Maple Cutting Boards
Usually when people hear the word maple, their first thought is of maple syrup or Canada. However, what many people never think of when hearing that word is the profound impact maple wood has had over the years in furniture, construction, cooking and, yes, even the kitchen in the form of utensils, bowls, and of course, cutting boards.
So, what makes this highly sought after building material one of our top three prime materials and what sets it apart from the countless other woods on the market? To fully define the value of maple wood in its entirety, let’s take a look at its various qualities and uses and outline exactly what is so great about it in doing so below.
What Qualities Make Maple Wood Stand out?
One of the most unique aspects of maple wood is the fact that it can be found in both a soft and hard form. In fact, maple’s sapwood is used far more often than its heartwood for its density which is the complete opposite of walnut and cherry wood surprisingly.
On top of this, maple wood has a neutral tone and a soft grain that makes it great for staining, cutting, carving, and polishing. This is also why maple is used quite often for mimicking other more rare woods since it can be colored and cut to resemble various rare woods with ease. Paired with its density and its unique variety of grain patterns, maple wood is used quite often for flooring, furniture, and kitchen items specifically.
You may also see maple wood being used for construction as it is incredibly sturdy and can withstand varying temperatures likewise. On the Janka scale, maple wood ranks 1,450, making it one of the hardest domestic woods out there.
Although the most common grain pattern in maple wood is straight grain, you can also find birdseye grain patterns and wave patterns in hardwood that are perfect for design. The hardwood used most often comes from the Sugar maple tree which is also the tree that is most commonly seen in Canada and used for maple syrup production likewise.
Sugar maple trees are very common in colder areas of the United States and require very little care to grow and be manufactured. This is why it is also the most common maple wood found on the market as well.
What are the Most Common Uses for Maple Wood?
Although maple wood can be seen in nearly every single industry, the most common use for maple wood is furniture, hardwood flooring, cabinets, countertops, gun stocks, woodworking and carving, and kitchen items. You can also see maple wood being used for construction, car interiors, musical instruments, and even vintage road bikes as well. Although these are not quite as common as the other projects, it is incredible to see just how versatile this wood material actually is.
For furniture-making specifically, maple wood stands out because of its Janka scale rating and how straight and neutrally colored it is. Maple wood is perfect for making tables, dressers, bed frames, and even outdoor decks and patio furniture. One thing that should be considered when using this material outside is that it is susceptible to bugs such as termites so a good coating of a bug repellant outdoor clear coat is needed.
As for hardwood flooring, maple wood hardwood floors can be stained to be any color imaginable and its scratch resistance makes it a great starter hardwood option for big families or those that don’t know exactly how to properly maintain hardwood floors. On top of this, its density and durability means it does not warp or dent easily likewise.
When it comes to cabinets and countertops, the name of the game is structural integrity and versatility. Since maple wood has both of these traits, its no wonder why this material is so highly sought after for these projects specifically nationwide.
Since maple wood also has a soft heartwood that is more malleable and easier to work with, gun stock manufacturers, woodworkers and carvers, and instrument makers all love this material specifically.
Lastly, when it comes to kitchen items, all of the best qualities of maple wood make for the very best cutting boards, butcher blocks, bowls, utensils, and islands at an affordable cost without fail.
Maple Wood’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Even the very best woods still have their weaknesses and it is highly important to view both sides of any material before choosing to use it regularly. This is why when looking into the woods we chose to use for our cutting boards, we analyzed both their pros and cons in-depth to see what all could affect our production negatively and positively. Fortunately, we believe that by seeing both the pros and cons of maple wood specifically, you will definitely see why it is one of our favorite woods on the market without fail. With this said, below are both maple wood’s highlights and downfalls broken down entirely in order to show exactly why maple wood is so unique and perfect for the job.
The Strengths of Maple Wood
There are more strengths with maple wood than nearly any wood out there. However, to break it down simply, we’ve chosen the top five perks of maple to look into further and show how they positively benefit our cutting boards specifically.
- Structurally Sound
To start, maple wood is one of the most structurally sound wood materials out there. Its grain pattern, density, Janka scale rating, and ability to withstand scratching and shock damage makes it incredibly strong and great for any product that requires structural integrity. It is also a great material for structure as it does not warp or break easily since its grain is strong in its sapwood specifically.
On top of its structural integrity making it perfect for countless projects, the fact that maple wood can be found in both hard and soft wood forms makes it great for both sturdy projects and malleable ones at the same time. This makes it particularly unique and means it can be used to create designs just as easily as it can be used for projects that require rigidness and density.
Because maple wood is so popular and easy to produce, it is relatively cost-effective and easy to find. This combined with its long-lasting nature makes it ideal for people looking to only spend once on a product and not have to worry about buying this very same thing in only a year from damage and wear. Furthermore, because maple wood can be found in various different forms, while you may not find one form, you can surely find another and still pay the same.
As stated above, maple wood has countless different forms and species meaning that it is always available year-round unlike other wood materials out there. This is not just why it is cost-effective but also why it is used often in countless industries as production can continue all year without needing to wait for more product to be manufactured and shipped. This also means those that purchase these products are sure to pay far less for an even better material.
Lastly, maple wood is eco-friendly due to the fact that it requires little maintenance to grow, does well in multiple regions, grows faster than other materials, and is constantly producing oxygen for our atmosphere. On top of this, maple wood can be used to mimic other woods such as mahogany that are endangered and more difficult to grow, also helping the environment as well.
Now that we’ve broken down what makes maple wood so popular, let’s take a closer look at some of its few cons to see the contrast in full.
The Weaknesses of Maple Wood
Although it is clear that maple wood is superior to nearly all other materials out there, it is still vital that its few flaws are analyzed by anyone looking to buy or use this material. With this in mind, we’ve put together five of maple wood’s pitfalls below and shown how they affect our products specifically in detail.
- Vulnerable to Insects
Although this doesn’t specifically apply to indoor cutting boards, for those looking to use these boards for outdoor bars or patios, it is important to note that maple wood can become susceptible to insects such as termites and should not be left out frequently. This is more applicable to furniture but still is important to note nonetheless.
- Hard Maple is More Expensive
Another con to maple wood is that the harder sapwood is more expensive to purchase as it is used more often and is also more durable and dense. Fortunately, the lifespan of this material is sure to make up for this cost differential in no time and as long as your product is maintained regularly, you can spend a fraction of the price you would simply by only having one product for three to four times as long.
- Minimum Grain Variation
For those looking for a visually appealing cutting board, the grain pattern of maple wood is less than exciting. However, this also means that it is less likely to break from wood knots or crack from water damage in these grain patterns. Still, if you are looking for a wood with more of a swirl pattern, you may want to opt for our walnut wood cutting boards that are sure to have more of a swirl naturally.
- Not as Much Color Variety
Another thing to consider with maple wood is that, naturally, maple wood is not as colorful as other wood variations such as cherry wood. However, because maple wood is so neutral in color, it can be stained to look like nearly any wood on the market from Mahogany to Oak and everything in between.
- Requires More Care
Lastly, unlike plastic or cheap wood cutting boards, a high-quality wood cutting board can’t be put in the dishwasher and can’t be used in the same way that other cheaper boards can. However, if you clean your cutting board correctly and maintain it properly, you can easily keep your maple cutting board for triple the time that you would a cheap one guaranteed.
While you now know both the pros and cons of maple wood, you may still be wondering how these pros and cons affect our cutting board production specifically. To answer this question, let’s take a closer look at how these traits apply below.
How do These Qualities Make for a High-Class Cutting Board?
When making high-quality wood cutting boards, the main things to consider are the cost-effectiveness, durability, longevity, and shock, water, and cut-resistance of the material being used. For maple wood, all of these elements align to form the best cutting boards out there. Paired with our cherry and walnut selection, these cutting boards are sure to please our customers without fail.
The durability and density of maple wood is clear considering its Janka scale rating and the fact that it is used more than nearly any other wood material for flooring and furniture. This is particularly useful for cutting boards since your maple cutting board can be cut on, dropped, and used daily without warping, cracking, or wearing down.
On top of this, maple wood products created with care and maintained regularly can last decades and even centuries without becoming weaker or falling apart. This is why maple wood furniture and boats from centuries ago are still found intact. This is great for cutting boards as all it takes is routine care to keep your board for years.
Lastly, the shock, water, and cut-resistance of maple wood paired with its affordability make it highly long-lasting and a great investment into your kitchen without fail. Unlike other plastic or cheap wood boards, your maple board can withstand daily use and not become damaged irreparably in doing so.
In the end, it’s clear to see why maple wood is considered one of the very best woods on the market and why it is one of the top three woods we use on a daily basis. Not only is maple wood sustainable and cost-effective but it is also one of the singular most durable and versatile woods out there at the price. There’s truly no end to what maple wood is capable of and we hope to show this to all our clients through our expertly-crafted maple cutting boards and butcher blocks alike.
For more information regarding wood cutting board care, check out our in-depth article ‘Can I Put My Cutting Board in the Dishwasher?’ today!