What would wear and wash better on kitchen cabinets -- wipe on water based poly or tung oil?
Water based wipe on poly is hands down more durable than oil.
Brush/spray on wbp is more durable than wbp wipe on.
Oil based poly is even more durable than either.
You mentioned stain, follow reccomendation for top coat on stain container.
Assuming that you mean 100% pure tung oil, it provides little if any resistance to water, so polyurethane would be a much better choice. Pure tung oil is a wonderful looking finish that is often my first choice on furniture that will be treated with moderate care. It's not too hard to repair, but it will waterspot and is not a great choice for something you want to be able to wash regularly.
"tung oil finish" as seen at the Borg, on the other hand can be almost anything, most commonly an oil varnish or even polyurethane. It may be OK, you have to read the label carefully, but chances are all you are buying is a thinned-down varnish or poly. Might as well use the full strength stuff to build a finish coat more quickly.
I use 3 coats of brush-on either oil or water based, depending on the look I'm after. I'd be afraid that the wipe on material would take many coats to build a scrubbable film.
Thank you both.