The Best Cutting Boards for Every Budget

People like to make fun of “knife guys,” pointing out (pun intended, thanks) that they can be obsessive when it comes to the minutiae of steel types, handle styles, and blades’ edges and bevel options. It’s true that there are many, many kinds of knives to choose from, and the selection can be overwhelming. (That is, unless you simply read some knife reviews from your friendly VICE shopping team.) 

This is maybe a hot take, but as far as I’m concerned, cutting board guys can be even pickier and more particular than knife guys. There are many different wood cuts to choose from (like edge grain vs. end grain), board thicknesses, and the question of whether you need a juice canal for liquid overflow (you don’t). There’s also the classic plastic vs. wood debate. Some would even argue that the kind of knife you’re using should be a big factor in deciding all of this. It’s a lot. (On that note, watch out for the rare “knife and cutting board guy”—he’s intense.) But picking a great cutting board doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.

Ultimately, what you want from a cutting board is something that 1) looks cool and feels good to use, 2) won’t warp quickly, and 3) is sturdy enough to slice and dice everything from the smallest jalapeño to the biggest ol’ squash or sweet potato, all without moving around or getting extremely grimy. While chefs and nerds love arguing about the merits of maple, cherry, and acacia woods, most of us are just out here trying to chop up some tomatoes and garlic for a quick soup before we settle in for a few hours of The Golden Bachelor. Hey, I used to work in a restaurant, and I’ve taken to task plenty of boards doing veg prep with a heavy cleaver, and I can confirm that every task and every prep style necessitates its own particular kind of gear combo (and only you can decide what works best). So this is not to say we should disrespect the board knowledge grind. That said, you can definitely feel confident pulling the trigger on a nice board without spending three hours researching mineral oil compatibility first. 

Here are some quick considerations. 

  • If a board is too thin, it could warp more quickly or slide around (unless you simply place a wet kitchen towel under it, which is what pros do). That’s to say you’ll want something reasonably thick—at least an inch or more. 
  • Beet-slicing and turmeric-rubbing could stain your board, which is partially why you want to keep a wood board oiled and a plastic one regularly wiped down. Is a juice canal necessary? Uh, no, just keep a kitchen towel on you to wipe up the mess, and rinse your board off occasionally—having a clean station is one of the most important parts of cooking. 
  • End grain, which is wood that looks like a cross section of the tree (i.e. a tree seen from the top)—is generally considered the best kind for cutting boards because it’s more malleable and able to bounce back from the hurt you’re putting it through. 
  • Edge grain, on the other hand, is more like the long side of a log, or what you get when you’re looking at a tree vertically. This grain requires less maintenance, but also wears quicker and is easier to split. 
  • Plastic cutting boards can be harder on high-quality knives, but ones with non-porous surfaces (like the ones included below!) are perfectly fine. In any case, just sharpen your knives regularly and you’ll be fine—but that’s another convo entirely (and one that your local knife guy would love to have with you over a couple New England IPAs).

Ultimately, you just want a cutting board that looks cool and works for the kind of cooking you like to do. Don’t overthink it. If your Tinder date or guests say, “Wow, that’s a cool cutting board,” you’ll know you made the right decision. Here are some of our faves.

The Boardsmith

The Boardsmith’s (you know it’s good with that brand name) maple end grain board is a beautiful option—and, at two inches thick, a durable, work-ready one, too. You might have gleaned from the intro to this piece that I’m not a wood obsessive, but you can’t deny that the sustainably harvested premium-grade maple used here is stunning. I mean, just look at this bad boy—after picking this up, you’ll quickly become the salt bae of your neighborhood. Sunglasses not included.


We love OXO because of its no-frills, utilitarian gear that makes it easy for home cooks to attempt pro-level endeavors, whether it’s mixing cocktails, baking bread, or carving a turkey. This plastic cutting board features non-slip feet (important with plastic unless you’re doing the wet towel trick) and easy-pour corners, so all that tasty steak juice can glide easily into the sink (or your mouth) when it’s time to clean. You can’t do any better for a cutting board that’s under $20 (and even at that price, this one will last a long time).

Ironwood Gourmet

NGL, this Ironwood Gourmet stunner is my favorite cutting board. I’ve had it for years, I think it’s gorgeous, and I feel good about myself every time I pull it off the shelf to use. More than anything, it just fits my vibe, which is what you should be looking for. Made with acacia wood, this end grain board is a 1.25-inch-thick beast that will handle anything you throw at it. 

Hayate Yoshihiro

Think non-wood cutting boards can’t also be artisanal masterpieces? You are wrong! This board from Yoshihiro is made with a synthetic soft polyvinyl acetate that’s designed to “minimize stress on both your hand and your knife’s blade edge.” If you’re worried about using your cool Japanese carbon steel knife on a cheap plastic cutting board, just try one of these. 

John Boos & Co.

Boos is probably the most “famous” of the cutting board brands. Like, you’re going to see Boos on cooking shows, or maybe at a nice restaurant with a window into the kitchen. Hell, even I own one of these. One of the most popular options from this brand is this attractive edge grain jawn, which includes recessed finger grips (super useful on heavier models) and a nice oil finish. If you want to convince guests that you’re an absolute fucking monster in the kitchen (or a serial killer), get the 20 inch x 15 inch, 2.25-inch-thick board. I have the latter, obviously.


The reBoard from Material is not only handsome and versatile, but super sustainable, if that matters to you. It’s BPA-free and “made entirely of kitchen plastic scraps and renewable sugarcane.” It’s also very light, way stylish, and perfect for whatever prep work you’re getting into. I love using mine to cut citrus for cocktails, of all things. Pretty, upscale, dependable, and good for the environment… all for a cool $35.

Brooklyn Butcher Blocks 

Brooklyn Butcher Blocks is one of the most respected artisan cutting board producers in the game. Its 12-inch-by-18-inch option is 1.75 inches thick, making it a heavy, sturdy option that will last a long time. This one is also an end grain board made of maple, so it’s going to be durable as hell.

Chop chop. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals?Sign up for our newsletter.


You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes