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can oak be used for cutting boards

Is Oak Wood Good for Cutting Boards?

Cutting boards are considered an accessory or a style item utilized to enhance the overall appearance of a kitchen. They are manufactured from a wide range of materials. Each material has different price tags and properties.

Can oak be used for cutting boards? Yes! Oak is sturdy enough to endure the slicing impact of knives However, some individuals believe that the huge pores present on oak can trap harmful bacteria. Although potentially true, such an issue can be counteracted through thorough washing and sealing.

Is oak wood good for cutting boards?

Now that we know oak wood is an excellent material for cutting boards, it is time to find out which type of oak you must invest in – red oak or white oak.

Red oak:

It is recommended to stay away from open-pored woods such as red oak. Red oak is also quite unsuitable because it has multiple toxic tannins that can transfer onto your food items. Red oak has an amazing rating when it comes to hardness, but after it has been sealed, it can be used only once.

Before you reject red oak completely, here are a few advantages that you should also be aware of –

1. Red oak is much more durable than other kinds of wood. Red oak cutting boards do not suffer from dents or cuts caused by the knives.

2. Red oak is hardwood but it is gentle and soft on the knife blade.

3. Red oak becomes resistant to water when it has been sealed fully.

Is oak wood good for cutting boards?
Red oak vs White oak

White oak:

Is white oak good for cutting boards? White oak is much denser than red oak and is therefore an amazing choice for kitchen accessories. While you can purchase any wood, when the objective is to resist the damage caused by the knives, most people opt for white oak.

A few more advantages of white oak include –

1. A contemporary feel and look

2. Less prone to denting

3. Reasonably priced

Does oak work for cutting boards?

Oak will surely work for cutting boards. It is hardwood that can successfully survive the pressure of chopping, cutting, etc. Besides firmness and durability, oak wood’s water resistance property also allowed it to impress larger segments of the population.

That being said, oak has huge pores which can at times trap bacteria. This problem can however be remedied by using sealant.

Reasons oak is good for cutting board

Oak wood is a straight-grained, medium brown-colored hardwood. It is hard, heavy, and strong, and due to these properties, oak is believed to be an optimal choice for furniture, flooring, and cabinetry. Mentioned below are a couple of reasons why oak is good for cutting boards.


Oak wood is immensely durable. It can last for around 100 to 200 years with negligible maintenance. If oak wood comes in contact with moist soil, it will last for 60 years.

Resistant to Water:

Oak wood is strong and dense. It finishes exceptionally well and is thus used for both indoor and outdoor projects When exposed to damp conditions, oak is immensely resistant to warping and absorption. The dense grains hardly absorb any moisture.

In terms of water resistance, everyone compares oakwood to teakwood. Both of these woods perform great without maintenance and in humidity.

Easy Sealing Process:

It is quite easy to seal oak wood. Even though oak has a naturally breathtaking look, it finishes best. Wood accepts all stains. Stain improves the wood’s durability and appearance. Polish improves the latter.

How can you seal an oak cutting board?

An essential step of owning any high-quality wood cutting board is that you have to seal its surface frequently. Implement the below steps as diligently as possible.

Get All the Ingredients Ready:

To seal oak cutting boards, you should collect the following ingredients – tissue or paper towel, oil, and cloth free of lint. You must never use vegetable oil or olive oil. The oils that are believed to be best for sealing are mineral oil, tung oil, and beeswax.

Pour the Oil onto the Cutting Board:

After getting the above ingredients ready, you should pour the oil carefully on the cutting board. Now use the cloth without lint to rub the oil all over the cutting board. Apply the oil in gentle circular motions

Add Several Coatings:

After the first coating, you should repeat the application procedure several times. Your cutting board must absorb all the oil.

Clean the Excess Oil:

After sealing the cutting board using oil, you should clean the excess oil with a paper towel.

How to choose the best wood for your cutting board – Factors to consider

When selecting wood for a cutting board, the foremost thing you should remember is that not all types of wood can adapt to kitchens. Three factors to take into consideration are –


Close-grained woods are much better than the open-grained woods. Tighter pores prevent water and bacteria from seeping through the board’s surface. They also keep stains, mold, and warping at bay, all of which can damage cutting boards.


The Janka hardness rating measures the hardness of different wood species. The best wood for cutting boards is the ones that are on the harder end of your Janka scale. Hardwoods can withstand repeated knife usage.

Wood Toxicity:

Wood toxicity is a source of concern because wood dust and the composition of a few wood species can cause poisoning, sensitivity, and irritation. Although cutting boards would not expose people to wood dust, it is still necessary to think if they are safe to keep in the kitchen. Observe your wood closely to make sure it does not have not any toxins or have not been treated with chemicals.

What woods are not good for cutting boards?


You must not use pine to manufacture cutting boards because it is a softwood. Pine is extremely prone to nicks and scratches. It is also more absorbent. So if not sealed, it will warp and crack over time.

Red Oak:

Is red oak good for cutting boards? Not really. Red oak has porous grain that sucks and traps everything kept on it. Red oak wood also has substantial amounts of tannic acid that is toxic. Using red oak cutting boards will leave behind an unpleasant smell in your kitchen.


Walnut wood can be used to make cutting boards because it is durable, versatile, and has several antimicrobial properties. But remember walnut cutting boards have a bad smell.


As evident from the above discussion, you can use oak cutting boards in your kitchen. Take proper care of them, and they will last for a prolonged period easily.

Thank you for reading this article. If you have any queries regarding this topic please feel free to contact us we will be more than happy to help you.

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