Knife Accessories

Is Mahogany a Good Choice for Cutting Boards?

Is Mahogany a Good Choice for Cutting Boards

Mahogany is a lustrous wood that you may have come across in furniture or household fittings.

Prized for its beauty and its historical importance to the lumber trade, this wood has been much appreciated over the centuries. 

In terms of knife accessories though, does mahogany wood make good quality cutting boards that your buyers will be able to appreciate and enjoy over time? Is it among the best available today or could you offer your buyers something better? 

This article aims to look closely at mahogany as a wood for cutting boards and give you a balanced view on these products!

Let’s establish the basics of mahogany wood first.

Mahogany wood: an overview

Mahogany wood: an overview
Source: WikimediaCommons

The mahogany is a tropical hardwood tree that can grow to great size and its botanical family name is Swietenia

The wood from the mahogany tree can vary quite widely in coloration – from a dark red to paler blond hues and it has a straight grain usually without knots or blemishes in the wood. This makes it much prized for woodwork.

As genuine mahogany wood has become scarcer in today’s market, some wood suppliers offer other (often related) woods deceptively sold under the sticker name ‘mahogany’, but experts regard only Honduran mahogany; Cuban mahogany; and Mexican mahogany as the authentic triumvirate of the mahogany family.   

With few structural flaws, huge plank size and interesting shades of color, you would think that mahogany would be a good choice for home products, and it does see use in things like tables and chairs. How does it stack up as a cutting board material though?

Let’s look at Mahogany’s characteristics and answer that question!

Mahogany wood characteristics

Hardness

Although classed as a hardwood, mahogany offers the consumer a Janka hardness scale rating of only 800. Relative to other woods, this makes it quite soft in practical terms.  

The Janka number is the amount of pounds (pressure) applied needed to embed a steel ball in the material being tested. Wood like Virginia oak for example has a rating of 2, 680 pounds by comparison, making is significantly harder under pressure.

Durability

Durability of mahogany cutting board

Mahogany is a durable wood for even and broad impacts because of its stable nature. This makes it good flooring or boat decking.  

It doesn’t handle sharp impacts or wounds to its structure well though, and we’ll talk about why this is important to consider for cutting boards further on.

Rot resistance

Mahogany wood offers a good level of rot resistance, it’s not the best available but certainly not the worst.

How sanitary is mahogany?

The structure of mahogany wood is open – grained, meaning that it allows for the entry and passage of things like bacteria, and that it can also trap food particles. 

Taking this nature into account, mahogany is NOT a very sanitary wood for cutting board purposes.

How kind is mahogany to knife blades?

Mahogany is a soft enough wood that it won’t damage an expensive knife blade. However, due it to that softness a sharp edged knife blade will damage and open a mahogany surface with nicks and cuts.

This damage is problematic for hygiene as germs can breed in those spaces. Also, an easily damaged surface mars the looks of a cutting board, making it look worn and scratched up quite quickly.

Are mahogany wood cutting boards an ecologically friendly choice?

Many consumers today are very conscious of the ecological impact of their buying habits.

Mahogany is a protected (endangered) species and is on the C.I.T.E.S list of vulnerable natural materials.

For this reason, your ecologically aware customers may want to consider other wood sources for their kitchen cutting boards!

Cost

Being both protected legally and becoming rarer every day, true mahogany wood for any product is expensive when compared to other wood species that are readily available.

Are mahogany cutting boards a good choice?

Are mahogany cutting boards a good choice

As far as wood cutting boards go, mahogany is NOT the best choice available today.

However, mahogany wood offers properties that make it desirable for use in serving or charcuterie boards.

Let’s relate mahogany wood features to a charcuterie board that the consumer will purchase:

MAHOGANY FEATUREWHY IT MATTERS
Highly attractiveCharcuterie/food presentation is enhanced
Softer woodAppropriate for use with blunt edged knives like cheese knives
Tonal/color variationsCharcuterie boards can be customized to some extent
Priced per foot of timberCharcuterie boards are petite making mahogany a viable choice
Light – weightEasy to carry around & position for serving from

Best wood for cutting boards

Wood as a material for cutting boards offers a great many benefits, and you can certainly offer wood cutting boards as part of your knife accessories range with confidence!

Which types of wood are best to pick though?  Let’s look at some options.

Acacia wood

Acacia Cutting Board with Juice Groove and Hanging Hole NCW21132
Acacia Cutting Board with Juice Groove and Hanging Hole

Acacia wood is widely available, and this makes it an eco – friendly and cost effective cutting board material for the consumer.

Acacia species also boast a very high Janka hardness rating, which is exceptional for kitchen durability.

Acacia is also:

  • Water resistant
  • Antibacterial
  • Not easily scratched by knife blades
  • Pleasing in appearance

Teak wood

End Grain Teak Cutting Board with Rounded Corners NCW21215
End Grain Teak Cutting Board with Rounded Corners

Teak cutting boards, particularly if made from end grain pieces of teak, are very sturdy and offer a good resistance to knife marks too.

Teak wood is also considered amongst the most beautiful of wood species as it offers a tight and straight grain pattern with a range of golden – brown shades available.

Teak is also:

  • Eco – friendly is sourced from sustainable grow ops
  • Appropriately hard for cutting surface use
  • Naturally oiled to repel water and thus resist warping and splitting
  • Tight and close grained, making cleaning it a breeze!

Ironwood

End Grain Ironwood Cutting Board with Handle and Juice Groove NCW22010/NCW22008
End Grain Ironwood Cutting Board with Handle and Juice Groove

Ironwood is another very popular choice for cutting boards today and there are a number of reasons why.

Ironwood offers the customer a gorgeously smooth, almost satiny finish and it’s an adornment in any home kitchen.

Ironwood is also:

  • Extremely dense and hard, offering superior durability that’s amongst the best in woods
  • Eco – friendly is sourced conscientiously 
  • Highly resistant to cut marks 
  • Kind on knife blades, particularly if end grain ironwood is used
  • Naturally antimicrobial, making it sanitary for food/kitchen use

All of the woods mentioned are very prudent choices for your cutting boards selection, so do examine some product examples and the rest of our range!

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In conclusion

We’ve primarily considered mahogany in this LeeKnives article, but also delved into some other fabulous woods that make stunning and long – lasting cutting surfaces.

It is our hope that this overview of the best wood cutting boards has inspired you to expand your stock offering and take advantage of the thriving cutting boards market.

Wood cutting boards offer so many recognized benefits to both the home cook and professional chef that they’re an easy sell and products that you’ll be proud to add to your retail operation.

LeeKnives prides itself on great customer service and partner interface, so do reach out to us or enquire for a painless quote. With dropshipping and wholesale integral to our sales success, we’ll steer you in the right direction!