Differences Between End Grain Vs Edge Grain Cutting Boards In 2022


End Grain Vs Edge Grain

Picking the Right Cutting Board: End Grain Vs Edge Grain

When most people think of woodworking, the first thing that comes to mind is creating furniture. While this is a big part of the woodworking world, there are other applications for woodworking as well. For example, did you know that you can use woodworking techniques to make things like bowls and cutting boards? Which is better for your woodworking projects: end grain vs edge grain? Both have their own unique benefits, but which one is right for you? 

End Grain Vs Edge Grain

In this blog post, we’re going to look at two different types of wooden boards: edge grain and end grain. We’ll discuss the benefits of each type and help you decide which one is right for you.

What is end grain?

End grain is the term used to describe the wood grain that is exposed when you cut a tree trunk horizontally. The end grain includes the growth rings, which are the circular lines that you can see on the end of a log. When you look at end grain, you’re seeing the cross-section of the tree’s growth rings.

End Grain Vs Edge Grain

Advantages:

Gentle on knives: When you’re cutting on an end grain board, the knives are actually cutting into the growth rings of the wood. This is much gentler on your knives than cutting into the long fibers of edge grain boards.

More durable: End grain boards are also more durable than edge grain boards. The reason for this is that the growth rings of the wood are oriented vertically, so they’re able to withstand more wear and tear. In addition, the end grain is held together by strong cross-links, which makes it less likely to crack or chip.

Less visible cut lines and scratches: One downside of end grain boards is that they tend to show cut lines and scratches more than edge grain boards. However, you can minimize this by using a board conditioner or oil.

Thick and heavy: The end grain boards are typically between 2″ and 2.5 “, which gives them a good weight. They’re also sturdy enough to keep in place while you use them without warping unless your environment is too humid or dry for the wood’s liking!

Durable: The resistant and durable nature of this board makes it ideal for heavy chopping. You should always condition your new cutting board after each use, but regular maintenance will help ensure its lifetime durability!

Drawbacks:

Requires frequent conditioning: Because end grain boards are more absorbent than edge grain boards, they require more frequent conditioning. If you don’t condition your board regularly, it will start to dry out and crack.

More expensive: End grain boards are also more expensive than edge grain boards. The reason for this is that they’re more labor-intensive to make and they require more wood.

Heavier and bulkier: Due to the nature of the wood, end grain boards are also heavier and bulkier than edge grain boards. This can be a downside if you’re looking for a lighter board to use in the kitchen.

A large number of seams: Because end grain boards are made up of multiple pieces of wood, there are a larger number of seams. These seams can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s important to clean them thoroughly after each use.

Best for:

Heavy chopping and butchering: If you do a lot of chopping and butchering, an end grain board is a good choice for you. The durable nature of the board will withstand all your chopping, while the gentle surface is kind to your knives.

High-end knives: If you have high-end knives, an end grain board is a good option to protect your investment. The softer surface is less likely to damage your blades, and the added weight gives the board stability while you’re working.

Best End grain cutting board.

Mevell Walnut Wood Cutting Board (Large 18x12x1.5 End Grain)
Mevell Walnut Wood Cutting Board (Large 18x12x1.5 End Grain)
9.8/10
  • It's made from sustainably sourced and manufactured black walnut wood in Montreal, Canada. The board is reversible, with a juice drip groove, and thick and solid construction.
  • It's ideal for cutting steaks, bbq, ribs or briskets. The walnut wood is gentle on knives while offering a self-healing property, and the board is treated with a blend of premium mineral oil and bee wax.
  • Keep your knife edge longer with this durable cutting board.
Sonder Los Angeles, Large Thick End Grain Walnut Wood Cutting Board
Sonder Los Angeles, Large Thick End Grain Walnut Wood Cutting Board
9.6/10
  • This end grain cutting board is extremely durable and can withstand heavy duty chopping. It is also self-healing, meaning that each knife cut goes between the wood fibers rather than cutting through them.
  • The fibers close back up after the knife exits, keeping your knife's edge sharper for longer.
  • Alfred also features a juice groove that holds up to 3.5 oz of liquid to prevent water, juice, and grease from overflowing during meal prep and serving. This is perfect for cutting up fruits, vegetables, and carving meats like brisket, roast, prime rib, etc.
  • Our 1.5 inch thick butcher block style board comes with removable rubber feet on both sides for extra stability while chopping and slicing.
Ironwood Gourmet 28218 Square Charleston End Grain Chef's Board , Acacia Wood 14
Ironwood Gourmet 28218 Square Charleston End Grain Chef's Board , Acacia Wood 14" Square
9.5/10
  • Precision-crafted from sustainably harvested acacia wood, this board is designed for both function and style.
  • The end grain construction minimizes wear and tear on both knives and the board itself, while the rich colors and beautiful grain patterns make it a true conversation piece.
  • Whether you're prepping for a big meal or simply enjoying a casual cheese plate, the Sonder Los Angeles Cutting Board is up for the task. Durable, functional, and stylish, this board is sure to become a kitchen favorite.

What is edge grain?

Edge grain is the term used to describe the wood grain that is exposed when you cut a tree trunk vertically. When you look at edge grain, you’re seeing the long fibers of the tree. These fibers are held together by weaker cross-links, which makes them more susceptible to damage.

End Grain Vs Edge Grain

Advantages:

Less expensive: Edge grain boards are less expensive than end grain boards because they require less wood and labor to make.

Lighter and easier to maneuver: Edge grain boards are also lighter and easier to maneuver than end grain boards. This can be a big advantage if you’re working in a small space or if you need to move the board around often.

Less absorbent: Edge grain boards are less absorbent than end grain boards, so they require less frequent conditioning.

Shows less wear and tear: Edge grain boards also show less wear and tear than end grain boards. The reason for this is that the fibers of the wood are oriented horizontally, so they’re more resistant to damage.

Less Moisture Absorption: Wood is hygroscopic, meaning it will readily absorb moisture from the air. Edge grain boards have less surface area exposed to the air, so they’re less likely to absorb moisture. This makes them less likely to warp or crack over time.

Lower Maintenance: When you purchase a new cutting board, it’s important to seal the edge grain and end-grain surfaces for them not only to look better but also to last longer. Edge boards will require less frequent oiling over time compared with their counterparts which mean that if an owner needs assistance maintaining their prized possession, then we can help by providing affordable services like refinished or restored products!

Durable: Edge grain boards are also more durable than end grain boards. The reason for this is that the fibers of the wood are oriented horizontally, so they’re more resistant to damage.

Drawbacks:

More vulnerable to knife damage: One downside of edge grain boards is that they’re more vulnerable to knife damage. The long fibers of the wood can be easily damaged by sharp blades, so it’s important to use a cutting board protector or mat.

Can warp and crack: Edge grain boards can also warp and crack more easily than end grain boards. This is because the fibers of the wood are oriented horizontally, which makes them more susceptible to damage from moisture and heat.

Visible Knife marks: Edge grain boards are more likely to show knife marks than end grain boards. The reason for this is that the fibers of the wood are oriented horizontally, which makes them more susceptible to damage from sharp blades.

Less Gentle on Knives: Edge grain boards are less gentle on knives than end grain boards. The reason for this is that the fibers of the wood are oriented horizontally, which makes them more susceptible to damage from sharp blades.

Best for:

General chopping and slicing: If you’re looking for a board to do general chopping and slicing, an edge grain board is a good option. It’s lighter and easier to maneuver, and the horizontal fibers of the wood are more resistant to damage.

Budget-friendly: If you’re working with a tight budget, an edge grain board is a good choice. It’s less expensive than an end grain board, but it will still get the job done.

Everyday Use:  Edge grain boards are a good choice for everyday use. They’re less absorbent than end grain boards, so they require less frequent conditioning. And the horizontal fibers of the wood are more resistant to damage.

Cutting meat: Edge grain boards are also a good choice for cutting meat. The reason for this is that the fibers of the wood are oriented horizontally, which makes them less likely to absorb moisture from the meat.

Mobility: If you need to move your board around often, an edge grain board is a good choice. It’s lighter and easier to maneuver than an end grain board.

Refinishing: If you’re looking for a board that can be refinished or restored, an edge grain board is a good option. The horizontal fibers of the wood make it less likely to show wear and tear over time.

Prepping Moisture Rich Foods: Foods like fruits and vegetables can release a lot of moisture, which can cause an end grain board to warp or crack. If you’re prepping these types of foods, an edge grain board is a better choice.

Serving Board: If you’re looking for a board to use as a serving platter, an edge grain board is a good option. It’s less likely to absorb moisture from food, and the horizontal fibers of the wood make it more resistant to damage.

Chopping Blocks: If you’re looking for a board to use as a chopping block, an edge grain board is a better choice. The reason for this is that the fibers of the wood are oriented horizontally, which makes them less likely to absorb moisture from the food.

Best Edge grain cutting board.

John Boos Block WAL-R02 Walnut Wood Edge Grain
John Boos Block WAL-R02 Walnut Wood Edge Grain
9.7/10
  • Made from hand-selected American Black Walnut Wood, this reversible board is both durable and easy to use.
  • Featuring integrated handgrips on each end, the WAL-R02 is easy to lift, move, and clean – making it a versatile addition to any home or professional kitchen.
  • Imitated but never duplicated, John Boos cutting boards are the preferred choice of top chefs and restaurants around the world. 
John Boos Block RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain
John Boos Block RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain
9.6/10
  • This board is made from sustainably sourced, hand-selected Northern Hard Rock Maple Wood, which is widely recognized as one of the finest, most durable food preparation surfaces in the world.
  • The board is reversible, so you can use both sides as cutting surfaces. And its thick construction (2.25 inches) makes it sturdy and stable, even when cutting tough meats or vegetables.
  • Plus, the integrated handgrips on each end make lifting, moving and cleaning this large board easy for all users.
TeakHaus Edge Grain Carving Board
TeakHaus Edge Grain Carving Board
9.1/10
  • The TeakHaus Edge Grain Carving Board is a stunning rectangle edge grain chopping block that is known for its durability and longevity. It is ideal for culinary applications and sourced from sustainable, managed plantations.
  • This cutting board was rated the best heavy-duty cutting board in 2019 and 2018 by Cook's Illustrated Magazine and was Rain Forest Alliance Certified in 2021.
  • TeakHaus works hard to make responsible business the new normal and focuses on forest preservation, climate change, human rights, and livelihoods.

The similarities of End grain and Edge grain:

End grain and edge grain boards are both made of wood.

Both end grain and edge grain boards can be used for chopping, slicing, and dicing.

Both end grain and edge grain boards can be refinished or restored.

Both end grain and edge grain boards can be budget friendly.

The differences between End grain vs Edge grain:

End grain boards are more durable than edge grain boards.

Edge grain boards are more vulnerable to knife damage.

Edge grain boards can warp and crack more easily than end grain boards.

Edge grain boards are less gentle on knives than end grain boards.

Edge grain boards are more likely to show knife marks than end grain boards.

End grain vs Edge grain –The winner:

End grain boards are the better choice for most applications. They’re more durable and less likely to warp or crack, and they’re also gentler on knives. However, if you’re working with a tight budget, an edge grain board may be a better choice. And if you need a board that’s easy to maneuver or that can be refinished or restored, an edge grain board is a good option.

FAQs about end grain vs edge grain:

Care for my end grain or edge grain cutting board?

To care for your end grain or edge grain cutting board, it’s important to keep it clean and dry. After each use, wash your board with warm water and soap. Then, rinse it with cool water and dry it with a clean towel. Once it’s dry, apply a food-safe mineral oil to keep the wood from drying out.

Are end grain cutting boards worth it?

End grain cutting boards are worth the investment. They’re more durable than edge grain boards, and they’re also gentler on knives. However, they’re also more expensive. If you’re working with a tight budget, an edge grain board may be a better choice.

How long will my end grain or edge grain cutting board last?

With proper care, your end grain or edge grain cutting board can last for years. To extend its lifespan, it’s important to keep it clean and dry and to apply a food-safe mineral oil regularly. You should also avoid using it as a serving platter or chopping block, as these activities can cause the board to warp or crack.

Are end grains stronger?

End and Edge Grain – The end or edge grain is the strongest because it has gone through more processes to create this texture. It’s perfect for chopping food with heavy blades since knife marks won’t show up as much on its surface compared to other surfaces such as wooly face (side) panels which can be damaged easily when cutting certain foods like vegetables that require precision cuts; however, if you use an average-sized kitchen utensil then there will not necessarily be any difference between what kind of material your board happened to produce from!

Do end grain cutting boards warp?

End grain cutting boards are less likely to warp than edge grain boards. However, if they’re not properly cared for, they can warp or crack. To prevent this, it’s important to keep your board clean and dry and to apply a food-safe mineral oil regularly. You should also avoid using it as a serving platter or chopping block, as these activities can cause the board to warp or crack.

Why should you never cut end grain?

Planning the end grain is discouraged because it can cause catastrophic tear-outs which might break the cutting board into pieces and damage the planer machine, not just be a safety hazard for the user.

Do butcher blocks have to be end grain?

In our opinion, all woodworking projects should be done with end grain as opposed to edge-growth. End Grain means that the ends of wood fibers are exposed and can potentially carry more nutrients than other parts in between them; whereas Edge Growth carries less value because it’s hidden by another layer when sawing or knives aren’t being used extensively throughout production time.

The primary difference between End grain vs Edge grain?

The primary difference between end grain and edge grain is that end grain boards are more durable than edge grain boards. Edge grain boards can warp and crack more easily, and they’re also more likely to show knife marks. However, edge grain boards are less expensive than end grain boards, and they’re also lighter and easier to maneuver.

End Grain Vs Edge Grain

See more: Cutting Board Face Grain Vs Edge Grain – What’s The Difference?

Which one is right for me?

The right choice for you depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a board that’s durable and less likely to warp or crack, an end grain board is a good choice. However, if you’re working with a tight budget, an edge grain board may be a better choice. And if you need a board that’s easy to maneuver or that can be refinished or restored, an edge grain board is a good option.

What is the best way to finish an end grain cutting board?

The best way to finish an end grain cutting board is to apply a food-safe mineral oil. This will help keep the wood from drying out and cracking. It’s also important to avoid using your board as a serving platter or chopping block, as these activities can cause the board to warp or crack.

When should you not use an end grain cutting board?

You should not use an end grain cutting board as a serving platter or chopping block. These activities can cause the board to warp or crack. It’s also important to avoid using your board on surfaces that are not level, as this can damage the board.

How do you make an end grain cutting board?

Making an end grain cutting board is a fairly simple process. First, you’ll need to cut the wood into strips. Next, you’ll need to glue the strips together. Once the glue has dried, you’ll need to sand the surface of the board. Finally, you’ll need to apply a food-safe mineral oil to protect the wood from drying out.

Can you glue the End grain to the Edge grain?

The solution to this problem is simple and straightforward. Lightly dampen the end grain with a cloth or rag, then spread on Gorilla Super Glue Gel until it’s moist enough so that you can see your handprint through it well – but not too much where any excess liquid seeps into other parts of either board under pressure! Let these joints sit for about 2 minutes before applying pressure normally; they’ll be strong again in no time at all

The pros and cons of end grain and edge grain:

End grain pros:

-End grain is stronger than edge grain

-End grain is less likely to warp

-End grain is more resistant to cuts and scrapes

Edge grain pros:

-Edge grain is less expensive than end grain

-Edge grain is easier to find

-Edge grain is easier to work with

End grain cons:

-End grain can be difficult to work with

-End grain can be difficult to find

Edge grain cons:

-Edge grain is not as strong as end grain

-Edge grain is more likely to warp

Conclusion – End grain vs Edge grain:

In the battle of end grain vs edge grain, which do you think is the better option? Both have their pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to what you are looking for in a cutting board. If you need something that will last a long time and can take a lot of abuse, go with an end-grain board. If you are more interested in looks and don’t mind replacing your board more often, an edge-grain cutting board might be right for you. No matter which type of cutting board you choose, make sure to take care of it properly so it lasts as long as possible. Thanks for reading! 

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