Equipment

Why You Should Never Use a Glass Cutting Board

Contrary to the name, glass cutting boards aren't for cutting. Here's why.
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Published Dec. 11, 2023.

Every so often, my Reviews Team colleagues and I get a question that makes us react as though we just watched a jump-scare in a horror movie. One such surprisingly popular, altogether terrifying question is: “Why can’t I use a glass cutting board?”

OK, maybe I’m being a little overdramatic. 

But glass cutting boards are shockingly pervasive: They’re too often the sole cutting surface option at a relative’s house or a vacation rental, and they line the shelves of stores like Homegoods, tantalizing shoppers with their steep discounts and fun designs. 

Tempered glass may seem like a good cutting surface. It’s fairly durable, relatively easy to clean, and generally affordable. But don’t be tempted. Here are three reasons to avoid using glass cutting boards.

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1. They Dull Your Knives

You should never cut on glass, especially with knives that you care about. It’s simply too hard a material for most knives to withstand. As your knife cuts through your carrots, onions, or any other food, the blade will knock against the glass, which will dull the sharp edge you’ve worked so hard to maintain. 

In fact, when testing honing rods, we use a glass cutting board to dull new chefs knives before using the honing rods to try to bring back their sharp edges.

We examined knives under a microscope at MIT after dulling them on glass cutting boards during our honing rods testing. The knives never stood a chance.

Dull knives make every cutting job harder and are dangerous to use. You should avoid dulling your knives at all costs. 

(To be clear, if you’re serving cheese or charcuterie on glass or ceramic and are planning on using a duller cheese knife, butter knife, or spreader, that’s fine. We’re talking sharp knives for cooking tasks here). 

2. They’re Too Smooth

When you cut on a glass cutting board, your knife will slide against the slick, smooth surface, making it more difficult to control where the blade stops. This means it’s harder to cut with precision and can lead to mistakes—or worse, dangerous accidents. 

Metal against glass is also loud and annoying; the scratching, scraping, and knocking sounds are much louder than those made by boards of other materials. It’s truly reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard. 

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3. They’re Too Fragile

Even if they’re made of tempered glass, glass cutting boards are more fragile than plastic or wood boards, so the risk of them breaking when dropped is much higher. When you drop a plastic or wood board, you’ll probably only have to worry about picking up food scraps and cleaning your floors. Dropped glass can shatter into pieces across your entire kitchen floor and completely ruin a meal. 

You also won’t have to worry about a wood or plastic board breaking during storage or transport—not so with glass.

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What to Use Instead

So, if you’re visiting Grandma and her Santa-themed glass cutting boards or taking a trip where you think you might be cooking, pack a plastic or wood cutting board—or a flexible cutting mat—just in case. It won’t take up a lot of space and will pair well with a safely stowed knife or two (which you should also consider bringing).

And if your knives have been mangled by a glass cutting board lately, there’s hope. You can find out more about how to take better care of them in our guide to sharpening.

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