Recommended Cutting Boards?

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mauichef
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by mauichef »

Just got mine today so I will post some early impressions in the coming days.
Surprised how bendy it is. Gonna be a bitch finding a home for it as it will not be our #1 board.
LostHighway
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by LostHighway »

GuyDebord, props for your moniker.
GuyDebord » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:47 pm
Can someone please describe the texture and overall feeling of the Hi-Soft? Does it mark a lot?
I haven't used Hinoki boards and my experience with Tenryo Hi-Soft is still quite limited but, so far, I find that it is more resistant to marking than plastic boards. I haven't done side-by-side testing yet but my impressions is that the surface texture and feel of Hi-Soft is closer to plastic boards than hardwoods, i.e. a bit dead. Perhaps someone with better knife skills will have an alternative perspective but the board feel doesn't bother me. I'm liking the size of the Korin small (15.75" x 11.5") as I often carry the board to the cooktop to sweep ingredients directly into a pan and it is a good size for that and relatively rigid in that size.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by GuyDebord »

LostHighway wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:25 am GuyDebord, props for your moniker.
GuyDebord » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:47 pm
Can someone please describe the texture and overall feeling of the Hi-Soft? Does it mark a lot?
I haven't used Hinoki boards and my experience with Tenryo Hi-Soft is still quite limited but, so far, I find that it is more resistant to marking than plastic boards. I haven't done side-by-side testing yet but my impressions is that the surface texture and feel of Hi-Soft is closer to plastic boards than hardwoods, i.e. a bit dead. Perhaps someone with better knife skills will have an alternative perspective but the board feel doesn't bother me. I'm liking the size of the Korin small (15.75" x 11.5") as I often carry the board to the cooktop to sweep ingredients directly into a pan and it is a good size for that and relatively rigid in that size.
Thanks! Very useful info. Did you find that it stains or discolors?
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by enjay »

GuyDebord wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:16 pm Thanks! Very useful info. Did you find that it stains or discolors?
I have a Korin Hi-Soft. Unless you cut a large amount of carrots and tomatoes, and let 'em sit on the board for a while, it won't not stain; a quick soap and sponge wash will clean the board. And while I have not yet tried, a sales rep told me that it can be bleached (but not placed in a dishwasher) if badly stained.
canali
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by canali »

being a canuck, i'll probably be picking up this one from amazon.ca ...a cheaper made endgrain.


but the boards by Larchwood (which thus use Larchwood), located in the Cdn maritimes,
are just stunning! https://larchwoodcanada.com/?v=5ee7da924697
this being said, i'm not sure about using archwood for a cutting board (vs traditional maple or walnut etc)
..doing my research...https://www.chowhound.com/post/cutting- ... ood-812290

one brief review in this board: https://www.theblackpeppercorn.com/2014 ... ct-review/
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by GuyDebord »

Is there some sort of scale of cutting surface hardness or a definitive resource/reference for cutting board materials with advantages and disadvantages, both scientific and subjective?
canali
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by canali »

yes some janka hardness scale it seems.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

i found this article and site informative:
Which Cutting Boards are Best for Knives?
https://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/which ... or-knives/
open article and scroll down further for list of hardwoods and their ratings.(near bottom of article)
i get very diverse ops on the trendy wood of teak: some feel it's great, others feel it too hard for knives.

Wood Species Janka Hardness Grain Texture
Brazilian Walnut ( Ipe) 3600 Varying
Brazillian Cherry ( Jatoba) 2820 Interlocked
Olive 2700 Varying
Purpleheart 1860 Straight
Maple, Hard 1450 Straight
Bamboo 1400 Varying, with nodes
Birch, Yellow 1260 Straight
Teak, Plantation 1100 Straight
Walnut, Black 1010 Straight
Cherry, American 950 Straight, close
Acacia ( Monkeypod) 900 Straight, Varying
Eastern Larch ( Tamarack) 600 Spiral
Japanese Cypress ( Hinoki) 510 Straight

''A high Janka rating generally means that the wood will be more resistant to scoring, though a woodworker will tell you this is not always the case due to the grain and wood fibers. Some woods, such as cherry wood for example, are lower on the Janka scale, but can be difficult at times to work with. In regards to knives, a wood grain that is straight will often be better for your knives because there will be more consistent pressure along the edge of the blade when slicing and especially with chopping. A prime culprit are some types of bamboo boards which have a straight consistent grain, but also have intermittent nodes. These nodes are incredibly dense compared to the rest of the grain, which is the metaphorical equivalent of exposing your knife to a pillow fight... except some pillows have books inside of them. It's a bad surprise.

Of the woods listed, larch wood and hinoki are considered softwoods while the rest are considered hardwoods. There are, of course, many other common softwoods such as fir and pine, but these are not commonly used to make cutting boards, due to their porous nature. You can read more about this on our article Why some woods are better than others in the kitchen.
https://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/why-s ... e-kitchen/
Brazillian Walnut (Ipe) and Brazillian Cherry are not commonly used for cutting boards either, but we listed them to show the upper bound of Janka ratings, as Ipe is one of the hardest woods available.

An interesting thing to note is that maple and bamboo are almost identical in their Janka rating and these are both the most commonly used material for natural cutting boards. Given that most consumers are more interested in the longevity of their cutting board than the sharpness of their knife, this gives a good indicator of what material density is holding up in the kitchen.

However, if you do have quality knives, our opinion is that it makes much more sense to pick a softer wood, such as teak or walnut, which is at the lower end of the density range. Walnut is known to have a high workability (and thus, easy to score) and teak has an abundance of side benefits, not the least of which is superior maintenance.

So which cutting board are best for your knives? The answer is that there is no definitive "best" board out there, because it depends on your willingness to compromise between a sharp edge and a cutting surface that scores. Plus, unless you are a commercial chef, looks almost always plays a part in which cutting board people purchase. If you are a knife aficionado, it would make sense to invest in a softwood cutting board or even just go with a basic plastic board. If you're looking for a middle ground, any hardwood board (except the very dense boards) will likely do just fine. Most importantly, utilizing proper knife care and knowing how or where to sharpen your knives will always be the main factor in keeping a sharp edge.

As always, from us at CuttingBoard.com, chop responsibly!''
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by GuyDebord »

canali wrote: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:30 am
i found this article and site informative:
Which Cutting Boards are Best for Knives?
https://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/which ... or-knives/

Thanks! Good article, but I feel that it is missing to point out the differences between end-grain and edge/long. For example, I read somewhere that bamboo end-grain performs really well and its much softer than edge/long grain, I guess the same would go with maple, walnut, etc., or not?
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by salemj »

GuyDebord wrote: Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:24 am
canali wrote: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:30 am
i found this article and site informative:
Which Cutting Boards are Best for Knives?
https://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/which ... or-knives/

Thanks! Good article, but I feel that it is missing to point out the differences between end-grain and edge/long. For example, I read somewhere that bamboo end-grain performs really well and its much softer than edge/long grain, I guess the same would go with maple, walnut, etc., or not?
Bamboo requires loads of glue which completely changes the game. I have never before seen bamboo boards as being recommended (of any type), even though bamboo is great for other uses in the kitchen. Most bamboo boards I’ve felt an used were hard as a rock and terrible in the knives used in those kitchens.

This article also misses that certain things -like silica in teak and acacia woods - make them less recommended by other sites regardless of their advantages. Whether or not that makes a difference in the real world is separate from the reality that if you are a woodworker, these kinds of differences tend to be pretty obvious when it comes to how various woods strain or dull your tools. Doesn’t mean they are bad for normal boards, but it does mean the chemistry of the wood does make a difference in how it could potentially affect a metal edge.

Nonetheless, based on my reading and experience, I’m no longer worried about silica—I’ve never read or experienced someone who has used these woods actually having issues. Ever. So, just because the chemistry says one thing does mean that, in practice, the added silica affects a knife in the surface in the same way that it affects a saw blade cutting through the surface. Etc.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by Lepus »

Silica content in teak varies, if I recall correctly, based on age. It can be fine from experienced board shops. Cherry, walnut, and hinoki are still tops in my book, though.
canali
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by canali »

the larchwood company sent me a reply to a query of their boards, comparing the hardness to maple etc
(but the link i'd provided above should help: it seems it's the hardest of the softwood category)

' Larch is not as hard as maple or walnut.
What really makes a good cutting board is the cut. End grain self heals because you are cutting with the grain and not against it.
We have won numerous chefs over because there is a little more forgiveness a softer action making it easier on the wrist.
A serrated knife will damage the wood fibres but a good qualitysharp knife makes very little damage to the board.
Hope that is helpful.
Also Larch is a rot resistant wood so it has great antimicrobial properties. ''


i also did a google search and came across a youtube link to their products
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYu37-vyMLA
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by LostHighway »

I'm afraid we're stuck in the weeds of anecdote and maybe/sorta/kinda vaguely applicable data. The 0.44" steel ball used for the Janka test doesn't bear much resemblance to a knife blade but at least provides a repeatable objective measure. The presence of silica in bamboo, teak, and larch may or may not matter. Certainly cutting bamboo across the grain with a saw blade is significantly more dulling than cutting most hardwoods but is that information transferable to knives cutting with the grain? Japanese chefs seem to prefer Hinoki or synthetic rubber like Hi-Soft to plastics (HDPE or polypropylene) or hardwoods but is that just culture/tradition? Are all commercially available plastic boards equally dulling? Teak concerns me from a horticultural perspective both because of the possible silica issue and because of ecological and potential mislabeling issues.
I'd like better answers but I'm not aware of anyone researching these matters with any rigor. Pending better data I'll stick to Hi-Soft and end grain black cherry (Prunus serotina for now but that is based more on faith than anything even vaguely resembling science.
I know Brian/GopherBroke was building some boards out of non-typical species like basswood (Tilia sp.) but I haven't heard how they turned out. I hope he returns to these forums soon as I valued his insights.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by GuyDebord »

LostHighway wrote: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:22 pm I'm afraid we're stuck in the weeds of anecdote and maybe/sorta/kinda vaguely applicable data. The 0.44" steel ball used for the Janka test doesn't bear much resemblance to a knife blade but at least provides a repeatable objective measure. The presence of silica in bamboo, teak, and larch may or may not matter. Certainly cutting bamboo across the grain with a saw blade is significantly more dulling than cutting most hardwoods but is that information transferable to knives cutting with the grain? Japanese chefs seem to prefer Hinoki or synthetic rubber like Hi-Soft to plastics (HDPE or polypropylene) or hardwoods but is that just culture/tradition? Are all commercially available plastic boards equally dulling? Teak concerns me from a horticultural perspective both because of the possible silica issue and because of ecological and potential mislabeling issues.
I'd like better answers but I'm not aware of anyone researching these matters with any rigor. Pending better data I'll stick to Hi-Soft and end grain black cherry (Prunus serotina for now but that is based more on faith than anything even vaguely resembling science.
I know Brian/GopherBroke was building some boards out of non-typical species like basswood (Tilia sp.) but I haven't heard how they turned out. I hope he returns to these forums soon as I valued his insights.
Amen. Although I'm very surprised that with so many knife geeks :geek: around there hasn't been any serious scientific study on this topic, I dont think it should be that hard to do... Hell, I'm tempted. For now, my hinoki boards will continue to be used for veggies and I think I will go to Korin tomorrow to get a Hi-Soft. Meat will always be cut on high grade HDPE... Im too paranoid with cross-contamination and love the convenience of sanitizing them in the DW or with steam.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by RickR »

enjay wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:24 pm
GuyDebord wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:16 pm Thanks! Very useful info. Did you find that it stains or discolors?
I have a Korin Hi-Soft. Unless you cut a large amount of carrots and tomatoes, and let 'em sit on the board for a while, it won't not stain; a quick soap and sponge wash will clean the board. And while I have not yet tried, a sales rep told me that it can be bleached (but not placed in a dishwasher) if badly stained.
I used Clorox Soft Scrub with bleach to remove beet stains from my Hi-Soft board. Worked perfectly.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by canali »

Rickr...I agree...I'll always use a cheap plastic folding board for raw meats and fish to avoid cross contamination...then a nice board for everything else..

seems Knifewear up here in Vancouver BC carries the larchwoid board series...also have a smaller one made under their own name for them too.
https://knifewear.com/collections/larch-wood
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by Jeff B »

Been using the same board for everything in a meal for over 30yrs and never had a cross contamination problem. If you generally keep your kitchen clean and clean as you go when cooking contamination should not be a problem.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by GuyDebord »

So I went to Korin today to pick up a High-Soft. I did try it at the store and really liked what I felt, a few hours later I cut my way to its first prep, thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced fennel bulbs, thinly sliced green onions, thinly sliced Napa cabbage, kale and minced garlic. My first impression, Its unlike anything, soft, impact absorbing but rigid. The knives I used were a Takeda Ko-Bunka and a large Takeda Nakiri, the high-soft performed better than my hinoki in terms of friction, slicing garlic thin was amazing, the ko-bunka just glided without any resistance, I absolutely loved it and I'm convinced it was totally worth its cost.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by mauichef »

GuyDebord wrote: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:20 pm So I went to Korin today to pick up a High-Soft. I did try it at the store and really liked what I felt, a few hours later I cut my way to its first prep, thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced fennel bulbs, thinly sliced green onions, thinly sliced Napa cabbage, kale and minced garlic. My first impression, Its unlike anything, soft, impact absorbing but rigid. The knives I used were a Takeda Ko-Bunka and a large Takeda Nakiri, the high-soft performed better than my hinoki in terms of friction, slicing garlic thin was amazing, the ko-bunka just glided without any resistance, I absolutely loved it and I'm convinced it was totally worth its cost.
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Guy, I used my 33"x15" Korin HiSoft for the first time yesterday making a large batch of food for my mate Sevin. Sweet potatoes, courgettes, cabbage, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower.
Used a couple of Kono Ginsans.
Like you I found it to be a wonderful experience.
It was exactly as you described. It also cleans up with ease.
The board was not cheap, especially with shipping to Hi, but definitely worth it.
Can't wait for sushi night!

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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by GuyDebord »

mauichef wrote: Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:20 pm Guy, I used my 33"x15" Korin HiSoft for the first time yesterday making a large batch of food for my mate Sevin. Sweet potatoes, courgettes, cabbage, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower.
Used a couple of Kono Ginsans.
Like you I found it to be a wonderful experience.
It was exactly as you described. It also cleans up with ease.
The board was not cheap, especially with shipping to Hi, but definitely worth it.
Can't wait for sushi night!
Glad to hear. I love mine so much that I am going to Korin again and get a bigger one! That's commitment. This board treats my knifes better than any board Ive had, simply amazing.
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Re: Recommended Cutting Boards?

Post by btbyrd »

If you want to go bigger, you can also go smaller. I expanded my small ($48) Hi-Soft from Korin with the even smaller (but not yet mini) $25 board. They sit beside each other almost seamlessly, and because the boards are somewhat grippy in texture, they don't really move around much while you're working. Here's the set with my two largest gyutos.

Image

Now I just need to order one of those board scrapers.
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