Best Wood for Cutting Board

If you’re looking for the best wood for cutting board, it’s important to determine the wood’s Janka hardness rating, toxicity, and porosity. I’ve put together the best cutting boards you could find, complete with reviews and a handy buying guide. Additionally, you’ll learn which type of woods to avoid. Simply because not all cutting boards are superior and are up for the task.

Best Wood for Cutting Board featured photo

Wooden cutting boards are among the most overlooked cooking utensils. Cutting boards in general keep your workspaces clean and your knives sharp. And best of all, they keep your counters clear of scratches. Aside from being handy, cutting boards also serve as lovely serving platters. Appetizers and sweets will look good in them.

I don’t know about you, but I find wood cutting boards aesthetically pleasing. And they are generally more affordable than their marble or granite counterparts. As well as more impact-resistant to repeated chopping and dicing than any other materials out there.

The Best Woods for a Cutting Board

different woods for cutting board

A wooden cutting board can withstand daily food preparation if properly cared for. Yes, wood is relatively absorbent and can deform or fracture from time to time. But picking the ideal board and maintaining it correctly would benefit you for the long haul. Here are the best woods you can check out when shopping for a wood cutting board.

Maple

Maple Wood

The most preferred wood for cutting boards is maple, particularly sugar maple or hard maple. Maple is a dense, close-grained wood. This means it’s long-lasting, resistant to bacteria, and has precisely the proper degree of hardness, which is about 1,450 lbf on the Janka hardness scale for hard maple. Since maple is light and relatively neutral in color, it complements a wide range of kitchen aesthetics.

This wood also has smaller pores which makes it a good option for blocking moisture, stains, and ew — bacteria. A few drawbacks with maple wood cutting boards are that when humidity falls, their surfaces shrink more than teak and walnut. So, you need to condition them weekly to biweekly. Also, when maple cutting boards stain, they are difficult to conceal due to their off-white to amber-yellow tones.

Ash

Ash Wood

Another excellent option is the white ash wood. Despite its ring-porous nature, ash is durable enough for a daily kitchen food prep with a Janka hardness rating of about 1,300 lbf. It has a soft tone that most chefs appreciate in their kitchens. However, as with other light wood boards, it may involve additional care to avoid staining.

Acacia

Acacia Wood

Acacia wood cutting boards are not as popular as maple woods. But varieties of this fast-growing hardwood produce exceptionally sturdy with a range of Janka hardness ratings from 1,170 to 1,720 lbf and higher. And they are adaptable boards that are also considerably cheap. Acacia boards also come in a wide variety of shades.

Walnut

Walnut Wood

Walnut is an excellent material for wooden cutting boards. A few of its main draws are its dark color. Despite being softer than maple, it can still withstand the test of time. Walnut has the right hardness at 1,010 lbf on a Janka scale, making it ideal for board and maintaining knives.

These food-safe wood features are medium to large pores which provide more barriers against bacteria and moisture than teak wood but less than maple. Walnut also shrinks less than maple, so it will require conditioning only on a bi-monthly to quarterly basis.

Cypress

Cypress Wood

Out of the many wooden options, Cypress produces more Hinokitiol, a bacteria-killing ingredient. Hinokitiol also can eliminate ammonia odors. Which makes Cypress an ideal board for sanitation. They are durable at a hardness rating of 510 lbf on a Janka scale. And they are very resistant to decaying and rotting.

That’s why cutting boards made of cypress, therefore, have a long history of good track record. They also have a great presence in Japanese kitchens. And they are common among Japanese professional chefs. Moreover, Cypress is excellent for your cutting edge. This means that your knives will stay sharp. And the surface of the board will remain sanitary.

Beech

Beech Wood

Beech is a European tree that resembles maple in many ways. With a Janka hardness rating of 1,300 lbf, this is a food-safe, close grained hardwood that is knife-friendly. Beech offers superior scratch and wears resistance only bested by hard maple.

It has small pores which make it almost as effective at preventing bacteria, moisture, and stains as maple. And it’s more beneficial than teak or walnut. But even so, they shrink more than the three woods mentioned. So, they require conditioning every month. Beech features a creamier, soft-pink tone that coats to a lovely red over time.

Teak

Teak Wood

Known for its durability, teak is the only wood that retains its natural, water-repelling oils after processing. These properties, along with its tight grain, make it probably the best option for sanitation and ease of maintenance.

With a hardness rating of 1,070 lbf on a Janka scale, teak is more resistant to scratches and impacts than a walnut. But it can’t outdo beech, cypress, or maple. And since teak has a high silica content, slicing on a teak cutting board could well dull your knife.

Teak’s large pores make it more susceptible to bacteria and moisture. And it’s likely to stain more than walnut, maple, or beech. Even so, this food-safe wood’s orange-brown to dark brown shade conceals stains better than maple. Although not as well as walnuts. Teak shrinks less than other wood options for cutting boards. This means they’ll only require conditioning every quarterly to twice yearly.

Bamboo

Bamboo Wood

While I was doing my research I found Bamboo to be one of the most commonly used woods for cutting boards. And you’ll be surprised with how common they are in the market. And although bamboo is technically a grass rather than wood, it works in the same fashion as other woods.

Bamboo is quite hard and drinks up less water than many other types of wood. And this makes it simple to care for. Also, since it grows so fast, bamboo is eco-sustainable to produce. However, bamboo can be abrasive to knives on occasions, but this is less likely if you used it for chopping rather than slicing.

Pecan

Pecan Wood

Pecan is way harder than maple. This means it’s more resistant to damage. But this wood falls somewhere between closed-grain and open-grain. Which makes it easier for water to seep in, and entails more thorough cleaning to prevent bacterial contamination.

Cherry

Cherry Wood

Cherry is an excellent option for a cutting board because it’s a hard, closed-grain wood. Its medium to dark shades can bring a touch of timeless elegance to your kitchen. Like many other kinds of wood, it’s also easy to maintain and will not dull knives. Cherry is a long-lasting wood that can last for years if properly cared for.

Woods to Avoid

As I’ve mentioned before, not all woods are meant to be used in preparing your ingredients. Watch out for certain woods that may cause serious health risks. Some make maintaining a heck of a task, others can dull your knives like it’s what it’s made for.

Oak

Although oak is a hardwood tree, its large pores permit more bacterial growth. Owning an oak cutting board requires the need to sanitize it frequently to avoid contaminating your food. Or, better yet, replace it with a new one made with the best woods for cutting board.

Cedar and Pine

Since cedar and pine are softwoods, cutting boards made from them are far more vulnerable to damage than hardwoods. As a result, your knives are more likely to become dull. Bruised or scored boards cause your knife’s sharpness to deteriorate faster. It would be nice to just replace them with the best woods for cutting boards discussed above.

Red Maple

A certain type of maple, the red maple is toxic. It’s not used in the production of boards. So, if you’re going to make your own cutting board out of it, go with sugar maple.

Check Out My Top Picks for the Best Wood Cutting Boards

ImageProductDetailsPrice
Best OverallROYAL CRAFT WOOD Organic Bamboo Cutting BoardROYAL CRAFT WOOD Organic Bamboo Cutting Board– 18 x 12 x 0.7 inches
– Made of organic bamboo
– Multipurpose cutting board
– Built-in juice grooves
– With rubber feet
– 1-year warranty
Check on Amazon
Best ValueSonder Los Angeles Teak Wood Cutting BoardSonder Los Angeles Teak Wood Cutting Board– 18 x 14 x 1.25 inches
– Edge grain teak
– Deep juice grooves
– Multipurpose and reversible
– 1-year warranty
Check on Amazon
Best Knife-friendlyKARRYOUNG Acacia Wood Cutting BoardKARRYOUNG Acacia Wood Cutting Board– 17 x 7 x 0.6 inches
– Made of solid acacia wood
– Has an ergonomic handle
– Knife-friendly
– Multipurpose cutting board
Check on Amazon
Splurge PickJohn Boos Block Maple Wood Cutting BoardJohn Boos Block Maple Wood Cutting Board– 20 x 15 x 1.5 inches
– Edge grain maple
– Reversible flat board
– NSF-certified
– 1-year warranty
Check on Amazon
Best BudgetGreener Chef Extra Bamboo Cutting BoardGreener Chef Extra Bamboo Cutting Board– 17.9 x 12.5 x 0.7 inches
– 100% Moso bamboo
– Deep juice grooves
– Knife-friendly
Check on Amazon

The Best Wooden Cutting Boards

When I was hunting for the best wooden cutting boards, I came across so many great options. This can be overwhelming for most shoppers, so I’ve put together a list of the best ones I found. Keep reading to get to know each product.

ROYAL CRAFT WOOD Organic Bamboo Cutting Board – Best Overall

If you’re looking for the best bamboo cutting board, the ROYAL CRAFT WOOD Organic Bamboo Cutting Board could be an excellent choice. This cutting board is made of 100% organic bamboo, so it’s safe for daily use. Offering more room for large knives and ingredients, it’s one of the most-rated wooden cutting boards in the market today.

The ROYAL CRAFT WOO features a multifunctional double-sided design and handles chiseled into the sides. If you’re looking for a versatile board, it could be a great choice for all your food prepping needs. This wooden cutting board also functions as a cheese board or serving tray, making it a handy daily kitchen tool.

I find the built-in drip grooves clever, which is useful for cutting meats and creates a clean cutting surface. With a sturdy structure, it will hold on to your countertops without sliding. Allowing you to cut and chop without worry.

This wooden cutting board also has rubber feet that users say come off easily. It has a nonporous structure that absorbs less liquid. This makes its surface impervious to shards, scratches and peeling. For that reason, it’s easy to clean by hand. Plus, comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros:

– Large size offers more room for ingredients

– Made of organic bamboo

– Multifunctional

– Drip grooves makes it excellent for cutting meats

– Easy to clean

– Thickness and heft keeps it in place

– Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons:

– Bulky for storage

– Some users say it stains easily

– Rubber feet come off easily

Sonder Los Angeles Teak Wood Cutting Board – Best Value

The Sonder Los Angeles Teak Wood Cutting Board may be a great choice if you’re looking to get the most out of your investment. Yes, it’s on the pricey side of the spectrum. But I think it’s worth it considering how thick and attractive it is. This teak wood cutting board has an edge grain surface with deep juice grooves. I find this useful in cutting ingredients, mess-free.

And since edge grain cutting boards like the Sonder Los Angeles are more prone to scratches, I love that the color of it conceals all the imperfections created by knives. Its integrated juice groove holds up to 3.5 ounces of fluid, preventing liquid and grease from bursting at the seams during meal prepping.

The reversible design of this wooden cutting board allows you to prep and chop on either side. One side is finished without a juice groove, allowing you to expand your cutting surface without disruption. This wooden board comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros:

– Attractive, edge grain surface

– Reversible

– The color conceals scratches

– Thickness provides stability

– Deep juice grooves for mess-free cutting

– Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons:

– Bulky for storage

– On the pricey side

KARRYOUNG Acacia Wood Cutting Board – Best Knife-friendly

KARRYOUNG Acacia Wood Cutting Board

Having to hone a knife is something I’m not fond of, and if you’re like me, you may consider getting the KARRYOUNG Acacia Wood Cutting Board. This knife-friendly cutting board is made of solid acacia wood, featuring an ergonomic non-slip handle with a hook for easy storage. The wood has a lovely natural polish and a pleasant aroma, and it can endure the demands of weighted ingredients, making it ideal for cutting meats.

The KARRYOUNG cutting board is thick and large enough to accommodate bulky and heavy meats such as a whole turkey. This multipurpose cutting board also makes a great serving board for cut-up meats. It’s very easy to clean with just soap and water. However, don’t soak it or use a dishwasher to clean it. As this may ruin the natural wooden surface of the board.

Pros:

– Knife-friendly

– Ergonomic handle has a hook for easy storage

– Natural rustic polish

– Great as a serving platter

Cons:

– Might be a bit small

– Board is narrow

John Boos Block Maple Wood Cutting Board – Splurge Pick

John Boos Block Maple Wood Cutting Board

If you don’t mind splurging, then you may want to invest in a durable, multipurpose cutting board like the John Boos Block Maple Wood Cutting Board. This reversible maple cutting board has an edge grain surface. It’s NSF-certified, and is waiting for space in your lovely kitchen! It’s one of the most simplistic, yet, elegant wooden cutting boards I’ve come across.

The John Boos wooden board has the right thickness width, and length that you’ll ever need in a cutting board. It’s is crafted from sustainably sourced, hand-picked Northern Hard Rock Maple Wood, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s best and most durable food prep surfaces. It features an integrated hand grips on each end, making raising, moving, and cleaning this versatile cutting board easy-peasy.

You can hand wash and dry this precious board. I suggest you apply the John Boos Mystery Oil daily, and more frequently on dry climates and when it’s brand new. You can then seal the wood surface with John Boos Board Cream. Amazon sells the oil and cream separately. This cutting board comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros:

– Durable and thick

– Reversible edge-grain surfaces

– Hand grips offer ease of use and cleaning

– Versatile

– NSF-certified for safety

– Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons:

– Expensive

– Requires careful maintenance

Greener Chef Extra Bamboo Cutting Board – Best Budget

Greener Chef Extra Bamboo Cutting Board

If you’re on the hunt for a good cutting board that fits your budget, you may check out the Greener Chef Extra Bamboo Cutting Board. This large cutting board is made from 100% Moso, a bamboo native to China and Taiwan, as well as Japan. It has more surface space to accommodate large ingredients that need quick chopping.

The Greener Chef cutting board is another knife-friendly option for folks who have no time to hone the knives, it’s great for busy kitchens. It has deep juice grooves that catch the liquids, preventing them from overflowing for a mess-free countertop. For this reason, this board is a great choice if you’re cutting lots of meats.

You can also use its opposite side to make a large bamboo cutting board platter for serving bread, cheese, and other items. It’s an easy-to-clean chopping board. But you will need to season it with a food-grade cooking board oil.

Pros:

– Large size offers more space for larger food preps

– Knife-friendly

– Deep juice grooves offer mess-free cutting

– Great as a serving platter

– Easy to clean

– Affordable

Cons:

– Some users noticed splinters after wash

– Hard to maintain

Important Things To Consider in a Cutting Board

Important Things To Consider in a Cutting Board featured photo

Before investing in a wooden cutting board, consider getting your criteria right. Make sure you’re getting one that withstands the impact of cutting, the test of time. It’s also important to get a cutting board that’s made of food-grade material, with extra features. Find out more on the handy buying guide below.

Janka hardness rating

The hardness rating of wood is measured in pounds-force or lbf higher. The higher a wood’s hardness rating, the tougher it is. A Higher Janka hardness rating also heightens its resistance to knife scratches, cracks, or dings.

You can pick hardwoods such as maple or cypress over softwoods like pine. Maple and cypress typically have a higher hardness rating. It’s also less vulnerable to degradation than its softwood counterparts.

Toxicity

As much as possible, you should stick to trees that are already known for producing edible fruits, nuts, leaves, or sap. Food-safe bets are cherry, maple, and walnut. But apart from the wood itself, all board components like glue, conditioners, and finishes should be verified non-toxic. Forgo odor-fighting substances. A well as anything containing triclosan or petroleum distillates.

It will be a wise option to pick from a variety of woods with natural anti-bacterial properties such as Cypress. Woods with small pores also help to block bacteria and moisture. Overall, you can never go wrong with food-grade woods.

Wood grain (or porosity)

Choose closed-grain woods, which have pores that you can’t see with your naked eye. Small, tighter pores prevent moisture or bacteria from accessing the surface, causing mold growth, warping, or smudges. And for this, bamboo wouldn’t be your best choice due to its porous surface.

Open-grained woods, those with visible pores, such as oak and ash are perhaps not suitable since they absorb moisture like a sponge. They can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep in mind that the fewer pores there are, the better.

Conditioning

It’s inevitable for the surrounding humidity to decrease. This can cause woods to shrink, warp, or split. To prevent these from occurring, you can apply food-grade mineral oil or beeswax to your cutting board and butcher blocks. Conditioning should be done quarterly after washing your wooden cutting board. It’s also worth noting that some woods shrink more than others. So, such woods will require more repeated oiling.

Extra Features

Certain manufacturers go above and beyond by including a few useful extras. There are boards with handles for easy transport and storing. You can also find cutting boards with textured grips on the underside. The purpose of this is to protect the board from slipping and sliding while you’re chopping.

Cutting boards with the “juice grooves” around the edges of the board are excellent for capturing any liquid discharge. Such cutting boards are suitable for cooks who often work with a lot of raw meat or juicy fruits.

Manufactures had even gotten so clever for including feet in their cutting boards. I think it’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The raised surface makes it ideal for presenting appetizers and cold cuts. It also makes washing and drying the board a breeze. Take note that you should only use the feet for heavier styles with enough heft to hold the cutting board in place.

Maintenance

A cutting board, no matter the material, will eventually require maintenance to stay in good condition. Some wooden cutting boards like bamboo and teak require far less upkeep than others. And even so, it’s still a smart option to condition your cutting board with mineral oil a few times a year. It will aid in keeping moisture out of the wood and in preventing warping.

Dimensions

Cutting boards come in various sizes, ranging from a palm-sized 6×8-inch to a massive 24×18 inch. Many people believe that bigger is superior in regards to cutting boards. Small cutting boards are handy for slicing cheese and chopping up garnishes, but they are limited in size. Anything larger than a paring knife on them can make you have an awkward grip on your knife.

By siting a knife diagonally across the surface of your board, you can see if it’s large enough. If there’s not an inch of the board on each side of your knife, you need a bigger board. There should be enough room for your knife to cut to its full length, all while still allowing space for ingredients.

The thickness of wooden boards varies less. The general rule is that the thicker it is, the less prone it is to warp or split. Thick boards also absorb moisture more slowly, allowing them to keep their shape over time. Plus, they’re heavier and superior to staying put on countertops.

Cost

The cost of cutting boards varies greatly based on the type of wood used in their construction. Since bamboo trees grow so quickly, it’s usually the least expensive material, making them very accessible. Cutting boards are typically at the low end of the scale of such ranges, while butcher blocks are at the top range.

But if you’re skilled enough to make one, you could go out and buy the hardwood yourself and make a DIY cutting board. This means you’ll also need to have all the necessary tools to make them.

End Grain vs. Edge Grain Cutting Boards

There are two designs of grains for wooden cutting boards. End-grain or edge-grain, they define your cutting board’s aesthetics. As well as the implications it will have on your knives. You see, these patterns are not just about aesthetics, each shows a distinct level of durability.

End Grain

Because of its durability and orthodox silhouette, end grain is a popular choice for professional chefs. But they are more expensive than edge-grain surfaces. End grain cutting boards, as opposed to long slats, take the smallest side of the wood slats. And then assemble them in a checkerboard pattern, with the ends of 2×4. The several pieces combine to form the cutting board’s surface.

Since the short ends of wooden boards are more fibrous and have an open wood-cell layout, the end-grain board’s cutting surface is softer. This makes it a gentler option on your kitchen knives. It also offers a better grip while slicing. Minimal dents are typically reversible because the surface’s open wood-cell design allows it to heal itself.

A knife’s edge essentially goes in between the fibers of the cutting board. And when you lift your knife, the fibers, like magic, close straight back up. This awesome catch-and-release function minimizes scratches on the board.

However, end grain boards often have more glue seams. Glue is used to bond the many wood pieces. And they require more maintenance. Its fibrous surface permits the oil to evaporate quickly, entailing additional conditioning to preserve its cutting pattern.

Edge Grain

Edge grain is an upgrade in terms of both performance and value. The construction of edge-grain surfaces is through bonding cut wooden boards together. So the side edges create a flat surface that faces up. Edge grain surfaces have a much simpler design and are much cheaper than end-grain cutting boards. This surface pattern resembles a series of lengthy strips like the sides of a 2×4.

Such cutting surfaces offer better stability while cutting than end-grain surfaces since they are heavier. The tradeoff with an end-grain is that it’s harder and has less give. And this increases the likelihood to dull your kitchen knives. End grain boards also have a lower ability to self-heal. This makes it more prone to showing scratches.

FAQs

What is the best wood for cutting board?

The best and most preferred wood for cutting boards is maple. Particularly sugar maple or hard maple. Maple is a dense, close-grained wood, which means it’s long-lasting, resistant to bacteria, and has an adequate quantity of hardness to it.

What kind of wood should you not use for a cutting board?

To save yourself the headaches, I suggest you steer clear of open-pored woods like ash and red oak. Such words are more difficult to keep spotless of food stains. Pine may retain a pungent flavor, and because it is soft, it will reveal cutting marks more easily than tougher woods such as maple.

Why is oak not good for cutting boards?

Although oak is a hardwood, it’s not commonly used in cutting boards. This is due to its extremely large pores. And these pores are visible to the naked eye when they are cut open. This means it will be easy liquid to seep through them, allowing bacterial growth.

Conclusion

My favorite wooden cutting board is the ROYAL CRAFT WOOD Organic Bamboo Cutting Board because it’s multifunctional, has the right thickness and heft keeps it in place, and it’s easy to clean. But if you want to spend a little more, you could pick the Sonder Los Angeles Teak Wood Cutting Board. You get the best out of your investment with this cutting board since it’s attractive, and has edge grain surfaces. It’s also reversible with a good thickness for stability. I like that the color of this board conceals scratches.

If you want a knife-friendly option, then you may refer to the KARRYOUNG Acacia Wood Cutting Board. It features an ergonomic handle with a hook for easy storage. The natural rustic polish also gives it elegance, and it would be great as a serving platter.

Now, if you don’t mind shelling out for a really durable wooden cutting board, then the John Boos Block Maple Wood Cutting Board could be a lovely choice. This one is thick and has reversible edge-grain surfaces. It also features hand grips for ease of use and cleaning. Lastly, the Greener Chef Extra Bamboo Cutting Board may be an ideal option if you’re looking to save. It’s knife-friendly and can be a nice serving platter.

I hope you find this guide helpful in finding the best wooden cutting boards for your daily food preps. Make sure to check the latest prices and discounts on these precious wooden boards above, and as always, good luck!