End Grain vs. Long Grain Cutting Boards

End Grain vs. Long Grain Cutting Boards

Wood is made up of many fibers that run lengthwise. Think of wood for a minute as a paint brush. There is the very end of the paint brush (end grain), the wide flat side of the brush (face grain – also long grain) and the edge of the paint brush (edge grain – also long grain).

Let’s say you place the paint brush flat on a table and cut across the bristles with a knife. The bristles might have a dent in them afterwards, or might even cut. If you cut the paint brush into the end of the bristles, they will recover when you take the knife out. The same is true for end grain cutting boards.

Face grain cutting boards might show more knife marks than end grains. End grains are able to heal easier, especially with regular maintenance (See Cutting Board Care Tips). With any cutting board, you can always use one side and display the other. 😊


What it comes down to…

Long grain (face and edge) Boards


-More durable if you aren’t great at remembering to oil them regularly

-Cheaper than end grain boards


-Less friendly on knives (they will dull quicker)

-Knife marks might show a little more than end grain


End Grain Boards


-More forgiving with knives – they won’t dull as easily

-Able to make some really neat designs with the wood

-Knife marks won’t be seen as much


-Prone to warpage and cracking if you don’t remember to maintain them with oil

-More expensive due to the large amount of wood and labor intensive process involved