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Posted by Tal Oren on

ย  ย ย If youโ€™re looking to boost your kitchen on a budget, then opting for a better cutting board is certain to help you out! A great chopping board will make your knives stay sharper for longer, as well as help you get clean cuts through everything you dismantle.

Weโ€™ve done some research, and weโ€™re here to fill you in on the essential facts of finding the best cutting board for you.

What should you look for?

There are a few things that you should definitely look for when youโ€™re buying a cutting board. Weโ€™ve isolated the ones that are most important, to help you search with only the essentials in mind.


ย  ย ย First of all, you need to mind the hardness of the wood that youโ€™re using. For example, hardwood like maple is preferable to softwood like pine. The reason for this is that the board will become damaged over time, leading to an unsafe, unsteady, and unclean cutting area.

ย  ย ย To measure the hardness rating of wood, the Janka hardness rating is used. Essentially, the higher the number, the harder the wood.


ย  ย ย Make sure to look out for the porosity of a given cutting board. As a rule of thumb, if you can see pores on the board, you shouldnโ€™t get it. A closed-grain wood will now have any visible pores, leading to less bacterial growth over time. Of course, this leads to greater food hygiene, which is always a good thing.


ย  ย ย Finally, we would recommend considering the conditioning. Wooden cutting boards need to be treated with food-grade mineral oil to keep them at their best, though some woods need to be oiled more often than others. If you donโ€™t want to deal with a high-maintenance board, opt for one that needs oiling less often.

What types of wood are best?

ย  ย ย We would say that the overall best wood for cutting boards is maple. It ranks at 1,450 on the Janka hardness scale, plus itโ€™s more scratch and impact resistant than beech, teak, and walnut (comparable woods).

ย  ย ย The downside of using maple is that it typically needs to be conditioned once per month, which is fairly regular. On top of that, stains are very tricky to hide on the surface of maple, since itโ€™s so light in color.


ย  ย ย Second, we would suggest beech wood for a chopping board. Theyโ€™re slightly less hard than maple, but still highly-ranking at 1,300 lbf on the Janka scale. The truly impressive feature of this wood is that it offers fantastic scratch and impact resistance, nearly on par with maple - at a much lower price.

ย  ย ย The disadvantage of using beech, however, is that wood shrinks noticeably more than any other wood, so it must be conditioned very regularly.


ย  ย ย Weโ€™d like to give third place to teak. Itโ€™s a very strong wood (1,070lbf) that barely shrinks at all over time, meaning that it only needs to be conditioned once every six months, or three months, depending on usage.

ย  ย ย The main downside of teak is that itโ€™s prohibitively expensive, with prices sometimes getting as high as $500! Plus, it has a high silica content, so it can blunt your knife blade very rapidly.



ย  ย ย Overall, we would suggest opting for maple first and foremost since it has exceptional hardness and coloration, as well as being relatively wallet-friendly.

ย  ย ย At the end of the day, weโ€™re sure that whatever chopping board you bring into the kitchen will be the right one: it will help you cook more!


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