Damascus Kitchen Knives
Damascus Kitchen Knives

The cutting board is probably as old as the knife itself. In the kitchen, they can not do without each other. To cut with all conveniences, it is necessary to have boards of the appropriate quality. Today, in stores, the choice of cutting boards is very rich – eyes run wide. Which one to choose, what to be guided by when buying? We hope that the results of our test will help you find answers to these not idle questions.

Boards – brights and throws

The world of modern cutting boards is striking in its diversity. However, they are all divided into two main groups: wooden and plastic. The former is made from dense types of wood (birch, beech, ash, bamboo, etc.). They can have different shapes – a rectangle, a circle, a rhombus, a trapezoid, and an oval. Cutting boards are also divided into the side (ordinary) and end (typesetting), which allow cutting not across, but along the fibers.

Boards made of synthetic materials are widely used. Today, plastic boards are in serious competition with wood. Various materials are used – polyethylene, polypropylene, and acrylic. The possibilities of modern materials have significantly expanded the color range of products – from white to black.

The main characteristics of cutting boards belonging to these groups are comparable – both have their advantages and disadvantages, which creates almost parity conditions for their “competition”. However, quite recently a new circumstance has arisen that can affect the existing balance of power.

The legend of the gardens of Eden

Paulownia has become a troublemaker. Cutting boards made from this exotic wood first appeared in our sale earlier this year.

Paulownia wood is light, soft, does not absorb moisture well, and dries well. It is something that interests us in the first place. The Damascus has long used it to make cutting boards precisely because when it comes into contact with it, the cutting edge of the Damascus Steel knife encounters the least resistance. 

Paulownia wood is an environmentally friendly material that also has antibacterial properties. On this occasion, the scientific editor of our journal, Alexander Maryanko, in his book “Help for those who choose a knife” notes: “Wood, as a material of natural origin, is forced to protect itself “during life” from bacteria, therefore, even after turning into a board, it remains bactericidal. Plastic, of course, does not have such properties. Of course, over time, the bactericidal properties of wood degrade.

Damascus kitchen knives

Damascus kitchen knives have long been firmly established in our market, but cutting boards designed to better preserve their super-sharpness have not yet been observed. Therefore, there was a desire to conduct a test to determine their effect on the wear resistance of the cutting edge of the blade.

According to legend, paulownias grew in abundance in the gardens of Eden. Our forefather Adam rested in their dense shade. Paulownia owes its other name to this legend – Adam’s tree. Paulownia comes from the central regions of China and has become widespread in East Asia, as it prefers a warm and humid climate. 

It is also cultivated in gardens and parks in Europe. In total, there are about a dozen types of paulownia. For example, felt paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa) is a tree 15–20 meters high with a wide crown and large leaves on long petioles. Blooms beautifully. Pale purple flowers (up to 6 cm in diameter) have a pleasant smell and are collected in paniculate inflorescences up to 30 cm long. In general, a truly heavenly tree.

No sooner said than done

For the test, cutting boards were taken from various materials: beech, bamboo, polyethylene, acrylic, ceramics, and paulownia. On each of them, a “cut zone” with a size of 100 × 60 mm was marked. As a cutting tool, a Damascus knife of standard quality (non-professional series) was chosen with a cutting edge sharpness (KK) sufficient to easily cut a sheet of paper or thinly slice a soft product (tomato). 

The cut was made in cycles (one cycle – 10 cuts), and the sharpness of the RK was checked after each cycle. The bluntness of the RC was determined using two simple operations: the knife, with some effort, cut a sheet of paper in the air and began to tear it, and also crushed a soft product, for example, a tomato. Then the RK was brought to the initial degree of sharpness, and the cut was already carried out on another board. The results of the test performed are shown in the table.

Test results

Board material

Number of cutting cycles (1 cycle = 10 cuts)

Condition of the cutting edge of the knife

Notes and recommendations

1. Paulownia (longitudinal orientation of wood fibers)

  • Continues to cut
  • but the quality of the cut has decreased.
  • The surface of the board in the cut zone was noticeably damaged. Recommended for high-quality knives by the advanced user.

2. Beech (longitudinal orientation of wood fibers)

  • The sharpness of the RK noticeably “sits down”, and the knife does not cut the sheet of paper well.
  • Recommended for medium to low
  • price range knives and manual cleaning.

3. Bamboo(longitudinal orientation of wood fibers)

  • Poorly cuts a sheet of paper, tears.
  • Recommended for quality knives of the
  • advanced user.

4. Polypropylene

  • The sharpness of the RK noticeably “sits down”, and the knife does not cut the sheet of paper well.
  • Recommended for medium to low
  • price range knives and machine wash.

5. Polyethylene

  • Sharpness RK “sets”
  • quite smoothly.
  • A practical board for
  • mid-range knives.

Read Other: Top 5 budget Damascus Handmade Chef Knife


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here