End grain vs edge grain

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Forum topic by daves1 posted 01-04-2014 08:17 PM 1587 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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188 posts in 2760 days

01-04-2014 08:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood grains cutting boards question

Does anyone have an opinion on whether Edge grain vs End grain cutting boars will last longer. I know End grain is supposed to be better for the knives. I’m wondering if an edge board warps easier than an end grain board. Obviously edge grain is faster to make thus saving the extra steps of a second or third glue up. I’d appreciate any experience folks have had.

5 replies so far

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#1 posted 01-04-2014 08:35 PM

End grain would be preferable. That way you are not severing the fibers when you use the board.

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#2 posted 01-04-2014 09:08 PM

End grain boards, in my experience, withstand the heavy use of knives more. A lot of this depends on how much and how you use the board.

I’ve never had any of my board recipients wear out a cutting board, edge or end. I think choosing the correct wood is key as well. My cherry boards certainly don’t wear as well as the oak/maple/walnut boards.

If we used a butcher knife/heavy chopping knife in our house I would have made ours an end-grain butcher block style board. For the regular salad-type chopping we do, edge grain works fine.

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#3 posted 01-04-2014 09:17 PM

I think traditionally all cutting boards were made from endgrain because of the strength of the wood fibers when orientated vertically, for example if you hit the face of a board with a hammer it will easily dent, but if you do the same to the end grain you’ll have to hit it a bit harder to get the same dent ….. Personally I prefer the endgrain because I have a fear of creating splinters as I’m chopping and slicing with the grain but this is just something that’s in my head I’ve never heard anybody have a problem with it before.

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Matt in Franklin

294 posts in 1607 days

#4 posted 01-04-2014 10:26 PM

Endgrain boards are better on your knives since you are cutting into the ends of the fibers. Think about it like chopping a knife down through the end of a broom. The knife just slides between the individual bristles. But if you chopped down on the side of the bristles the knife would meet much more resistance. This means your blades will stay sharper longer.

Also, on an end grain board, the slashes and gashes made by the knife will naturally close up (to some degree based on how bad a gash it is). The board effectively “heals” itself which doesn’t happen on an edgegrain board.

Finally, these gashes and marrs that happen over time are really easy to sand out of an endgrain board if you ever do maintenance on your board. Thry are harder to remove on an edgegrain board.

Bottom line is endgrain is much better and in my opinion more beutiful. You will notice this in the retail prices of commercial boards. Endgrain will be more expensive. The reasons above are the reason why.

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#5 posted 01-05-2014 03:07 AM

A gazillion butcher blocks would not have been made with end grain cutting surface if it hadn’t been the best way to do it.

A huge benefit of end grain construction is the infinite ways to glue up different widths and colors of boards in order to form a design. You could never get the designs of an end grain board if you were just edge gluing.

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