The hardness of wood is an aspect to consider when you choose a wooden cutting board for your kitchen. The hardest of wooden boards may make the edge of the cutting tool to bend and softest wood would make the board scratchy and even become moisture absorbed when used. To determine the right hardness, a Janka hardness test is done on the wood.
Janka hardness test is an industry standard, which contrasts and compares distinct wood types in order to calculate which wood withstands wear and denting the best possible way. The test is done by embedding a steel ball measuring 0.444 inches in diameter halfway through into the wood.
When it comes to wooden cutting boards, the appropriate hardness should be around 900 lbf to 1500 lbf as measured by the test. As of now, Austrailian Buloke is the hardest wood in the entire world having a pounds-force of up to 5060, closely followed suit by Schinopsis Brasiliensis (4800 lbf).
Apart from the hardness of wood, another aspect you should consider is wood’s porosity, best defined as the pores that carry the sap inside a tree for its sustenance. In fact, certain trees in the forest have closed pores, which make such wood types ideal for making wooden cutting boards.
Wood blocks can be made using the edge grain too, and for that, wood with high hardness and low to medium porosity are ideal. Woodworkers discard the toxic wood types having high porosity when making cutting boards, mostly because they have a tendency to absorb liquids and even moisture.
One of the most popularly used types of wood to make cutting boards is hard maple. They are available aplenty, are low-porous, non-toxic, sufficiently hard, and durable wood. In fact, woodworkers around the world choose maple to make the wooden product owing to the properties and its classic feel. When put to the Janka hardness test, hard maple has a pound-force of 1450 lbf.
There are more aesthetically appealing wood types as well, which are often used to make wooden cutting boards, such as black walnut (1010 lbf) and cherry (995 lbf). Such types of wood, with their color and wood grain, usually result in making a cutting board that has an appealing feel and texture.