5 Best Cutting Boards for Japanese Knives

5 Best Cutting Board for Japanese Knives
Japanese knives are among the most delicate kitchen tools available. Japanese blades are very sharp, so they dull very fast if not used on an ideal cutting surface.People who have or buy Japanese knives are more likely to look for the best cutting board to keep their blades from becoming dull and save a significant amount of money since Japanese knives are pretty costly in comparison.

There are various choices when it comes to finding the ideal chopping surface for a Japanese knife. Reading this ultimate guide will help you make an informed decision when purchasing a cutting board for your Japanese knife.


Your Japanese knife is getting dull day by day, so grab the best cutting board for your Japanese knife and preserve them immediately.

Best Cutting Boards for Japanese Knives at a Glance

Yoshihiro Hi-soft High Performance Professional Grade Cutting Board Japanese Sashimi Chef's Tool Made in Japan
1Our Pick
Professional Grade Cutting Board

Shun DM0817 Hinoki Cutting Board, Large
2Our Pick
Shun DM0817 Hinoki Cutting Board

Yoshihiro Hinoki Cypress Japanese Natural Wooden Professional Grade Cutting Board (X-Large) Made in Japan
3Our Pick
Yoshihiro Hinoki Cypress Japanese Natural Wooden Cutting Board

Kiso Hinoki Cutting Boards, Made in Japan, Authentic Japanese Cypress, 20 x 12 x 1 Inch
4Our Pick
Japanese Natural Wooden Professional Grade Cutting Board

Yoshihiro Hi-soft High Performance Professional Grade Cutting Board Japanese Sashimi Chef's Tool Made in Japan (Medium)
5Our Pick
Notrax Sani-Tuff Premium Rubber Cutting Board

Ideal Cutting Boards For Japanese Knives

When choosing a cutting board for Japanese knives, the material of the cutting board is the most significant consideration, and you should be able to choose from a variety of options.
However, a Cutting board made of synthetic rubber and plastic is no doubt an excellent option for any Japanese knife.
As an alternative, you can use a chopping board made of softwoods like end-grain edge-grain.
These are considered the best cutting board boards for Japanese knives because they all are soft enough not to damage or dull your expensive Japanese knives.

1. Hi-soft cutting board (made in Japan) Recommended

High-soft grade cutting boards are undoubtedly the most reliable option for high carbon steel knives like Japanese knives.
Since the polyvinyl acetate material is soft, you won’t feel any strain on your hand or the knife. This prolongs the life of your blades and improves their edge retention.
Observation Worth Reading
We observed during our research that most of the users’ complained about these cutting boards getting scratched too early, but it’s not due to the low quality of the board, and it’s due to the misuse of the Yoshihiro hi-soft cutting boards.
But it’s not true because they are designed for knives with sharp edges like Japanese knives, so you need to let the blade do the work, don’t force the knife too hard as it will undoubtedly scratch the soft cutting board.

Pros

  • Professional cutting board
  • Specially designed for high carbon steel knives like Japanese knives.
  • No extra maintenance like wooden cutting boards
  • The performance is comparable to exotic wood cutting boards “without maintenance.”
  • Lightweight as compared to wooden cutting boards.
  • Durable and easy to clean.
  • One inch thick and solid yet soft enough that your knives do not dull.
  • Extremely easy on the sharp blades of your Japanese knives.
  • Preferred for cutting meat.
  • The rubber surface prevents water from seeping through.

Cons

  • Perfect for just slicing and chopping.
  • Not preferred for cleaver-like actions.
  • Get stained quickly if not washed within an hour after using it.
  • Serrated bread knives should not be used on this cutting board.

2.  Shun Hinoki Cutting Board

While cutting, the soft texture of this cypress wood allows the edges of your Japanese cutlery to remain sharp and prevents them from becoming chipped or damaged, which most chefs want.
The reason for this is that these boards are constructed from a unique type of Japanese Cypress that does not require any sanding or protective coating before use because of its inherently water-resistant characteristics.
Maintaining this cutting board is straightforward, one of its most appealing characteristics. Before each use, spritz it with water to keep stains at bay. After each use, wash it with water or a light detergent and pat it dry quickly.

Pros

  • Soft enough to not dull your sharp knives.
  • Lightweight and it is a pleasure to handle this board.
  • Easy to care for and maintain.
  • Before you use it, wet it with water. Hand wash and dry right away after you use it.
  • The softer wood is perfect for Shun knives.
  • With a lovely natural aroma using this board is like heaven.
  • The medium-soft cypress wood “gives” when sliced, preserving the edges of your fine pricey knives.
  • Pre-wet cutting board to prevent stains; wash with mild detergent, towel dry, then air-dry.

Cons

  • The color of the hinoki board is light, it is more vulnerable to staining than other types of wood. If you want to avoid this from happening, moisten the board before using it.

Hinoki Wood For Japanese Cutting Boards

Hinoki is a type of wood derived from Japanese Cypress. It has a distinct and pleasant fragrance, and it is softer than other board materials in comparison which makes these boards for sharp knives like Japanese knives.
With the wooden cutting board, it is necessary to clean it down with oil. In that instance, it is due to the wood’s natural characteristics, including the fact that it matures without cracking or splitting and has natural antibacterial capabilities that prevent bacterial growth. However, it is recommended by both Shun and Kiso producers that it be treated with mineral oil before use.

3.Yoshihiro Hinoki Cutting Board

It is made from Hinoki Cypress Wood, an excellent natural material for a cutting board for Japanese knives. It is precisely engineered to reduce stress on your hand and the blade, resulting in better edge retention and an overall longer lifespan for your knives.
The four different board sizes make this set an excellent choice for anyone who wants to provide the finest possible care for their Japanese blades. These boards, which were created in Japan, help to prolong the life of your Japanese knife edges.
Yoshihiro Wood for Cutting Board
Yoshihiro wood does not expand or warp when treated adequately before use. Furthermore, when you open one of these well-packaged boxes, you’ll be greeted by a magnificent pine and cedar perfume that will quickly fill whatever place you enter.
Yoshihiro cutting boards are another example of the best cutting boards for Japanese knives if you prefer natural cutting boards made of premium quality wood.

Pros

  • Premium Hinoki Wood
  • High Durability
  • Won’t slip while chopping
  • Pleasant smell.
  • Perfect size and thickness
  • Really soft, which makes it suitable for Japanese knives
  • Hinoki wood has high levels of wood sap content, which may periodically leak depending on temperature and humidity.
  • High in natural oil contents, which enhances durability

Cons

  • Hinoki wood has a lot of wood sap, which may come out at different times depending on the temperature and humidity.
  • Highly dependent on temperature and humidity.
  • Must be kept in dry and low-temperature conditions
  • The price is high, but the quality justifies it.

4. Kiso Hinoki Cutting Boards

These cutting boards are made in Japan and will help your knives last longer. They are made of hinoki wood, which won’t swell or warp if handled correctly before and after use.
The five different board sizes make this set an excellent choice for anybody who wants to provide the finest possible care for their Japanese blades.
Furthermore, when you open one of these well-packaged boxes, you’ll be greeted with magnificent pine and cedar perfume that will quickly fill your kitchen.

Pros

  • When used with highly sharp yet brittle high carbon knives, the softness of this board makes it ideal for precise slicing and dicing.
  • It is lightweight and easy to clean.
  • It has a wonderful natural scent that stays even after washing and rewashing the board.

Cons

  • The light tone of the hinoki board’s wood poses a significant risk of staining than darker woods. To avoid this from happening, moisten the board before using it.
  • The soft nature of this cutting board doesn’t allow serrated knives as they will damage and cause cracks on your cutting board.

5. Sani-Tuff Premium Rubber Cutting Board

Using NoTrax cutting boards is a low-cost method of keeping your Japanese knives safe. If you want to cut down on the amount of time you spend sharpening things, this board could be a good investment for you. They are made of natural rubber, which helps to keep odors and germs away while providing a sharper edge for your knives than other boards.
Sani-Tuff is a durable material that will not crack or break even when subjected to repeated use. As a result, you can count on it to withstand years of tricky slicing and chopping tasks without breaking down!

Pros

  • Tested and certified by NSF International.
  • It may be refinished using sanding to increase its life.
  • Made with 100% high-density all-natural rubber.

Cons

  • It stains very quickly due to its white color.
  • This board is not dishwasher safe.
  • It is heftier than other boards for Japanese knives and causes trouble when washing.
  • A little bit harder than other cutting board options.
  • Even after washing, the unpleasant odor emanating from the board is impossible to ignore.

Plastic or Synthetic Rubber Cutting Board

Most people choose a plastic or synthetic rubber cutting board for their kitchen worktop. These materials are heat resistant and will not crack under stress. When choosing a fine chopping surface for your sharp Japanese knives, look for one made from high-quality synthetic rubber, and Yoshihiro Hi-soft cutting board is the perfect choice in this regard. This material is knife-friendly, sturdier, will not warp, and will be easier to clean and maintain.

Cutting boards that will ruin your expensive Japanese chef’s knife

The worst mistake you can ever make is choosing the wrong cutting board for your Japanese knife. This will waste lots of your time and money and make you a terrible chef, which you never want to be.
Never use these cutting Boards for Japanese Knives:

  • Glass cutting boards
  • Bamboo cutting boards
  • Oak, walnut, beech, and maple cutting boards
  • The biggest blunder you can make while shopping for the best cutting board for Japanese or chef knives is to get one made of glass, bamboo, or other hardwoods like mentioned above.

Reasons why hardwoods are not preferred for Japanese knives

  • They can dull your Japanese or chef knives rapidly.
  • Despite being hard, they slip around when chopping.
  • They have a poor ability to treat Japanese knives and will damage them.

Things you should consider when looking for a cutting board for a Japanese knife

Using softwoods for your knives, such as Cypress (Hinoki), Ginkgo or Acacia, can provide a better cutting experience. Due to their softness, these woods offer excellent grip between blades and the cutting board, rather than gliding the blade over it.
If you want a board that will endure for a long time, use end grain. The advantage of end grain is that it can be sanded more consistently, allowing for a more smooth and clean finish to be maintained. End grain thickness should be at least 2 inches (50 millimeters) in length and width.

Key points to look for in the best cutting board for a Japanese knife

Keypoints

  • The material should be soft enough not to dull your blades.
  • Boards made of synthetic material are perfect for Japanese or chef’s knives.
  • Don’t ever use cutting boards made of hardwood.
  • Edge and end grain cutting boards are the last options for Japanese knives.

You don’t want to use any form of wood for a cutting board that will dull your blade rapidly and causes microchipping where the steel touches the surface material due to friction. When it comes to Japanese knives, softwoods are the best choice since they give a firmer grip without wearing down the edge of your blade with each cut.

Are you using a special cutting board for Japanese knives?

Japanese blades are conventionally made of carbon steel called (hagane) which is the main reason for their incredible sharpness. Carbon steel and other related steels are usually hard and require a perfect chopping surface that protects the knives from getting dull quickly.
A softwood or rubber cutting board will prevent the edge of your knife from abrasion. With time, your blades will become much duller if you use the wrong cutting surface for your pricey Japanese knives.
You don’t want to waste money on a new set of pricey Japanese knives because you overlooked this crucial point! So make sure to buy the most suitable and perfect chopping board for a Japanese knife.

Carrying your Japanese knife

The most you can do to preserve your knives is to buy the best cutting board for Japanese knives, and everything comes after this.
If you don’t have the perfect chopping surface for Japanese or chef knives, then anything you do to keep your blades safe is just in vain.
Your Japanese carving knives will need to be kept dry and well protected. If you store your knives in a drawer, the drawer will eventually warp from heat and moisture. Try to keep your knives in the best place possible.

Final verdict

You must search for an ideal chopping surface for your Japanese knives that will prevent them from becoming dull and save you a lot of money.
To ensure that your knife stays sharp, it is recommended to use the best cutting board for Japanese knives that will not cause the blade to become dull. Hi-soft or softwood hinoki, in my opinion, is the most excellent material for this because they are less prone to harming your knife’s edge and producing more wear on them.
The best cutting boards for Japanese knives vary by size and dimensions, but they are generally one foot by twelve feet and usually have enough room for food preparation and storage. It is also possible to order these boards online directly from the woodshop.

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