If you cook in your kitchen, you probably use a cutting board.
A cutting board is an essential part of your kitchen because it helps protect your counters.
No one wants to use a sharp knife and cut into their counters.
You could severely damage the counter, the knife, or even yourself.
Considering how essential cutting boards are in a kitchen, you might be surprised by their high price.
Why Are Cutting Boards So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of a cutting board is around $100 with some boards costing over $200.
The price of a cutting board is based on the materials it uses, whether it’s handmade or not, its various features, and its brand name.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Hardwood Cutting Boards
One of the most common materials used to make cutting boards is hardwood.
The hard nature of the wood makes it ideal as a cutting board because it’s thick and dense enough to keep the knife from cutting through it.
While you’ll likely still have cut marks on the wood, the rigid nature of the wood makes cutting through it difficult.
Hardwood isn’t cheap.
Its sourcing is highly regulated.
That’s because hardwood is in high demand.
Besides cutting boards, it’s often used in construction and many other industries.
To prevent deforestation, however, there’s a limit to how much hardwood a company can source in some places.
That means hardwood isn’t always available.
Since cutting board companies have to pay a good amount of money to source their hardwood, they have to offset those costs with higher prices.
Some cutting boards will also use rare types of wood in their manufacturing.
These are usually luxury cutting boards that come in intricate designs or appearances.
The more expensive the wood is, the more expensive the cutting board is going to be.
Cutting boards are expensive because the price of hardwood is expensive.
2. Bamboo Cutting Boards
In an effort to become more sustainable, some cutting board manufacturers have done away with using wood.
Instead, they’re using something more sustainable like bamboo.
Bamboo provides a lot of benefits.
It’s thick, has a great appearance, and it grows fast.
That makes it easy to renew and source.
However, sourcing bamboo isn’t that cheap.
It’s still a relatively new industry.
Since there aren’t that many suppliers yet, some suppliers have a monopoly on bamboo.
They’re able to charge the prices that they want because there isn’t enough competition in the industry.
Those who use bamboo as a material to make their products end up having to pay a good amount of money for it.
Since their costs are higher, they’re going to sell their products at higher prices.
The process of harvesting bamboo isn’t cheap, either.
As such, suppliers have their own costs that they need to offset, too.
Bamboo, thus, isn’t the cheapest material to harvest and use, though it does have a lot of benefits.
Bamboo cutting boards have high production costs.
They have high prices as a result.
Cutting boards are expensive because bamboo cutting boards are expensive to make.
3. Composite Polymer Cutting Boards
Another expensive material used to make cutting boards is a composite polymer.
Composite polymer is essentially a combination of resin and wood fibers.
The result of the combination is an extremely strong cutting board that is difficult to cut through or even mark, depending on the quality of the materials.
Some chefs will use this type of cutting board since they’re meant for heavy-duty use.
A cutting board that has scratches or cuts in it isn’t always good to use in a commercial setting.
There’s a chance that some bacteria or dirt can get inside the cuts.
When someone prepares food on the board, bacteria might get on it and make the person ill.
As such, some chefs prefer to use heavy-duty cutting boards to avoid cut marks.
This type of cutting board isn’t the cheapest to make, especially if it contains high-quality resin and wood fibers.
Some manufacturers will also add certain design elements to make it even more attractive.
The fact that it’s durable also means that people won’t be buying the board again as often.
Manufacturers have to put a heavy price on the board to make up for the losses that they’re incurring through a lack of repeat purchases.
Cutting boards are expensive because composite polymer cutting boards are durable and expensive to make.
4. Handmade Cutting Boards
Cheaper cutting boards tend to come from a factory.
More expensive cutting boards come from people who make them by hand.
Woodworkers and craftsmen can cut wood and shape it into a cutting board.
Some even create cutting boards that are practically works of art.
Creating a product by hand makes it more expensive because it’s a slower process.
Machines can cut and assemble quickly.
They don’t tire.
Human workers, on the other hand, are a bit slower and more meticulous in the process.
They’re usually able to produce high-quality products that machines can’t quite match.
However, because they put so much time and effort into the product, the labor cost behind it is quite expensive.
That’s why you’ll find that handmade cutting boards tend to be quite expensive.
The craftsman making the board has to pay for the numerous hours they spent crafting it.
Some of the most expensive boards you’ll find come from people who handmake them.
That said, the quality of such boards is often unmatched.
Cutting boards are expensive because handmaking them can take some time which drives up labor costs.
5. Unique Designs
Anyone can have a square cutting board.
If you take great pride in your kitchen and cooking tools, you might not want a typical cutting board.
You might want one that has a unique shape or appearance.
Some cutting board craftsmen make their boards with unique designs.
They might use different types of wood and assemble them to create a dazzling cutting board.
Others might make their cutting boards in a unique shape that isn’t common to see.
Others also focus on practicality and make cutting boards that are easier to use for certain tasks.
The more thought and effort that goes into a cutting board, the more expensive it becomes.
That’s because it’s usually costing them more time and effort to make a product that has a unique design to it.
Since production costs are higher, they’re going to sell the product at a higher price.
Cutting boards are expensive when they use unique designs since production costs are usually higher.
The size of the cutting board also plays a factor in its price.
Smaller cutting boards don’t require as many materials.
As such, they’re cheaper to make.
Big cutting boards, however, do use a lot of materials.
That’s because a cutting board also needs a bit of thickness.
If it’s not thick enough, the board may not stop the knife from cutting through it.
Both a large size and thickness require a good amount of materials.
If the cutting board is using an expensive material like hardwood, bamboo, or composite polymer, the more materials it uses, the more expensive the cutting board is going to be.
The manufacturer has to make up for the costs that they incurred while making the product.
Larger cutting boards are better for certain tasks.
For example, pizza cutting boards tend to be quite large since it has to encompass the pizza.
Since it tends to have a specific task, it also has a higher price.
It becomes a niche product and niche products tend to be more expensive.
Cutting boards are expensive when they’re a large size and have a dense thickness.
7. Maintenance Costs
Cutting boards are usually quite durable, but they do see a lot of use and abuse.
Over time, your cutting board may have a lot of cuts in it.
It might make using the cutting board difficult.
While some people might choose to throw their cutting boards away, others might choose to repair them instead.
Depending on the material of the cutting board, you might be able to repair the board.
You might be able to seal some of the cuts or sand them down.
If you don’t know how to repair a cutting board, you’re probably going to need to take it to an expert.
That makes cutting boards expensive because you could face some expenses in maintaining them.
Even if you’re not looking to repair the board, you’re going to need to clean it.
Sometimes the board might need a deep clean to get rid of any lingering bacteria, blood, or other problematic fluids.
That might require additional purchases.
Maintaining your cutting board is usually easy, but there are times when you might need to spend some money on it to maintain it.
This makes a cutting board expensive because you’re spending more money on it even after the initial purchase.
One of the hallmarks of a cutting board is its durability.
If a cutting board isn’t durable, it’s not worth buying.
The problem with a durable cutting board is that it’s also usually expensive.
To make a product durable, most companies have to use high-quality materials.
They’re better at withstanding damage for a longer period.
In the case of cutting boards, the materials used have a reputation for their durable properties.
That makes them expensive from the start.
Because cutting boards are durable, it also means that people aren’t buying them as frequently.
They might buy one or two cutting boards for their entire life.
As such, cutting board manufacturers are unable to sell a lot of cutting boards to the same buyer.
It reduces their market.
To make as much money as they can, they have to sell their products at high prices.
Otherwise, the venture might not be worth it.
Cutting boards are expensive because they’re durable, which reduces how many people buy them over the years.
9. Sustainable Sourcing
While material costs on their own can make cutting boards expensive, some materials are more expensive than others.
For example, companies that practice sustainable sourcing are going to have higher prices than those that don’t.
There’s a lot of interest in sustainable sourcing since it’s an endeavor to help stop climate change.
Consumers are looking to support those companies that do practice sustainable sourcing.
Sustainable sourcing isn’t always cheap, however.
It requires a company to spend a bit more money on its sourcing efforts.
Since it costs them more money, they sell their products at higher prices.
Cutting boards are expensive because some companies sustainably source the materials used to make the boards which can drive up costs.
10. Brand Name
The brand name can also impact the price of a cutting board.
Well-known brand names tend to be expensive because they have an established reputation.
They’re known for producing quality products.
Consumers are more likely to buy from them because they trust the brand.
That also means they’re usually willing to pay more for a product from the brand than a cheaper generic brand.
They trust the brand name more than they do the unknown brand.
Cutting boards are expensive when they come from a well-known brand.