Can Poplar Wood Be Used for Cutting Boards?


Is Poplar wood a perfect choice for the cutting boards? This is a question that many ask when looking forward to making or buying chopping boards. Understand the properties which make a type of wood much significant for these woodwork products. The butcher blocks at times need to be resistant to scratches and heavy cuttings for them to serve the purpose right.

Poplar wood can be used for the cutting boards. It is soft hardwood which at times makes it a less favorable option for these items. However, appealing properties such as having closed-grains means a lot to the chopping board makers. The end-grain and edge-grain cutting surfaces are the two main types of designs based on wood grain patterns. Poplar edge-grain butcher blocks tend to be relatively more mechanically strong.

Janka Hardness Rating

The hardness of any wood influences how suitable it is to be used for the cutting boards. The Janka scale is a reliable reference point when evaluating this element of hardness in a wood. On this scale, poplar wood is at the rating of 540. This ranks towards the lower level of hardness as compared to the likes of oak and mahogany.

However, the scale does not tell everything about the specific attributes of a type of wood. Poplar, for instance, is a perfect fit for chopping boards despite being relatively soft. However, it is a suitable choice for the light cuttings such as at the domestic setup. Heavy chopping at the commercial levels may result in huge damage to the wood surface. This leads to permeability to water and bacteria.

The Porosity

The best chopping boards are the ones with invisible pores. This means they are closed-grained woods. One example is poplar wood. It is, therefore, hard for bacteria or moisture to gain entry into the wood structure. From this, the chances of wood warping and stains are greatly suppressed.

The small pores are significant in curbing mold development which brings about rotting. Particles from such growing molds can be dangerous to the health as they cause food poisoning. Even as the likes of oaks and walnut are hard, their nature of being open-ended makes them not suitable for making the cutting boards. They may end up soaking up moisture.

Ease of Conditioning

Poplar wood has the amazing characteristic of being easy to condition. For the food-grade mineral oils, it becomes effortless to use for this type of hardwood. Through such a treatment, you extend the lifespan of the structure by inhibiting warping and splitting. This happens mostly when the humidity levels drop in the surrounding.

Most woods experience shrinking as well and poplar is no exception. Capitalize on the ease of maintenance through being regular with the food-grade mineral oils. I see it necessary to do the treatment after every three months. It makes the board look as new as I bought it. Poplar wood is also affordable hence a company wishing to venture into cutting board production may consider it.

There are some attributes defining a perfect cutting board. Poplar wood is a type of hardwood that has a lot to offer regarding this. Its porosity, grain structure, and ease of maintenance make it a worthy option. Besides, it is comparatively inexpensive.

Can Poplar Wood Get Wet? Read this article here.

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