If you own a Japanese knife, you know that it is a precision tool that requires proper care and maintenance to perform at its best. One of the most critical factors that can impact the performance and longevity of your knife is the cutting board you use. The right cutting board can help you preserve your knife’s sharpness, prevent chips and cracks, and provide a stable surface for efficient cutting.
In this article, we will share with you the 8 best cutting boards for Japanese knives that we have tested and reviewed in 2023. We will also discuss the factors you should consider when choosing a cutting board for your knife and share some tips on how to maintain and clean it.
- Teak Cutting Board – Rectangle End Grain Butcher Block
- Thick End Grain Walnut Wood Cutting Board
- John Boos Maple Classic Reversible Wood End Grain Chopping Block
- Shun Cutlery Large Hinoki Cutting Board
- Yoshihiro Hi-soft High-Performance Professional Grade Cutting Board
- Natural Rubber Cutting Board
- Organic Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board
How We Tested the Best Cutting Boards For Japanese Knives?
We first gathered a selection of popular and highly-rated boards from various manufacturers to test the best cutting boards for Japanese knives. We then evaluated each panel based on criteria including durability, size, weight, and, most importantly, the level of protection they provided for the knives. The test process was conducted by a team of professional chefs and home cooks with extensive experience using Japanese knives.
We evaluated the board using a variety of Japanese knives. The testing process also included cutting various food items such as meat, vegetables, and fruits. We paid attention to the condition of the knives after each cutting session and how much wear and tear the boards showed.
We also considered the customer reviews and feedback of people who have already used these products. We collected customer reviews from various online platforms and forums. We analyzed the customer satisfaction level, the longevity of the product, and the overall value for money. After evaluating all the data, we have come up with a list of the 8 best cutting boards for Japanese knives in 2023.
1. Teak Cutting Board – Rectangle End Grain Butcher Block
The Teak Cutting Board by Teakhaus is a high-quality, professional-grade butcher block appropriate for any kitchen. Made from durable teak wood, this cutting board is designed to withstand heavy use and last for years with minimal wear and tear. The end-grain construction of this board showcases the beauty and durability of teak wood and helps preserve the edges of your knives.
This cutting board measures 24 x 18 x 1.5 inches and weighs 12 pounds, making it the right size for any kitchen, no matter how big or small. It also features low-profile hand grips for easy mobility, making it easy to move around as you prepare your food.
Aside from its durability and functionality, this cutting board also boasts a stylish design that will complement any kitchen. Food can be prepared, carved, and served with it easily. It is easy to care for and maintain; wash it with soapy water and occasionally apply mineral oil. For home cooks and professionals alike who are looking for a high-quality, long-lasting cutting surface, the Teakhaus cutting board is a great investment.
- Made of durable teak wood
- End grain construction for knife-friendly surface
- Low-profile hand grips for easy mobility
- Sourced from sustainable, managed plantations
- Large size for versatile use
- Regular oiling is required
2. Thick End Grain Walnut Wood Cutting Board
The Sonder Los Angeles end grain cutting board is made from sustainably sourced black walnut wood. This durable and sturdy cutting board is constructed using the end-grain technique, known for its self-healing properties. Each knife cut goes between the wood fibers, rather than cutting through them, which ensures that the board lasts longer and keeps your knife’s edge sharper for a longer period of time. You’ll be able to prep and serve meals like a pro with the Sonder Los Angeles cutting board.
This cutting board is designed with a deep juice groove that can hold up to 3.5 ounces of liquid, preventing any mess on your countertops. The juice groove is perfect for cutting up fruits, vegetables, and carving meats like brisket, roast, and prime rib. The board also comes with versatile sorting compartments, so you can easily dice and slide your ingredients into the compartments and keep your workspace organized. These compartments are also great for serving nuts, fruit, olives, and more as part of a charcuterie board.
The Sonder Los Angeles cutting board is designed for stability and safety. The board comes with removable rubber feet on both sides for extra stability while chopping and slicing. The integrated finger grips make it easy to lift, flip or transfer the board from kitchen to table. This board is proudly made in the USA and each board comes in a beautiful gift box, making it the perfect gift for any occasion. Sonder Los Angeles is a small business with big service, and they stand behind their products. In the unlikely event of a manufacturing defect, they offer a 1-year warranty and will replace your board free of charge.
- Large size for versatile use
- Elegant and stylish design
- Adds warmth to kitchen decor
- Can withstand heavy-duty chopping
- Helps prevent cross-contamination
- Ideal for charcuterie boards
- Perfect for home chefs and professionals
- High-quality and long-lasting
- Adds value to your kitchen tools.
- Not dishwasher safe
- Requires regular oiling every 3 weeks for maintenance
3. John Boos Maple Classic Reversible Wood End Grain Chopping Block
The John Boos Maple Classic Reversible Wood End Grain Chopping Block is a must-have for any serious home cook or professional chef. Measuring 20 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 2.25 inches thick, this butcher block is made from sustainably sourced Northern Hard Rock Maple Wood. The end grain construction creates John Boos’ iconic checkerboard cutting surface, making it not only durable but also aesthetically pleasing.
Crafted by skilled craftspeople using time-honored techniques since 1887, this chopping block is proudly made in Effingham, Illinois. Its sturdy construction and professional-grade durability make it the preferred choice of top chefs and restaurants around the world. Additionally, wooden cutting boards like this one are gentler on knives than plastic boards, keeping your cutlery sharp for longer.
To maintain the quality of this chopping block, it is recommended to hand wash and dry it after each use. Regularly applying John Boos Mystery Oil (sold separately) is also essential, especially in dry climates or for brand new boards. For an extra layer of protection, consider using John Boos Board Cream to seal the wood surface. Overall, the John Boos Maple Classic Reversible Wood End Grain Chopping Block is a timeless investment that will last for years to come.
- Thick and durable
- Reversible for extended use
- Professional-grade cutting surface
- Made from sustainably sourced materials
- Easy on knives
- Trusted by top chefs and restaurants
- Expensive compared to other cutting boards.
- Heavy and bulky
4. Shun Cutlery Large Hinoki Cutting Board
Designed for all Shun knives, the Shun Large Hinoki Cutting Board offers high-quality cutting surfaces. This cutting board is constructed from hinoki, a Japanese cypress famous for its delicacy and natural fragrance, which makes it ideal for maintaining your knives’ edges. Measuring 17.75 by 11.75 inches, this large wooden cutting board is suitable for all general-purpose food preparation tasks.
This cutting board is Forest Stewardship Council Certified, which ensures that the wood used for this product is sustainably sourced. Keeping it clean is simple; simply spray it with water before every use to prevent stains, wash it with mild detergent, towel dry, and air dry away from direct sunlight. Use a lemon slice to remove stains. The cutting board is not dishwasher safe.
Handcrafted by highly skilled artisans, shun knives produce blades of unparalleled quality and beauty inspired by ancient Japanese traditions. The knives are works of art suitable for professional chefs and home cooks.
- Easy to maintain
- Medium-soft wood preserves knife edges
- Large size for general-purpose food preparation
- Made from high-quality hinoki wood
- Forest Stewardship Council Certified for sustainable forest management practices
- Traditional, artisan cutlery
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Wood may stain easily if not wet before use
5. Yoshihiro Hi-soft High-Performance Professional Grade Cutting Board
The Yoshihiro Hi-soft Cutting Board is a professional-grade cutting tool that is designed to provide a top-notch cutting surface for high carbon steel knives. Made in Japan, it features a high-quality synthetic material that minimizes stress on your hand and the blade. This results in better edge retention and a longer lifespan for your knives.
This cutting board comes in various sizes, ranging from small to XXX-large, so you can choose the size that suits your needs best. Its synthetic material also provides easy cleaning and odor resistance, ensuring a clean and fresh cutting surface every time.
Overall, the Yoshihiro Hi-soft Cutting Board is an excellent investment for chefs and home cooks who want to keep their knives in top condition. Its high-quality construction, easy-to-clean surface, and different size options make it a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable cutting board.
- High performance for high carbon steel knives
- Minimizes stress on hand and blade
- Better edge retention and longer knife lifespan
- Easy to clean and odor-resistant
- Available in multiple sizes
- Hand wash only
6. Natural Rubber Cutting Board Non-Skid Professional-Grade
Natural rubber cutting boards are professional-grade cutting boards designed for commercial kitchen use. Made of high-density natural rubber, this cutting board will not absorb liquids or odors and will not crack, splinter, or swell. This cutting board uses a rubber compound that minimizes the impact on the blade, resulting in better edge retention and a longer knife’s lifespan.
The non-slip rubber surface of this cutting board ensures that it will not slip on the counter, making it a safe and reliable cutting surface for any kitchen. Additionally, the cutting board can be resurfaced by sanding. This will extend its life. The cutting board is available in various sizes, from small 6″x8″ to large 18″x24″, making it a versatile option for any kitchen.
Natural rubber cutting boards are made in the USA and have been tested and certified by NSF International. A dishwasher’s high temperatures will warp this cutting board, so it must be hand washed. Overall, the NoTrax T45 Sani-Tuff cutting board is a reliable option for any professional chef or home cook looking for a high-quality and durable cutting surface.
- Made of high-density natural rubber
- Will not crack, splinter, or swell
- Resists liquid and odor absorption
- Preserves knife edges longer
- Prevents slipping on the counter
- Certified by NSF International
- Can be resurfaced by sanding
- Professional-grade cutting board
- Only available in one color
- Must be hand washed
7. Organic Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board
The Organic Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board is ideal for any kitchen. Made of 100% Moso bamboo wood, this cutting board is non-porous, lightweight, and eco-friendly. It’s easier to prepare meals when you have enough space to work in, which is provided by the rectangular shape, which measures 17.9″L x 12.5″W x 0.7″Th.
The cutting board is well suited for foods such as BBQ, fruit, fish, cheese, vegetables, and meat. This large wooden cutting board also features a groove to channel excess juices during slicing and dicing. The material is also knife-friendly, so you won’t have to worry about dulling your knives.
The cutting board is easy to clean and maintain. Condition it with the included Greener Chef Cutting Board Oil Spray, and wash it with soap and water. The board is built to last and will not warp, split, or crack. Greener Chef offers a lifetime warranty for this product. This means you can be sure that you’ll be able to use this cutting board for a long time.
With its large surface, deep grooves, and versatile design, the Greener Chef Organic Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board is a must-have for any kitchen. With its 4.7 out of 5 stars rating and 15,439 customer ratings, it is one of the best-selling cutting boards in the market.
- Meal prep is made easy with plenty of surface area
- Made of knife-friendly bamboo
- Oil spray included makes cleaning easy
- Flexible and eco-friendly
- Use it both ways
- Non-porous materials absorb no bacteria
- No dishwashers
- Avoid bone cutting.
How to Properly Maintain and Clean Cutting Boards for Japanese Knives
To ensure your cutting board lasts as long as possible and does not contaminate your food or harm your knife, you should follow these maintenance and cleaning tips:
- Wash your cutting board after each use with warm water and soap, and dry it thoroughly with a towel.
- Sanitize your cutting board regularly with a solution of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water or a commercial disinfectant spray.
- Prevent stains and odors by using food-safe mineral oil or beeswax to condition your wooden board.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives on your cutting board, as they can damage the surface and affect your knife’s edge.
- Store your cutting board in a dry and well-ventilated area to prevent mold or mildew growth.
Best Material for Japanese Cutting Board
Regarding Japanese knives, the blade’s sharpness and precision are paramount for a flawless cutting experience. However, it’s not just the quality of the knife that matters, but also the material of the cutting board used. Using the wrong type of cutting board can quickly dull the knife’s edge, rendering it useless over time. Therefore, choosing a suitable cutting board material for Japanese knives is essential to maintain quality and longevity.
Hi-soft (polyvinyl acetate)
Hi-soft cutting boards are made of a synthetic material called polyvinyl acetate. These boards are designed specifically for Japanese knives and are very soft with a lot of give to reduce the impact on the knife. The softness also helps reduce stress on your hand and wrist when chopping. The textured surface is non-slip for better safety. Hi-soft boards are easy to clean but cannot be put in the dishwasher.
Asahi rubber (elastic polymer), Sani-tuff: All-rubber boards are typically more complicated than Hi-Soft boards. The rubber is usually non-porous, meaning it will not absorb liquids or odors and is easy to clean. The dishwasher’s high temperature can warp the material, so you cannot put all-rubber boards in the dishwasher. Sani-tuff and Asahi rubber are both popular all-rubber materials. A proprietary polymer is used to manufacture Asahi rubber cutting boards from Japan. Sushi restaurants often use these professional-grade boards. Asahi rubber is more complex than Hi-soft, forgiving on your knife, and lasts longer than softer boards. Sani-tuff boards are made of a high-density, all-natural rubber compound. They are gentle on your knife’s edge, durable, and heavy.
Hasegawa brand (polyethylene with wood core)
Hasegawa is a famous Japanese brand that designs cutting boards and other kitchen tools. Their cutting boards are unique because they feature a wooden core with a soft polyethylene plastic/rubber surface layer. The wood core makes the cutting board more rigid (will not bend/warp) yet lighter than other purely synthetic boards. The outer soft plastic surface helps preserve your knife’s blade. Hasegawa boards are easy to clean, and you can even put most in the dishwasher.
Hinoki Cypress wood
Hinoki is a type of cypress wood found throughout Japan. It is the most recommended wood for making Japanese cutting boards thanks to its natural properties, such as resistance to rot, being soft but firm, naturally anti-bacterial, very lightweight, and smelling great. The downside of Hinoki wood boards is that they cannot be washed in a dishwasher and require more care/maintenance than synthetics.
Various other kinds of wood
Some other common woods used in Japan for cutting boards are ginkgo, willow, hiba, paulownia, and magnolia. For Japanese knives, choosing a hardwood on the softer end of the hardness scale is best. In North America, soft maple is the most readily available. Another interesting choice would be Larch wood.
Your personal preferences and needs will determine the best material for your cutting board. Nonetheless, the above options will keep your Japanese knives sharp and in top condition.
Guide to Buying
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a cutting board for Japanese knives is the board’s compatibility with the knife. The board should be durable enough to withstand the sharpness and precision of Japanese knives.
Different types of cutting boards are made from different materials, such as bamboo, plastic, wood, and composite materials. You must choose a material that meets your needs and fits your budget, as each has advantages and disadvantages. Bamboo can be eco-friendly and renewable but is not as durable as other materials. Knives may dull over time if they are made of plastic, which is affordable and lightweight. Wood is durable and attractive, but it requires regular maintenance.
Size and Shape
Consider the size and shape of the cutting board to match your kitchen space and your cutting needs. A more giant board will provide more cutting space, while a smaller board is more portable and easier to store.
Maintaining your cutting board is important. Wood and bamboo, for example, require regular oiling to remain in good condition, while plastic, on the other hand, requires little maintenance.
Size and thickness
Your cutting board should be large enough to accommodate your knife and provide enough cutting surface. The thickness of the board can also affect its stability and sturdiness.
Impact on Knife Sharpness and Longevity
Certain cutting boards can cause your knife to lose its sharpness faster than others. You should choose a cutting board that is gentle on your knife’s edge and does not cause excessive wear and tear.
Non-slip properties are another key consideration, as your cutting board should not slide or move during use. Look for boards that have non-slip grips or feet to prevent accidents and ensure safety.
Ease of Maintenance and Cleaning
Your cutting board should be easy to clean and disinfect to prevent cross-contamination and foodborne illnesses. Some materials are more resistant to stains and odors than others.
A cutting board can vary greatly, from a few to hundreds of dollars. Consider your budget when making your purchase, but remember that a high-quality cutting board is a long-term investment that will last for many years.
Ensure the cutting board has a warranty or a return policy in case of damage or defects. This will give you peace of mind and ensure you make a wise investment.
By considering these factors, you will be able to find the best cutting board for your Japanese knives that meets your needs and fits your budget. High-quality cutting boards are essential in any kitchen, whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook.
Are reversible cutting boards better for Japanese knives?
Yes, reversible cutting boards are better for Japanese knives as they provide a double-sided surface, which helps prolong the life of the knives and prevent dulling.
Can I use a plastic cutting board for my Japanese knives?
Plastic cutting boards are cheaper and lightweight, but they are not recommended for use with Japanese knives as they can quickly dull the blades.
Can I use a glass cutting board with Japanese knives?
Japanese knives should not be used on a glass cutting board. Glass is a very hard material that can damage the edge of a Japanese knife, making it dull more quickly. Glass cutting boards don’t have any grip, so they’re unstable and dangerous.
Can I use vinegar or lemon juice to clean my cutting board for Japanese knives?
While vinegar or lemon juice can help to remove stains and odors from your cutting board for Japanese knives, they are not effective at killing bacteria or sanitizing the surface.
Can I use a wet or damp cutting board for Japanese knives?
A wet or damp cutting board should never be used with Japanese knives since moisture can cause the wood to warp and swell. To avoid this, dry your cutting board thoroughly after washing it and store it in a dry place. You can also use a cutting board oil or wax to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood.
What Boards Should You Avoid When Using Japanese Knives?
When using Japanese knives, you should avoid cutting boards made of hard materials like marble, glass, and steel. These materials may be suitable for some knives, but they will quickly dull and damage the edges of your Japanese knives designed for chopping. Stick to softer materials to maintain the longevity and quality of your investment.
Edge grain, End grain, or Face grain, which one is the best wood for Japanese knives?
Regarding Japanese knives, the best type of cutting board is gentle on the knife’s edge while also providing durability and easy cleaning. Edge grain cutting boards are a great choice as they are less prone to warping and cracking than end grain boards. Face grain boards, however, are not recommended as they can cause excessive wear and tear on the blade.
Japanese knives’ cutting board material should be soft, gentle, durable, and easy to clean. After reviewing the different materials, we recommend wooden cutting boards, especially face grain cutting boards like Hinoki Cypress wood or Hasegawa brand with a wood core and soft plastic surface layer. These materials are gentle on the knife’s edge, naturally antibacterial, lightweight, and have a pleasant smell. When properly cared for, wooden cutting boards can last for years and preserve the sharpness of your Japanese knife.
As the chief content writer, Hassan Al Sarker works as a professional kitchen-based content creator at Kitchen Liker.
In addition to reviewing the content published on Kitchen Liker, he ensures that it is accurate, relevant, and helpful. As a result, all the reviews and information published at Kitchen Liker are neutral and userfriendly.
Hassan Al Sarker has a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Tourism Management From the Newyork University. Before joining Kitchen Liker, he was a contributor at Kitchen Club, United States.