Types of cutting board

Each piece of wood used for any project will have three surfaces that are referred to as 1) Face grain, 2) Edge grain and 3) End grain.

Face Grain

Face grain boards are made by gluing the board's edges together revealing the wood's more decorative grain. As a result, the boards can be more prone to warping and are usually 3/4 inch thick. This can be thought of as gluing the edges of several 2 x 4s together. Face grain boards can be used to cut bread or as a serving tray for various types of food. Charcuterie boards are often "face grain" as they are used for displaying and serving food.

Face grain boards are less expensive than either Edge grain or End grain boards.

Edge Grain

Edge grain boards are the most common type of cutting board. The edge grain is the “side” of a board where the thickness is often measured. Edge grain cutting boards are made by gluing the “faces” of several boards together and are usually 1 1/4 to 2 inches thick. This can be thought of as stacking several 2 x 4s together on edge. Edge grain cutting boards will have less wood movement than a Face grain board. Edge grain assembly is more durable than Face grain.

End Grain

End grain boards are often referred to as Butcher block. The end grain cutting board gets its name because the “end” of the board is used. A cutting board like this will be made up of several short pieces of wood turned so the “end” is facing up. End grain cutting boards are made by gluing the several short "End" pieces together and are usually 2 inches to several inches thick. Butcher blocks are End grain boards that can be 3 inches to 6 inches thick. End grain boards are usually better for knives and they have a “self-healing” characteristic. The wood fibers close after they have been cut with a knife.