Skip to content


Main Navigation

Hinoki vs. Walnut Cutting Board - Tradition in the Kitchen

top view of cooked ribeye and a knife on top of walnut cutting board for hinoki vs walnut cutting board

While many materials are used to make cutting boards, two stand out: Hinoki and walnut. Which one is better? This article will compare Hinoki vs. Walnut cutting boards to help you make the right choice. We know there are so many more types of wood than just these two. If you need a simple answer to which one is best for you, check our guide on the best wood for cutting boards.

A good cutting board makes a huge difference in a kitchen. It brings aesthetic appeal while helping you slice, dice, and chop foods. So, which is the best wood for making cutting boards?

Aspect Hinoki Cutting Boards  Walnut Cutting Boards
Hardness Rating Softer wood Harder wood
Toxicity Non-toxic Non-toxic
Wood Density Less dense Medium to high density
Porosity of Wood Grain Semi-porous Low porosity
Sustainability Slow growth Faster growth
Conditioning and Maintenance Requires frequent oiling Requires regular oiling
Appearance Light-colored with a subtle grain pattern Dark-colored with a more pronounced grain pattern
Antimicrobial Properties Strong antimicrobial properties Mild antimicrobial properties
Versatility Can be used for any food Can be used for any food


About Hinoki Cutting Boards

Hinoki is a cypress species native to Japan. The wood has been used there for a long time due to its durability, beauty, and natural fragrance. To give you an idea of how durable Hinoki is, it was used to build the famous Horyuji Temple, one of the world's oldest surviving wooden structures (1300 years old).

Hinoki has a light color with a fine, straight-grain pattern. It's smooth texture and medium density make it naturally resistant to moisture, insects, and rotting. All these characteristics make it one of the best materials for making a wooden cutting board.

Hinoki wood has antimicrobial properties, meaning it will not harbor any unwanted microorganisms. Also, unlike most hardwood cutting boards that will dull your knife when you accidentally cut it, Hinoki is a bit softer.

About Walnut Cutting Boards

Walnut is one of the best materials to make cutting boards. It has a rich, warm color and beautiful grain patterns. Walnut cutting boards are popular for their durability, versatility, and natural resistance to scratches and dents.

narrow pores in walnut cutting board vs hinoki boards

We all want clean and nice-looking cutting boards. In this context, walnut is easy to clean and does not retain stains. It also contains mild antibacterial properties that prevent it from harboring microorganisms, thanks to the high abundance of tannic acid.

In regards to wood density, walnut wood has medium density. It is not too hard nor too soft. This makes it hard enough for your cutting needs but soft to the sharp edges of your knife. Walnut cutting boards are versatile, and you can use them for any task, including slicing, chopping, and slicing.

Hinoki vs. Walnut Cutting Board Comparison

Here is a side-by-side comparison of Hinoki vs. walnut cutting boards:

Hardness in Hinoki vs. Walnut Cutting Board

If we compare the hardness of Hinoki vs. walnut, walnut is the clear winner. Walnut cutting boards are less likely to obtain knife marks.

Before you make up your mind, it is important to know that the hardness of a cutting board is an advantage and a disadvantage. A hard cutting board will easily make your knife blunt. On the bright side, it will last longer. On the other hand, a softer board will be soft on the sharp edges of your knife. However, it will develop dents and scratches over time.

The secret to the right cutting board is balance: pick the right pair of knife and cutting board.

Antimicrobial Properties

Hinoki is popular for its strong antimicrobial properties. It will keep bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause foodborne illnesses. Walnut, on the other hand, has antimicrobial properties but on a milder note. It will still be a hygienic choice, provided you keep it clean and dry.

hardwood maintain hygienic nature


Both walnut and hinoki cutting boards are highly durable. However, walnut has an edge in durability as it is resistant to warping and cracking even with years of regular use. It is still important to take care of your cutting boards by oiling them regularly with food-grade oils. We recommend pure fractionated coconut oil.


Walnut has a deep dark brown color, while Hinoki has a light creamy color. The choice of either of them is all a matter of personal preference.


Walnut is readily available in the United States. Hinoki, however, is imported from Japan. As such, hinoki cutting boards tend to be slightly more expensive.

Hinoki vs. Walnut Cutting Boards: Which Is the Best?

Choosing a Hinoki chopping board over a walnut or vice versa depends on what you want. If you want a hard chopping board that will last a long time, go for walnut cutting boards. If you want one that isn't too hard to dull your knives and has good antimicrobial properties, go for Hinoki.

walnut handle utility knife from chef knife set

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Hinoki wood so expensive?

Hinoki is a cypress species grown in Japan. They are not grown in the United States. The logistics around cutting the wood in Japan and importing it to the US make it more expensive than other woods.

Is Hinoki wood water-resistant?

Hinoki has natural water-resistant capabilities. It also has impressive antimicrobial properties and high oil content. In fact, Hinoki was used as the go-to material for building Japanese baths.

Does walnut darken in sunlight?

Many things go into darkening a walnut cutting board, for instance, aging and stains. Sunlight, however, often makes it lighter. It kind of fades in the sun.


The Hinoki vs. Walnut Cutting boards debate is one with no clear winner. Both kinds of wood have their benefits and downsides.

Walnut is harder and more durable, while Hinoki is softer but has better water resistance and antimicrobial properties. The decision of one board over another largely depends on what you are looking for.


View our entire collection of dark wood walnut reversible boards - there are many shapes and sizes to choose from. Find your perfect board for your next charcuterie or meal prep!

See Virginia Boys Kitchens On Amazon

We are on Amazon, see our storefront here. Use coupon code VBKBLOG10 for 10% off your entire purchase of any Virginia Boys Kitchens on Amazon. Apply the code at checkout.