Wood Cutting Board FAQ

Custom cutting boards make beautiful keepsake gifts. Whether you’re looking for personalized client gifts, housewarming gift or hostess gifts, or a custom wedding gift, engraved cutting boards are both a beautiful and functional choice. Within this FAQ, you'll learn how to choose the best wooden cutting boards for quality, lifelong gifts. Plus discover our care tips for cleaning and disenfecting this everyday kitchen product.

Why are Wooden Cutting Boards Popular?

Wooden cutting boards are popular for a number of reasons. They’re both durable and easy on your knives. There’s more than that, however. Here are our favorite reasons we always have a wood cutting board on hand:

  • Choosing the right wood helps to maintain the edge of your kitchen knives and custom cutlery sets.
  • They provide lasting quality and durability. Unlike plastic cutting boards, they aren’t destroyed and stained with use.
  • Typically, the wood darkens and beautifies as time passes. In addition, the variety of wood used for this purpose results in a gorgeous cutting surface with lots of decorative possibilities.
  • They are not just functional for food prep, but they also are perfect for charcuterie boards and serving trays. Or display them on a cutting board stand for instant home décor in your kitchen when they aren’t in use.
  • Studies have shown that wood is less likely to harbor bacteria than plastic. In addition, they offer a stable cutting surface with natural antibacterial properties.
  • Wood cutting boards last longer than their plastic counterparts. On average plastic cutting boards last one to five years. Whereas wood endures for a much longer time frame of upwards of seven years or more!
  • Older boards, that have become worn, can be sanded down to create new surface.
  • A quality wooden cutting board, such as our cherry cutting boards, make food preparation quicker and easier.

Why Do You Need a Quality Wooden Cutting Board?

A quality surface matters when it comes to prep boards and cutting blocks. If the surface of your cutting board isn’t durable, then it won’t last. Not only do quality cutting boards last longer, but they also can prevent your knives from dulling too soon. Plus, better quality materials also resist bacterial growth. This is why we prefer a good, solid wood cutting board to the cheaper, plastic alternatives.

Cutting boards made from plastic develop deep grooves and chips with regular use. This in turn gives bacteria a place to hide and breed. As a result, they need to be replaced more regularly. On the other hand, hardwood cutting boards tend to be self-healing. Therefore, the right wood surface tends to help your stainless or carbon steels knives hold a sharp edge longer.

Is Wood Safe to Use?

There have been multiple studies on cutting board safety. Some argue that because wood is porous and a natural product that it can harbor unsafe bacteria with each use. However, plastic cutting boards scar more easily and are therefore more difficult to clean over time.

Most studies show that wood is a safer alternative to plastic. In fact, wood is not any less sanitary than plastic as is often asserted. Regardless of the wood you choose for this important kitchen tool, cleaning your boards with hot water and detergent is effective at removing bacteria, even as they age.

What Types of Wood Should Be Avoided?

Certain woods, such softwoods, are porous and therefore are more difficult to keep clean and more likely to stain. They also aren’t as self-healing as hardwoods and will show scars from knife usage. Pinewood can also give food a somewhat resinous taste if employed for this purpose.

On the other hand, in addition to being ring-porous, oak contains naturally occurring tannins. This makes this type of wood more likely to become stained with use. Ash is another wood that should be avoided due to its porous grain. As it also stains more readily than other hardwoods, such as maple.

We also recommend that you avoid boards made from exotic woods. These woods often contain toxins that could be absorbed into your food during preparation and can results in irritation, rash, runny nose, swelling or intestinal issues. Therefore, it’s wise to choose a wood variety that products nuts or fruits or has edible leaves or sap. You should avoid any wood that naturally repels insects.

Can You Use the Same Product for Meats and Vegetables?

It’s not recommended that you use the same cutting board to cut meat and vegetables. Food safety guidelines recommend a different surface for each of these types of food to prevent cross contamination. However, wood is perfectly fine for cutting meat, and many chefs prefer it due to the natural antibacterial properties in the wood.

What to Look for When Selecting a Wood Cutting Board

There are several things to consider when buying a cutting board made from wood. These include the dimension of the board, wood type and hardness, the grain, thickness and weight, and the porosity of the wood.

  • Wood grain: Edge-grain wood is typically used to make wooden cutting boards. This option is cheaper than end-grain wood due to its construction. End-grain wood, on the other hand, is most often used for butcher blocks. It gives you heavy, thick boards that are better suited for butchering meat. Both of these grains afford self-healing aspects that resist damage.
  • Thickness and weight: Choosing a thick board helps to prevent it from warping and splitting over time. While a thicker and heavier board also keeps it from slipping on your kitchen counter. The key is to find the balance that works best for your application and takes into account ease of portability and storage.
  • Wood Type/Hardness: We recommend you choose a hardwood for long lasting durability. The hardness of the wood should fall between 900 to 1500 range on the Janka hardness scale in order to protect the integrity of your knives. American cherry for example has a rating of 950-955, whereas Brazilian cherry is rated at 2820. In addition, hardwoods tend to be self-healing and show fewer scars and cuts.
  • Porosity of the Wood: You want to choose close-gained wood in which the pores are not visible to the naked eye. Open-grained wood not only stains more readily, but it also allows the wood to accumulate moisture and bacteria.
  • Dimensions: Unless you only need a small prep board, a larger wood cutting board is the best choice. This provides you with plenty of room to work without having to worry about cross-contamination. Additionally, we recommend a board that is 1.5” to 2” thick. This allows it to rest firmly on the countertop and helps to prevent warping.

Which Type of Wood Is Best?

Based on functionality, hardness, and durability, we recommend the following types of wood when choosing a cutting board:

  • Black Walnut
  • American Cherry
  • Hard Maple
  • Acacia

Are Cutting Boards a Good Gift?

The high-end kitchen tools from LifeLong Gifts™ make excellent gifts for every relationship, both personal and professional. Here are just a few reasons why we love gifting custom wood cutting boards:

  • They can be personalized with a special message or sentiment for holiday gifts, housewarmings, anniversaries, or weddings. Or give them with your custom engraved business logo for things like real estate closing gifts after you close on a home, so your services aren’t forgotten.
  • This product is handy and therefore likely to get daily to weekly use. In short, it’s a gift that keeps on giving and lasts for years to come.
  • It’s a personalized gift that everyone can use. They also look beautiful when displayed on a counter.

What Do You Give with a Cutting Board?

While engraved cutting boards make a beautiful gift on their own, you can also give a cutting board with several items tied onto the surface with a thick ribbon. Some of our favorite household products you can gift with your custom cutting boards include:

Why Choose LifeLong Gifts™ Custom Wood Cutting Boards for Gifts?

Here at LifeLong Gifts™ we offer a wide range of wood cutting board designs that you can customize to give as gifts. Our engraved wood cutting boards offer plenty of room for your personalization. And they’re made from quality hardwood for lasting durability and to preserve the integrity of your knives.

How Do I Customize Your Products?

It’s easy to personalize the cutting boards you purchase through LifeLong Gifts™. You can choose an existing design, then add your custom message or information. Or you can select a blank board to highlight a business logo. We offer a variety of designs to choose from including monograms, names, and popular phrases.

To design a custom cutting board, simply choose the type of board and design you’d like to personalize. Then supply the information you’d like us to use to customize your product. Once you approve the proof, we engrave the boards to your specifications.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Cutting Board Engraved?

We don’t charge any additional fees* to engrave the cutting boards you purchase through LifeLong Gifts™. In addition, we also offer quantity discounts on as few as six boards. So you can save money while giving lasting gifts that make an impression. (*Design fees may apply to some products.)

What Types of Wooden Cutting Boards Do You Sell?

We chose the wood for our custom cutting boards based on both durability and aesthetics to give you the best of both worlds. All of our boards are made using hardwoods well suited for this application. We currently offer the boards made from the following: Sustainable Plantation Hardwood, Acacia, American Cherry and Walnut.

Acacia Wood Cutting Boards

We love acacia wood cutting boards for their natural beauty. However, acacia has other benefits as well. Not only is this dense hardwood sustainably sourced, it’s also kind to knife blades, water-resistant, and highly durable. When regularly maintained with oil every month, it will likely outlast most kitchen tools.

Cherry Cutting Boards

Cherry is another great wood for cutting boards. Like acacia, this durable hardwood also has a natural beauty that shines through. Softer than other common options, cherry wood cutting boards help to protect your knives from damage. They also look stunning when engraved with your desired customization. We offer both cherry house-shaped boards as well as cherry cutting boards with a juice groove.

Bowl Boards

Our bowl boards, which we’ve coined Ulu-Mates™, are unique bowl-shaped cutting boards designed for our popular Ulu knives. We offer these boards in three types of wood: acacia, walnut, and plantation hardwood.

We love the longevity of plantation hardwood. As plantation grown wood frees natural forests form industrial use, it makes it a sustainable and more environmentally friendly material. This high-quality hardwood is also easy on knives, though the boards do require regular maintenance the same as other wood products.

Like cherry, walnut also makes a gorgeous material for cutting boards. Another close-grained wood, the soft straight grains of walnut are knife friendly, while the color helps to hide any staining that may occur.

How to Care for Wood Cutting Boards FAQ

There are few things you need to know to properly take care of your wood cutting boards.

How to Wash Wood Cutting Boards

First off, it’s incredibly important that you do not put wood cutting boards in the dishwasher. You also don’t want to soak your boards in water as it will cause them to warp or crack.

The best way to clean wood cutting boards is to hand wash them using a brush or sponge and hot, soapy water. We recommend that you use a mild, unscented dish soap. Simply scrub your boards on both sides, not just the side you used. (By washing both sides of the board, you ensure that it dries evenly to prevent warping.)

After washing, then rinse and dry with a dishtowel. Set the boards upright in a strainer or against a wall to complete the drying process.

Do I Need to Sanitize My Boards?

You don’t have to sanitize your boards, unless desired. If you are worried about bacterial contamination, you can use a weak vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution when cleaning. Simply wipe the boards down using a clean cloth soaked in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution or a mixture of four parts water to one-part white vinegar. Alternately, you can also use one teaspoon of bleach diluted in a quart of water. Allow the board to set for several minutes, then hand wash as usual.

To tackle stains or odors left behind, you can sprinkle them with either kosher salt or baking soda. Then rub a halved lemon, cut side down, across the board.

What Is the Best Oil to Use for Maintenance?

Oil is used on wooden cutting boards to replenish the moisture lost through washing and to revitalize their appearance. We suggest that you oil your boards once per month or when they feel dry to the touch. You can’t over-oil your wooden cutting boards. So don’t worry about oiling them too often. Any excess oil simply won’t be absorbed and can be wiped off with a paper towel or clean cloth.

Food-grade mineral oil, also known as liquid paraffin, is probably the most common oil used for maintaining the appearance of your wood cutting boards. It’s inexpensive and easy to find. In addition, it won’t go rancid like olive oil and other common cooking oils. However, you can also use any other food grade oil that’s not prone to rancidity. Fractionated coconut oil, for example, has a long shelf life of up to three years. (We don’t recommend using coconut oil that’s solid at room temperature.)

Alternately, you can also use spoon butter. You can save money by making your own. To do this, combine one part beeswax pellets (or carnauba as a vegan alternative) with four parts mineral oil over low heat in a double boiler. Allow to melt, then mix to combine. Pour the wood butter into a mason jar or other heat safe container and allow to cool and harden prior to use.

By regularly maintaining your boards with mineral or cutting board oil, you help extend the life of your products. Oil helps to prevent cracks, splits, and dry boards. Which in turn helps prevent bacterial growth.

How to Store Wood Cutting Boards

You can store your engraved wood cutting boards on the counter for easy kitchen décor. Or keep boards easily accessible by storing them upright inside a metal file organizer. Explore more cutting board storage ideas here.

Now that you know how to choose, create, and care for a custom cutting board, don’t forget to see what other wonderful products LifeLong Gifts™ has to offer! Shop now.