Types of Wood Cutting Boards
End Grain – End Grain cutting boards are the best cutting boards to be found and will meet the needs of the most discerning customer. More durable than regular cutting boards, these end-grain boards look beautiful on your countertop. An end-grain is a much harder surface and has a greater tolerance for the chopping of the knife edge. These boards give a truly resistant cutting surface while being kind to the blade’s sharp edge.
The old fashioned cutting boards were always end-grain design (the chopping block) for a reason, it keeps the knives much sharper. Instead of crushing against the wood fibers in a cross-wise strike the blade goes between them much like cutting into a firm brush. You will find that your blade edges last much longer, and you'll see fewer knife marks on the board.
When the individual boards of wood are arranged so that the grain of the wood runs vertically (up and down), this puts one end of each board up so that the cutting surface is actually the end of many individual pieces of hardwood. With the grain aligned in this manner (up and down), when the knife strikes the surface during cutting, the grain of the wood actually separates in a minute amount and then closes when the knife is removed. This accounts for the “self-healing” aspect of the end-grain surface. The wood itself is not cut, but instead you are cutting between the fibers.
Edge Grain – Edge Grain is essentially the opposite of that described above. The orientation of the grain is horizontal from side to side. Edge-Grain Cutting Boards are also one of the best-selling cutting boards for the kitchen – an excellent value chopping board and the perfect companion in the kitchen. The majority of wood cutting boards you can buy today are edge grain design. The main reason for this is that they are significantly easier to manufacture making them less expensive.