Wooden Core Boxes vs.
Discoverer Plastic Core Trays

Wooden Core Boxes:
An Introduction

Wooden core boxes are more commonly used in countries where natural resources of timber are readily available. Also led by the belief that no other kind of core tray can handle the sub-zero temperatures, they are widely used in colder climates such as Canada, Mongolia and Sweden.

Wooden core tray


  • Easy to custom-build in a variety of sizes
  • Strong, rigid product
  • Good in cold climates
  • Long and narrow design enables it to be carried by one person ‘on the hip’ easily
  • In places where timber is a resource, its use often helps local communities


  • Susceptible to termites and insects so it’s not recommended where these insects thrive
  • Timber can rot when left in the elements and can cause core loss or sample bias
  • Wood splinters in hands can occur on rare occasions
  • Heavier to lift compared to core boxes made from other materials
  • Its long, narrow shape makes it harder to photograph
  • Deforestation is involved – not good for a company’s image should they care about corporate social responsibility


Overall, wooden boxes are fundamentally a great product. It’s been used for years and possibly for more years to come. However, they’re defenseless against rotting and termites, and smaller-built people can have lighter trays to carry.

Why try plastic core trays?

Plastic core trays are not new technology, but aside from having a proven track record of durability, it has evolved into more than a basic core sample container. More and more innovations are built into the plastic core tray that are eliminating entire sections of the downstream processes that in turn lead to savings in money and man-hours.


  • It’s been proven in high (140°F/60°C) and low (-58°F/-50°C) temperatures around the world
  • Designed to be stacked in pallets and left outside for the entire life of the mine
  • The expense of building a storage shed or having racking is completely removed
  • Chemically inert product, not susceptible to sulfide corrosion
  • Lightweight to carry
  • High-impact resistant and built to last
  • Not susceptible to termites or rotting
  • No need to DIY assemble the boxes on site


  • As they are not flat-pack, they can be a little bulkier, leading to higher transport costs
  • You are limited to the sizes the manufacturer offers, as the injection mold tooling is expensive to set up


With the Pros vastly outweighing the Cons, it’s no surprise that the plastic core tray is steadily becoming the most predominant form of storing and transporting core across the globe.

Discoverer® Series 4 Recycled Plastic Core Tray
But not all plastic core trays are created equal.

Discover the Discoverer difference.

Discoverer® S4 Recycled Plastic Core Tray

Discoverer® S4 Tru Identiti™

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The ultimate core tray designed for image capture and cloud sharing. Considered the world’s smartest core tray.

Discoverer® S2 Recycled Plastic Core Tray

Discoverer® S2

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The industry favorite and our leading export product. Truly stacks and nests, leading to significant savings in freight.

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