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What’s the Best Wood for Cutting Boards?

Published: 2023-10-24T12:20:48+0000 Updated: 2023-10-24T12:20:49+0000 Author: Abby Helgeson

3 Best Types of Wood for Cutting Boards

Hey there, culinary enthusiasts! Ever wondered what's beneath your knife when you're chopping away those yummy ingredients? Yep, we're talking about cutting boards. But not just any board – we're on a Paul Bunyon-level quest to find the best wood for the job. From understanding grains to dodging toxic woods, there's much to consider. So, grab your favorite knife (or hatchet), and let's slice into the world of cutting boards!

How to Choose the Right Cutting Board Material

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the best woods, let's understand what makes a wood worthy of your knife's attention. Selecting the right cutting board is like finding the right song to listen to before you jump into the shower. It's got to have the right vibe, and make you feel like you're a multinational platinum recording artist, right? Maybe? And no, it's not just about looking pretty on your countertop (though that helps!).


Grain matters! A tight grain means fewer knife marks and a longer-lasting board. Plus, it's easier on your knives which means less sharpening. Win-win! Fun fact: End grain boards are like the luxury cars of the cutting board world. They're designed to be gentle on your knives and self-heal from cuts.

Our Dominica Serving Cutting Board features gorgeous inlay of dark end-grain bamboo flanked by strips of natural bamboo and is a fantastic option if you're looking for a cutting board with tight grain.


Ever had garlic-scented apples? Woods with high porosity can absorb flavors like a sponge. So, unless you're into some funky food combos (no judgments here), opt for low-porosity woods. Remember, a board that smells like last night's onions might just ruin your morning fruit salad.


Some woods can be toxic. And unless you're a fan of surprise trips to the ER, it's best to steer clear of these woods:

  • Black Locust: This wood's got some shady toxic compounds lurking about. Think of it as the mysterious character in a movie that you're not quite sure you can trust. Best to keep it away from your food!

  • Yew: This one's packed with taxine, which is basically Mother Nature's way of setting up a neon sign saying, "Stay away! Not for munching!" It's like the hot pepper of the wood world – looks tempting but has a kick.

  • Mansonia & Wenge: These two are the dynamic duo of the wood world, but not in a good way. They're like the sneezy and itchy cousins at a family reunion, known to cause allergies and skin irritations. If woods had a "handle with care" label, these two would be first in line!

Hardwood vs Softwood

Hardwoods are durable and resist knife marks, while softwoods can be too soft for heavy-duty chopping. Choose wisely! And if you're wondering, yes, chopping on a softwood board is like cutting butter with a hot knife – sounds fun, but it's not ideal.

The Best Woods for a Cutting Board


Maple is the MVP of cutting board woods. It's durable, has a tight grain, and won't break the bank. Plus, it's got a lovely light color that brightens up any kitchen. Did you know that many professional chefs swear by maple boards? They're like the little black dress of the kitchen – timeless and versatile.

Our Niagara Cutlery Maple Rec Cutting Board is craft out of maple wood and made in North America, making it a high quality option if you're looking for a board made out of this durable wood.


Dark, rich, and oh-so-elegant, walnut is the sophisticated choice. It's durable and won't dull your knives. Plus, it pairs well with a glass of red wine. And if you're into aesthetics, a walnut board can elevate your kitchen's look instantly.


Teak is the James Bond of woods – sleek, stylish, and can handle any kitchen mission. Its natural oils make it resistant to water and stains. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Teak requires a bit of maintenance, like regular oiling and proper drying, to keep it looking sharp.

Butcher Block

When you think of butcher block, imagine a supergroup of woods coming together to create a masterpiece. It's not just a single type of wood, but a harmonious blend of several, each bringing its unique strengths to the table. The combination of different woods creates a mosaic of colors and patterns, making it as much a kitchen showpiece as a functional tool.

Best Wood Alternatives for a Cutting Board

Venturing outside the world of traditional wooden cutting boards? Maybe you're feeling adventurous, or perhaps you're on a quest for the eco-friendliest or most sanitary option. Whatever your reason, there's a whole universe of alternatives out there waiting to be explored. From the sustainable charm of bamboo to the practicality of plastic, there's a board for every chef's desire. So, if you're looking to spice things up in your kitchen (and not just with seasonings!), check out these fantastic alternatives:


Eco-friendly and super sustainable, bamboo is the green choice. It's harder than most woods, so it's perfect for those who are eco-conscious and love to chop! Plus, it grows super fast, making it a renewable resource.

Our bestselling Woodland Bamboo Cutting Board Set is made of eco-friendly materials and a modern option for your favorite charcuterie board, too.


Easy to clean and super versatile, plastic boards are great for meat and fish to prevent cross-contamination. They're also dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze. But remember, once they're deeply scratched, it's time for a replacement.


Grippy like grandma's dentures and durable, rubber boards are a chef's secret weapon. They're also super easy to clean. And if you're clumsy (like me!), a rubber board won't slip and slide around.

Choosing the perfect cutting board is a mix of science and personal preference. Whether you're team wood, bamboo, or plastic, make sure it's safe, durable, and fits your kitchen vibe. And remember, a good cutting board is like a trusty sidekick – always there to support you (and your knife) in all your culinary adventures. Happy chopping!

Cutting Board Material FAQ's:

What type of cutting board is the most sanitary?

Plastic boards take the crown here! They're like the neat freaks of the cutting board world. Pop them in the dishwasher, and they come out all sparkly and germ-free. But watch out for those battle scars (deep knife grooves) – they can be a sneaky hideout for bacteria.

What is the best material for a kitchen cutting board?

It's like asking, "What's the best ice cream flavor?" Everyone's got a fave! Some swear by hardwoods like maple and walnut, while others are team bamboo or plastic. It's all about what tickles your fancy (and fits your chopping style).

What is the best wood to use in a cutting board?

Maple is like the Beyoncé of cutting board woods – talented, versatile, and loved by many. It's kind to your knives, doesn't have a diva attitude (no strong flavors or odors), and is ready for any kitchen concert!

What woods are not good for cutting boards?

Some woods just aren't cut out (pun intended!) for the chopping life. Softwoods like pine are too, well, soft. And woods with strong scents, like pine, might just make your apples taste like a forest (but maybe you're into that?).


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