Walnut Wood vs. Cherry Wood For Cutting Boards – A Comparison Guide

The choice between Walnut Wood Vs. Cherry Wood for cutting boards depends on the qualities you desire.

While a good cutting board is an excellent kitchen addition, qualities in appearance, durability, and strength matter.

Cutting boards take up the qualities of the woods used in their making. 

If you want a good-looking board that is durable and strong, cherry wood is a good choice.

On the other hand, walnut wood is a better option if you seek a board that is easy to work with.

In this post, you will discover the qualities of both kinds of wood and how to choose one for your cutting board.

Cherry Wood

Cherry wood board

The Cherry wood board

Cherry is the wood you’ve been looking for if you desire a strong yet beautifully aligned wood. 

Cherry wood is a strong hardwood with a beautiful reddish-brown color.

 It is more durable than walnut wood. However, it is hard to work on, and this is because of its density.

 Cherry wood is also hard on knives. You may always need to return your knives for sharpening if you choose a cherry-cutting board for your home. 

Due to its bright red color, cherry wood cutting boards are not very good at concealing stains. 

They are also bad at covering knife marks, meaning they will wear out sooner on constant use. 

Walnut Wood

Walnut wood texture

The Walnut wood texture

Walnut Wood is another option for cutting boards that are also strong and durable. Though, it is not as hard as cherry wood.

Its color is a light or dark pale brown with straight or sometimes irregular grain. It has a medium texture, and its natural luster is quite moderate.

Walnut is very resistant to decay. However, it is more prone to insect attack. It is also less prone to wear. 

The Differences Between Cherry and Walnut Wood

We will examine the differences between both kinds of wood based on five qualities. 

The information below highlights ways to identify each board and how they compare. 


One of the ways you can tell both woods apart is by their appearance. 

Walnut is well known for its pale brown color, which can be either dark or lighter shade, while cherry wood is light reddish-brown. 

Cherry wood has a fruity aroma, while walnut wood is known for its mild odor.


You will need to examine the hardness of the wood under consideration for your cutting board before settling for your preferred option. 

Generally, a cutting board should be hard, but you need one that is not too soft or hard. 

It is important to consider the hardness of your preferred cutting board. The Janka score of the wood usually determines this.

The Janka scale rating of any wood provides information about its durability. 

This rating measures the force required by a steel ball to make a dent in a wood piece. 

The more force you apply, the higher the Janka scale rating of the wood. 

The optimal Janka rating for a cutting board ranges between 900 and 1,500. 

A good cutting board should handle a force between 900 and 1500 lbs. 

You will cut through wood made from wood with a lower score than this range.

 Wood with a higher Janka rating than this range will damage your cutleries.

Cherry vs. Walnut Janka Ratings 

Cherry wood has a Janka rating of just about 950 lbs of force. This means cutting boards made from cherry wood will take the impact of force without damage. 

While cherry wood has a lower Janka score than walnut wood, it is hard enough to make a good cutting board. 

Walnut wood has a higher Janka rating of 1,010 lbs. This rating indicates that Walnut wood is much stronger and can withstand more force than cherry wood. 


Walnut is costlier than cherry wood because of the scarcity of walnut trees. 

Walnut trees are short trees. As a result, they produce very small woods per tree. This factor makes them more expensive compared to Cherry Woods.

Food Contact Safety

Cherry wood cutting boards are safe for food preparation when you seal them with a good-grade wood finish. 

It would be best if you created your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil that is 100% food-grade finish. 

This will secure your food from toxins from the wood surface particles.

Both walnut wood and cherry wood are gotten from non-toxic, edible trees. They are safe for indirect contact with food during food preparation.

Resistance To Rot, Scratches & Dents

Good maintenance of your Walnut or cherry cutting boards will prolong their lifespan. 

This will keep it in shape for a long time and safe from wear and bacterial damage

Since Walnut is typically harder than Cherry, Walnut is less prone to show scratches and dents.

Why Choose A Good Cutting Board?

Wood grain

Wood grain

Food safety and cutlery-friendliness are two important qualities of a good cutting board. 

A good cutting board should be gentle on your cutleries. It should not be too hard, causing your cutleries to wear out.

It is also important to consider the tightness of the wood grain. If the wood grain is loose, it is more likely to harbor bacteria. 

A good cutting board should not harbor bacteria or mold. Both Walnut and Cherry woods have tight grains making them highly resistant to bacteria buildup. 

Quick Comparison Table: Walnut Wood Cutting Boards vs. Cherry Wood Cutting Boards

Wood panel image

Wood panel image

FeaturesWalnut wood cutting boardsCherry wood cutting boards
ColorWalnut wood is pale brownCherry wood has a bright-red color
DurabilityWalnut has a Janka score of 1,010ibs, making it durable and strongCherry wood has a Janka score of 950ibs, making it a strong wood for cutting boards
CostWalnut is more expensiveCherry wood is less expensive
TextureUsually straight-lined but can sometimes have irregular patternsUsually features small knots and a tight grain pattern that is uniformly aligned

Which Wood is Right For Me?

Cherry and walnut wood are top-rated choices for crafting cutting boards. 

Though they both have admirable qualities, choosing the wood that best suits your needs is up to you.