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Does cutting board type affect knives?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Chopping is my main knife task, but I have to wonder, does the hard plastic board dull the knife faster than, say, wood?

Or is the food safety considerations (impermeable board) more important than having to sharpen more often? (Let's just leave my lousy Chicago Cutlery knife out of the discussion and pretend I have decent steel.)
post #2 of 21
Live to cook,

Cutting on wood is always better. The wood gives way a little, so it does not dull the knife as quickly. Keep a steel next your cutting board. Every once in a while you brush the knife on the steel to maintain the edge.

Re; food safty. After you cut any one raw product. Wash your cutting board, then cut another product. Also, never use the cutting board to cut cook product that a raw product has been on unless you wash it.

D. Lee
post #3 of 21
As safety is concerned, I recommend using a plastic cutting board when chopping raw meat. And using a wood cutting board when chopping and dicing vegatables or herbs.
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
So except for meat, are wood boards the standard in commercial kitchens? Oh wait maybe that's a dumb question... y'all use mechanical choppers for the bulk stuff (i.e. 10# of onions) don't you...
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Crudeau: gee whiz my Chicago Cutlery is getting dissed hard... I feel like the kid who pulls up at his prom date's house in a Chevy Chevette...

Well, looks like Santa's going to show up with something sharp this Xmas... I really only need the chef's knife, methinks...
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
What do you really need a paring knife for? Peeling things? Doesn't a veg peeler do the job better?

I could be a dope, too. Maybe "me and my chef's knife can do anything" is just a macho thing... but I do still have all my fingertips.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Aha, another poor soul. We could start a support group, CC Anonymous...
post #8 of 21
global, feh, they have woosy bolsters. victorinox - cheap but relatively useful.

Anyway, chopping boards - wood is good, plastic ok, but the worst i believe are the glass ones - what **** .

If you look after your knives, chopping boards dont really matter (except the glass ones). Just remember that sprinkling salt (liberally on the board), leave it on for about 5 - 10 mins and then scrubbing dry with a wire brush is a good way of look after a wood block - dont wash it.
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post #9 of 21
Nick Shu,

Cheers mate it is nice to see someone else agrees with me on the Forschnors/Victorinox.

Live to cook,

With all I said about cutting boards. I do prefer plastic, boards. They are easyer to deal with. But I do have more than one at home and constantly clean them as I use them. I also keep a steel near by. Also I do sharpen my knifes a lot.

D Lee
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Nick.Shu, what's a woolsy bolster?

You say if you care for your knives the board won't matter. I'm curious: what's your standards for knife care?

[This message has been edited by Live_to_cook (edited 12-18-2000).]
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Dlee, what's the point of the steel if the knife has been dulled? I'm not arguing, I'm asking.

I have a steel and use it before using the blade. I thought it was for buffing the edge basically after you sharpen. Maybe I've been doing this wrong, which is certainly a possibility.
post #12 of 21
Live to cook,

If you look at a knife blade under a microscope it will look like a saw blade. The teeth are called burrs. When the burrs get out of wack/bent is when the knife feels dull.

The purpose of the steel is to keep the burrs straight (or to buff). Not to sharpen the knife. So this is why you want to keep using the steel as you go.

You have not been doing it wrong you just need to use it a little more. Then you can sharpen a little less.

D Lee
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Dlee: Thanks for the explanation, perhaps you could provide an example of frequency... if you were chopping say, carrots, would you use the steel every 5 pounds or more or less? I'm sure it's mostly ingrained for you but maybe you could give me a ballpark.
post #14 of 21
Live to cook,

Use the steel every ten fifteen mins. OR you can start to feel the difference in the cut. The more you use the steel the better.

D Lee
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dlee. And I appreciate your help. I'm always grateful to learn something I should have known long ago.
post #16 of 21
ok, with knives, caring for them should be intuitive, once the edge doesnt feel quite as responsive or as keen as it should, then "bring back the edge" with a steel - i use a end to tip down motion on one side, then a tip to end motion on the same side, cross over then repeat on the other side of the blade - use a angle of approx 25 degs.

Once "steeling" the blade is not enough, then you need to sharpen the knife on a whetstone - usually between once a day to once a week, depending on edge. Once again i sharpen with a 25 deg angle - 20 stokes each side of the blade. I then flatten out the angle by stoning the blade 50 time each side with about a 5 to 10 angle - this ends up with a knife that can push a chopping board across a bench.

To check how sharp a knife is, i slide the blade across a tomato , just pulling and pushing the blade to see if it cuts. Another way i check blades, but not really advised is that i slide my finger nail gently along the blade edge - if it leaves a slight groove or cut, the knife is quite sharp.
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nick.Shu. In (feeble) defense of my amateur knives, I can only say that if I used them so often that they needed to be sharpened every day, I would not doubt have gotten decent ones eons ago...
post #18 of 21
live to cook, after viewing your original question, i must say:

There is no thing as such r.e."A impermeable board" - because once you put a slice in a board, wooden or plastic, bacteria can live in the cut, if the board is not looked after, especially plastic, mould can bloom inside - on the other hand, apparently, wooden board have a natural antibacterial effect - but you still need to clean them.

As i said in the post above, once you feel a knife is not sharp enough, then steel it - if this effect is not enough, then stone it. You have to consider that it is generally not what lies under what you cut, but what you actually cut.
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post #19 of 21
I've just ordered four of the 2 in 1 QuickSharps from Main Street Products, which is indeed closing on Friday. However, the Customer Service rep to whom I spoke tells me that they are still available from Home Depot, Target, and WalMart stores. Incidentally, the price they quoted me was $5, not $3.75, but I'm not going to argue!
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
That's interesting MikeLM, I don't suppose you have a URL for that paper?
post #21 of 21

hand made cutting boards

Hello my name is Dave Dapkus and I am a woodworker who has been making wood cutting boards for friends and family for the past few month's and I was wondering if there might be an interest with buying them.
My cutting boards are all custom made with no two the same.
I use quite a few different types of woods some of which include oak,walnut,maple & brazilian cherry just to name a few.Each board is glued together with the best glue available for wood which is subjected to a wet environment.
I would be more than happy to try and make a board to your specifications such as size and type of wood the only exception being the width not to exceed 12 inches due to one of the steps I take in building them.
I consider each woodworking project my own piece of art with great care taken to ensure your satisfaction. One of the most popular comments I receive is that they are to nice to cut on. I have posted some pictures to give a general idea of my work and if you would like to see more of my work Iwould be happy to e mail you more specific pictures of what I have and what i am building.
I hope my solicitation does not offend anyone, I am just trying to make a product in the USA which could be cherished for years to come.
I am located in a small town 42 miles west of Chicago Illinois called Sugar Grove.
I have set up an account with PayPal so ordering with a credit card should not be a problem.
The only problem i have at times is keepin up with demand because of the fact that i stated earlier of my boards being hand made one at a time.

Please feel free to e mail me at
CHICAGOHAND@YAHOO.COM
Or call me direct
Dave at (630) 421-0117
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