What are the differences between a butchers block and a cutting board?
A butchers block normally has the wood grain turned up on end and a cutting board has the grain running the length of the board. However, the terms are used to describe both and are no longer exclusive.
What is the advantage of end grain?
End grain boards are easier on the knife edges and will last much longer. When cutting, the edge goes between the wood fibers and those fibers aren’t severed. Long grain cutting boards, while they are much easier to make and much less expensive, will have their wood fibers severed as an edge cuts across. They will require resurfacing more often to rid the cutting surface of splinters.
I’ve heard that wood is more sanitary. Is this true?
We have read many articles about this and from what we understand; the moisture on the surface of the board is wicked into the interior carrying bacteria with it. As the moisture is wicked inside, the bacteria will die due to a lack of moisture.
What oil do I use to maintain the wood?
Straight mineral oil is preferred. Heat and apply to the cutting surface periodically to help maintain water repellency. Add some bees wax to the oil and heat until the wax melts. Apply this to the cutting surface for extra water repellency. We offer at this time a Board Butter which is more wax than oil and is applied like a paste wax over a mineral oil coating. Just remember to oil all the surfaces from time to time, not just the top. Normally, boards that are built in the Orient are treated with bean oil which is food safe yet contain fats which may go rancid.
What oil shouldn’t I use?
Any organic oil, vegetable, olive, nut oil and the like, should be avoided. They all contain natural fats and will turn rancid over a period of time. Nut oils can also cause an allergic reaction in those who are allergic to nuts. Avoid Tung oil. Pure Tung oil will take a long time to dry and may turn into an ugly mess unless a chemical heavy metal dryer is added.
How do I sanitize the board?
After each use, wash with a quality dishwashing detergent and warm water. Wet the surface, apply the detergent and wash. Rinse thoroughly. (Do no leave hot water running over the surface for an extended period of time!) A solution of 1 tablespoon of Clorox to one quart of water is sufficient to sanitize. Spray on, let it sit and then rinse. Or, mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water. Spray on, let it sit and then rinse. Or, coat the surface with salt overnight. The salt will absorb the moisture and kill the bacteria. Please read and refer to the use and care guide supplied with each board.
How do I get rid of stains?
Clean the surface and use peroxide on a cloth. Dab the stain and the peroxide will lift the stain gently. But not quickly.
How do I get rid of odors?
The best way is to keep the board well-oiled and washed after each use. Using baking soda on a smelly area will help but avoid using a paste of baking soda and water. Caution- the caustic nature of baking soda may discolor a wooden board.
A guarantee of 60 days is included with each board along with the written return policy.
How thick are your boards?
We build for a 2” thickness for the end grain boards but most end up about 1/16” thicker. More thickness equals more weight and makes the board sturdier.
What sizes do you make?
Our stock sizes are 12×18, 16×22 and 18×24. Other sizes we make are 12×12, 14×18, 14×20, 16×20 and 24×36.
Do you make custom sizes?
Custom sizes are available on request. Quotes for special order sizes will be provided at no charge and will be honored for a period of six months.
If I want a board with several different wood species, can you do that?
Yes. But bear in mind that different species of wood react to humidity and wear differently so keep the different species as close to the same hardness as you can.
Do you offer grooves?
Perimeter grooves can be added at an additional cost. Remember that they take away from the usable space on the cutting surface and can sometimes be difficult to clean properly.
What is the lead time?
For in-stock boards we try to have them shipped within three to four days normally shipping on Fridays. If we are out of stock, the lead time can be increased to two to five weeks depending on the volume of orders in the shop. Special orders can take longer and the build time can vary with the complexity of the project and if any outside vendors are required.
Can I use a plastic cutting board?
Plastic is much easier on the edges than glass but the deep cuts that remain make it difficult, if not impossible to clean and sanitize. However, their cheaper initial cost makes them easier to discard but they will last in a landfill almost forever.
Should I use two boards, one for raw meat and one for vegetables?
This is a popular idea. But proper sanitation and cleaning will reduce the chances for cross contamination. To be sure, cut the raw vegetables first then raw meats. Wash thoroughly and sanitize accordingly.
How do I store my cutting board?
Store your wood cutting board on end to dry if it is damp. If it is already dry, store flat in a dry area away from extreme hot or cold temperatures.
How do I rid my cutting board of onion and garlic odors?
Lemon or lime juice with a little salt will go a long way to reducing odor. Sprinkle your cutting board with salt. Cut the lemon or lime and use it to rub the salt onto the board, squeezing juice onto the board as you go. Let sit for 2-3 mins. And then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Let the board air dry by standing it on its end.
The Most Important care tips:
Keep the board clean. This can be accomplished by washing the board surface with a quality dish detergent, rinsing, & drying all surfaces immediately. Do not soak in the sink or place in the dishwasher.
Keep the board well-oiled with drug store Mineral oil. Mineral Oil is clear, odorless, and tasteless and is FDA approved for food contact. Do not use olive, fruit, vegetable or oils from animal fats. End-grain boards require double the amount of oil as flat grain and edge grain boards. How often should be board be oiled? A rule of thumb is once a week for three weeks, and then once a month for 6 months. Then whenever the surface appears lighter in color and are drying out. YOU CAN NOT OVER OIL YOUR BOARD!
All surface will show scratch marks when the blade goes across the grain, but the hardwood will not splinter like soft woods. Should the surface appear rough it is usually from too much moisture which is causing the grain to raise. You can use 220+ sandpaper, sanding with the grain. To prolong the life of your board or to repair end checks caused by too much too much water or the end fibers drying out, simply take a small block of hard beeswax, rub the wax at an angle across end checks and then wax the ends of the boards and massage the wax into the board with your fingers.
Your cutting board/chopping block is made from solid Domestic Hardwood. It has been treated with pure 100% drug store grade Mineral Oil. It is laminated with a non-toxic, water-resistant glue. All boards continue to expand and contract and surfaces will dry out in not treated. End Grain: Boards that start off flat grain panels which are then ripped across the wide grain whose thickness is determined by the thickness of the board and then the faces are glued together, therefore exposing the ends of the boards, giving it the checkerboard look. This is a great cutting surface as the knife blade cuts into the end fibers, minimizing cut marks and splintering and does not dull the knife blade.
Upon receiving your shipment, please be sure to inspect for damage. Any product received damaged should be noted on the delivery slip and signed by the driver. A copy should then be faxed to us at 828-358-2837 and a claim must be submitted immediately by the customer to the courier. The customer is responsible for checking their delivered order immediately for any shortages or discrepancies and is responsible for contacting Top Chop Butcher Block within three days to report these discrepancies.
Top Chop Butcher Block does not accept returns on custom blocks or cutting boards, due to customer errors (i.e. you get exactly what was ordered). In the event that there is damage to your order during shipping, please complete a proper damage claim (see above) and we will be in touch with you ASAP. Please remember that we do not accept returns on custom sized blocks or cutting boards due to the fact that they cannot be re-sold and are built specifically for you.
Damaged products will not be returned for exchange without prior written approval. Products may need to be returned in their original condition to the offices of Top Chop Butcher Block for inspection. Any item that has been used or is modified in any way shall be deemed accepted by the buyer and voids any warranty. If it is deemed to be a manufacturing error, shipping charges will be reimbursed.
* Return policy is for purchases made through https://topchopbutcherblock.com only.
** Return shipping is the responsibility of the purchaser.
The only warranty, expressed or implied, is a one year guarantee against defect in workmanship and material.
This warranty does not apply to damages which may result from neglect, accidental or intentional damage, damage or wear to any swivel mechanism, normal wear and tear, misuse of product, unauthorized repair, exposure to extremes in temperature and humidity, and alteration or abuse of the product. Wood products ordered “unfinished” do not come with a warranty.
Repairs or replacement under this limited warranty will be made through Top Chop Butcher Block. Please contact the Customer Service Department at
Top Chop Butcher Block
1711 11th AVE SW
Hickory, NC 28602
Or call at 828-358-0979
Factory obligation under this warranty, is limited, at the option of Top Chop Butcher Block to repair or replacement of the product (or one of equal type and quality if the product is no longer available), within 90 days after receipt of written recommendation provided none of the above exceptions are evident.
Top Chop Butcher Block shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from use, or for consequential damages. This warranty gives certain legal rights and there may be other rights that vary from state to state.