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Choosing the right Wooden Cutting Board for you
End Grain Vs. Edge Grain / Wood Species / Inlays
What does it all mean?
End grain vs. Edge grain
Beside the appearance the grain orientation will affect the longevity as well. The orientation of the wood in an End Grain cutting board allows the knife blade to glide between the fibers. This allows the cutting edge to remain sharper longer. With ceramic, stone or glass cutting boards your knife comes in direct contact with an unforgiving surface, causing it to dull, chip, etc. See picture below for example.
The appearance of End Grain is very different than Edge Grain as well. As a general rule, End Grain will always be darker, and the board will typically be made up of numerous blocks. Below are a few examples.
Both of these are made of the same woods. The first image is Edge Grain and the other is End Grain. Red is called Paduak, White is Maple, and Brown is Walnut
When considering wood species, it is primarily what ever you like the look of best. However, some woods are not safe to use with food (i.e. Yew), and some are just too soft and will not hold up to the wear of a cutting board (i.e. Pine). Some exotic woods are just too rare and therefore are not realistic to make a cutting board out of. An example of this would be Ebony. The last time I priced out Ebony it came in at $150 per "board feet".... for a typical cutting board I plan on about 2 board feet. Personally my go to woods for durability, appearance, and price at Walnut, Maple, Paduak, PurpleHeart, Oak and Cherry. Below is a chart of different woods organized by density.
When customizing a cutting board a lot of people like to inlay a name or a picture. Typically there are two options of how to get this done. You can get a contrasting wood inlaid or do a resin inlay. A wood inlay tends to be more expensive, but some people prefer wood inlays for the look of all natural woods. With a resin inlay you will have an almost endless option of colors available, and it is easier to get more detail with resin versus wood inlays. Check out our Gallery for some projects we have done in the past of resin and wood inlays.