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Bamboo Cutting Boards: Do they dull your knives? And does it make a difference whether they are end grain vs. edge grain? Thanks! ;o)

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

asked over 5 years ago
6 answers 7080 views
Wholefoods user icon
added over 5 years ago

I've been using bamboo cutting boards at home for the past five years or so, and my knives have held up great. If anything, I recommend having your knives sharpened professionally twice a year, and I have two different steels at home- one diamond steel, for when your edge really needs a boost, and a ceramic steel for everyday honing and edge maintenance.

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hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 5 years ago

That's great to hear. I love the look and concept of the bamboo cutting boards, but have heard they're terrible on knives. Thanks for the real world experience!

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added over 5 years ago

great question aj. btw, you can reach me directly at opinionatedchefatcomcastdotnet

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added over 5 years ago

I wouldn't say bamboo boards are terrible on knives, but bamboo is a significantly harder material than maple, so you probably will have to sharpen your knives (or have them sharpened) more often if using a bamboo board rather than a maple or plastic one. I've read that end-grain bamboo is somewhat easier on knives than edge-grain, but can't verify that from experience.

Cutting on a bamboo board feels slightly different, too; there's less "give" when the blade hits the wood. I find it more fatiguing if I"m doing a lot of cutting/chopping. I prefer the feel of a maple or plastic board, personally.

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added over 5 years ago

Cook's Illustrated published a report on cutting boards a few months ago.

"The durability of the wood and bamboo models mostly depended on how the boards were constructed: end-grain or edge-grain...End-grain models showed fewer scars than the edge-grain boards because their wood fibers faced the surface, and as a result, the knife marks actually closed up within minutes. Unfortunately, those exposed wood fibers also soaked up liquid and stains like a sponge, making them prone to warping. The end-grain models in our lineup began to warp—and eventually split—after just a few rinses in the sink. The edge-grain boards, on the other hand, showed no evidence of warping."

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added about 5 years ago

I do use bamboo cutting boards, I chop...a lot, I haven't noticed any very significant difference is dulling of my knives. Bamboo does have antibacterial properties, though, which is something that I appreciate. I know that I can throw my plastic USF boards in the dishwasher after cutting chicken, but I'm never really comfortable that the cuts in the plastic boards are truly clean. Somehow I feel better using bamboo (truth be told, I haven't made anyone sick no matter which board I'm using, so I guess good hygeine is just that, but still, sustainable bamboo just makes me *feel* better, for what that is worth).

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