Cutting Boards: Wood vs. Plastic

In the Cutting Board Competition which Type Wins?

There are two main competitors when it comes to cutting boards: plastic and wood. Each one has their pros and cons. The points of comparison will determine which type of cutting board will serve your kitchen best. Take a look at how each one measures up on the levels of appearance, sanitation, ease of use, and durability.

Appearance

The look of wood can offer a distinguished sense, bringing it into a close second. Bamboo cutting boards tend to have a two toned wooden design that can blend in any kitchen.

Plastic cutting boards are typically white, although they may come in a variety of solid colors. The material does not take design well, and the use might deteriorate the design over time.

Sanitation

Hard woods, particularly bamboo, tend to be resistant to some bacteria. Unfortunately, wooden boards are also more difficult to clean and cannot be placed in a dishwasher. Cracks and slits within the wood that naturally occur during use, wear, and tear, can nurture germs if not cleaned properly; this makes some wooden boards score low in the sanitation round.

Plastic, especially hard plastic, are easy to clean and sanitize. They are light and normally dishwasher safe, so they can undergo a thorough cleansing. Thus plastic boards are on top when it comes to sanitation.

Ease of Use

This round is debatable, and almost totally depends on the size and shape of the board.

Wooden cutting boards rank high because of their solidness and stability. Their moderate weight makes it easy to move them from one area of the counter to another, while the top surface can prevent foods from sliding.

Plastic falls in the middle with a light-weight, and a surface with more traction than glass yet not as much traction as wood.

Durability

It looks like wooden boards, especially hard woods like bamboo, win again. If well maintained, they can last for a long time. They will not break easily if you happen to drop them, and hard wood generally has a long lifespan. You can keep your wooden board around for a long time as long as you clean and sanitize it after each use.

Plastic can break a bit more easily. Sometimes cutting through tougher foods can puncture or crack a plastic cutting board.

What about Other Surfaces?

Tempered glass cutting boards look great but are somewhat of a safety concern (knives can slide on them, they can be dropped). Plus they are very hard on your knives so we cannot recommend them.

Marble, ceramic and other stone surfaces are ones you should avoid for cutting as they dull and wreck your knives over time.

Which One Wins?

Only you can decide which type of board is right for your needs. It is actually a good idea to have more than one cutting board for different purposes. Keeping one board just for raw meat will reduce the risk of cross-contamination. You may decide that plastic is better for meats, but you prefer to use wood for the vegetables. Don’t forget that they come in many shapes and sizes. Ultimately, they all have their perks and downfalls, but you have the power to choose the winner in your kitchen.

What We Like:

Our current favorite (in both our kitchens)  is the Totally Bamboo Big Kahuna – see our review for more information.