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Boos vs. Boardsmith

Looking to upgrade my cutting board to a higher end grain one. I have read on-line (Chow, blogs, knife forums, etc…) about Boos and Boardsmith and these seem to be the clear brands to get. Some recent grumblings about Boos boards quality but also some shipping delays for Boardsmith. I take care of all of my “stuff” so paying more is not a problem if it is definitely worth it and will last over time.

I can buy the end grain Boos boards at my local Sur La Tab store, so that is nice cause I will not have to pay for s\h. I don’t mind waiting a few weeks for a Boardsmith board (and paying the s\h) if I am going to notice a big difference in quality.

I would love maple but it just does not match my kitchen as much as the walnut, so I will be getting walnut (love the darker color). Board will be approx. 12x18x2. Prefer the Boardsmith board as it already has feet and I would have to add feet myself to the Boos board (I don’t plan to flip the board).

Any opinions or info is appreciated!

Thanks!

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  1. I bought myself a Boardsmith board for the holidays - It is beautifully made and arrived at my home when expected. During the holiday season, his website said 2 weeks, and 2 weeks it was. I can't compare as I don't own a Boos.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamueller

      Wood type and size?

      Any pics?

      Thanks!

    2. You might want to check out J.K. Adam's wooden boards. They are made in Vt. and are quite nice. On the other hand Epicurean boards, Sur La Table should have them too. They are a composite material, very kind to your knives and are dishwasher safe and NSF approved.

      1. I don't know about either of those, but I like my new Catskill Craftsmen board.

        3 Replies
        1. re: GH1618

          :) Catskill takes more skill. I don't have a Catskill cutting board, but I have a Catskill pastry board, so I have some level of an idea. In my mind, cutting boards are important, but not that important, especially for home cooks. Both Boos and Boardsmith boards are higher end than Catskill. :)

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            "Boos and Boardsmith boards are higher end ..."

            So they get their wood from the top of the tree?

            1. re: GH1618

              Yes, they send monkeys to climb all the way up to the tree top and cut off the very tip of the top. Very expensive. :)

        2. Both are quality boards and you couldn't go wrong with either. Keep in mind it's wood and as shuch there are times when, well, nature happens and any manufacturer can have a board do strange things sometimes, so an occasional complaint is almost inevetable.

          1. I like my Boadsmith board, however, there have definitely been some logistical issues (mine was custom, I think, which may have something to do with it). He's had various personal problems and issues with his shop, which are probably the main reasons, but still, his organizational skills leave something to be desired. As long as you're not in a huge hurry, I'd say go for it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: will47

              I have the 18"x18"x4" end grain Boos and the 15"x20"x2.25" edge grain reversible carving board (flat on one side and grooved on the other) and I really like them both. If you want one really good board for the long term, I would recommend a 3"-4" end grain in whatever size you need and take care of it. (2" end grain boards seem more likely to separate (personal experience and anecdotally)). If 12"x12" is your preferred size, I believe that Boos makes a 12"x12"x3" that is readily available in Cherry or Maple at WS and maybe at SLT. And for feet on the large board, I just used rubber bumpers (like you would put on the back of a picture frame) and they work great.

            2. Hi boltsfan,

              I don't have a Boos board, but I did receive a 12x18x2 maple BoardSmith for xmas this year. I absolutely love it for the feel it provides while cutting foodstuffs. I also love the size of it, as it is now the largest board I've ever owned. Like you, I prefer the darker colors, but since it was a xmas gift request, I felt I was pushing it asking for the board at all & I'm grateful to have received it. :-) The quality seems top-rate, but I've only had it for a month so far.

              My mother bought a Boos butcher block in the '70's & it's still around. It looks pretty, but it's difficult to clean (& move!) & really hasn't been used at all over the past 20 yrs. I've read the same complaints as you regarding the Boos boards, but I have no personal experience with them. I can tell you that the complaints were why I asked for a BoardSmith product instead of a Boos.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Eiron

                I have a Boardsmith but was disappointed with it. It was supposed to be mahogany, but it's really a wood similar to mahogany and was not what I was expecting. I wish I had ordered a maple one, but it wasn't worth retruning it.

                Here are two other viable options:
                http://www.buybutcherblock.com/
                http://www.blockandboard.com/

                1. re: ATL_Brad

                  ATL_Brad,

                  Those are really nice boards you linked to, but they're edge grain construction rather than the end grain method Dave (BoardSmith) uses. I'm wondering if this is the difference between the way your board looks & the way you were expecting it to look?

                  I have the maple version you mention wanting, but I can tell you it looks NOTHING like any maple furniture I have (or have ever seen). It's not nearly as "pretty" viewing the ends of the wood grains as it is the edges/sides of the grains like you see in furniture. In fact, I'd never even guess it was maple since I can't identify any grain pattern. I'm sure it's the same with mahogany (& cherry, & any other wood).

                  If you want to trade boards, maybe we can work out a swap? :-)

                  1. re: Eiron

                    You typically don't get much grain pattern in end grain unless you have some color differnece in the wood, typically this is with heart wood and sap wood, as in walnut or cherry (dark heart wood and light sap wood) but you can get a similar effect in maple. The other way to add interest to an end grain board is to vary species, for example mix maple and cherry or walnut. In the attached photo of a board I made for one of my daughters you can see exaples of both of thse. The maple in the center of the board has color variation light to dark and then other species such as walnut are included in the board to add contrast and visual interest.

                     
                    1. re: mikie

                      mikie,

                      I agree, & I think the boards you've done for your family look phenominal! If I had the disposable income, I'd love to have something like you make. I know Dave (and others) will also do that sort thing if you ask.

                      I think that's the issue that ATL_Brad is having, but I don't know if he'll be back to let us know?

              2. I've bought several Boos boards, and haven't been impressed with their quality.

                One of my two edge-grain maple boards is splitting even though I've treated them regularly with mineral oil and beeswax and always hand wash them, dry them thoroughly, and store them vertically on a stainless steel cutting board stand in a location not exposed to direct sunlight or airflow from heaters or air conditioners. A friend of mine has the same board, and his is splitting too.

                I also bought a Boos Signature end-grain cherry board. One of the metal feet was loose on arrival, and it couldn't be tightened because the screw hole was stripped. I fixed it by resorting to the old "pieces of toothpick in the hole" trick, but I definitely wasn't pleased.

                My favorite wood cutting board is a nice thick end-grain cherry model by J.K. Adams. Really solid and very well finished. Much nicer than the Boos Signature, IMO, and about half the price.

                PS. Even though it's a bit off topic, I also really like good-quality rubber cutting boards (e.g., SaniTuff).

                1. We purchased a 27"x60" end grain maple butcher block counter 3" thick from Boos as part of a kitchen renovation project to serve as a prep station for two. From the day we ordered Boos gave us a fabrication and ship date they held to. The counter arrived, vey well crated and protected. The end grain maple was actually a bit darker than anticipated and that worked to our favor. The wood arrived drier than anticipated and has soaked up weekly oil treatments for a couple months and has since developed a nice water resistant surface. It also arrived with a very very faint set of directional sanding marks (belt sander?) that we removed by scouring the top with some OOOO steel wool. Massive, durable, and attractive, the Boos board functions exactly as planned.

                  1. My MIL was very generous and got me a cherry Boardsmith board for Xmas a couple years ago. It's been lightly used since, but I really love it.

                    I like mine and also generally vote for the little guy over the one that's carried by every giganto corporate cookware outlet. Nuff said. I'd just exercise some patience to survive any wait time.

                    1. I looked into Brooklyn Butcher Block about 4 months ago. They have gotten terrific reviews and do look amazing. The cost was more than I wanted to spend and I ended up getting an edge grain maple boos. I am very happy with the boos. I use softer steel knives and my knives seem to do just fine on the board.

                      link to Brooklyn Butcher Block:
                      http://www.brooklynbutcherblocks.com/...

                      1. A year or so ago I bought a small walnut board from Carolina Wood Designs. My board came with small rubber feet, and is very good quality. They do have a 18"X12"X2" that comes with the rubber feet like that. They also have some reversable ones with wooden "feet" that flip over.

                        http://www.carolinawooddesigns.com/

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: MelMM

                          Since I had a $75 Sur La Tab gift card I went with a Boos end grain walnut board (24x18x1.5). Price is not too bad for end grain. It was about $190 (toal) and that included the board, board cream, tax and s\h.

                          http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                          I want to put feet on one side, so does anyone have any suggestions on what to get? I know I can run down to local Depot\Lowes and find several options but do I want something that screws into the board or attaches with some waterproof adhesive?

                          Might ask for a new Boardsmith one for Christmas and then will keep the Boos for proteins.

                          Thanks for the feedback!

                          1. re: boltsfan

                            My recommendation would be to use rubber feet that screw into the wood, since you'll be washing it, & hot water & detergents might take their toll on commercially available stick-on feet. You just need to be a little careful & not over-tighten the screws & strip out the wood.

                            But others may have more compelling aguments for using stick-ons.

                            Edit: That's a beautiful Boos board from SLT! Congratulations! As a note, the description that pops up for me is different than the picture they show. It says it's an end grain, but the picture shows an edge grain.

                            1. re: Eiron

                              Yes, screw on would be better. You really want to oil both sides of the board even if you only cut on one side, this is to keep the moisture level the same on both sides to keep it flat. Stick on feet will not stick well to an oiled surface and even if you put them on a dry board, eventually the oil will make its way to where the feet are.

                              1. re: Eiron

                                I noticed that too so that is why I took a screen capture of the websites description. $149 for an 24x18x1.5 end grain walnut seemed a bit cheap to me :0) We'll see what they actually ship.

                                1. re: boltsfan

                                  "$149 for an 24x18x1.5 end grain walnut seemed a bit cheap to me"

                                  That is because it is not an end grain. It is an edge grain cutting board look at the photo. The description is wrong.

                                  1. re: boltsfan

                                    boltsfan,

                                    So what'll you do if they ship an edge grain board? :-) Either way, I think you'll get an excellent board that's also beautiful to look at! (In other words, I'd recommend keeping it.) I have a beautiful edge grain board that I love using just as much as my new BoardSmith board. It's a little smaller (14x12x1) so it's a little easier to clean & easier for my wife to grab from the storage cupboard (I think she's afraid to use the new BoardSmith!)

                                    Returning it would be a little bit of a hassle, but if there's something else at SLT you had your eye on anyway... ;-)

                                    1. re: Eiron

                                      Agree. Edge grain cutting boards are somewhat underrated.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Edge grain is fine for a cutting board. End grain is for a chopping block, in my opinion.

                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          Now that you mentioned it. Yes, I agree.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            If the description is wrong then that is on them (not me) and that is why I took a screen shot of the picture and description.

                                            They'll have to honor that price for the described item.

                                            1. re: boltsfan

                                              "They'll have to honor that price for the described item."

                                              Not really. There were certainly cases where companies accidentially marked a $1000 TV for $10, and they did not have to honor it. I have personally bought an item which was incorrect described which the seller does not have with him. I returned it and he gave me back the money. The cutting board described above most likely does not even exist: being end grain and somewhat thin for Boos. So how can they "honor" an item which does not exist?

                                          2. re: GH1618

                                            Edge grain makes a fine cutting board, an end grian board just doesn't show the knife marks nearly as much and over time an edge grain or face grain board is more likely to splinter from all the cuts in the board. End grain is better for chopping because the cuts are deeper and it will absorb that kind of abuse better. There is nothing inherently wrong with an edge grain board, they are less expensive because they are easier and less labor intensive to make.

                                  2. re: boltsfan

                                    So what's the scoop?
                                    Have you received your new board yet?
                                    :-)

                                2. I have a gorgeous walnut Boardsmith board, but it's SO lovely, I have a hard time making myself cut on it...

                                  1. I went with the Boardsmith board. It is wonderful and I am enjoying it very much. I got the maple one and even though it was the Christmas holidays, it arrived right on time and exactly as I ordered it. ( I wanted one without the feet)
                                    I chose Boardsmith for the wonderful reviews. I also noticed that his end grain sections were larger and offset from each other. LIke a brick pattern. I knew this would make the board more stable and the larger the sections, the fewer the glue joints.
                                    It stays on the end of my kitchen table, which is where I do a lot of food preperation and it looks great! I love using it. Oh and to keep the air circulating under it, I set it on some cork coasters. So if any of you have boards with no feet and you want to get it up off the surface, the cork works well and if I want to flip it over, I can.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: dixiegal

                                      dixiegal I really like your idea of stabilizing the board w cork coasters. A very good suggestion, thank-you!

                                    2. I bought a boos a few years ago for my mother,
                                      Fairly large board.
                                      Medium usage and gentle care it started warping and seperating within 1 year.
                                      Wouldn't get another boo's.