Cutting Board Types - How Do I Choose

First and foremost, make certain that the woods used in your board are well suited to the purpose to ensure food safety, proper performance and long life.  There are many woods that are unsafe containing strong allergens or even toxins.  Of course you're not going to eat your cutting board, but transfer of the allergens and /or toxins to items that you place on the cutting board is likely.  We use only woods that are food-safe.

 

There are three basic types of cutting boards. This has to do primarily with wood grain orientation. Here is a brief description of each including their pros and cons.

 

FACEGRAIN - This is, unfortunately, the most common type of grain orientation used in cutting boards.  The cut of the wood is along the grain. This type of board will almost always warp, even when not mistreated.  They are inexpensive to make and less expensive to buy.  They will not last long.  You will find that these are the type typically sold at bath and kitchen stores, discount stores (think Walmart® and Target®) and big box stores.

 

EDGE GRAIN - These board are cut from slabs to the desired width and then turned 90º and glued together to form the board.  As a result, the wood grain is oriented vertically so the board is not inclined to bow, cup or warp.  They can be of any length and width.  This produces boards of excellent quality in terms of serviceability and long life.  They also represent the best value in cutting boards.

 

END GRAIN - The gold standard where maximum performance and durability are required.  This is pretty much all that is used in butcher shops and commercial kitchens.  Here the strips that were glued together to make the Edge Grain Boards are cut again and turned 90º.  They are then glued together so that the end grain is on the top and bottom of the cutting board instead of on the ends of the board.  The end grain surface is easier on your knives.  They are more work to make which is why you will find them a bit higher in price than the edge grain boards-- but oh so worth it.

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