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Dec 1, 2012 09:29 AM

Wood Salad Bowl Quality- How durable can they be?

I recently received a wood salad bowl as a gift that, unfortunately, was cracked in two when it arrived. When I took it back to the store, the cashier happily took it back and told me they would send me another one. The second arrived with a crack, also, though it was not split completely in two. I am inclined to return the bowl for cash or credit which we could put towards a higher-end serving bowl, but this is a gift from someone who will be dining in our home with some regularity, and my fiance thinks we should keep it. He insists that when he was growing up, his family went through several wood salad bowls, and none of them, regardless of price point or how well you care for them (not putting them in water, proper oiling, etc.), are meant to last forever. I've never had one before and I have no idea if this is true. I generally prefer quality to quantity; our kitchen is sparse but I enjoy everything in it. However, I understand that if a product has a limited shelf life regardless of quality, it makes more sense to not throw more money at the purchase. Looking at some of the reviews on the W-S website makes me think that even if we put more money towards this bowl than the giver did (it was $50), in addition to the cash we'd get from the return, we might still not have the bowl in a couple of months. Has anyone had a wood salad bowl they use regularly? How long have you had it? Is it really high maintenance? Has anyone had problems with these bowls?

For whatever it's worth, this is the bowl we received:

This is the series I would probably replace it with if we decide it's worth it, only because the reviews are generally positive:

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  1. My family has never in our lives had to replace a wooden salad bowl. My grandmothers, my mother and myself all use our original bowl. I think that there might be something defective with the kind he has purchased or is used to.

    2 Replies
    1. re: melpy

      Do you mind if I ask how much yours was (and when you bought it, for the sake of adjusting)? I am finding very expensive ones that get good reviews but I had no idea salad bowls could cost $250 and up! Any other information, in terms of type of wood, what brand it is, where you purchased it, would also be helpful.

      1. re: HungryHoya

        Three I am referring to we're bought in the 1950s, 1970s and 1990s and I was not the purchaser. One was bought a couple years ago at a wood market in Vermont for approximately $45.

    2. I have had two wooden salad bowls. both were bought at Thrift stores for about $5 so don't know original price. First one was fine, but ended up being too small for good tossing. Drilled a hole in the bottom, filled with soil and then herbs and turned into an outdoor planter two years ago--still in perfect shape. Bought a second larger one which we use almost daily. Wash in warm, soapy water, wipe dry and put back on the shelf. Never had a problem with cracking, splitting or the like. Maybe your problem is just that particular brand of bowl.

      1. A well made wooden salad bowl can last longer than the owner if properly cared for.
        Teak, olive wood and acacia are all good choices. I'm sure there are others too. A lathe turned bowl made from a solid piece of good wood is the best choice structurally.

        The laminated set would make me nervous. There are just too many joins that could potentially fail over time.

        My Mother has a teak bowl from the '60's which had 25 years of almost daily use when she was feeding a family. Since then it has had regular weekly use and is in perfect shape.

        I picked up a teak bowl (obviously much used) of similar age from a thrift store. I have used it frequently for 15 years with no issues.

        1. Got an olive wood one that we must have had nigh on 30 years.

          1. I have my mother's wooden salad bowl from the 1960s and one my husband made by hand years ago in high school. They are both still in perfect condition, no cracks. I think quality is the issue.