Wood Cutting Board Edge Vs. End ——Let us find out

Need to know the right cutting board to choose for your kitchen? Our wood cutting board edge vs. end comparison review highlights the benefits, similarities and differences between both boards.

For starters, End grain is different from edge grain by the lining of their grains. Grains are tiny wave-like lines visible on wood surfaces. 

The direction of these grains differentiates cutting boards into edge grain and end grain boards.

The Choice of Materials For Making Cutting Boards

Cutting boards come in different materials. However, only a few of the materials used in making cutting boards are popular. Some of the common materials used in making cutting boards include:

  1. Wood (end grain, edge grain, and face grain)
  2. Plastic 
  3. Rubber
  4. Bamboo and composite boards.

Wood Cutting Boards Vs. Plastic Cutting Boards

An effective way to decide on the healthier choice between plastic and wooden cutting boards is by reviewing the details of their individual properties. 

Plastic Cutting Boards

Plastic boards cannot withstand high temperatures; as a result, they cannot undergo curing, which leads to bacteria harboring.

 This is one property that makes them less preferred wooden boards. However, plastic cutting boards offer durability, are easily cleaned, are relatively cheaper than wood, and are easy to replace.

Wood Cutting Boards

(Wooden cutting board)

Unlike plastic cutting boards, wooden cutting boards provide several benefits. It is easy to have wooden boards cured from time to time. 

Though they cost more than plastic boards, they compensate with increased durability. 

Wooden boards are water-proof and leave no space for bacterial growth when well-maintained.

The Differences Between End Grain Vs. Edge Grain

End grain and edge grain boards have different effects on knives due to the lining of their grains.

End Grain Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting board

(Wooden end grain block cutting board isolated on white background)

The construction of End Grain boards involves cutting wood into blocks and gluing them together to expose the end of the wood as the surface for cutting. 

The grains of end grain boards align vertically. 

End grain boards are suitable for more intense functions like cutting large meat pieces.

End Grain boards require regular maintenance. They absorb oil rapidly; therefore, they need frequent oiling.  Also, ensure to use the best oil for your end grain cutting boards.


  • End grain cutting boards last longer. They can withstand heavy-duty food preparation.
  • The vertical lines of their grains provide resistance against warping.
  • They do not retain knife marks and nicks, but instead, they heal over time.
  • It gives an ideal surface for chopping.
  • They are thick.
  • They are easy on knives, thereby preserving their blade sharpness. 


  • They are usually more expensive to produce.
  • They are heavier than edge grain boards.

Edge Grain Cutting Boards

Wooden end grain block cutting board isolated on white background

(Cherry tomatoes on a wooden board)

The making of edge grain cutting boards involves cutting wood into long strips and gluing the faces of the strips together, thereby exposing the edges as the cutting surface. 

The grains are aligned horizontally.

Edge Grain cutting boards are most common in traditional kitchens due to their affordability and lightweight. They are also good platters for serving special meals.

Edge Grain boards come in one or a combination of different wood species.

The best way to prolong the lifespan of your edge grain boards is by oiling them regularly.


  • Edge Grain boards are solid and last longer than plastic and bamboo boards.
  • Less expensive to produce.
  •  More cost-effective. They require less maintenance.
  • Lighter and easier to move around.
  • Gives a better surface for food presentation.
  • The parallel lines of their grains make them moisture-resistant.


  • Edge Grain boards do not regenerate. This means that marks or dents do not heal over time.
  • Splits easily due to the horizontal arrangements of their grains.
  • Very hard on knives. The sharp edge of your knIfe becomes dull with continuous use.
  • Over time, the wood becomes disfigured and starts nesting bacteria.

Comparison; End Grain Vs. Edge Grain Cutting Boards

Cherry tomatoes on a wooden board

(Wooden kitchen cutting boards

To help you with decision-making, these factors serve as a measure of comparison between the two cutting board types.


Wooden kitchen cutting boards

(Plastic cutting boards)

Even though both cutting boards are reasonably durable, the end grain still holds the crown as the most durable kind of cutting board.


End grain boards have the most beautiful appearance. The vertical patterns of the grains add a rustic feel to your kitchen.


Although both end and edge grain cutting boards are useful for many reasons, the lightweight of the edge grain boards gives them more versatility. Edge Grain boards are most common in homes.

Treatment and Wood Conditioning 

(Kitchen cutting boards)

Both boards require regular treatment to maintain their quality and prevent deterioration. 

However, edge grains are cheaper to maintain because their features enable them to lock in oil even after several uses and cleaning. 

End Grain boards rapidly absorb oil and therefore need more frequent oiling.

Stain And Moisture Resistance

The horizontal grains in edge grain cutting boards lock out moisture, thus making them less exposed to water. 


Edge grain cutting boards are more price-friendly than end grain boards. This is because they are easier to construct. 


Both Wood edge and end grain have their unique benefits and drawbacks that make each suited for different uses. 

An edge grain cutting board is ideal for lighter food preparation processes that contain high moisture. 

An end-grain cutting board is perfect for users who want long-lasting cutting boards. 

While both cutting boards are resourceful in various ways, it is crucial to consider one’s individual needs before choosing the more suitable one.