What We Like
Beautiful bamboo grain
Slim profile makes storage easy
Handle cutouts for holding or hanging
What We Don't Like
Needs seasoning before first use
May not be large enough for everyone
Must be washed by hand
You probably use a cutting board almost every time you cook, so you might as well get one that’s pleasant to use and to see, like this attractive Totally Bamboo 3-Piece Cutting Board Set. Cutting boards protect knives from the damage that can be caused by hard counters, and they protect your counters from knife marks and mess. This set includes three boards in different sizes, but are they everything you’ll need? We sliced and diced, and now we have your answers.
Size: Three sizes for different uses
Of the three options included in this pack, the 9.5 x 13-inch board was the one we used most often. The largest of the set, it gave us the most space to work. The handle cutout on one end was handy for holding or hanging the board, but it also meant we lost about 2 inches of usable space off the length. The second board is 8.5 x 11 inches, and it also has a handle cutout. We used this one for slicing and dicing vegetables and for serving. The smallest board is 6 x 8 inches with no handle, so we could use the entire board. This is the size we’d call a bar board. It was great for cutting a lemon or lime into wedges or mincing a small number of herbs.
Material: Renewable bamboo
Bamboo is increasing in popularity because it’s a fast-growing renewable resource. It’s a little harder than many of the woods used for cutting boards, which we could feel as our knife hit the boards, but it’s still soft enough to protect your knife blades.
Design: So pretty!
There’s no denying it: These are attractive boards. From the grain of the bamboo to the rectangular shape with rounded edges, these boards want to be seen. Sure, we used them in the kitchen for cutting, but we also found ourselves pulling them out for serving cheese or appetizers. Each board has a small logo in the corner, which we used to identify the top and bottom of the board, thus saving the “serving” side from knife marks and blemishes.
Take a look at our guide to the best gifts for a new cook.
Maintenance: Needs seasoning
Before the first use, we had to season this board by coating with cutting board oil or food-safe mineral oil. The oil soaks into the wood, providing protection against water or food juices that would otherwise soak into the wood. After the first coat, we had a few spots that looked dry, so we touched that up and let the boards sit a little longer. The boards will need to be re-seasoned regularly to maintain protection. They should also be washed by hand after each use and dried completely before storing.
Durability: Hard but thin
Bamboo is a strong wood, but at .375 inches these boards are very thin. That slim size was great when we were carrying them or storing them, but we also fear that they’ll crack or break more easily than thicker, sturdier boards. While we found these products were fine for slicing and cutting, we don’t think they should never meet the business end of a cleaver. However, if they’re well-maintained, they should last for a long time.
Check out our guide to the best knives you can buy today.
Price: Surprisingly affordable
Considering this is a three-piece set of very attractive cutting boards, the $15 MSRP is very affordable, even if they’re mostly used for serving. However, serious cooks will likely want at least one bigger board that can be used for prepping larger quantities of food.
There’s no denying it: These are attractive boards. From the grain of the bamboo to the rectangular shape with rounded edges, these boards want to be seen.
At 10.5 x 14.5 inches, the similarly priced OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board is slightly larger than the biggest boards in this set, meaning more workspace. Like the Totally Bamboo boards, the OXO board is reversible, but the OXO, which we also reviewed, has a juice groove on one of the sides, which allowed us to handle juicy meats without drips falling off the edge. The major difference, however, is the material. The OXO board is made from food-safe, dishwasher-safe plastic which requires no maintenance, while the Totally Bamboo boards are made from a natural, renewable material that requires seasoning and must be washed by hand.
These boards are very thin, which was great when we were carrying them or storing them, but we also fear that they’ll crack or break more easily than thicker, sturdier boards.
For those in the market for a serving board, it’s hard to ignore the Totally Bamboo Tree of Life Bamboo Serving Board. The irregular shape looks like a cut tree stump with dark growth rings, but upon closer inspection, those rings are actually a parade of tiny laser-etched animals. The opposite side of the board is plain, so that can be used for cutting while leaving the decorative side untouched. Like the three-piece set that we reviewed, this board should be hand-washed, and if it’s used for cutting, it will need to be seasoned. But at $30 MSRP, it’s twice as expensive.
The John Boos Block 214 Chop-N-Slice Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board is a kitchen workhorse at 20 x 15 inches and 1 1/2 inches thick, so it’s much heavier and much larger than any of the boards in the Totally Bamboo set. It’s also more expensive. Serious cooks might appreciate the size and the heft of this board, but cooks with smaller kitchens and more modest needs might find that it’s just a little too big to move and store. Like the Totally Bamboo boards, this needs to be seasoned and it must be washed by hand.
Want to take a look at some other options? Read through our guide to the best cutting boards.
A solid choice for slicing and dicing
The Totally Bamboo boards are a pretty addition to the kitchen and stand up well to slicing and dicing. One thing to keep in mind is that these boards are not large, and the handle cutouts reduce the usable cutting space, meaning they won’t be very useful when, say, shredding a whole cabbage. That said, they’re great for everyday recipes requiring an onion or few carrots.
- Product Name 3-Piece Cutting Board Set
- Product Brand Totally Bamboo
- Price $15
- Product Dimensions 13 x 9.75 x 0.375 in.
- Model Number 20-7930
- Material Organically grown, renewable bamboo