Few things have quite the touch that personalized engraved cutting board gifts have. By putting your particular stamp on a board, you will make a clear statement of affection for a family member or a friend. If you're interested in such an item, though, you're probably wondering how to pick one that'll say exactly what you feel. Follow these tips to create a board that'll make a major impression.
Choosing the Material
The first issue to address is picking the material of your cutting board, as personalized engraved cutting board gifts are available in a variety of natural and synthetic types. The most common choices are wood and polyurethane. Some folks will consider using bamboo boards, but wood products actually provide significantly greater resistance to bacteria that develops during the cutting process. Perhaps surprising to some folks, wood products even outperformed plastic and polyurethane ones in laboratory tests of how much bacteria could be recovered from a surface after its use.
Picking a Process
Modern engraving processes tend to follow one of three models: hand-engraving, computer-driven, or mixed. If you're looking for something that has a highly authentic and folksy feel, you'll likely want to go with a handmade product, although you can expect to pay more. Should you prefer to hand someone a gift that's very precise, the computerized processes that have emerged in recent years offer an impressive degree of customization. Many crafters use a mix of the two processes, snapping outlines with computer-aided systems and then cutting out the final product by hand.
Given the highly customized nature of the products, personalized engraved cutting board gifts are available in a price range that starts from about $25 and can go up significantly from there. Items at the cheapest end of the scale tend to be laser-engraved wood products that have been etched using CAD programs to transfer desired designs to the board. Things can get just about as expensive as you're willing to pay if you wish to choose a rare wood and have a crafter do an intricate design by hand.
Plastic and polyurethane cutting boards require relatively little care, as they can generally be cleaned by hand and dried after use. Wooden products, on the other hand, have to be treated every few months with mineral oil, and some cooks also like to polish theirs using beeswax. Oil must be applied by hand and left to dry overnight.