Cutting Boards

What wood is best for you

Wood selection has always been the most important part of selecting a good cutting board. Classical cutting boards have normally been made of out dense woods, such as maple, walnut or cherry vs porous woods such as red oak.  Choosing the right wood for how it is going to be used, will help keep your cutting board keepsake protected for life.

Wood alone can't protect your board from abuse and neglect.  All wood cutting boards usually require regular maintenance with mineral oil or beeswax to keep the wood from cracking and warping. Additionally, we do not recommend putting any of our boards in the dishwasher, or letting it soak in water for a long period of time. This will lead to splitting and damage to the wood.

This list is meant to inform, but is not exhaustive.  There is a lot of information out there on the different woods, how they are grown and harvested.  The list is in alphabetical order starting with Bamboo and ending with Walnut.

Bamboo has a hardness of 1180 on the Janka hardness scale.

Bamboo-Carb-Nat-VertOne main reason bamboo cutting boards have gained popularity in recent years is because they are almost maintenance free due to the hard density of the wood. Bamboo resists retaining water and as a result, will not warp or crack as easily as normal wood. That said, it’s not recommended to put a bamboo board (let alone any cutting board) in a dishwasher due to the extreme heat. Only thicker, plastic cutting boards are considered safe for dishwashers since they generally won’t crack or warp.

As a naturally light wood with a fine grain, many chefs love the natural look of bamboo and the modern elegance that it conveys. Many designer kitchens now sport large bamboo cutting boards as the grain can be uniform and homogenous, leading to a chic and tasteful look for a stylish kitchen.

Plus, without having to worry about wood scarring, your bamboo board should continue to look smooth and sleek for a long time. In addition, due to the resistance to absorbing water, bamboo is less likely to crack and split like regular wood boards. Bamboo also resists staining, which is often an issue with meats and acidic plants such as tomatoes.

Properly sourced, bamboo is a highly renewable resource. Most people don’t know that bamboo is technically a grass instead of tree, which is appropriate due to the fact that it’s one of the fastest growing plants on earth. In fact, a normal bamboo shoot can become fully mature within three to six years before it is cut for harvest. On the other hand, maple trees can take over 30 years to fully mature and can live to over 150 years.

Different pieces of Bamboo Engrave differently. Sometimes the bamboo burns dark and provides a great dark contrast. Other pieces are harder, therefore, don't engrave with a dark contrast. Still readable, but just doesn't have the obvious burn. Since Bamboo is technically a grass, each blade can burn differently.

European Steamed Beech has a hardness of 1450 on the Janka hardness scale.

beech-600x400Beech is an unknown workhorse in the cutting board world. We know this because we have put beech to the test for many years in our kitchen. So very few cutting board companies offer this strong and durable wood as a cutting board, and we are often at a loss as to why that is. We have put our beech boards through the wringer, setting them in water too long, and not maintaining them as they should be maintained. We absolutely love our beech boards, and while the wood isn't as exotic as walnut or mahogany, you won't be disappointed in the durability of our beech boards.

Beech coloring is typically a pale cream color, sometimes with a pink or brown hue. Veneer tends to be slightly darker colored, as slicing the veneer usually requires the wood to be prepared with steam, which gives the wood a more golden tone. Flat sawn surfaces tend to be very plain, while quarter sawn surfaces exhibit a silvery fleck pattern. The wood is typically steamed as part of the drying process, which helps produce a even / uniform color.

Beech is an important and widely-used hardwood in Europe. Its hardness, wear-resistance, strength, and excellent capabilities—coupled with its low price—make this hardwood a mainstay for many European woodworkers. Depending on soil conditions, European Beech can grow to very large sizes, and wide, long lumber is commonly available for use.

Beech engraves with a beautiful, dark brown contrast to the pink-brown board. Even though it is a hard wood, it does burn a smooth, deep engraving.

Cherry has a hardness of 950 on the Janka hardness scale.

cherry-600x400Cherry heartwood varies from rich red to reddish-brown. The sapwood is white. It has a fine, straight grain with narrow brown pith flecks and small gum pockets. It has a smooth texture.

Cherry is a very popular American hardwood. It sands to a very pale pink-brown hue. Initially it is a very light brown, with occasional small knots or sap pockets. As it is exposed to light, it gradually darkens, with obvious change in the first few weeks. In months it will become a rich light brown, and in a year or two it will be a medium brown. It will probably never become the classic "dark cherry" which was caused by old fashioned finishes darkening as much as the wood. Most finishes that state “dark cherry” usually use maple or birch wood with a dark cherry finish.

Cherry is a beautiful wood, and makes for a great cutting board, but it is softer than some of the other woods we offer such as the bamboo, beech, and maple. Components made of Cherry generally consist of approximately 25% sapwood and 75% heartwood. Therefore, there will usually be a bit of sapwood in each board.

Cherry has a beautiful even grain, and is beautiful with an oiled finish. The wood is not toxic and makes for beautiful cutting boards that will only become more beautiful with time and care.

Engraved cherry wood is smooth and deep red. The contrast if cherry is much like the beech. The engraving is smooth and generally deep.

African Mahogany has a hardness of 830 - 1300 on the Janka hardness scale.

African mahogany-400x266Heartwood color is variable, ranging from a very pale pink to a deeper reddish brown, sometimes with streaks of medium to dark reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Quarter sawn surfaces can also exhibit a ribbon-stripe appearance (which you will see in some of our listing photos).

There is often a lot of color variation in this mahogany. There can also be a luminosity in the grain, which will provide a shimmery appearance in the grain of the wood.

Engraved African Mahogany will reveal a deep, nearly black engraving, which is beautiful with the red/purple color of the wood.

Hard Maple has a hardness of 1450 on the Janka hardness scale.

hardmapleMaple trees are common in North America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Since maple trees are endemic to all the major regions of the world, the presence of lumber mills specializing in maple tree lumber production are abundant.

There are two types of maple lumber – soft maple lumber and hard maple lumber. Hard Maple, which is what we use for both our boards and blocks, is the Queen bee of woods in professional kitchens. Maple is popular choice because of its durability and density. It also has an natural antimicrobial benefit to it.

Maple cutting boards are durable and strong enough to withstand daily exposure to knives in addition to looking very beautiful. The wood also ensures that not only does the board not suffer deep scratches etc., but it also protects the sharpness of the knives that are used. Hard maple can last longer than most types of lumber with a service span of 50 to 100 years.

You can't go wrong with a Maple board, especially for someone who plans on using it on a regular basis.

Sapele has a hardness of 1510 on the Janka hardness scale.

sapeleThe durability and beautiful graining of Sapele warms any kitchen through its unmatched luminosity. Get the look of Mahogany with the strength and resilience of this exotic wood.

Heartwood is a medium to dark reddish brown or purplish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Sapele is often used as an alternative to genuine mahogany, sapele shares many of that hardwood's classic features. The wood is moderately durable - more so than a true African mahogany -- similar in color, and about as strong as oak. It is almost twice as hard as genuine mahogany!

Sapele can be described as the 'cream of the crop' of African hardwoods, both because of its popularity and usefulness, and also because of its sustainability and size.

White Oak has a hardness of 1360 on the Janka hardness scale.

whiteoakWhite oak is similar in color and appearance to European oak. The sapwood of American white oak is light colored and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White oak is mostly straight grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays than red oak.

The coloring in white oak is varied. Separate boards of white oak lumber may be dark brown, light brown, or brown with yellow-white tones. Wood sealer tend to beautifully enhance the appearance of white oak.

White oak can vary in color, texture, characteristics and properties according to the growing region.

White is a rustic wood, with a rustic appeal. If you don't like rustic, or variations in color and graining, then white oak isn't for you. We love the heavy, solid weight of white oak as well as the rustic colorings.

Engraving White oak offers a beautiful contrast, but it can have marked graining that will be revealed. The burning process of engraving will darken the wood, which allows for easy readability.

Walnut has a hardness of 1010 on the Janka hardness scale.

walnut001_lrgHeartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is pale yellow-gray to nearly white. Figured grain patterns such as curl, crotch, and burl are also seen.Black Walnut has a faint, mild odor. Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Black Walnut has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. It would be hard to overstate Black Walnut’s popularity among woodworkers in the United States. Its cooperative working characteristics, coupled with its rich brown coloration puts the wood in a class by itself among temperate-zone hardwoods. To cap it off, the wood also has good dimensional stability, shock resistance, and strength properties.

As a cutting board, walnut is a hard and durable wood as well as a favorite among the American Hardwoods. Its deep brown color is a favorite among people who enjoy the richness of dark woods. Engraving can vary depending the darkness of the walnut. A really dark piece of walnut can make reading any engraving more difficult because there isn't a big contrast when the wood is burned during the engraving process. We don't recommend Walnut for designs with small fonts such as a recipe board.

Unique gifts for Foundations and Organizations - An Engraved Cutting Board

We were recently asked to engrave our cutting boards for gifts for a local school's annual "Best of" awards events.  We took the Foundation's logo and added the recipients name and award to each board.  We thought they turned out great, and from what we understand were well received.  Looking for a unique gift for your school, foundation, or organization, consider us!  



Corporate Gifts - a new take on giving to your employees

In December we were contacted by a Hospital in Arkansas to make 50 small cutting boards with their logo.  They wanted to give them as gifts to their volunteers for their service.  Although we were swamped with holiday orders, we opted to find time to do this custom order.  In addition to it being for a good cause, it was also a way for us to look at how to expand our buisness into different markets.  We would like to expand more this year into a Corporate Gifts market and give companies an alternative to the standard trophies, plaques, etc... .  These cutting boards are 9" x 12" White Oak Cutting Boards with a handle. Take a look at how they turned out.... [slideshow]

StylishHome Catalog

One of our cutting boards was selected to be featured in the Stylish Home Catalog which showcases Etsy sellers for home decor aficionados!  Please download their catalog and look through the many great items they offer!

Click here to download their catalog StylishHome Winter Collection Catalog


Perfect Realtor Gifts for Holidays and Closings

We recently completed a job for a Realtor in Austin, Texas.  She ordered 30 - 9 x 12 Hickory Boards.  On the front side (cutting side) we engraved her logo in the lower corner, and on the back side, we did all the boards with our "Alphabet" design, which has the family name (or couple name).  We thought they turned out amazing, and made great gifts for Ashley to give to her clients!
If you, or a Realtor you know are interested in giving our cutting boards as gifts for the holidays or for closings, please contact us at  We do discounts for bulk orders, and once we have your design into our system, we can keep the cost low.

International Shipping and Howard's Butcher Block Conditioner.

This last week we were noticed on a Canadian wedding forum, where one of our customers, LulieDecorDesigns, gave us a plug.  We were caught off guard with the response.  We hadn't really done too much research into shipping to Canada or elsewhere.  I had read on some Etsy forums that for most sellers, Canadian buyers make up about 25% of their total sells, so I knew this was a market we needed to tap into, but wasn't quite ready yet.  As they say.....when opportunity calls....  It was a bit of a scramble trying to find out the best way to ship to our Canadian friends.  Unfortunately for us, a lot of our products make shipping internationally financially unviable.  That doesn't mean people don't do it, but I think the overall cost is just too much for most.  Our only reprieve is our small boards, 9 x 12, can fit in a USPS flat rate envelope and ship anywhere around the globe for $15.  When it comes to the large boards, $38 was the lowest we could find.  That $38 price is for up to 3 cutting boards which we can fit in a single flat rate box.  It works for those buying multiples, but maybe not so much for the single board buyer.   Prices have really gone up for international shipping since they got rid of surface mail and made all international shipping air mail.  And for a small business like us, those cost really make it hard to hit that international market. Starting next week we will be offering Howard's Butcher Block Conditioner for sale at a price that is lower than you can find at your local Home Depot and other hardware stores.  This is a product we use and recommend to be used regularly to maintain the boards we sell.  Their product EXCEEDS the FDA's requirements for food safety, so we feel safe in applying it to our boards and recommending it to our customers.  In addition, with the purchase of one of our boards, there is no additional shipping cost.  We feel this is a great product to sell with our cutting boards as it provides the customer with what they need to protect the beautiful wood cutting board without having to go out and find someone who sells it at a much higher mark up.

Commissioned Art and Realtors

I'll admit marketing and promoting has not been my strong suit.  I wish I could just make my stuff and sell it without having to do a  lot of other time-consuming tasks to get it noticed.  I suppose I can count myself lucky that I have had the success I have had with very little effort.  However, I want to do more.  Knowing that, I realize it is going to require more effort and more time to get my stuff noticed on sites like this blog, Facebook, twitter, etc..., in order to get the circulation I am looking at wanting.  Starting this week,  I will start blogging more regularly to show not only our products, but about who we are as a team, what we stand for as a company, and what we want to become.

This week we were contacted in two different capacities that I think can take our little cutting boards into new arenas.  First, we were contacted by a school that wanted to commission us to do a fundraising cutting board that was totally unique.  When all was said and done we ended up agreeing to engrave a 12" x 24" by 1.5" chopping block made out of European Beech End Grain.  It is a beautiful piece of wood.  The engraving is one of a kind because we had each student in the class write their names down on a piece of white paper and then we transferred their own handwritten names onto the engraveable design.  Here is the preview:

I can't even tell you how excited I am to engrave this and see all those little names forever engraved into a beautiful piece of wood.  Some lucky person will not only get to have it in their kitchen as a useful tool, but also a memento and piece of art.

We also were contacted this week by a "marketing expert" who looks for items for her client ( in this case a Realtor) to buy special, holiday gifts for their clients.  I know that's a lot of clients, but I think you get me.  Anyway, she wants to buy 45 of our small boards (9x12) engraved with the Realtors logo, greetings, etc... .  We are starting to see how these cutting boards could be used in a large-scale capacity for corporate gifts.  After all, would you rather have a plaque, a trophy, another knick knack around the house from your employer or actually have something you can use?  I think most would prefer the latter.  We are going to be targeting some of our local Realtors to see if we can get anymore interest in that capacity.

This week, we also purchased our own web address for our humidor shop.  Although we have had good success with Etsy and our humidors, we think that having our own website would bring in more business, especially with the military humidors.  Our address is  Tony hasn't built the site yet, but once it is live I will post here with regular updates.