Can Redwood Be Used for Cutting Boards?

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Close-grained hardwood works best for cutting boards.

Redwood is a softwood lumber that comes from the coast redwood, also called the California or giant redwood tree. It is relatively lightweight and resists decay and fire. However, this wood may not be the best choice for a cutting board.



Wooden cutting boards have been shown to carry fewer bacteria than plastic ones. New plastic cutting boards are easy to disinfect, but plastic boards with knife scars allow bacteria to breed. Wooden cutting boards do not encourage bacterial breeding, even when scarred.


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Redwood is a relatively soft wood, with a hardness of 420 to 480 on the Janka hardness scale. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends hardwoods such as maple for cutting boards. Maple has a Janka hardness of 700 to 1450.



Cutting boards should ideally have a fairly close grain to discourage bacteria from living inside the board itself. Redwood is a fairly close-grained wood, but the wood between the grain lines is softer than the grain lines itself, making this wood a less desirable choice for cutting boards.



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