Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Cutting Board of 2021

We put cutting boards from brands like Sonder, Farberware, OXO, and more to the test to find the best models
Credit: Ian Nicholson
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 11, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
Is it time to replace your old, beat-up cutting board? We researched over 50 of the best cutting boards of 2021 before purchasing the top 11 to test side-by-side. We put each through the paces, slicing and dicing veggies, fruits, bread, and more. Not only did we look at the durability of its materials, but we evaluated how well it stores in a cupboard or drawer, how easy it is to clean, and how well it stays in place when using. We considered options including plastic, composite, and bamboo to give you a solid overview of the market. After hours of culinary work, we offer you our insights to help you find the best option for your needs.


Best Overall Cutting Board

Sonder Large End Grain Walnut Cutting Board

Material: Hardwood | Size available: 17 x 13 x 1.5" in
Versatile and beautiful design
Bumpers help it to stay put
End grain design and wood construction are anti-microbial
Knife-friendly end grain walnut
Deep juice grooves for meat or fruit
Handmade in the US (Los Angeles)
Flips over with pockets for use as a cheese platter
Thicker design takes up more room while stored
Not dishwasher safe

The Sonder is, we think, the best overall cutting board on the market. Handcrafted in Los Angeles, CA, Sonder pulls out all the stops to produce an incredible product for your kitchen. Its end-grain wood construction offers an anti-microbial design that should help keep your cooking space germ-free. Secondly, it doesn't simply rely on its heft to stay in place; this board comes with little rubber "feet" which minimize any chance of slippage. Its hardwood construction is more knife-friendly than other bamboo options, and we love its deep juice groove that keeps even the messiest jobs from spilling onto the counter. Neither overwhelmingly large nor too small to be useful, our testers found the dimensions to be ideal.

Its primary downside is its price, as it costs nearly double of other high-end hardwood boards and several times more than many bamboo or plastic contenders. The other downside is its lack of storability. At 1.5 inches thick and roughly 10 pounds, this board will feel hefty for folks who are used to thinner bamboo or plastic boards or those with limited storage. It comes highly recommended and is best for those seeking a top-rated wooden cutting board with an anti-slip grip and a beautiful finish.

The Sonder pulls out al the stops when it comes to building the...
The Sonder pulls out al the stops when it comes to building the nicest, most functional cutting board possible. From the anti-microbial and knife-friendly end grain construction, to the deepest-in-review juice groove and rubberized feet that help keep it in place when it comes to a high-end option, it does not get any better.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Best Bang for the Buck

HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board 3-Piece Set

Material: Plastic | Size available: 10 x 5.8", 12.5 x 7.8", 15.8 x 9.5" in
Dishwasher safe
Great price
Comes with three useful sizes
Little rubberized feet pads keep the board from moving while cutting
Low profile makes storage easy
Textured surface helps keep items in place
No oiling or maintenance is necessary
The textured surface requires a little more effort to clean
Not as knife-friendly as other materials
Will need to be replaced more frequently than models made with other materials

Two plastic models that stood out from the pack were the HOMWE Kitchen 3-Piece Set and the OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board. While both models are well designed and solid, the HOMWE Kitchen edged out the OXO Good Grips as our favorite plastic board. Three great sizes provide plenty of versatility, and all our testers love the rubberized pads that help keep it in place. The textured surface proves to be more blade-friendly than many other plastic options, with tough and durable plastic. We appreciate that it's dishwasher safe, and its handles make pulling it out of deep cabinets as easy as it gets.

While we can appreciate this model, there are a few downsides to plastic in general. It's more durable, but it will dull knives faster, necessitating more frequent blade sharpening than hardwood and bamboo options. We also don't love that the knives will produce cuts on the board, which can harbor bacteria. This means that a model needs to be replaced more often. This is true in our testing with this product. Still, if you're in the market for a low-priced plastic design, this value pack is a wonderful option to consider.

With its textured surface, rubberized pads that significantly reduce...
With its textured surface, rubberized pads that significantly reduce slipping, and easy to clean material, this model proved to be our review team's favorite plastic option.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


An Excellent Buy for Bamboo

Royal Craft Wood Bamboo Cutting Board

Material: Bamboo | Size available: 12 x 8", 10 x 15", 18 x 12" in
Great price for a non-plastic board
Bamboo is naturally anti-microbial and resists harboring bacteria
Low profile design makes storage a breeze
Recessed handles make lifting it off smooth surfaces easy
Deep and functional juice groove
Durable and resists deep cuts and gouges better than other models
Some maintenance required to maintain good performance
Will dull knives faster than hardwood designs
Stains more easily than other bamboo products we tested

If you want to buy one of the best bamboo boards you can get for the least amount of money, look no further than the Royal Craft-Bamboo series. These are solid all-around options regardless of price; however, this model is difficult to beat when you consider the low cost. All of our testers loved the deep juice grooves and recessed handles, which made it easier to pick up off of smooth surfaces.

Like most other bamboo options, this model does need some maintenance; however, generally speaking, it needs to be oiled less than once a month and less overall than most other bamboo or hardwood options. It is not dishwasher safe and needs to be hand-washed, and in our experience, some things (like strawberries) will leave stains. Fortunately, it does share the same superior anti-microbial properties as other hardwood and bamboo products. It's tough to beat for the price, and we'd take this board every time over nearly any plastic version. It's great for folks wanting to try out something other than plastic but who aren't willing to commit a bunch of money for something they might not prefer.

There are a lot of inexpensive bamboo options on the market; for...
There are a lot of inexpensive bamboo options on the market; for those not wanting to spend a ton on their cutting surface but also want something that has the anti-microbial properties of wood, we'd recommend this one.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Best Composite Board

Epicurean Kitchen Series 8 x 16-Inch

Material: Composite | Size available: 8 x 6", 11.5 x 9", 14.5 x 11.25", 17.5 x 13" in
Dishwasher safe
Low profile makes for easy storage
Made in USA of recycled materials
Hard on knife's blades
So-so at staying in place

The Epicurean is versatile, easy-to-clean, and boasts a low-profile design. It's made of a durable and ultra-hard composite material that resists warping; it held up better than any other composite or plastic material we tested. One of the primary advantages of the hard-cutting surface is that the board will have fewer gouges in its surface over time, offering fewer places for bacteria to hide. Additionally, unlike nearly all of its wood counterparts, it is dishwasher safe, making for easy cleanup. The board is constructed from impressively strong material considering how thin it is, and this thin design allows to easy storage, practically disappearing in your cabinet when not in use.

The downsides are mostly related to its hard material. While it's ultra-tough, regular cutting on such a hard surface will dull your knives at a much faster rate. With that said, this model is far more durable, anti-microbial, and thinner than many plastic models and only a little less knife-friendly than other plastic or bamboo options. The Epicurean is perfect for those desiring something stronger and more durable than plastic but who don't want to deal with the bulk and maintenance required of a hardwood model.

The new wave of composite boards is dominated by Epicurean and with...
The new wave of composite boards is dominated by Epicurean and with good reason. This impressively durable board is easy to clean, dishwasher friendly, and among the thinnest models available, helping it to disappear when not in use. While it has a lot going for it, for those who don't want their knives dulled quickly or are lazy about resharpening them, it should be noted that this model can be hard on your knives.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Best Bamboo Board

Greener Chef Bamboo Extra Large Cutting Board

Material: Bamboo | Size available: 12 x 9", 14.5 x 11.5", 18 x 12.5", 24 x 18" in
Naturally anti-microbial
Lower profile than hardwood boards
Lightweight and easy to store
Far less expensive than hardwood models
More long-lasting than plastic
Not dishwasher friendly
Some maintenance required
Not as knife-friendly as hardwood
Stays in place so-so

In recent years there has been a noticeable increase in the number of bamboo models offered on the market. The reasons behind this proliferation are as plentiful as the options. Many bamboo boards share the same positive characteristics as their hardwood counterparts, such as being naturally anti-microbial and durable but are also thinner, lighter, and significantly less expensive. After directly comparing several of the highest-rated and most popular bamboo models, the Green Chef was our review team's favorite. It resisted staining and splintering better than any other bamboo option and was thinner and easier to store.

The main downside is that it isn't nearly as blade-friendly as hardwood options (though still not as harsh as a composite board). As with any wood board, you should oil your board around once a month, but we found this model was more forgiving in this regard. The Green Chef is perfect for someone who wants something more anti-bacterial than a plastic board but doesn't want to deal with a thick, heavy, expensive hardwood model.

The Green Chef stands out as the best bamboo cutting board we have...
The Green Chef stands out as the best bamboo cutting board we have ever used. It resists staining and splintering far better than other options of the same material without being much more expensive.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Best Flexible Board

IMEKO TPU Cutting Board

Material: TPU | Size available: 11 x 7.8", 13.7 x 9.4", 15.7 x 11.5" in
BPA free
Fairly knife-friendly
Narrow profile is easy to store
Resists warping over time
Cleans off easily and is easy to sanitize
Dishwasher safe
Stains easily
"Juice grooves" are pretty shallow and don't do much
Don't stay in place as well as most other models

If you are after the best flexible cutting surface, look no further than the IMEKO TPU. While it's on the pricey side, we think any serious home cook will appreciate this board. It makes a terrific complement to a primary board that you don't want to use for particularly messy and more bacteria-ridden jobs, such as cutting raw chicken. The IMEKO is easy to clean, as it is very easy to wipe down and is dishwasher safe. It also resists getting cut up significantly longer than any plastic cutting board we tested, either hard or soft. It doesn't get deep cuts, limiting places for bacteria to grow and allowing your run-of-the-mill dishwasher to clean it thoroughly.

While we absolutely love this model as a secondary board, some key aspects keep it from being our review team's pick for an all-around board. It doesn't tend to stay in place as well as some and tends to stain. However, while it's not our first choice for a kitchen's primary cutting surface, it's an easy-to-clean option for poultry or any other messy kitchen job.

For those in search of a flexible cutting surface, look no further...
For those in search of a flexible cutting surface, look no further. No other flexible model can match this one for its resistance to deep slices and warping. It's perfect for those wanting an easy to clean dishwasher safe cutting surface.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


High Value Bamboo

John Boos Block BBQBD Reversible Maple Wood

Material: Wood | Size available: 18 x 12 x 1.5" in
End grain design and wood construction is among the most anti-microbial
Knife friendly end-grain maple
Deep juice grooves
Nice looking
More maintenance required than most other options
The thicker design takes up more room when stored
Not dishwasher safe

Boos Block is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to cutting boards, and the BBQBD Reversible Maple Wood Edge Grain is one of their most popular. Made in Illinois, this workhorse of a cutting board is among the most anti-microbial and knife-friendly. Its juice grooves are deep enough for even the messiest watermelon or brisket meals. While it doesn't feature any special rubber molded pads, its hefty design more than helps keep it in place.

Its downsides are that it's heavy and bulky, and those with smaller kitchens will find this 1.5-inch thick model (weighing 10 pounds) takes a little getting used to. The other downside is that it takes a bit of maintenance; the maintenance is basically spreading Boos Mystery Oil (or something similar) on it once a month. While most folks who are into cooking won't find this to be a big deal, it's more than the zero maintenance required of plastic or composite boards.

The tried and true Boos Block is a top-tier, made-in-USA board that...
The tried and true Boos Block is a top-tier, made-in-USA board that isn't quite a top-tier price. While it does need to be oiled and is hardly cheap, it is every bit as functional as many other USA-made end-grain boards that might be double the price.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Another High Value Plastic Model

OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board

Material: Plastic | Size available: 7.23 x 10.75", 9 x 12.9", 10.4 x 14.8", 14.3 x 21" in
Rubberized feet help hold it in place
One of the most stable plastic boards out there
Smooth surfaces clean easily and resist staining
Dishwasher friendly
No maintenance required
Once it gets cut up, it will need to be replaced, as the cuts can harbor bacteria

The OXO Good Grips was a very close runner-up for our best plastic model. It only barely missed out on the HOMWE model, which was just a little more knife-friendly. The OXO has rubberized feet, making it the most stable plastic cutting surface we have ever seen. We also appreciate its price point and durability.

While we loved many things about this board, it wasn't quite as knife-friendly as the HOMWE model. However, it stayed in place more securely for those who prioritize stability and is available in larger sizes. As we found most things about this model fairly comparable with our top plastic board, we think both can be good options for someone not wanting to deal with the hassle of a wooden board.

A very close runner up for our review team's selection for the best...
A very close runner up for our review team's selection for the best overall plastic cutting board. The OXO offers a couple of distinct advantages, such as the grippest rubberized feet, which could be the difference for some debating between this and the HOMWE model.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Best Novelty Board

Totally Bamboo Washington State Destination Bamboo

Material: Wood | Size available: Variable based on state, province, or country
Very tough
Needs to be oiled less than any bamboo model we have tested
Great gift idea
Naturally anti-microbial
A narrow profile makes for easy storage
Preference is to only cut on the non-lasered side
Bamboo is not as knife-friendly as other options
Not dishwasher friendly

The Totally Bamboo is not only a very functional cutting board, but it also provides a fun and beautiful representation of major cities, National Parks, and other notable sites for states and a handful of other Territories Countries, and Canadian Provinces. While most people will buy this model for its unique shape, it should be noted that it's a very functional board. It easily proved to be among the most durable, resisting slices and cuts as well as any other top-performing model. It also comes with a hefty pre-treatment, and we found it needed to be oiled the least frequently of any model we tested. Like all other bamboo models, it's more sanitary and anti-bacterial than plastic options because of bamboo's naturally anti-microbial characteristics.

The big downside is you should really avoid cutting on the "art" side. While this board is durable, consistently chopping on the side with laser-etched landmarks may ruin the artwork. The other downsides are the same as other bamboo options, in that it is less knife-friendly than hardwood options and should not be put in the dishwasher. Regardless, this very functional cutting board makes for a great gift or a commemorative piece to show state pride or teach your children about your state's geography.

Not just a work of art, this fun option is not only a great gift or...
Not just a work of art, this fun option is not only a great gift or commemorative piece, but it is also a very functional and utilitarian cutting surface.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Knife-Friendly Plastic Model

Gorilla Grip Original Oversized Cutting Board

Material: Plastic | Size available: 11.8 x 8", 13.8 x 9.6", 16 x 11.2" in
More knife-friendly than most cutting boards
Available in many colors
Shape makes it feel bigger than you'd expect
Dishwasher friendly
Grippy material provides decent stability
Thick material helps resist warping
Plastic gets cut and sliced up
Needs to be replaced more frequently

The Gorilla Grip boards offer solid all-around performance at a good price. They stand out for their knife-friendly design, and the tacky material that lines the perimeter of the board helps keep the board in place, reducing slipping. Gorilla Grip also opted to make this board thicker than many other plastic options, which helps it reduce warping, even after repeated cycles in the dishwasher.

The softer plastic gets cut up quickly and thus needs to be replaced more frequently than other top-tier plastic models. We think this makes this board perfect for folks who care a lot about the sharpness of their knives but still want a plastic board. It's also ideal for folks shopping for their kitchen's secondary board for certain meals or other applications where it won't be used as a primary board.

If you want a plastic board, but want something on the more...
If you want a plastic board, but want something on the more knife-friendly side, the Gorilla Grips boards could be perfect for you.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Excellent Durability for the Money

Farberware Plastic Cutting Board

Material: Plastic | Size available: 8 x 10", 11 x 14", 12 x 18" in
Dishwasher safe
BPA Free
Among the harshest and quickest dulling for kitchen knives
Doesn't stay put as well as some
Doesn't resist warping as well as some

The Farberware cutting boards are some of the longest-produced and most popular plastic models on the market. They are inexpensive, dishwasher safe, resist staining, and are easy to clean. They are also made of a very hard material. This hard material contributes to their durability, which resists deep slices better than many plastic options.

That same very hard material makes the Farberware boards some of the least knife-friendly of any model on the market. They also don't resist warping in the dishwasher as well as some. It isn't that they will start to warp on the first wash, but in our experience, they will generally start to warp after repeated washes. The Farberware remains a solid option for those on a tight budget furnishing a second home or just want a second or third cutting surface for those messy jobs.

Farberware is one of the longest manufacturers of plastic models...
Farberware is one of the longest manufacturers of plastic models. They continue to produce some of the longest-lasting boards at a great price.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Why You Should Trust Us

Ian Nicholson is the lead tester for this review, and his enthusiasm literally can not be overstated. Before the selection and review process, he spent hours discussing cutting boards with professional chefs and other food service professionals. Ian himself is a passionate home chef and long-time reviewer who prides himself in taking great care throughout the entire testing process.

For this review, we analyzed over 50 of the best options in the market. After carefully considering many options, we purchased the best 11 models and put each one through our signature extensive testing process. We chopped, minced, and diced our way on each contender, testing each one based on a series of metrics. The result is a high-quality collection of cutting boards in which there is sure to be something for every chef.

Analysis and Test Results

We thoroughly researched over 100 models before settling on what we felt were the best eleven options available. We purchased all eleven and analyzed each one, comparing metrics like cutting, resistance to stains, ease of cleaning, and how knife-friendly they are. We also evaluated bigger-picture performance characteristics like longevity and versatility.

We tested each model side-by-side by leaving beef brisket and...
We tested each model side-by-side by leaving beef brisket and strawberries on them for hours to best compare how easy they were to clean off.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Ease of Cleaning

For our ease of cleaning metric, we placed a similar-sized portion of barbeque brisket on all of the boards for 30 minutes and then compared how easy it was to clean them. To further compare ease of cleaning, we left six sliced strawberries on each board for exactly two hours before removing and cleaning them. We compared how well each model resisted staining (as strawberries are one of the more notorious foods for staining cutting boards). We then scrubbed each with the same sponge and soap, focusing on the same overall effort. For our scores, we did boost our ratings if they could be cleaned in the dishwasher.

As it is not realistic for us to measure the number of bacteria or microbes on a given surface, we researched the best practices regarding materials and designs in commercial food operations, as well as several University and Ph.D. level studies on the cleanliness of different cutting boards. Some of the most noteworthy and widely accepted studies in the foodservice industry are ones done by Dr. Cliver at Univerity of California at Davis and the University of Illinois.

Starting and ending your food prep with a clean cutting surface is essential. A major contributing factor to this is how the board's material wears and if it's naturally resistant to harboring bacteria. A nice hard material with minimal knife grooves can simply be washed clean by hand, while a soft board with tons of gouges may need to be regularly sanitized.

To test bacterial growth, we used best practices and guidelines of...
To test bacterial growth, we used best practices and guidelines of commercial food operations, as well as the most widely accepted university-level studies. We were then able to see how easy it was to clean.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


It is common to think that plastic options are less likely to harbor bacteria and are easier to clean. Several studies, including the definitive study done by Dr. Cliver at the University of California at Davis and another by the University of Illinois, found the contrary. Once plastic options are used in the slightest, they are far more likely to harbor germs than wooden or composite cutting boards.

Studies have shown that several types of bacteria can actually hide inside the sliced plastic and even survive dishwasher cycles. This means that while brand new plastic models are bacteria resistant, as soon as they have a significant number of grooves, they become an excellent habitat for bacteria to grow and thrive. We found the most sanitary and easiest to clean plastic models to be the flexible IMEKO TPU, which resisted deep cuts. If you are going to buy a hard plastic board, we'd recommend the HOMWE or OXO models, as they were some of the hardest plastic we tested. They also resisted getting deep grooves and were safely cleaned by hand or in a dishwasher.

Wood and bamboo options are generally not dishwasher safe, while...
Wood and bamboo options are generally not dishwasher safe, while most plastic and composite options are.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Hardwood and Bamboo

One of the upsides of wood is that it's said to be naturally anti-microbial with several anti-bacterial properties. For example, wood is very porous, and in this environment, bacteria are pulled inside the end grain wood and bamboo designs and cannot survive. Studies show that wood also contains naturally occurring enzymes that kill bacteria.

Contrary to popular belief, wood and bamboo boards are more sanitary...
Contrary to popular belief, wood and bamboo boards are more sanitary than an even slightly sliced up plastic model. While plastics do offer the advantage of being able to be washed in the dishwasher, once they have deep slices, even the fanciest dishwasher may not be able to clean out the bacterial. This is where end grain wood and bamboo offer a big advantage, as they are naturally anti-bacterial.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Of all the hardwood options we examined, we think the end grain designs are best due to their anti-microbial properties. Our favorite end-grain models include the Sonder and Boos Blocks, as both resisted getting deep cuts. The Green Chef stood out for how easy it was to clean by hand among Bamboo products. We also appreciate that it resisted deep cuts during our extended test period. A downside of all wood models is that they can not be washed in a dishwasher and must be washed by hand, unlike plastic options. In addition to hand-washing, it's important to periodically sanitize your wooden boards or any cutting surface you're not putting through the dishwasher.

Composite models like this one from Epicurean are made of an...
Composite models like this one from Epicurean are made of an ultra-hard material which is generally very difficult to slice deeply. This reduces the odds of the board being able to harbor bacteria; it has the advantage of being dishwasher safe.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


Composite cutting boards are made of a blend of hard materials, which allows them to be a sanitary option. This is because their hard material makes it difficult to put deep cuts or gouges; unlike wood, they can also be washed in the dishwasher. These characteristics make composite products some of the easiest to keep clean. The Epicurean was by far our review team's favorite composite model.

A sharp knife is arguably an even more important part of a cutting...
A sharp knife is arguably an even more important part of a cutting process than the board. While you can sharpen any knife, we found that boards that are easier on your blades were the second most important factor next only to providing a clean surface to cut on.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Knife Friendliness

We broke out our knife sharpener and got all of our blades razor-sharp. We then dedicated a knife to each board for a week at a time before re-sharping and swapping boards.

With razor-sharp blades, we went to work testing the knife...
With razor-sharp blades, we went to work testing the knife friendliness of each of these models. We assigned each board a knife for a week and then swapped trying to use them as evening as possible.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

We found some differences in how fast bamboo models dulled our blades, but there was a significant difference between plastic models. There was no question that composite boards were the hardest of all materials and the ones that dulled our knives the quickest; however, we didn't find any difference between models of this material. If you are preparing a significant portion of your meals at home, how blade-friendly, or how quickly (or slowly) a cutting surface will dull your kitchen knives is nearly as important as hygienic factors. While the type of material the board is constructed from will have the biggest impact on this metric, we still found significant differences between models of the same materials.

End-grain hardwood models like this one from Sonders were the...
End-grain hardwood models like this one from Sonders were the easiest on our knives of any material in our review.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Models with end-grain hard construction are by far the best, as the knife blade can slip in between the fibers without much damage to the board or the knife. This is why the two most knife-friendly models we tested were the Sonder and the Boos Block, which allowed our blades to remain sharper than when using others in our testing fleet.

Bamboo models were easier on our knife blades than most plastic or...
Bamboo models were easier on our knife blades than most plastic or composite models but were still harder than end-grain hardwood models.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Bamboo and wood are generally similar but are a bit tougher on knives than end-grain hardwoods. We found the Imeko TPU and the HOMWE to be the most knife-friendly. The textured surface of HOMWE helps prevent food from slipping around on the surface and reduces wear on the blade. The Imeko TPU struck the best balance for plastic boards, as the blade could penetrate its surface ever so slightly, reducing wear on the blade without making slices too deep (which results in harboring bacteria).

Composite models like the Epicurean have lots of advantages, but...
Composite models like the Epicurean have lots of advantages, but their material is unquestionably the hardest and dulled our knives the quickest.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The least knife-friendly options are composite models like the Epicurean. Typically these types of boards are comprised of an ultra-hard material with no give, which can end up dulling the thin edge of a kitchen knife much faster than soft plastic or wood. The primary advantage of composite boards is that they are more bacteria resistant than plastic, and unlike wooden boards, they're able to handle a spin through the dishwasher.

Being able to chop efficiently or cut large melons or pieces of meat...
Being able to chop efficiently or cut large melons or pieces of meat without fear of your board slipping is incredibly important.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Staying in Place

To test how well each model could stay in place, we pushed each board directly from the side — with five pounds of pressure — to see how much and how easily it was to move them. We also tested this category by aggressively chopping and monitoring how much each model moved as well; we also cut one-handed.

We agressively chopped melons and big hunks of meat to best compare...
We agressively chopped melons and big hunks of meat to best compare who effectively each model could avoid being pushed around.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The last thing you want is to have your cutting board move while you're chopping thick butternut squash, quickly dicing garlic, or cutting larger pieces of meat. Typically, manufacturers help boards stay in place with one of three design aspects. Often there are rubberized feet or pads to help grip your counter. Some might depend on the weight of the board itself, while others make the entire board out of a tacky, grippy material.

The only model that used both of the two primary ways to keep a...
The only model that used both of the two primary ways to keep a board stable while cutting was the Sonder Los Angeles. It used grippy rubberized pads (seen here) and weighs nearly 10 pounds. It was the most stable cutting surface we tested overall.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Hands down, the most stable board we tested was the Sonder; it was a hefty 10 pounds and featured rubberized pads on both sides of the board. This was one of only a small handful of hardwood models to also feature rubberized pads, and it proved rock-solid (and counter friendly). Among plastic models, we loved the OXO, thanks to its super-grippy rubberized feet. While the HOMWE was decent, it just couldn't compare to the OXO.

Among the plastic models, no board could match the grippiness of the...
Among the plastic models, no board could match the grippiness of the OXO oversized rubber feet which practically nailed the board in place and was more forgiving for more sensitive surfaces like soapstone or wood.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Durability and Longevity

To ensure longevity, hardwood boards require good care, such as oiling them once a month. Thus, while models like the Boos Block and the Sonder are 2-4 times the price as many in our fleet, they will easily last that much longer. The Epicurean is also extremely durable and resists warping far better than most plastic options. The Green Chef was the most durable bamboo board we tested, making it our favorite overall bamboo model. While costly, it resists slices, staining, and warping better than any other bamboo option.

Plastic boards are often the cheapest but are also the least...
Plastic boards are often the cheapest but are also the least durable. Once it has deep cuts, it can harbor bacteria which is extremely difficult to clean.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

In general, we found that plastic boards are the least durable and should be replaced every so often. However, the difference between longevity and durability (among plastic options) is where we found the most significant differences. The OXO and the HOMWE are easily the toughest plastic cutting boards in our fleet. No other plastic contender could match them regarding their resistance to excessive cuts or warping, even after repeated washings.

With a little bit of maintenance, which involves rubbing oil on your...
With a little bit of maintenance, which involves rubbing oil on your board once a month when it is new and slightly less frequently over time, hardwood models are by far the most long-lasting.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Lastly, no other plastic model came close to the Imeko TPU. While it's more expensive than other flexible cutting surfaces, it blows anything else we have ever tried out of the water. It stays flexible, resisting deep slices, and did not warp during our testing period.

Models made of hardwood, bamboo, or composite materials will outlast...
Models made of hardwood, bamboo, or composite materials will outlast plastic models.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Ease of Storage

Regardless if you store your cutting board on your countertop, in a pull-out drawer, or tucked away vertically in a cabinet, cutting boards can take up a great deal of real estate when not in use. Since nearly all of these boards are available in multiple sizes, we mostly focused on how thick they were. The thickness of models varied greatly. We measured the thickness of all of these boards ourselves to ensure accuracy.

Since all cutting surfaces are broad in nature and sold in several...
Since all cutting surfaces are broad in nature and sold in several sizes we compared how thick each model was. We found a large difference between models with the thinnest models being less than a quarter the thickness of the fattest ones.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

While some folks have a cutting board that may live on the counter all of the time, few people have their collection displayed on the counter at all times. We often encourage people to get a bigger board than they think they need, though the downside is finding a place to store it when not in use.

All the cutting surfaces in our review are available in a variety of...
All the cutting surfaces in our review are available in a variety of size. However, regardless of what size you buy, they are going to take up a fair amount of room in your kitchen whether that be on a countertop, flat in a drawer, or tucked vertically in a cabinet.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Since nearly every model we tested is available in multiple sizes (most from 8 x 10" to 18 x 24"), we didn't find it helpful to compare their actual surface area. Instead, we focused on their thicknesses, as most people stack them flat in a drawer or vertically in a cabinet or pantry. We also noticed the softer boards not wanting to stand up if stored on end, typically falling over.

While you can buy whatever size board you want, they still vary...
While you can buy whatever size board you want, they still vary wildly in thickness. Typically, plastic and composite boards are the thinnest, bamboo models are in the middle, and hardwood options are the thickest.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Ease of storage is where the Epicurean really stood out. The same ultra-hard material that makes it so resistant to cutting also lets it be ultra-thin. In fact, you can stack two Epicurean boards in the same space it takes to store one bamboo board or 3-5 inches of a hardwood board.

The Epicurean or the IMEKO TPU (top two in photo) are the...
The Epicurean or the IMEKO TPU (top two in photo) are the thinnest in our review and may be best for folks with limited storage.
Credit: Ian Nicholson


We truly put our all into this review, testing each board and highlighting the top performers. We've discussed the pros and cons of each model, discussing their specific uses. Whether someone is a newfound culinary aficionado or a full-on professional, our review team made this the most informative and comprehensive review for folks of all levels and needs.

Our review team carefully considered over 50 models before...
Our review team carefully considered over 50 models before purchasing the best eleven options available. We then compared each model directly through a series of side-by-side tests.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Ian Nicholson