Posted by on 02/27/2017


Cutting surfaces are always necessary for carrying tasks such as cutting and chopping ingredients. They are a necessary tool in every household. Cutting boards can be made from different types of hardwoods although not all. Hardwoods are used mostly because of their density thus proving to be durable than softwoods. There are several factors to consider when choosing wood for cutting boards.



The wood used should be hard which makes the cutting board resistant to shock and damage. The woods used to make these boards are dense and tight grained so as to prevent food particles from being trapped in these grains. Oak is a hardwood, but it is not used to make cutting boards due to its open grain structure thus providing a breeding place for bacteria. Cutting boards with end grains are not served when knife edges cut through them hence they last longer and do not require resurfacing the top layer quite often. Hard maple and mahogany are widely used to make cutting boards due to their hardness and end grains thus durable. Hard maple is self-healing thus it does not scar easily. Walnut and Cherry are also good for making cutting boards because they are not too hard on knives edges.



Cutting boards are mostly used for cutting food ingredients. Therefore, the woods used for making them should not be toxic that is, they should not have chemicals that are harmful to health. Woods for cutting boards are chosen from trees with edible nuts or running edible sap. Teak is not good for cutting boards because it contains silica which is highly abrasive to knife edges. Spalted wood contains a bacterium that usually eats the wood and is toxic to humans. Cutting boards made from reclaimed lumber may not be food safe because they may have been exposed to toxins during their original use. Not only cutting board users should be concerned about the toxicity of the wood used to make their cutting boards but also woodworkers. This is because they come into contact with the raw materials and also inhale the wood dust. Inhaled toxic dust causes serious health issues to them with time. However, some people are more sensitive to certain types of woods than others. Woods cause allergic reactions to some people while not to others hence one should which type of wood to avoid.



Woods used for cutting boards should be self-healing thus any bacteria that has bred in the wood grains suffocates due to lack of oxygen.


All woods are prone to cracks; it is just that their densities vary. This is because they are not inherently stable. The cutting boards should, therefore, be handled carefully. Cutting boards are in frequent contact with water and other liquids thus prone to warping. This together with poor handling will make it not durable. Wood is more sanitary than plastics because of their self-healing properties, but this does not mean that they do not require cleaning often.

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