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Is Oak Wood Good for Cutting Boards? (Read This First!)

Are you in search of a durable cutting board? Are you thinking of using oak wood, however, are you not sure whether it is best to use oakwood for a cutting board or not? Are you wondering whether or not oak can withstand all the pressure of cutting and chopping?

Is oak wood good for cutting boards?

Oakwood is definitely great for cutting boards. Oakwood is not only durable and indestructible hardwood, but it is also less prone to bacterial growth and rotting. Even if oak wood has large pores, this is mended by the usage of different types of sealants.  

Although oak is good for some cutting boards, however, not all types of oakwood are fitted to be used as a cutting board. Therefore, being knowledgeable regarding good and bad oakwoods can help you in coming to better conclusions. 

Red oak: 

One of the disadvantages of using red oak as a cutting board is that it has the feature of larger porosity which will retain moisture and can cause the wood to rot and decay. 

In addition, the food that will get stuck into the crevices of red oak will eventually cause bacterial and fungus growth therefore, it is better not to use red oak for cutting boards. 

White oak: 

White oak is definitely good for cutting boards due to its hardwood feature. It is also great for cutting boards because it does not deteriorate and is also not prone to bending.

Moreover, white oak is unbreakable, water-resistant, and cutting boards made out of white oak will last for a lifetime. 

Does oak work for cutting boards? 

Oak can definitely work for cutting boards. Oak is a type of hardwood and it can very well withstand the pressure of cutting, chopping, and so on. 

In addition, oak is a great match for cutting boards due to oak wood’s durability and firmness. As oak woods have water resistance properties, it is a perfect fit for cutting boards.

Additionally, being hardwood, oak is less prone to deteriorating or damage. However, oak cutting boards seem to have large pores which can sometimes cause some bacterial issues but these can be remedied with the help of sealant. 

Moreover, oak cutting boards are less prone to absorb stains and will not easily dry out. These oak cutting boards will also be less prone to have scratches from all the cutting and chopping. 

3 reasons oak is good for cutting board 

Although there are disadvantages of using an oak cutting board, it nevertheless can be proven to be very effective and efficient only if the proper maintenance and cleaning are done thoroughly. 


Oak cutting boards are made out of very heavy-duty oakwoods and also seem to have a lot of hardness to them which lets these oak cutting boards withstand a heavy amount of pressure.

In addition, oak is a hardwood and because of this, it will not be prone to decay and bacterial growth very frequently. 

Resistant to Water: 

Another reason why oak is considerably good to be used as a cutting board is due to the water-resistant element of the oak.

However, this water-resistant element is accentuated when the sealant is used on the surface of the cutting board. 

Easy Sealing Process:

As wood is naturally prone to retain moisture and therefore, this feature can cause the rotting of wood and the growth of bacteria into the boards that are made out of oakwood.

However, this is not the case due to the very easy and flexible sealing process of the oak cutting boards.

Just by sealing the oak cutting boards with beeswax or mineral oils, you can minimize the large pores of oak wood. Consequently, this helps to prevent food particles and water to go into the board. 

How do you seal an oak cutting board?

When it comes to your oak cutting board, you should always be careful to keep it clean and bacteria-free. One such way of doing it is to seal the oak cutting board very thoroughly.

Moreover, being knowledgeable about the ways of sealing an oak cutting board will help you in the future. 

Get All the Ingredients Ready: 

The things you will need for sealing an oak cutting board are oil, paper towel or tissue, and lint-free cloth. 

You need to make sure to use a food variety oil and you also need to refrain from using olive oil or vegetable oils. The oils that can be very good for sealing are tung oil, mineral oils, and you can use beeswax as a sealant too. 

Pour the Oil onto the Cutting Board: 

After getting all the ingredients ready, you now have to put the oil onto the cutting board. You also need to use the lint-free cloth to spread and rub the oil across the cutting board. 

In addition, you need to follow a circular motion or follow the direction of the wood grain to successfully apply the sealant or oil onto the surface. 

Add Several Coatings: 

After you are done with applying the first coating, you now need to repeat the process of coating the cutting board with oil again. 

However, you need to let the oil absorb thoroughly in-between several coatings and stop reapplying the oil once the cutting board is soaked with oil. 

Clean the Access Oil:

After you are done with sealing the cutting boards with oil, you now need to take the access oil off of the cutting board once it is dry with the help of paper towels. 

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

You do not want a cutting board that is made out of cheap wood. Therefore, you need to be knowledgeable about all the important factors to consider before choosing the best wood for your cutting board.


If you want your cutting board to be proven as durable and flexible and to withstand all the pressure of chopping and cutting, you definitely should consider the porosity factor of the wood.

In addition, it is very common for all the woods to have pores but if these pores are very frequent, this can cause a lot of problems. 

Moreover, if you choose woods with big pore patterns for the cutting board, chances are food and water will be stuck into the cutting board which can thus cause bacterial growth within. 

Therefore, you should definitely use those woods for cutting boards that have less porous grain meaning closed grain. 


Another important factor to consider while choosing wood for a cutting board is related to wood’s hardness (hardwood).

Hardwoods are better than softwoods and tend to offer more flexibility, durability, and longevity. Moreover, cutting boards made out of hardwoods will not get scratched very easily and will not cause the knife to be dulled. 

Wood Toxicity:

Another important factor you need to consider while choosing the best wood for the cutting board is that you have to choose one that does not have toxic elements in it.

In addition, if some woods are naturally toxic, chances are cutting boards made out of these woods will cause swelling, allergic reactions, irritations, and can also cause food poisoning. 

Therefore, it is always better to avoid using toxic woods and to be more cautious, you need to avoid using unknown or exotic woods as well. 

What woods are not good for cutting boards?

Not all woods are equally good to be used as cutting boards and when the wrong wood is chosen, you can face several problems while using your cutting board like rotting wood problems, bacterial growth, and decaying problem. 


Although you can use pine woods cutting board, there is a high possibility that the pine cutting board may not be proven to be durable.

Additionally, hardwoods are the safest option for cutting board but pine wood is widely considered as a softwood. 

Due to its softness, the pinewood cutting board will develop scratches from its constant contact with the knife. Moreover, another bad attribute of pinewood is that it will leave a resin-like taste to the food. 

Red Oak: 

Although red oak is a very sturdy hardwood, it still has large wood grains which can cause a lot of difficulties while working with a red oak cutting board.

These large pores of red oak will cause the moisture and food particles to be stuck into the crevices of the cutting boards. 


Walnut wood will not be good for cutting boards as walnut wood will leave an extra woody smell to the items of food that are being cut on the surface of the board. 

Final Thoughts

Being long-lasting hardwood, oak woods are great for their usage as cutting boards. Although the large porous grains of some oak stands as a problem, it still can be modified by the usage of different sealants like oils and wax to better prep the surface of the board.