In 2014, we wrote a rather extensive blog post on what wood is right for you. We were often asked what wood we recommended for a customer. We couldn't really tell people what wood was best for them because for every customer, there are different needs and wants. We decided to give the customer information to make a more educated choice for what they might prefer in their custom cutting board. This time we are separating the wood blog into 2 posts; darker woods, and lighter woods. The woods in the lighter category we recommend for engravings that require more contrast such as photos, recipes, and fine detail designs as well as The contrast of a lighter wood and a dark engravings make it a great choice for readability and fine design work.
Side Note - when I reference a "hardness" of the wood, I am referencing the Janka hardness scale that measures wood for its denting and wear. The higher the janka rating, the more durable the wood is.
Maple is the standard wood of choice for most professional chefs. It is what is typical known as the "standard" in cutting boards and chopping blocks. It burns beautifully, and almost any design, especially photographs and hand written recipe boards, turn out beautifully. The lighter white wood contrasts beautifully with the dark brown burned wood. Maple is a very hard and very dense wood, but is good to professional knives. It's easy to clean and take care of without concerns of warping or splitting. Its an excellent choice! Hardness is 1450.
Beech is a beautiful, yet under appreciated wood. Solid, minimal graining, heavy, and is great on knives. It burns beautifully, with a great contrast in the wood. We recommend this wood for use with our photograph engravings, a recipe board, or images with a lot of detail. The type of beech we use in our products, is European Steamed Beech. As with maple, it has a hardness of 1450 which is incredibly resilient. Beech is an excellent choice for hardness, wear-resistance, and strength.
Cherry is a much loved wood in the U.S.. We don't stain our cherry wood, so people are often surprised how light colored some cherry pieces can be. A lot of people confuse a cherry stain with cherry wood. Cherry is a beautiful wood, which does age with time and care. I personally have a cherry board I use regularly, and once a month I treat it with our Conditioner. After just one year of use, that board is a very dark, aged piece of cherry, and even with the knife marks, looks amazing (for a photo see blog post "It's not just words). As you can see cherry engraves beautifully. It burns a deep read color, which makes for a beautiful contrast. Hardness of American Cherry is 950, so not as hard as some of the other woods we carry, but beautiful nonetheless.
Bamboo is a favorite of many customers! It's eco friendly and easy to care for. It also contrasts beautifully. Unlike many other engraved cutting board engravers, all of our boards are made here locally utilizing 3 different wood workers. However, ALL bamboo is imported. It is not grown anywhere in the USA commerically. There are a few areas in Central and South America, but not commercially available. So beware of anyone that says it is locally sourced. We offer our standard style board (seen in the photo), a mixed bamboo (dark in the middle and lighter on the side) style, and a paddle board. Bamboo is one of the most unique plants on earth. Some species of bamboo can grow up to a foot a day! Most bamboo will engrave a dark caramel color like shown. But as it is a grass, the engraving can vary depending on the hardness of the species that was grown.