M1rror edge sharpening service recommends boos block mystery oil for the protection of wooden cutting boards or "butcher blocks".
We also recommend its use on the wooden handles of older cutlery.
Wooden cutting boards are a favorite of M1rror Edge and the services we provide because wood protects the keenly sharpened edges we routinely grind on our customer's tools.
If your aim is the preservation of your knife edges, a softwood like a Teak, Birch or American Cherry wood is best. The simpler the wood, the better. Although some moderns boards have Intricate patterns and designs, these boards are typically assembled with glue, which is it too hard to protect the edges of a knife. We recommend our customers have them for kitchen decoration only but not as a cutting surface.
Traditional cutting boards were intended to be sacrificial. If they are of the right “softness,” they will show lots and lots of superficial cuts on the surface of the wood. The observation of these “wounds” (A.K.A. Scoring) on the cutting board surface is an excellent indicator that the wood is "soft enough" to protect your newly sharpened edges.
We do not recommend hardwoods like oak or bamboo for use as kitchen cutting boards. Bamboo is one of the hardest woods on earth. Many modern-day kitchens have them because bamboo is a natural anti-microbial wood. However, it is too hard to be used as a cutting surface.
Although we recognize the antimicrobial characteristics of plastic cutting boards, not all plastic cutting boards are created equal. Many plastics or composite materials are too hard to protect the edge of a knife and simply dull them quicker. Plastic (HDPE) cutting boards have been mandated by most state health departments for the use in commercial or professional kitchens simply because they help to prevent cross-contamination are easy to clean, disinfect, and sanitize. Homeowners must keep in mind the professional kitchens typically get their knives sharpened every 2 to 3 weeks, so the plastics in use are not an issue for them.
If the intention is to stop the spread of food-borne illnesses created from bacteria or viruses like salmonella, then one would need to protect and seal their wood cutting boards with the boos block mystery oil and possibly even the wax sealant or cream they offer. In addition to sealing your board one could sanitize and or disinfect their cutting board when needed by scrubbing the board surface with a cut half of a lemon and table salt to kill any pathogens that may be present and remove any odors. If this procedure is performed and the wood is conditioned periodically (Maybe three or four times a year), you can have the best of both worlds: food bourn illness protection and knife-edge preservation.
Glass cutting boards and granite countertops are not the friends of M1rror Edge. These two surfaces are harder than the steel itself and will dull the edge immediately. Unless the goal is to have us sharpen your kitchen knives every month (Wink, Wink), we highly recommend avoidance of these surfaces.
Side Note: Ever wonder why serrated steak knives exist? Through our research and observation, we have learned that the points on these serrated edges protect the cutting edge inside the serration scallop and allows the knife to survive the "torture" it would generally experience being used on porcelain plates. Porcelain or its derivatives is harder than the steel your blade is made from. This difference in hardness is the enemy of a sharp knife.
Although frequent sharpening would be required, our customers find it is more pleasant to cut steak with a keenly sharpened none-serrated edge. You can savor each bite a little more, and it is easier to make smaller cuts. This leads to a more enjoyable meal and aids in digestion.
The Bottom Line: It is possible to protect your blade edges by using a soft wooden cutting board as opposed to the alternatives found in our modern kitchens. With a little maintenance, your kitchen can stay healthy, and you will always have a sharp edge.