What is an End-Grain Cutting Board

As a tree grows, it’s fibers run vertically, from the ground to the branches (the tree’s growth rings are these vertical fibers). When boards are cut from trees they have three types of grain: face, edge and end. The face and edge grains have the fibers running along the length of the board, while the end-grains show the growth pattern of the tree.

Face grain and edge grain cutting-boards are the easiest and cheapest to make, and for most kitchen tasks they will work just fine. But if you are a frequent cutting board user, have nice knives, or like big, heavy knives, then end-grain is the cut of choice.

Why? First off, end-grain plays nice with knives. Any cutting-board will eventually dull your knives, but in end grain the wood fibers are arranged like a stack of straws - instead of pressing against a hard surface, the sharp knife edge slips between the fibers. End-grain is also scratch resistant; the same quality that makes these boards gentler on knives also makes them less susceptible to permanent damage. How? After making a cut, when the knife is lifted, the wood fibers spring back into place, leaving fainter scratches compared to face-grain and edge-grain cutting boards. Lastly, an end-grain board is tough because of the types of hardwood used in its crafting