left remarkably deep scars on this board.

IKEA’s Legitim chopping board ($2) is 13½ by 9½ inches of quarter-inch-thin polyethylene. You can bend it with your hands. A freshly sharpened knife leaves murderous gouges in it. It does cost less than $2, but it’s wasteful for anything except slicing single fruits.

Other wood boards

This 12-by-18 end-grain cherry board by Brooklyn Butcher Block ($150) illustrated the trade-offs of end-grain boards over edge-grain too perfectly. Its offset bricklayer-style pattern looks quite nice, it stays right in place, and slicing and dicing on this board felt good. After weeks of rotation and some intentionally abusive tests, this board looked almost untouched. But it still had not lost its beet stains after a few months and a few lemon/salt scrubs, and its sides tend to dry out more frequently than other boards. For those willing to care for it, this $150 board could be worth the price, but we think Brooklyn’s long-grain (edge-grain) board looks and cuts about as nicely for about half the price.

The 18-by-12-inch Michigan Maple Block board we tested was nowhere near as finished as it appeared in its online image. After two thorough oilings with board cream, the board’s surface still felt like freshly sawn wood. That’s likely why, months after our beet staining test, and after two attempts to scrub out the stains with lemons and a kosher salt paste, the Michigan Maple board still looked like evidence in a (vegetable) murder case. The board’s size, weight, and handles make it a good midpoint between leaving out and stashing in a drawer, but the wood looks and feels constantly “thirsty.” It requires a good deal of caution and upkeep for $55.

michigan maple end grain cherry butcher block beet stains

Both the Michigan Maple Block (top) and an end-grain cherry butcher block never quite recovered from a beet staining test; they carry weaker versions of these stains to this day. Kevin Purdy

Bengston Woodworks sent us a sample cube of their end-grain boards. We couldn’t put it through all the tests we put other boards through, but its artistic patchwork look drew just as many stares and praises from people who spotted it. If you really want to create a home base for food prep in your house, and you can dedicate yourself to caring for it, you’d do well to order a board from Bengston or Brooklyn Butcher Block.

Footnotes:

1. Most plastic cutting boards are made of either high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polypropylene (PP), or occasionally a proprietary blend of polyethylene and polypropylene. The very short version of the differences between the two types of polymers is that polypropylene is harder but more brittle, while polyethylene, particularly high-density polyethylene, is softer but more flexible. Jump back.

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Sources

  1. Abrishami, S. H., Tall, B. D., Bruursema, T. J., Epstein, P. S. and Shah, D. B., Bacterial Adherence and Viability on Cutting Board Surfaces, Journal of Food Safety Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 153–172, May 1994
  2. Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D, Plastic and Wooden Cutting Boards, UC Davis
  3. Chad Ward, The Dirty Truth About Cutting Boards, The Daily Beast
  4. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Cutting Board Safety
  5. Cook's Illustrated, Cutting Board Cleanup, Cook's Illustrated
  6. Bamboo cutting board--too hard?, ChowHound/Chow forums
  7. Chad Ward, An Edge in the Kitchen, Interview
  8. Doug Gardner, professor of Forest Operations, Bioproducts and Bioenergy at University of Maine, Interview, http://www.forest.umaine.edu/prospective-students/undergraduate-programs/forest-operations-bioproducts-bioenergy/
  9. Teak, The Wood Database
  10. NSF Certification, Cooking for Engineers

Originally published: July 31, 2015

  • thdamon

    I’ve always wondered at the comparative merits of some of these alternative materials.. like a natural pulp composite. Any advantage/disadvantage to stuff like this? http://www.amazon.com/Epicurean-Kitchen-11-Inch-Cutting-Natural/dp/B0008F6ST4/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1369784642&sr=1-1&keywords=epicurean+cutting+board

    • Dave Joyce

      I agree. We bought an Epicurean, but it doesn’t look like this type of board was considered in the review. Which I was surprised by since you all are usually very thorough.

  • jtr3

    Thank you for including the need for two separate cutting boards. Cross-contamination was a huge part of my food safety training, and for good reason. Also, it was good that you included board maintenance tips. One additional note, which may be obvious to some, is that wood cutting boards should be stored on their edge (preferably the longest edge) to help prevent premature warping.

    • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

      2 years later, but! Where did you train in food safety, out of curiosity?

  • Alexei S

    Wash your board with baking powder… Did you mean to say baking soda? I have not heard of washing with baking powder, just wanted to confirm; thanks!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Good catch! Fixed. Thank you!

  • Steve K.

    Several amazon reviews claiming it cracked really fast. What’s the deal?

  • Judy Lee Thurber

    What about glass cutting boards? I’ve used a Corning Glass board for many years, and I’m very happy with it. I think it probably dulls knives faster, but nothing that can’t be remedied.

    • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

      I think that perhaps the only consistent thing I’ve found, repeated over and over, over more than 120 hours of reading and interviewing and testing, is that glass cutting boards are better used for serving than cutting. They are brutal on knives.

  • Mary Hofstra

    I didn’t see anything mentioned about what the cutting board can do to the knives. Is it true that some boards are better than others when it comes to making the knife dull? Or is that just a gimmick?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      See under our section ‘On Wood’

      Not just any wood will do though. Maple is preferred, whereas bamboo should be avoided.

      Furthermore, wood does treat knives better and will last longer with proper care. Plastic is easy to clean and not too expensive to toss when it gets too scarred. But you want the right kind of wood—knife-friendly and classic, but not too fussy—and you want a plastic board that isn’t too cruddy.

  • Joshua Kwan

    I also shied away from the John Boos due to the sufficiently consistent Amazon reviews about it cracking (though clearly you’re investigating this already as seen in your warning). Any experience with the J.K. Abrams Pro Classic boards?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Yes we set it to wait status because of this

      • Evan

        I replaced my Boos with a Warther cutting board and won’t ever go back.

  • Jay P

    I tend to make really juicy roasts and try to save the juice. Any recommendation for a cutting board with deep grooves and maybe a juice holding tray. Amazingribs recommends a Boo’s Newton prep master but Id prefer something more affordable.

    • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

      Our OXO Good Grips pick has a juice groove that should hold a lot of the juice your roasts produce. But, mind you, you should wait a bit before cutting in. If you’re producing that much juice, you’re losing a good bit of moisture!

      (You likely know this, but in case anyone stops by in reading!)

  • ola

    Deska do krojenia jedynie drewniana. Solidna gruba z twardego drzewa. Mam taka z Wood-Idea.pl

    uzywam jej ciagle praktycznie do wszystkiego. nie ma zadnych problemow z peknieciami czy zabrudzeniami. jest ona olejowana co pozwala mi na utrzymanie jej w czystosci. Polecam!!!

  • eaadams

    While doing your upgrade, seriously look at the Ikea wood cutting board. It is huge, has a front lip, and can be flipped over and has a small juice catcher. But what is great about it is the way the lip hangs off the front of your counter, you can slide it over the edge of your sink to easily dump stuff down the garbage disposal. You have to oil it but once you do that it is well worth it and CHEAP. 100% recommended. It isn’t super thick and if it gets too wet it will warp, but who cares, so cheap throw it away and buy new.

  • John Crosby

    Echoing the desire for a more thorough discussion of Epicurean type boards. The potential problems mentioned with wood pulp or compressed boards such as Epicurean seem inconsistent and overstated. I’m not criticizing your research just sharing that the experience of those I know who use them is different, including my own experience of using one daily for years. I think the only way I’d chip mine is by dropping a bulldozer on it. But any potential knife damage is of concern, yet I can’t imagine plastic is any better.

    Also, Epicurian now has boards with plastic sleeves around corners for grip and color options to differntiate usage. (Ok, only two colors.

  • John Crosby

    When will this update be completed?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      It’s being worked on as I type this, but no ETA.

      • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

        For what it’s worth, I am writing it right now :)

  • Ryan

    “You need both a wood and a plastic cutting board.”

    I don’t quite understand and have done a very brief duration of searching online for anywhere else saying this, but didn’t find anything yet. What about two wooden ones? What about two plastic ones? You say that I can use either to be designated for meat or produce/other (for bacteria concerns), but why “one of each” wood and plastic? One of the factors was knive dulling, which wood won on that, if I’m understanding correctly. Plastic requires a bit less maintenance. I suppose you can be designating, for example, wood for some sort of reasons that it’s be better in some way for cutting veggies, and plastic being a less-involved cleanup or less risk of ruining the surface (with all those juices and cleaning needs) for meat. But aside from those small possibilities, I’m dulling my knife on a plastic board whenever I’m cutting veggies, which might be better than using plastic exclusively, but I just plain don’t get why I need “one of each”. I’ve been around nasty kitchens or bloody game and haven’t had any health effects (that I know of or yet to have), but if I can help it I might make efforts, so let’s assume that I want less germs. I’ve been in a kitchen where I couldn’t tell which side of the knife had the blade and it was duller than a butter knife.
    So, as far as germs are concerned, 2 boards seems to be the simple answer.
    As far as knives are concerned, wooden boards and sharpening are the answers. Am I missing why I’d want plastic, aside from lessening the rate I’m dulling and also frugality?
    I’m doing a huge purchase of many items listed on TheSweetHome, so I’m tying up the last few things before my deadline. I’m glad to see the new picks on the updates. I’m putting some relatively heavy coin towards other categories and don’t want to make a foolish mainstream-minded decision. I suppose I’m getting 2 boards and might want to allocate my funds on more enjoyable/important (personal preference) things, but if I ever get a fancier knife than one of the budget picks I’ve been looking at, I might appreciate some things to maintain it, such as one of the mentioned magnetic holders and a better board. For now, I only have so much experience and am leaning towards a bit of convenience in some areas.

    I might as well list some things I’m planning. I’ve got that sous vide thing when it was on sale, got a bangin’ price on that Vitamix 5200 (can’t recall if it was a bit lower than the price listed on your deals, I think I was surprised), found an eBay code for free $$ so I got one of those Snapware discontinued container sets. All that’s sitting in my corner, unused, until I get a chance to open them after I move next week.
    I’ve got to decide between a vacuum, steamer, or shopvac, though I’m wanting to push my luck with the broom TheSweetHome reviewed (on my list). I’m trying to do research on stockpots and anything else you guys haven’t (yet) reviewed. I’ve seen The Container Store as a merchant you sometimes link to, so I’ve gathered a few candidates for kitchen organizers. I like industrial/commercial heavy duty, so I’m about to compare what Home Depot or Lowe’s has as far as those beautiful garage-type shelving. Silverware and dishes is gonna be a bit difficult, but I’ve done reading for some learning and seen pictures (for style and I can only imagine the weight). Your Small Apartment guide’s gonna do some good, but I gotta fill in the blanks by researching some items not listed, all the while filtering out the nay-sayers around me to just get cheap Dollar Store junk. I do research; I’ll find the best $5 or $500 umbrella so I don’t open it up on a rainy day and deal with the unreliability, risking walking to my job drenched and being sent home for appearances.
    Still weighing out some other items, since I might do without, for example, the mandoline slicer, food processor, immersion blender, pepper mill. I don’t know if I want my clothes ironed, since they look so nice when I pull them out of my pile with that nice wrinkled look, but maybe get a drying rack for my premium socks. Kitchen searing torch to use with sous vide, mortar and pestle to crush this lavender to make herbes de provence, a kill-a-watt (to save money by seeing what’s using energy, but it costs money to buy), your upgrade pick of rice cooker (I’m going crazy here with my priorities). I can’t do all of it, especially if I decide to buy thousands of $ worth of home fitness gear and a custom tri-fold mirror (which I doubt I’d manage for years to pay off any financing). I’ve had a decision on speakers for a year or two that I might make actions on soon enough. Commuting on my mountain bike makes me wonder if I should head over to TheWireCutter and do some research on various bike types and pick out some custom parts, but I’ve never really ridden anything worthwhile other than this mountain bike, so I’d be in for a surprise once I’m able to take a hybrid/other for a joyride. Alas, this one’s a hand-me-down, a decade or so old, and not worth enough on the market even if I wanted to part from it.
    Feel free to delete (entirely) or freely cut parts out of this long message. All that matters is that you know how much your readers appreciate your website and feel a resonation with each article and price hunt.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re updating this guide as it’s SUPER old & outdated!

      • Mr. NoBalls

        Still, this is a basic guide, the idea of why wood vs plastic shouldnt change unless you were grossly mistaken in the first edition of this guide, right?

        • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

          Indeed. The thing that’s changing is that we’re not going to recommend everybody get a wood board, because of the upkeep and gentle(r) care required. But two boards is still a very smart idea.

    • pbreit

      Wood’s better for all the chopping you do to vegetables. Non-wood cleans better which can be a concern when working with meat (and you don’t do much cutting with meat..maybe a slice here and there). Considering how much cutting boards are used and the price points, doesn’t seem like a big deal financially.

    • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

      It’s a bit tricky to address all of your questions and comments in linear fashion, in one comment. But! Our newest picks (listed at the top of the guide) still revolve around the idea of having two boards; we are just less insistent on everybody owning a wood board. Far less insistent.

      Plastic vs. wood, on a microbial/food safety level, go back and forth, endlessly, with proving and disproving studies on both sides. Cleaning your boards, whether with hot soapy water (but not immersing a wood board) or a dishwasher (for plastic only), is the best you can do.

      If this is part of a big build-out of your kitchen, by all means: get two plastic boards, and upgrade to wood when you get that nice knife down the road!

  • Jason M

    Any word as to when the new guide will be going up?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Not quite but soon!

      • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

        It’s in the editing phase, coming quite soon.

  • Nitin

    I am waiting for your guide to be updated so that I can make a decision on buying a cutting board.
    Please advise.

    Thanks

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re working on it!

      • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

        It’s coming real, real soon. In the meantime, our newest picks are in the update box up top:

        > After a year’s worth of long-term testing, we’re changing our top plastic and wood board picks. The Prepworks Progressive cutting board (11 ¼-by-17 1/4 inches) is the best workhorse plastic board for cutting vegetables and/or meats. It resists knife scars, cleans easily in a sink or dishwasher, is lightweight and easy to carry, collects juices in its groove, and hits a very reasonable price point. We also recommend an OXO Good Grips plastic board, our prior pick, for larger prep needs or better counter grip, and a wood ProTeak edge-grain cutting board for those willing to trade some maintenance for looks and better knife treatment. We’re planning a full update to this guide, with details on maintenance, cutting mats, and expert opinions, within the next month.

  • Ss

    Lol that OXO Good Grips board picture after “2 years of home use”.

    I cook daily on that thing and after 1.5 years of home use, there’s barely a scratch, let alone a stain or warp or rubber foot issue or anything. Does that person regularly throw their board into oncoming traffic or something?

  • El Duder

    If you have sharp enough knives, you pretty much have to go end grain, or you’ll end up resharpening too often. I have a Boos Butcher Block, and couldn’t be happier. It’s lasted a number of years, and I only oil it once every other month. It looks better than when I bought it. I sand it twice a year.

    • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

      It’s true: the sushi chef I spoke with has extremely expensive and sharp knives. He works on plastic every day with them, but he does sharpen every morning. Most of us aren’t cutting sushi, though, where a clean cut is so vital.

      I hope I conveyed properly that oiling every other month, keeping it free of moisture, and sanding twice a year isn’t something everybody wants to do for their cutting board. Big blocks from Boos, Brooklyn, and Bengston are, in a way, recommended: just not for everyone.

      • El Duder

        Yes. You did convey that well. And I think this happens to be a thorough article. There are claims, based on research, that wood boards are better at fighting bacteria buildup, but if you are putting your board in a dishwasher (which you can’t do with wood) it won’t matter.

        I also don’t need to worry about the warping and cracking common with wood boards, since my butcher block–which is actually an entire cart–is thick enough that neither are an issue.

        The only thing I’ll add is that sushi is hardly the only thing that requires precision cutting. Tomato skins, and other delicate fruits and vegetables will benefit from very sharp knives. But, again, like you say, most will hardly notice.

  • Paul Cypert

    If you’ve invested at all in your knife go wood. Worth the extra work needed to maintain it for aesthetic reasons alone :)

    • http://thepurdman.com Kevin Purdy

      Agreed! But having a nice wood board means you can use it for 90% of your cutting and chopping (diet and preferences depending), while keeping a plastic board or mat handy for the messy, meat-y stuff.

      • Paul Cypert

        True, it is nice having a few cheap plastic ones for really messy stuff like cleaning a fish. Worked one restaurant for a bit that did the color coded plastics and that did make things easy on massive prep jobs. But at home would avoid cutting into the board as much as you possible. Some plastic boards shred knives fast.