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The Cutting Edge of Cutting Boards: Understanding Face, Edge, and End Grain

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

When it comes to cutting boards, not all wood grains are created equal. Understanding the

differences between face grain, edge grain, and end grain cutting boards can help woodworkers choose the right type of wood for their cutting boards and ensure that they are durable and long-lasting.


Face grain cutting boards are made from wood that has been cut along the width of the tree, so that the surface of the cutting board is made up of the outer layers of the tree. This type of cutting board is typically the most affordable, but it is also the least durable. Because the surface of the cutting board is made up of the outer layers of the tree, it is more susceptible to damage from cuts and knife marks.


Edge grain cutting boards are made from wood that has been cut along the length of the tree, so that the surface of the cutting board is made up of the edges of the tree's growth rings. This type of cutting board is more durable than face grain cutting boards, as the edge grain is more resistant to damage from cuts and knife marks. However, edge grain cutting boards can still be prone to warping and cracking over time.


End grain cutting boards are made from wood that has been cut along the end of the tree, so that the surface of the cutting board is made up of the cross-section of the tree's growth rings. This type of cutting board is the most durable, as the end grain is naturally resistant to damage from cuts and knife marks. Additionally, end grain cutting boards are less likely to warp or crack over time.


In conclusion, the type of grain used in a cutting board can greatly impact its durability and lifespan. Face grain cutting boards are the least durable, while end grain cutting boards are the most durable. Choosing the right type of grain can help woodworkers create cutting boards that are both beautiful and long-lasting.

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