End Grain vs Edge Grain Cutting Board: Which Should I Choose?

There are benefits to end grain and edge grain cutting boards. You might choose either of these kinds of cutting boards for your kitchen needs, but there are reasons why each one might be the right choice for you.

Both of these kinds of cutting boards are better than electing to cut on plastic cutting boards, but you might not be sure which cutting board is the right choice for your needs.

If you are clear that you want to get an end grain or an edge grain cutting board, you are one step ahead. You should probably learn more about what each of these cutting boards can do for you in the kitchen.

Learn more about end grain vs edge grain cutting boards by reading on!

Carpenter showing pieces of walnut and maple wood that have been fused together for making edge grain cutting board

What is an End Grain Cutting Board?

End grain cutting boards are made with wood grains perpendicular to the cutting surface. Most wooden cutting boards are made with grain parallel to the cutting surface.

There are benefits to this arrangement which include making sure that your knife stays sharp for longer.

End grain is easy to identify because you will be able to see the rings from the tree in the side profile of the cutting board.

When you cut on an end grain board, you will be cutting between the wood fibers which can make the board last for longer. This style of board is also more sanitary than an edge grain cutting board.

What is an Edge Grain Cutting Board?

These cutting boards are made with the grains of the wood arranged the long way. This makes them very durable.

You will be cutting across the wood fibers which can make the board less durable but can keep your board clean and sanitary more easily.

Edge grain cutting boards are also more common, making them more affordable. Edge grain boards often last a long time and can be much easier to clean and care for.

Both of these kinds of boards look great, but you will find that long-grain boards are often much easier to care for and keep in good shape.

Difference Between End Grain and Edge Grain Cutting Boards

End-grain cutting board


  • Consisted of numerous short pieces of hardwood
  • Pieces are arranged vertically and grafted together side by side
  • Attractive outer appearance
  • Doesn’t damage blades of knives
  • Known for a checkerboard design
  • Fiber-rich cutting surface
  • Doesn’t show scratches easily


  • More expensive than edge grain
  • May absorb more liquid than edge-grain
  • Best to be cleaned shortly after usage
  • Require frequent oil conditioning

Edge-grain cutting board


  • Lower price
  • Made from parallel pieces of wood fused together
  • Praised for their durability
  • Can be treated with beeswax or mineral oil to prolong durability
  • Great for food prep, dough rolling, and baking
  • Simpler and sanitary structure


  • Knife cuts permanently damage it
  • It tends to blunt knives quicker than end-grain boards
  • Requires regular application of mineral oil or beeswax
  • No self-healing factor
  • Cracks and fissures are ideal places for bacteria

How to Choose Between the Two Kinds of Cutting Boards?

There are some key factors that can help you decide between these two kinds of cutting boards. You will need to consider these factors before you choose between these kinds of cutting boards.


The end grain board will always be less durable than the edge grain. This is because of the way that they are designed.

You will need to consider how long you want your cutting board to last if you are picking between these two kinds of boards.


The end grain board is often much more beautiful than the edge grain board. End grain boards are made with a unique and distinctive checkerboard pattern and they are quite beautiful to look at.

Edge grain boards are still nice to look at, but you will find that the end grain board is much more attractive.


You will find that an edge-grain board is much easier to clean overall and much easier to dry and sanitize. Your end grain board will take more effort to care for as it will require specific drying techniques and cannot be soaked and disinfected as an edge grain board can.

While all wooden cutting boards require more care than plastic boards, you should be careful not to pick a wooden cutting board if you do not want to wash and sanitize your cutting board by hand.


End grain boards are always more expensive than edge grain boards. You will need to be sure that you think about the cost of an end grain board before you plan to buy one. Some people are surprised by the cost of an end grain board when they start shopping.

The nice thing is that an edge-grain board is still a wooden cutting board and more affordable overall.


End grain boards are often thicker and larger than edge grain boards. You will need to be sure that you have the room to store your end grain cutting board if you are going to get one.

Edge grain boards tend to be thinner and easier to store even if they are less beautiful than an end grain board.

End Grain and Edge Grain Cutting Boards Are Both Excellent Tools

The choice between end grain and edge grain boards does not have to be hard. You will find that both of these boards are beautiful and easy to use.

If you want to have a truly gorgeous cutting board, you will want to choose an end grain board, but edge grain boards are still thought of as lovely kitchen tools that look great.

No matter which kind of wooden cutting board you pick, you will find that these kinds of cutting boards are much nicer to work with than any plastic cutting board that is on the market.

This is the right choice to make if you want to care for your kitchen knives every time you use them. It is also the right choice if you want to make sure that you are working with the highest quality cutting board for your cooking needs.

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