October 19, 2023

Last Updated: October 20, 2023

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The Best Rubber Cutting Boards (And Why You Might Want One)

By trk

Last Updated: October 20, 2023

Rubber is the latest thing in cutting boards. It's soft, sanitary, and easy on knives. But is it the right choice for you?

We take a detailed look at rubber cutting boards to help you decide if they're something you might want in your kitchen. We look at features, pros and cons, the best brands, and include a buying guide to help you choose.

The Best Rubber Cutting Boards at a Glance

Here are our favorite, highest rated rubber cutting boards.

Cutting Board


Best Overall: Yoshihiro Hi-Soft Cutting Board

see Yoshihiro board on Amazon

Yoshihiro Hi-Soft Cutting Board, large

-100% Synthetic rubber (polyvinyl acetate)

-Large: 19.6x10.6x0.8" (best size for most cooks)

-Other sizes available (all larger)

-No grooves or feet, small handles on some models

-Not dishwasher safe

-NSF approved

-Weighs about 6 lbs.

-Made in Japan

-About $130.

Best Price: Asahi Cutting Board

see Asahi cutting board on Amazon

Asahi cutting board

-Synthetic rubber (polyvinyl acetate)

-Contains wood powder so it feels more like a wood board

-15.7x9x0.5" Large (two other sizes available)

-No grooves, handles, or feet

-Food Sanitation Act approved

-Made in Japan

-Weighs about 6 lbs.

-About $66.

Lightest: Hasegawa Cutting Board

see Hasegawa board at MTC Kitchen

Hasegawa cutting board

-Synthetic rubber with wood core, protective plastic sides


-No grooves, handles, or feet

-NSF approved

-SIAA approved

-Dishwasher safe (but we recommend hand wash)

-Weighs 3.7 lbs

-Made in Japan

-About $85.

American Made: NoTrax Sani-Tuff 

see Sani-Tuff board on Amazon

NoTrax Sani-Tuff cutting board with meat

-100% natural rubber

-15x20x0.75" (other sizes and shapes available)

-No grooves, handles or feet (some models have grooves)

-Not dishwasher safe

-Weighs 9.7 lbs

-Made in USA

-NSF approved

-About  $150.

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What Is a Rubber Cutting Board?

Yoshihiro Hi-Soft cutting board with salmon and Japanese knife

Rubber cutting boards were created for a couple of reasons. One is that wooden cutting boards aren't as sanitary (because of their porosity) and are not legal to use in many professional kitchens. Rubber offers a more hygienic cutting surface and most of them are certified for use in professional kitchens. In fact, rubber cutting boards were designed to feel as close to wood as possible.

Another reason is that rubber cutting boards are better for knife blades. The surface is soft and flexible, so it is extremely easy on knives. Rubber is easier on your knives than wood, and much easier than plastic, bamboo, laminated boards, and of course, glass and marble.

If you have expensive knives, especially Japanese knives, a rubber cutting board is a smart purchase; it's also great if you just hate sharpening knives and you want to keep your edges sharp for as long as possible. 

Whether a rubber cutting board is the right choice for you depends on several factors, including knives, cutting style, aesthetic preferences, and more.

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Features of Rubber Cutting Boards

Rubber cutting boards have a number of appealing features, including:

  • Better for your knives than wood or plastic
  • Soft surface reduces strain on hand and wrist
  • Non-porous and naturally. anti-microbial
  • Easy-to-clean with just soap and water
  • Can sand to resurface 
  • NSF Certification (suitable for restaurants)
  • Won't crack or splinter like a wood cutting board.

To see the downside of rubber cutting boards, see the Pros and Cons section below.

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Is Rubber a Safe Material for a Cutting Board?

Yes, rubber is a safe material for cutting boards. It is non-porous, extremely hygienic, and excellent for knife blades. 

Most rubber cutting boards are not dishwasher safe, so you should wash them by hand.

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Synthetic Vs. Natural Rubber Cutting Boards

Japanese rubber cutting boards are made from synthetic rubber, usually (but not always) polyvinyl acetate (PVE). The board surfaces are textured to feel like authentic wood, though they have very different characteristics than wood (which we'll get into more detail about below). 

The American-made rubber cutting board we tested (the only one we found), the Sani-Tuff board by NoTrax, is made with natural rubber, which is as hygienic as synthetic rubber (and NSF approved) while offering a slightly different texture. 

Synthetic Japanese rubber cutting boards are more popular than the American natural rubber board, but that may be because rubber cutting boards originated in Japan and have a loyal following there, while here in the USA, rubber cutting boards are still a pretty novel item.

In our testing, we liked both of them and saw very little difference in performance. However, synthetic rubber edges out natural rubber in terms of durability and resistance to staining (though they both stain fairly easily). 

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Who Are Rubber Cutting Boards Best For?

Rubber cutting boards are best for:

  • Professional chefs who can't use a wood board in their kitchen
  • People who have expensive knives or want to keep an edge on their knives
  • People who want to minimize stress on their cutting hand and wrist
  • People who don't want a wood, plastic, or bamboo board
  • People who don't use a rock chop or serrated blades (which you can't use on a rubber board).

Are rubber boards better than wood boards? It really depends on personal preference. As in the bullet points above, take note that you can't use a rock chop on a rubber board, or a serrated blade. You can't use a rock chop because rubber boards are very grippy, so they "grab" the knife and don't really allow for fast rocking of the blade. You can't use a serrated blade for the same reason: the grippy surface grabs the serrations so the knife won't "flow" across the surface like it can on wood, plastic, and bamboo.

So before you buy a rubber board, think about how you cut and if your style will work with a rubber cutting board.

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How to Care for Rubber Cutting Boards

Washing a Rubber Cutting Board

Rubber cutting boards are easy to care for. They are non-porous and naturally resistant to bacteria, so all they really need is a thorough washing after use.

Most rubber boards must be washed by hand (they can warp or melt in a dishwasher), and even if they are labeled dishwasher safe, you should consider washing by hand to get the longest life out of your board.

Other than that, there aren't any essential care instructions. When the surface gets too cut up or stained, you can sand it smooth, which we talk more about in the next section.

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Scraping (Sanding) a Rubber Cutting Board

One cool feature of rubber cutting boards is that you can sand them down when the surface gets too sliced up or stained. This is great because it makes rubber boards usable for several years; in some cases, decades.

The thicker the board, the more times you can sand it down. And it's easier than wood because there's no need to smooth out the surface after sanding. They're ready to go.

The Japanese brand Hasegawa makes a cutting board "scraper" you can use to clean or sand down the board:

Hasegawa cutting board scraper

You can use the scraper to smooth out the texture of a board too if you want it smoother. 

If you don't want to invest in a scraper, you can use sandpaper. Sani-Tuff recommends a fine grit sandpaper (100 grit) for best results.

You can also use a scraper to work stains out of a cutting board surface--be sure to use the finishing side or a fine grit sandpaper for this.

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Do Rubber Cutting Boards Warp?

Yes, rubber cutting boards can warp. This is one of the reasons you shouldn't put them in the dishwasher, because the high heat can cause warping (and possibly melting, too). 

The thicker the rubber board, the more warp-resistant it will be. However, thickness adds weight, so you may not want to go too thick. We think 0.75" is a good thickness for a rubber cutting board.

The good news is that if a rubber board does warp, you can usually flatten it out with a heavy weight. 

Are rubber cutting boards more prone to warping than other cutting board materials? It depends on a few factors, including thickness as well as how you take care of the board. To avoid warping a rubber board, don't put it in the dishwasher, and don't store it on its side (store it flat).

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Pros and Cons of Rubber Cutting Boards

  • Excellent cutting surface for knives
  • High friction makes them very stable (even if thin)
  • Non-porous, very sanitary
  • Less impact on your hand and wrist
  • Easier maintenance than wood (no oiling)
  • Easy to clean (even by hand)
  • Can be sanded down to create a new surface free of cuts and stains.
  • Most aren't dishwasher safe
  • Can be heavy
  • No rock chopping or serrated knives
  • Japanese boards come in different sizes than American boards
  • Can stain rather easily
  • Not as pretty as wood boards.

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What to Look for in a Cutting Board (A Buying Guide)

Yoshihiro cutting boards with vegetables

Here are the important factors to consider when buying a cutting board.


There are a number of cutting board materials, including wood, plastic, rubber, bamboo, glass, marble, and laminated materials (like Epicurean). Wood boards can be made from several types of wood, with the most popular choices being maple, walnut, cherry, teak, and acacia. Wood boards can be either edge grain or end grain (see our article Best Woods for Cutting Boards for more information).

You may want a few different cutting boards: plastic and rubber are good for raw meat; wood is great for most things, including veggies, fruits, and roasted meats. Laminated boards are good for most tasks because they can go in a dishwasher, but they're harder on your knives than wood or rubber. Bamboo boards are also multi-purpose, but are also harder on knives--though, along with plastic, they are usually one of the most affordable choices.

Please do not use glass or marble cutting boards for actual cutting because they're terrible for your knives--but they're great for presentation.


Size is a major consideration when buying a cutting board. For a main prepping board, you want the largest size that fits your counter. A big board makes prep work easier. 

For a main board, a good size for most cooks is about 18 x 24 inches. A medium-sized board is around 10 x 14 inches, which can work for a main board if you have limited counter space, and a small board is about 8 x 10 inches. An oversized cutting board will run about 20 x 30 inches and can go much larger than this, particularly when we're talking about Japanese rubber cutting boards.

If you're looking for a cutting board for roasted meat, you want one big enough for a whole roast or chicken easily (or better yet, a turkey)--and grooved edges are also a good idea. 

If you're looking for a board for cheeses or serving, any size that's easy for you to carry and move will work.

One other note here is that you shouldn't get a cutting board that's too big to fit in your sink because it makes it a lot harder to keep clean.


A cutting board should be durable enough to withstand cutting and cleaning over many years. Most cutting board materials are durable, including wood, plastic, bamboo, and laminated boards. Rubber is also quite durable, with some rubber cutting boards lasting decades in professional Japanese kitchens.

If you're buying a main prepping board, durability is an important consideration.

You may also want some cheap, flexible plastic cutting boards, which have their place in most kitchens. They're a convenient way to slide a lot of prepped foods into a pan or bowl. They'll last about a year, depending on use, but the price makes them worth it if you want something that's easy to move and wash.

Rubber cutting boards have a reputation for durability. And when the surface is too cut or stained to continue using, you can sand it down and create a brand new surface. The thicker the board you buy, the more times you can do this. But even thin rubber cutting boards are durable, though more prone to warping.

Bacteria Resistance

Some materials have better bacteria resistance than others. Wood, bamboo, and rubber all have excellent natural bacteria resistance. Plastic is not bacteria resistant, but it's dishwasher safe, so it's easy to kill the pathogens on a plastic cutting board.

You should wash your cutting board after every use, especially if you used it for raw meat. Thorough cleaning is the best way to avoid cross-contamination. Having dedicated cutting boards for different purposes is also a good idea.

Rubber is one of the most non-porous materials you can find for cutting boards, so it's a great choice for reducing pathogens--but you still have to wash thoroughly after using.


Design refers to a number of features, including weight, thickness, grooves or no grooves, handles, and overall appearance.

Weight: A lighter cutting board is easier to wash and store, but a heavier one is more stable (and therefore safer) to use. If you're young and don't have any ergonomic issues, then weight probably isn't a big concern for you, but if you're older or do have ergonomic issues, then light weight should be on your to-buy list.

Rubber cutting boards are heavy because rubber is a naturally dense material. If you want a rubber cutting board but don't want a super heavy one, go with Asahi's 0.5" thick board, or with a Hasegawa board, which has a wood core, making it lighter than most other rubber boards. 

Thickness: Thickness (meaning: height) is important because thicker boards hold up better and warp less easily than thinner boards. However, thickness also adds weight, so if you want a lighter board, you'll want a thinner one (regardless of material).

Thickness can also affect usability, especially if you're short. For some people, there's a significantly different feel between a half-inch thick board and an inch-thick board.

For rubber boards, we think 0.75" is an ideal thickness: thin enough to be not too heavy, but thick enough to resist warping. But if you want something lighter, a 0.5" board is a good option, and if you don't mind the weight, a one-inch thick rubber board is super stable and durable.

Grooved Edges: If you're using a cutting board for carving meat, then a grooved edge is a must-have feature. It prevents juices from spilling onto your counter or table.

A grooved edge is less important for a general prepping board, a cheese or fruit board, or a presentation board. And since a groove reduces the usable space of the cutting board, you should only get a grooved board if you need one.

Rubber cutting boards tend to not have grooves, but you can find some that do.

Handle: If a board is heavy, if you'll be moving it often, or if you want the option to hang it, a handle is a great feature. Handles can be indentations in the side of the board for you to grip (seen mostly on wood board), a hole cut at one end of the board (usually shaped to fit several fingers), or a handle on one end.

Rubber cutting boards tend to not have any handles, but if they do, they're usually a hole at one end of the board.

Rubber Feet: Rubber feet are a useful feature. They keep a board stable while you're using it, so they make a board safer. However, feet make a board usable on just one side, so if you want to use both sides of a cutting board (such as one side for veggies and one side for fruit), rubber feet aren't a good feature.

Rubber cutting boards don't need rubber feet because they're made of rubber, so they're very stable and tend to stay put during use.

Ease of Maintenance

For most people, ease of maintenance means is the cutting board dishwasher safe? Plastic boards can go in the dishwasher, but wood, bamboo, and most rubber boards can't. 

Ease of maintenance can also mean not having to oil a wood or bamboo board, which needs to be done at least a few times a year. Rubber cutting boards require hand washing, but they don't need to be oiled, making them easier to maintain than wood or bamboo.

Washing cutting boards isn't hard. Warm soapy water does the trick, so unless your board is too big to fit in your sink, basic cleaning is easy regardless of what type of cutting board you have, even if you don't put it in the dishwasher.

Rubber cutting boards may need to be sanded down occasionally, either to remove stains or smooth out the surface. This is needed only after several years of use (typically), and is easy to do.

One note here, also mentioned above in the Size section, is that you shouldn't get a cutting board that's too big to fit in your sink. This makes it harder to wash.

Hardness on Knives

The hardness of a cutting board is important because it affects your knives. If a board is too hard, it will dull your knives quickly, so you'll have to sharpen them more often (or, as many people do but shouldn't, live with dull knives).

Rubber is one of the best surfaces for your knives and is recommended for people who have expensive knives, especially Japanese knives. In fact, the main reason most people buy a rubber cutting board is because they want a surface that's gentle on their knives. 

Wood is also a good choice if you want a board that's easy on your knives, but different woods have different hardnesses, so you should do some research before you decide what to buy. (The most knife-friendly woods are cherry, maple, and acacia. The least knife friendly woods are mohogany, teak, and rosewood.)

All woods are harder than rubber, so rubber beats wood for taking the best care of your knives.

Bamboo, plastic, and laminated boards are all harder on your knives than rubber and wood. They are not unusably so, but if you use one of these materials regularly, they will dull your knives at a faster rate than wood, and a much faster rate than rubber.

Glass and marble are terrible for knives, so avoid these materials for use as regular cutting boards--though they're great for presentation boards.

Ease of Storage

A big, heavy board is harder to move and store, so a lot of cooks leave their large boards on the counter permanently. They can really look great, but if you have limited counter space, this might cause a problem. A bigger board can also be harder to clean, especially if you can't fit it in your sink.

Rubber boards can be heavy, so you may want to leave it out on your counter most of the time. Rubber boards are also prone to warping if they are stored on their sides, so to avoid this, you should store a rubber board flat. This is an additional factor that can make rubber boards harder to store than other materials. 

Heat Resistance

Heat resistance is only important if you're going to use the cutting board as a trivet, although you never know when you might need to set a hot pan down on a board--so heat resistance is a good feature, especially if you have limited counter space.

Probably the most heat resistant materials are wood, bamboo, and laminated boards (like Epicurean). 

If you're going to use your board as a trivet (or want the option to), it should be made of a heat resistant material. Wood, bamboo, and laminated boards are all good choices for heat resistance.

Rubber is not a good choice if you want a heat resistant board.

Resistance to Warping

In general, thin cutting boards warp more easily than thick ones. This is true for all types of cutting board materials.

To avoid warping, always wash cutting boards after use, never leave them soaking, and dry them on end or better yet, in a wire rack so air can circulate around all sides.

Rubber cutting boards can be prone to warping if put in the dishwasher or stored on their side. The thinner the board, the more likely it is to warp, but all thicknesses of rubber boards can warp. If a rubber board warps, it can often be straightened out by putting a heavy weight on it until it flattens out.

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How Many Cutting Boards Do You Need (And What Type)?

How many cutting boards you need depends on a few factors, including the foods you eat, your washing methods, and how concerned you are about cross-contamination.

We think every kitchen needs at least two cutting boards, and three is better: one dedicated to meats, one dedicated to vegetables, and one dedicated to fruits (you don't want to use the veggie board for fruits to avoid your fruits tasting oniony or garlicky).

You may also want a cutting board for cheeses, and possibly a cutting board that doubles as a serving board for cheese and crackers, charcuterie, and roasted meats.

These cutting boards should also be made of different materials. For raw meats, you'll probably want a plastic or rubber cutting board: plastic is great because you can throw it in the dishwasher, but it's harder on your knives. Most rubber boards have to be hand-washed, but they are non-porous and an excellent cutting surface for raw meats, especially if you have high-end blades.

For fruits and veggies, any type of board will work, but we like wood. If you get a reversible board, you can use one side for veggies and one side for fruit.

And for cheeses and presentations, you can go with any kind of board you want. We don't recommend glass or marble boards for any type of cutting because they will kill your knives, but they make beautiful presentation boards.

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The Best Rubber Cutting Boards (Our Recommendations)

Here are our rubber cutting board recommendations based on our research and testing.

Best Overall: Yoshihiro Hi-Soft Cutting Board

Yoshihiro Hi-Soft Cutting Board, large

See Yoshihiro Hi-Soft cutting board on Amazon

19.6" x 10.6" x 0.8" about $130 (this is the smallest size and good for most home cooks)


  • 100% Synthetic rubber (polyvinyl acetate)
  • Other sizes available (all larger: they make smaller ones but they aren't available on Amazon)
  • No grooves or feet
  • Small handles on some models
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • NSF approved
  • Weighs about 6 lbs.
  • Made in Japan.

What we like: Yoshihiro says their Hi-Soft cutting board is "constructed to be the best cutting surface for high carbon steel knives." Also, that the soft cutting surface will minimize stress on both blades and your hand and wrist. Though this is probably true for all rubber cutting boards, the Yoshihiro seems to be a cut above the other boards we tested.

Of course, this depends on what you're looking for. But if you want an authentic rubber board designed for use with Japanese knives in professional Japanese kitchens, then the Yoshihiro is probably the best choice. 

It does not have the feel of a wood cutting board. The friction is high, so food will not slide off of it easily. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you want to do. It's superb for slicing fish and meat, but not great for sliding food into a bowl or pan (not only due to the friction but also the weight).

Some people complained about cuts going deep into the surface and ruining the board, but that probably has more to do with cutting style than any lack of quality. A light touch is essential with any Japanese cutting board, and the rubber surface is quite conducive to the Japanese style of cutting. If you have a heavy hand with your knife, this is probably not the cutting board for you.

What we don't like: Like other rubber cutting boards, you can't use a rock chop or a serrated knife, and you can't put it in the dishwasher. We are a little concerned about some of the cutting issues and the board not holding up well, so don't get this board if you're not going to use primarily Japanese cutting techniques.

Yoshihiro Hi-Soft cutting board with salmon and Japanese knife

buy yoshihiro hi-soft cutting board:

Amazon buy button

Best Price: Asahi Cutting Board

Asahi cutting board

See Asahi cutting board on Amazon

15.7x9x0.5" about $66 (Large size)


  • Synthetic rubber (polyvinyl acetate)
  • Contains wood powder to mimic the feel of a wood cutting board
  • Two other sizes available, though they are similar
  • No grooves, handles, or feet
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Food Sanitation Act approved
  • Made in Japan
  • Weighs about 6 lbs.

What we like: Asahi cutting boards are some of the highest quality Japanese rubber cutting boards, as good as Hasegawa, but heavier because they are rubber all the way through. In fact, Asahi is probably the more popular choice of professional Japanese chefs.

Because it contains wood powder, the surface is harder than other rubber cutting boards (and slightly harder on knives), but it is also has a feel closest to wood than any other rubber cutting board. However, it is still quite grippy, as you'd expect from a rubber cutting board.

It's heavier than the Hasegawa, but being only 0.5" thick, it's still only about 6 pounds: more than a plastic board, but less than a thick wooden cutting board of the same size.

If you're looking for an authentic Japanese rubber cutting board, the Asahi is an excellent choice.

We like that the Asahi comes in different thicknesses; the board we recommend is on the thin side at just 0.5", but is also one of the lighter Asahi boards, and easy to move and store.

What we don't like: Like most other rubber cutting boards, you have to wash it by hand, you can't use a rock chop, and you can't use serrated knives. It's also a little on the heavy side, but nothing like the Sani-Tuff (below). 

It's also going to be just a little harder on your knives than rubber boards that don't contain wood powder, but it much improves the feel of the cutting surface. However, since you can't rock chop or use serrated knives, you may prefer a softer board that's better for your knives.

Asahi cutting board with carrots


Amazon buy button

Lightest: Hasegawa Cutting Board

Hasegawa cutting board

See Hasegawa board at MTC Kitchen

17x11x0.8" about $85


  • Synthetic rubber with wood core, protective plastic sides
  • 30% lighter than most other rubber cutting boards
  • No grooves, handles, or feet
  • NSF approved
  • SIAA approved
  • Dishwasher safe (but we recommend hand wash)
  • Weighs 3.7 lbs
  • Made in Japan.

What we like: The Hasegawa cutting board is one of the lightest rubber cutting boards we looked at, due to its wood core. At under 4 pounds, this board is significantly lighter than other brands of a similar size.

Hasegawa also has a reputation for excellent quality and workmanship. It is favored by many professional Japanese chefs for sushi, vegetable preparation, and most other cutting tasks.

The grippy surface is excellent for precision and careful, delicate cuts. It is an extremely stable cutting surface and it won't slide around on your counter. 

Weighing less than 4 pounds makes this board easy to pick up, move around, and wash in the sink.

It does a nice job of "self-healing" from cuts, and the non-porous surface is clean and sanitary; it's safe to use in any professional kitchen.

We like that this board is dishwasher safe, although we've read conflicting recommendations on this, so we recommend hand washing for longest life. (We put the board in the dishwasher and it did not warp.)

Like most rubber cutting boards, you can "scrape" this board down, i.e., sand it, to create a smooth and unstained cutting surface. Hasegawa sells a scraper you can use to keep the board in top shape: one side is to remove deep down stains, and the other side is for sanding the surface.

What we don't like: Like all rubber/synthetic rubber cutting boards, the Hasegawa board is high-friction, so you can't easily slide food off of it. Its lightness somewhat makes up for this, but if you're used to sliding food off a board into a pan or bowl, you might find yourself frustrated with this board. This board is designed for Japanese cutting--excellent for fish!--so no rock chopping or serrated blades. 

Hasegawa cutting board with fish


American Made: NoTrax Sani-Tuff

NoTrax Sani-Tuff cutting board with vegetables

See Sani-Tuff board on Amazon

15" x 20" x 0.75" size about $150


  • 100% natural rubber
  • Several other sizes and shapes available
  • Made with Microstop™, an anti-microbial rubber compound that inhibits bacterial and fungal growth
  • No grooves, handles or feet (some models have grooves)
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Weighs 9.7 lbs
  • Made in USA
  • NSF approved and compliant with all FDA guidelines
  • Can be resurfaced by sanding ("scraping") the surface.

What we like: The NoTrax Sani-Tuff cutting board is the only one on this list made from natural rubber, though the look-and-feel and characteristics of this board are quite similar to the Japanese synthetic boards. That is, it has a lot of traction so it won't slip around and food stays put on it. Cuts will show, but the board has the ability to "heal" itself from cuts (unless they are particularly deep). 

We like that it comes in several sizes and thicknesses, though we recommend not going any thinner than 0.75 inches if you don't want to worry about warping.

It's non-porous, easy to clean, and resists absorbing liquids and odors. And of course it won't crack, splinter, or swell, like wood and bamboo boards can do.

If you don't mind the grippiness of the rubber, it's a great board for meat and fish, and also for vegetable prepping, if you don't use a rock chop.

And, it is definitely gentler on your knives than a wood cutting board.

We also love that you can sand it down: when the surface gets cut up or stained, you can simply sand it down for a new, smooth cutting surface. Here's a guide from NoTrax on how to sand down a Sani-Tuff board.

What we don't like: Like most other rubber cutting boards, you can't use serrated knives or put it in the dishwasher. And the high-friction surface takes some getting used to. Also, this natural rubber board is really heavy, which is great for stability, but not so great for mobility (e.g., moving around, washing, etc.).

NoTrax Sani-Tuff cutting board with meat

BUY Notrax Sani-tuff CUTTING BOARD:

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Rubber Cutting Board FAQs

Here are some common questions about rubber cutting boards.

What Is the Most Sanitary Cutting Board Material?

Wood and rubber cutting boards both have anti-microbial properties that make them sanitary, but they must be washed by hand, so sometimes pathogens may be left behind. Plastic cutting boards harbor more pathogens than other materials, but you can throw them in the dishwasher, which will kill everything a board might have on it.

In general, you should have one board for raw meat that you don't use for other foods. This helps to avoid cross-contamination, regardless of cutting board material.

Are Rubber Cutting Boards Better than Wood and Plastic?

Rubber cutting boards are better in some respects and worse in others. They are easier on knives than both wood and plastic, so if you have expensive blades or hate sharpening your knives, you may love a rubber cutting board. They also don't require any maintenance like wood boards do, just hand washing. However, rubber cutting boards have a lot of friction and most brands are pretty heavy, so they're not super easy to work with (although the weight does make them very stable). You also can't use a rock chop cut or serrated knives, so if you use either of these, go with wood or plastic.

Are Rubber Cutting Boards Easy to Care For?

Rubber cutting boards are easier to care for than wood because they don't require any oiling. But they must be washed by hand (like wood boards), so they're not as easy to maintain as plastic boards.

One great thing about rubber boards is that when the surface gets too scarred or stained, you can sand them down and have a completely new cutting surface to work with. (You can do this with some wood boards, too.) Japanese chefs have gotten decades of use out of rubber boards by doing this.

Do Rubber Cutting Boards Warp?

Yes, rubber cutting boards can warp, especially if exposed to high heat. This is why you can't put most of them in the dishwasher. Of course, thickness matters, so the thicker the board, the less chance of it warping. But thicker boards are heavier, so you have to weigh your priorities.

If a rubber cutting board does warp, you can sometimes flatten it out with a heavy weight. 

How Thick Should a Rubber Cutting Board Be?

This depends on personal preferences. We think 0.5 inches is the minimum, and that you should only go this thin if you have issues moving a heavier board around. If you want to avoid warping, you should choose a board that's a minimum of 0.75" thick, and a full inch would be even better (but this adds significant weight).

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Final Thoughts on Rubber Cutting Boards

Hasegawa cutting board with fish

Rubber cutting boards are an excellent choice if you're concerned about keeping your knives sharp, if you want something non-porous and more sanitary than wood, something that won't move around on your counter, or just want an authentic Japanese kitchen experience. They can be sanded down when the surface gets rough or stained, and are extremely durable. But they can also be heavy, which makes them cumbersome to work with, and you can't use a rock chop (too much friction) or serrated knives--so you have to be careful which knives and which cutting techniques you use with them.

A rubber cutting board isn't the right choice for everybody, but they can be great for the right person--and they are an excellent choice for your knives.

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author

The Rational Kitchen (TRK) is a collaborative effort, but the founder, editor, and writer of most of our articles is Melanie Johnson, an avid cook, kitchenware expert, and technical communications specialist for more than 20 years. Her love of cooking and the frustrating lack of good information about kitchen products led her to create The Rational Kitchen. TRK's mission is to help people make the best decisions they can when buying kitchen gear. 

When not working on product reviews, Melanie enjoys reading, playing with her dog Ruby, vintage video games, and spending time outdoors and with her family.

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