What Is Olive Wood And Makes It So Great?

Chef Knife 8" Olive Wood Handle | Phantom Series | DalstrongChef Knife 8" Olive Wood Handle | Phantom Series | Dalstrong

What Is Olive Wood And Makes It So Great?

Olive wood is extremely exotic and elegant, as seen in art and furniture. But did you know it also makes a great material for knife handles? Read on to find out why it’s so precious, and its great properties as a cutlery material!

Chef's Knife 8" Olive Wood Handle | Shogun Series X | Dalstrong

Chef's Knife 8" Olive Wood Handle | Shogun Series X | Dalstrong

    1. What Is Olive Wood?

    Olive wood is a hard, dense wood, native to the Mediterranean region. As you may have guessed, olive wood comes from the Olive tree or Olea europaea, the same tree that produces olives and olive oil.

    An olive tree usually grows to approximately 33 feet and the trunk diameter is about 5 feet.

    Olive wood is considered a high-end, luxurious wood. It is not only beautiful and elegant, but also precious and coveted; since its production is limited and the advantages are many.

    These are some of the characteristics of olive wood:

    • It is a strong, hard and heavy wood.
    • The grain is wavy in shape.
    • Easy to identify by its visually striking patterns and irregular shapes.
    • The olive wood tones include cream, ochre or yellowish brown in contrast with dark brown. The colors tend to get more intense and beautiful over time.
    • High plasticity: olive lumber is easily worked, shaped and carved.
    • The olive wood surface is usually smooth, silky and shiny. 
    • Another thing to love about olive wood is the sweet, fruity aroma that will come out of it for years and years.
    • Naturally resistant and durable in indoor environments, especially if treated with oils.
    • Olive wood is considered a exotic wood, just as Aripin (Chakte Viga) or Argentine Lignum Vitae (verawood).
    • Olive wood is a very sustainable and high-end wood. Read more about how sustainable olive wood is

      2. Why Is Olive Wood So Precious?

      There are various reasons why olive wood is considered precious and even a rare asset. 

      One, olea europaea (olive trees) grow really slow. It’s precisely this slowness that gives it some of its best attributes like hardness and density.

      Second, it has to dry for several years before it can be worked and processed.

      Third, and most importantly, olive trees are not usually reserved for lumber. They’re used for olives and olive oil production. Olive wood usually comes from leftovers, damaged branches or trimmings.

      3. Great Uses Of Olive Wood

        • Indoor furniture (Not ideal for outdoor furniture since it can’t withstand the open conditions for long).
        • Olive wood is used for cutting boards because it’s hard, dense and non-porous, so it’s very durable and resistant.
        • Small wooden objects.
        • Pistol grips.
        • Kitchenware and cookware like spoons, salad bowls, kitchen utensils, honey dippers.
        • Olive wood, as well as hard maple and teak, are among the best for serving and charcuterie boards.
        • Small ornamental items or art objects (especially turned objects).
        • Religious art objects. Often combined with genuine Mahogany wood. Especially in Italy, Italian olive wood is used for small crucifixes and rosary beads. There is also an olive wood carving tradition in the “holy land”. 
        • Live edge (a style of furniture that features the wood’s natural edge).
        • Flooring (although very expensive, and therefore, rare)
        • Boxes
        • Carvings
        • High-end knife handles. 

          4. Olive Wood As Knife Handles

            Olive wood is ideal for knife handles because:

            1. It is extremely beautiful. Olive wood handles definitely add something to the overall aesthetic of any object, and knives are no exception. There’s something about the light colors and the grain that is just delightful.
            2. Olive wood is also durable and strong, qualities that we all want in our knives. Olive wood is more durable than most of the other woods used for handles. This type of wood is also relatively easy to work, paint and polish; with reliable results.
            3. Olive wood is dense enough to naturally prevent potential stains and odors.
            4. There’s a luxurious vibe to olive wood knives.
            5. Your knives will match your beautiful wood chopping board.

            5. Dalstrong Knives With Olive Wood Handles

            Chef's Knife 8" | Olive Wood Handle | Shogun Series X 

            Chef Knife 8" Olive Wood Handle | Phantom Series | Dalstrong

            This Shogun chef's knife is not only forged from a single piece of stainless steel and finished with high-quality materials; it also offers an exclusive olive wood handle, to add to the already beautiful designs of the Series. Elegance, performance and functionality come together in this indispensable knife.


            • The olive wood handle translates into more durability and strength, with a beautiful grain and natural luster. 
            • Premium Japanese steel.
            • High carbon levels for exceptional sharpness and edge retention. 
            • Wide 55mm blade for knuckle protection.
            • Beautiful and exclusive Tsuchime finish.


            • Olive wood is an exclusive asset that may influence the price of this knife. 
            • This is a brand new, innovative model in the Series and there aren’t any user reviews yet. In case you’re one of those who like to read reviews before a purchase.

            Chef Knife 8"  | Olive Wood Handle | Phantom Series

            Chef Knife 8"  | Olive Wood Handle | Phantom Series

            Phantom series’ knives are designed to be smooth, but ruthless. This chef’s knife is designed for those cooks that are looking for the best of the best, but at the same time enjoy elegance and discretion. And the Italian olive wood handle just intensifies that sense of balance between performance and good taste.


            • Olive wood handles are resistant to high temperatures and moisture.
            • Pinch grips are especially comfortable on this one.
            • The ice-tempered, tapered blade is strong, durable and stays sharp for longer.
            • Premium Japanese steel with high levels of Chromium.
            • It comes with a free protective sheath.


            • If you have a strong aesthetic taste, like minimalism, or vintage, you may want to look for a knife with a less “neutral” design.
            • Some chefs swear by the shadow black series’ geometrical handle. You can try different handle shapes until you find the one for you.

              Chef Knife 8" | Olive Wood Handle | Gladiator Series

              Chef Knife 8" | Olive Wood Handle | Gladiator Series

              The Gladiator Series benefits greatly from the elegance of olive wood. This series is focused on performance and reliability on everyday tasks; when you add the beauty of olive oil to that; you get a valuable, unparalleled weapon in the kitchen.


              • High carbon German steel
              • The blade is super resistant to wear and stains.
              • Another thing about the blade: It is slightly wider than average, providing knuckle clearance.
              • Delicate, precise slicing with minimal effort.
              • The olive wood handle is ergonomic and ambidextrous (can be used comfortably by both left-handed and right-handed cooks).


              • To see the full advantages of olive wood, please note that you should oil your knife handles once in a while. It shouldn’t be an inconvenience, but I’m putting it as a con in the rare case that it is. 
              • If you already decided you’re taking the upgrade to olive wood, then you also might be looking for a knife that’s a bit fancier, like the Shogun X.

                6. How To Take Care Of Knives With Olive Wood Handles

                  • Never put them in the dishwasher! We don’t recommend putting any of your knives in the dishwasher, ever. But this is especially true for olive wood handles. The combination of moisture and chemicals will ruin both the handle and the blade.
                  • Store them away from sunlight. Olive wood, noble as it is, is not meant to endure outdoor conditions. If your kitchen has a lot of sunlight during the day, try not to leave your olive wood knives around or under direct sunlight. 
                  • Oil treatment. Your olive wood handles will stay at their best for longer if you apply some oil a few times a year. Buy a special wood oil or use mineral oil and apply just a few drops using a cloth. 
                  • Don’t soak them! Overwatering will damage your olive wood handles. Actually, dry them immediately after cleaning (and needless to say, clean them after every use).

                  7. Frequently Asked Questions About Olive Wood

                    What is olive burl wood?

                    Olive burl wood usually offers rare and unique patterns on the surface. The wood has been air dried for 3-4 years. 

                    Is olive wood the best wood for charcuterie boards and cutting boards?

                    Olive wood is a popular choice for charcuterie boards. Other options include hard maple, cherry wood, acacia wood, walnut and teak.

                    Why is olive wood popular in Bethlehem?

                    Carving pieces of olive lumber is a strong tradition in Palestine, particularly in the city of Bethlehem (accepted as the birthplace of Jesus and a part of the “holy land” itinerary).

                    What is an alternative to an olive wood chopping board?

                    Dalstrong has a colossal teak chopping board with handle and striking dark brown patterns that would make olive wood jealous.  Another option is this teak chopping board with horizontal grain and juice groove.

                    Written by Eva Contreras
                    Food & travel writer based in Buenos Aires. Superpowers include relentless curiosity and high tolerance to spicy foods.

                    What Is Olive Wood And Makes It So Great?

                    Table of Content