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Home Get smarter How-to How do I choose the right cutting board?

How-to

How do I choose the right cutting board?

A cutting board is, like a good kitchen knife and a great pan, indispensable in any kitchen. A good cutting board ensures that your edge and counter top won't damage. There is a great variety of cutting boards on the market. The difference between these boards can be found in the materials used, the size and the function of the board. To give a clear idea of what, according to us, is a good cutting board, we look at the materials used, the additional advantages and disadvantages and hygiene.

Material of the cutting board

Various materials are used when producing cutting boards. There are cutting boards made from wood, plastic, glass, stone or a mixture of wood pulp and resin. We will discuss the most-used materials.

Glass or stone

In order to prevent damage to a kitchen knife, and by that we mean the edge becoming blunt, it is important that the material of the cutting board is softer than the knife. For that reason cutting boards made from wood and plastic won't make your knives go blunt. Hard cutting boards made from stone or glass, however, will. They are easy to clean but every time the knife comes into contact with the board it will damage the edge. That is why we believe that a cutting board made from glass or stone is not suitable and we recommend that you only use these types of boards as serving boards.

Plastic

Despite the fact that plastic boards don't damage the edge of your knife we don't sell them. Why? Plastic has the tendency to scratch. This means that the razor-sharp knives we sell will easily leave deep scratches in the board. These scratches are difficult to clean and therefore the perfect place for bacteria. And all the cut-out plastic? Yes that ends up in your mouth!

For that reason we prefer wood, TPU or a mixture of wood pulp and resin.

Wood

Wood is a soft material that won't affect the edge of your kitchen knives. In addition, wood is a living material. It is flexible and will close on its own again. Most of the times wooden cutting boards are made from beech, birch, bamboo or walnut. The main advantage of a large wooden cutting board is that it is nice and firm on your counter tops and won't slide as you use your knife. 

A wooden cutting board is, however, not dishwasher proof and does require some maintenance. We will tell you how you can enjoy your wooden cutting board to its full extent. Read all about it in our info-topic: 'How do you maintain a wooden cutting board?'’

A wooden cutting board produced by Eden

Wood pulp and resin

Sage cutting boards are made from FSC-certified wood pulp and resin. The board is soft enough to not damage the knives and also extra hygienic because it isn't porous. As such the Sage cutting board adheres to the HACCP-norm. Compared to most 'regular' wooden cutting boards these boards are dishwasher proof. In addition to the fact that this board is amazing to use, it is also heat-resistant (up to 350 degrees) which means that you can also use it as a coaster.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane

The letters TPU stand for Thermoplastic Polyurethane. In short this material has some important advantages compared to 'normal' plastic cutting boards: it is scratch-resistant, flexible, won't absorb any smells or flavours and it doesn't give bacteria a chance. This materials works with you as you use it. As such you don't scratch the material which means your knives retain their sharpness. Another advantage is that these cutting boards are dishwasher proof. On the other hand, the solid, unique look and feel of the wood is lacking. TPU cutting boards are namely made in different colours.

Wüsthof TPU cutting boards

Hygienic cutting boards

It is sometimes said that wooden cutting boards aren't hygienic. This is actually not true. After all, when you cut into a cutting board and grooves start to emerge that is where the bacteria will accumulate. A groove in a plastic cutting board will close around the filth. You could try to wash it off, but chances are you won't be able to get all of it out. A wooden cutting board won't close around the dirt but will open up when you clean it. As such you can easily get rid of all the dirt. In addition, the tannins, an anti-bacterial quality in the wood, help out by killing a most of the bacteria. As long as a wooden cutting board is nicely oiled so that the pores are filled and have no room for bacteria, you don't have to worry.

Conclusion: what is the best material for a cutting board?

At Knivesandtools you can purchase different types of cutting boards. Are you looking for a solid cutting board that will also look amazing in your kitchen? If so wood is the best option. You do, however, need to maintain the board and clean it by hand.

Do you want a board to be dishwasher proof but also have the colour of wood? If so check out the Sage cutting boards. These boards also adhere to the HACCP norm.

Should a board be as thin as possible, be dishwasher proof and enhanced with different colours? If so the Wüsthof TPU cutting boards are the best option for you.


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