Wood has long been the go-to cabinet material. It does have the advantages of being widely available, easy to mill and construct with, and able to be finished in many colors. However, wood is also porous — which means it can absorb moisture — and not everyone loves the way it looks. If you're not sold on wood cabinets, then there are other options to consider. Talk to a custom cabinet maker in your area and ask them about the following cabinet materials.
MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard. It is made from wood fibers that are compressed into a relatively dense material that is sold in sheets. The material can be cut into cabinet boxes and cabinet doors. Many custom cabinet shops use large CNC machines to do this, but some do make MDF cabinets by hand. MDF has a few key advantages over wood. It has a smoother surface and looks really nice and modern when painted. It's also unlikely to chip or splinter and it can easily be modified in detail with tools in ways that wood cannot. MDF also tends to be cheaper than wood since it is so easy for cabinet makers to work with. Its only real downfall is that it is prone to scratches. You will need to avoid scraping against it with knives or cooking tools.
HDF stands for high-density fiberboard. It is basically the same as MDF, but the wood fibers are pressed even more firmly together, resulting in an even harder material. HDF is overkill for many cabinets. However, it can be a good choice in commercial kitchens or heavily used residential kitchens. It won't crack if you drop a cabinet door. It is unlikely to be scratched or scraped. The only downfall, again, is its price. HDF is one of the most expensive cabinet materials and it's really only worth paying for if you need that high durability.
Vinyl cabinets are not as popular as MDF and HDF ones, but some cabinet makers do make them. The vinyl used is similar to that which is used for fencing. It is thick and strong. An advantage of vinyl is that it does not absorb water, which makes it a good choice for humid kitchens and for cabinets next to sinks. It has a plastic-like, modern look that some people love and other people don't like.
Wood is not the only cabinet material that exists. Talk to a cabinet maker near you such as Gerald L Scott Custom Cabinetry to learn more about these materials.