Do you know what sets a chef apart from the average home cook? It would be the quality of kitchenware essentials that they invest in. When it comes to cutting boards, your choice really does make all the difference in the world for several reasons.

How to choose the right Cutting Board

If you are looking for the right cutting board to add to your collection of culinary tools, you probably should start by understanding the types of materials used to craft these ‘boards.’ Actually, by the very definition of what a board is, there really is only one type that fits the mold, as you will see below.

1. Glass Cutting Boards

Although glass cutting boards are quite popular for a few reasons, they really aren’t the best choice if you do any amount of cutting or chopping. This is especially important if you have invested a tidy sum of money on high-quality knives because glass has been known to dull a blade, sometimes within a dozen or fewer times cutting with the same knife. Yes, they can be imprinted on the reverse side to add a bit of color to your kitchen, but they should be reserved for decorative purposes only.

2. Plastic Cutting Boards

Of all the cutting boards on the market, plastic cutting boards are far and away the cheapest of all options and their longevity is just as short as the cost is low. Most are ‘soft’ enough not to dull knives like glass would do, but they also don’t last very well at all. You will find that you spend more on replacing a scratched and marred plastic cutting board than you would have if you bought a hardwood cutting board, to begin with. Having said that, some types of acrylic cutting boards are hard but they, like glass, can dull even the most expensive of high-quality knives.

3. Hardwood Cutting Boards

Although any kind of hardwood can be used for a cutting board, oak and maple are among the most common hardwoods in use today. These need to be kept oiled regularly to retain their lustrous surface and are less expensive than walnut.

If you are looking for a hardwood cutting board that has as much appeal as it does utility, that would be a cutting board made of walnut. This particular wood does need to be oiled as often as other types of wood, but it is also a high-end kitchen tool that is preferred by most of the world’s leading chefs. The dark beauty and grain of walnut are unparalleled and this is one item you will want to display prominently in your kitchen.

4. Bamboo, Marble, and Granite

Bamboo is also a popular material from which cutting boards are made and like hardwood boards, bamboo will not dull your blades. Bamboo is lighter weight than maple or walnut and wouldn’t often be classified as something you’d want to display in high-end kitchen décor. Marble and granite will also dull your blades, and although they are quite lovely, they are really more decorative than useful.

In the end, it’s all about whether the function is just as important (or more so!) than form. If you are looking for a high-quality, high-end designer cutting board, it’s walnut all the way. Just remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintaining any hardwood board to preserve it’s natural finish and keep it in pristine shape for many, many years. Choosing the right cutting board is just as important as choosing the right ingredients for all your favorite recipes. Get it right and you will have as much fun prepping those dishes as you will eating them. That’s a promise you can take to the bank. 

(Last Updated On: March 11, 2021)

Annalise O'Conner is a Registered Dietitian and Personalized Nutritionist. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching nutrition in the School of Public Health and APAN (Asian Pacific Islander American Network) Email:

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