What’s the best wood for cutting board designs, anyway?
Several types of wood can be used for cutting board creation, but some woods are better than others. The best woods for cutting boards are those that are hard and durable, yet still relatively easy to clean.
Choosing the right wood is important when it comes to cutting board creation. Different woods have different properties, and some are better suited for this task than others. Here we’ll explore the best woods for cutting boards and what makes each special. But first, let’s briefly explore how hardwood compares to softwood for wood cutting board designs.
Hardwood vs Softwood
Most cutting boards are made from hardwoods. These typically come from deciduous trees, which are angiosperms with broad leaves that fall off each autumn.
While hardwoods are the most popular choice for cutting boards, some softwoods can also be used. These come from gymnosperm trees such as conifers, and they have needles that stay green all year long.
In general, hardwoods are denser and stronger than softwoods because they grow more slowly. This makes them ideal for cutting boards, as they can withstand more wear and tear.
Loving this article? Check out our other post about the best wood for cutting boards before you go!
What are hardwoods?
Hardwoods tend to be slower-growing than softwoods, and as a result, their timber is usually denser and stronger. They are typically denser than softwoods, making them more durable and less likely to dull knives.
Equally important to note is that hardwoods also tend to be easier to clean, as they’re less porous and therefore less likely to absorb food particles and bacteria.
What are softwoods?
Softwoods, on the other hand, are typically lighter and more flexible than hardwoods. They’re also usually cheaper, as they’re more readily available.
While softwoods are not as durable as hardwoods, they can still make good cutting boards if they’re made from a high-quality wood such as Douglas Fir, Southern Pine, Western Red Cedar, and others.
Ultimately, if you’re planning to purchase a new cutting board, we recommend going with hardwood over softwood because it’s more durable, easier to clean, and will better withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. However, both hardwoods and softwoods can make great cutting boards if they’re made from high-quality materials.
The Best Woods for a Cutting Board
We work exclusively with acacia wood because we believe it’s the best wood for a cutting board. Even though traditional hardwoods like oak, cherry, walnut, and maple are all still desirable for their aesthetic and functionality, they can be quite expensive. For example, a quality edge grain board can cost upwards of $100, while an end grain butcher block can sell for more than $300.
Acacia wood is an excellent alternative to these traditional hardwoods because it’s just as strong and durable, but much more affordable. In fact, our acacia cutting boards start at just $39.99!
Acacia is also a sustainable wood, which is important to us here at Tier1Furnishings.com. It’s a fast-growing tree that regenerates quickly, so it doesn’t put strain on the environment the way that slower-growing hardwoods do.
Acacia is a hardwood that’s dense and durable, yet still relatively light. It’s also naturally antibacterial, making it a safe choice for food preparation.
Additionally, acacia is a beautiful wood with a rich coloring that darkens over time. It’s also an eco-friendly choice as it’s a quickly renewable resource. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a luxury cutting board that enhances the aesthetic of any room, acacia is ideal.
Maple is a hardwood that is also very dense. This makes it resistant to cuts and scrapes, and it is also easy to clean.
Maple is a popular choice for cutting boards because it is both hard and closed-grain. This means that the wood is less likely to absorb bacteria, making it a safe choice for food preparation.
Hard maple or sugar maple wood are commonly used for cutting boards, as they are some of the hardest varieties of maple. These options also come in at 1,450 on the Janka scale, boasting some serious durability.
Additionally, maple is a beautiful wood with a light coloring that can complement any kitchen décor. Regardless of your kitchen design, a maple wood cutting board will fit in with ease.
Beech wood cutting boards are an excellent choice for those looking for a durable and affordable option. It is hardwood, meaning it is challenging to damage and easy to clean these cutting boards.
In addition, the small pores in the wood make it resistant to staining and discoloration. These cutting boards ensure you never need to worry about block stains, discoloration, and cutting marks as you’re using it.
If you’ve never owned a bamboo cutting board, you’re missing out! Bamboo is an excellent option for a cutting board because it’s both durable and eco-friendly.
Bamboo is actually not a wood, but a grass. It’s one of the hardest grasses in the world, making it more durable than many hardwoods. Additionally, bamboo grows extremely quickly, so it’s a sustainable resource.
When it comes to cutting boards, bamboo is a great option because it’s both durable and eco-friendly. However, it’s important to note that bamboo is more porous than other woods, so it will require more care.
To ensure your bamboo cutting board lasts for years to come, be sure to oil it regularly and avoid putting it in the dishwasher.
Cherry is another hardwood that is perfect for use as a cutting board. It’s slightly softer than maple, but it’s still very strong.
Equally important to remember is that cherry is a beautiful wood, with a rich, reddish color. It is also easy to clean and maintain, and it won’t dull your knives. Furthermore, it comes from an edible fruit tree, ensuring it’s completely free of toxins and ready to be used in the kitchen!
Teak is often thought of as the best wood for cutting boards because it’s a robust, natural wood that’s commonly used in wet environments. In fact, it’s been used throughout history in salt water for shipbuilding, showcasing its strength.
The water-resistant properties of teak come from a combination of natural wood oils, tight wood grain, and tensile strength that stem back to its roots in South-East Asia.
This wood originally comes from areas like Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, and India. Today, however, it is also grown in Central and South America as well as Africa.
Teak is a beautiful wood that will darken over time if left untreated. However, if you oil it regularly, you can maintain its original color.
People still incorporate teak in boat fixtures, spa benches, outdoor furniture, and other creations that might be subjected to the element. Thus, if you’re in the market for a cutting board that will withstand plenty of wear and tear, teak is definitely worth considering.
Walnut cutting boards are stunning and practical, particularly with end grain construction to preserve knives. This ensures that the knife blade makes cuts between the wood fibers rather than cutting into the wood cutting board.
The rich color of Walnut stands out in any kitchen, which is probably why it’s a popular material for high-end furniture. However, it’s not as strong as maple and other hardwoods, so it might not be the best option if you’re looking for a durable cutting board.
Purpleheart wood is a beautiful, unique option for a cutting board. It’s a hardwood that’s known for its rich, purple color.
Purple heart wood makes an excellent cutting board because it is food-safe and overall safe. Additionally, it won’t result in any allergies or adverse reactions once it’s properly preserved and treated.
Even though severe reactions are not very common, purpleheart has been noted as a sensitizer. Most of the time, regular reactions only include eye and skin irritation, as well as nausea.
When choosing a wood for your cutting board, it’s important to consider both function and form. With so many different options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect material for your needs.
Closing on Cutting Board Wood Options
Acacia wood is the best wood for cutting boards because it is durable, does not warp, and has a nice finish. While other options are good and can work, there’s simply no beating an acacia cutting board.
If you’re looking for a cutting board that will withstand plenty of wear and tear, teak is also worth considering. Walnut cutting boards are stunning and practical, particularly with end grain construction to preserve knives. Purpleheart wood is a beautiful, unique option for a cutting board.
No matter which type of wood you choose for your cutting board, be sure to take care of it properly. Always clean your cutting board after each use, and oil it regularly to keep it in good condition. With proper care, your cutting board will last for many years.