What's the Best Type of Wood for Cutting Boards?

Cutting boards can be made in a range of hardwood types. Maple is one of the most common materials for cutting boards, and I mostly limited much of my testing pool to that, though I did include a few teak boards and one acacia, since they're popular options on the more affordable end. Walnut is another highly regarded option. It's significantly darker than maple, so if that appeals to you on an aesthetic level, it's worth considering.

Cherry is another popular option, though it's softer than maple—some say it's too soft to be an ideal cutting-board wood. I have cherry countertops in my home kitchen, but I've always made a point of not cutting directly on them; the wood is noticeably softer and easier to ding and dent than my maple cutting boards, so I'd agree that it's not the best for a true work surface, though a skilled woodworker may know how to pick cherry wood that's harder than what's typical.

Oak is one material I didn't consider at all, since I found no credible sources that would endorse it for cutting boards. Bamboo is another I cut from the get go, since it's infamously hard on knives.

Teak and acacia are woods that tend to be grown in Asia. They get mixed reviews, with some people complaining about their unpredictable hardness levels (in the case of acacia) and high knife-damaging silica content (in the case of teak), but because they've become so common, and because they're priced affordably, I decided to include them in this review to see how they'd fare against the maple options in some real-world tests.


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