Best End Grain Cutting Boards

Have you heard all the rage about the best end grain cutting boards, or do you have an end grain cutting board you want to know more about? We’re here to tell you all about these cutting boards and how to care for them.

We’ve also listed some of the best end grain cutting boards we could find based on price, overall design, and durability! Curious? Keep reading to learn more.

What is an End Grain Cutting Board?

An end grain cutting board is a cutting board made by using wood that’s been cut widthwise through the rings instead of longwise through the length of the trunk. End grain wooden cutting boards are tougher than side grain, or edge grain, cutting boards. They usually come in a checkerboard pattern.

Pros and Cons to End Grain Cutting Boards

Pros

  •         Great for heavy-duty chopping with meat
  •         Great for light chopping with fruits, vegetables, breads, and cheeses
  •         Won’t dull knives quickly
  •         Checkboard pattern is aesthetically pleasing
  •         Easy for wood fibers to heal after being cut on

Cons

  •         Generally, more expensive
  •         Expands, contracts, and bows without treatment
End Grain Cutting Boards
  •  Checkerboard pattern
  • Knives won’t dull quickly
  • You cut with the wood fibers
  • Won’t get scratches and cracks as easily as side grain  
  • Bacteria gets into wood more slowly
  • Softer
  • Easier for wood fibers to come together and wood to self-heal when cut on
  • More sanitary option
  • Expands, contracts, and bows easier
Side Grain Cutting Boards
  • Patterned with long strips of wood
  • Dulls knives faster
  • You cut against the fibers
  • Will get more scratches and cracks from knives than end grain
  • Bacteria gets into wood faster
  • Harder
  • Much more difficult for wood to self-heal
  • Less sanitary option
  • Expands, contracts, and bows less often

How to Make Your Own End Grain Cutting Board

Now that you know end grain cutting boards are made by using pieces of wood cut against the grain of the tree, maybe you want to make your own. We’ll walk you through how to do this, so you’ll have your very own professional-looking wooden cutting board.

Step One: What Kind of Wood Do You Want?

We always recommend hardwoods over softwoods for cutting boards, but that still leaves so many options. Do you want walnut, cherry, maple, or beech? What about hickory?

Look into the different types of wood and their benefits, and then pick up some wooden blanks from the store.

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Step Two: Cut to Size

You’ll need to cut the wooden blanks down to all be the same size. Uneven wood will give you an uneven cutting board.

Step Three: Clamps and Glue

Extend two clamps. Set 5 even blanks across the clamps, evenly spaced apart. You might want to number your bottom of your blanks, so you remember which is which.

Don’t forget the wood glue! You’ll want to make an even line of wood glue on the thinner side of the blanks. Use a brush to evenly spread the glue on this side, and then push the glued thin, long sides of the blanks together on the clamps.

They should form a mini raft. Clamp this together so it dries. Do the same thing for a second set of wooden blanks.

Step Four: Sawing to Perfection

Using a table saw, remove any uneven edges from the ends of your glued wooden blanks. Next, mark where each inch is on your wooden blanks (cutting against the grain of the blanks, not with the grain or you’ll end up with a side grain board).

When you’ve marked where you need to cut on your board to get pieces that are 1” thick, use a table saw to cut precisely. Always keep your hands away from the blade!

Do the exact same thing for the second set of wooden blanks.

Step Five: The Checkerboard

Once you’ve sawed down your pieces, you’ll see that they look like mismatched wooden blocks. Line your wooden blanks up in a checkboard pattern in the two clamps again. Stick the pieces together with an even layer of wood glue and clamp it to get your finished cutting board.

Once the glue dries, you’ve got your very own end grain wooden cutting board! Make sure to seal your board with mineral oil or beeswax.

What Wood is Best for End Grain Cutting Boards?

Hardwoods such as maple will be much better than softwoods for an end grain cutting board, and it’s best to choose a wood type with fine grains and a high density. Hardwoods are the better choice, because they won’t split under you knife and hold in bacteria as much as softwoods.

Some great wood types to choose from are:

  • Walnut
  • Cherry
  • Hardwood Maple
  • Beech
  • Hickory
  • Ash
  • Teak

Cleaning and Caring for End Grain Cutting Boards

Now that you know all about the basics of end grain cutting boards and how to make your own, we’ll let you in on how to care for this board. Cleaning and sealing wooden cutting boards is easy, but they do need some specialized TLC.

Cleaning

When it’s time to clean your end grain cutting board, here are some important steps to keep in mind:

  1. Always wash a wooden cutting board as soon as you’re done using it to prevent stains, mold, and smells.
  2. Use a mild dish soap and warm water when cleaning your cutting board.
  3. Never fully submerge a wooden cutting board in water.
  4. Thoroughly wash one side at a time.
  5. Never put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher.
  6. Stand it up on one side against a wall to dry so one side doesn’t stay wet and become moldy.
  7. Allow your cutting board to airdry completely before putting it away.

Sealing

What is sealing and why do you need to do it for a wooden end grain cutting board? Wood dries out and can be susceptible to bacteria penetrating the surface if it isn’t properly treated with oil.

You’ll notice how glossy a new cutting board looks when you buy it. When you seal your cutting board, you give it back this new shine. To seal your cutting board, simply:

  1. Choose an oil that won’t go rancid, such as mineral oil or beeswax. Never use olive oil or vegetable oil.
  2. When you notice the wood in your cutting board starting to dry out, it’s time to seal your board.
  3. Always wash and dry your cutting board before sealing it.
  4. When dried, pour enough oil, or put enough beeswax on the board so it will be completely covered when you rub the oil in with a dry paper towel.
  5. Rub oil into the wood with a dry paper towel and stand the board up on one side.
  6. Allow the oil to sit in the board for 15 minutes before wiping away any excess oil with another paper towel.
  7. Stand the board up on its side again and let it dry completely for 2 days.

The Water Droplet Test for Sealing

Maybe it’s hard to tell when your end grain cutting board needs to be sealed. If that’s the case, there is a simple test you can perform to see if your board needs more oil. To do the water droplet test on your cutting board, follow these easy steps:

  1. Sprinkle some water droplets onto the surface of your cutting board.
  2. If the droplets stay buoyant and in the shape of drops, your board doesn’t need to be sealed.
  3. If the droplets spread out after a few seconds and flatten, your cutting board could use some oil.

The Best End Grain Cutting Board Designs

After a lot of checking around, we found some of the best end grain cutting boards available. You can skip the stress of trying to make your own cutting board if you’d rather buy one online.

Ironwood Gourmet 28218 Square Charleston End Grain Chef’s Board

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Best for Everyday Use

About

This rectangular cutting board is made from gorgeous, dark acacia wood for a visually appealing design. This is a medium-sized board at 14” X 14” X 1.25” and weighs 4 lbs. This is a perfect board for cutting and chopping every kind of food.

  •         Material: Acacia wood
  •         Price Range: $40-$60
  •         Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  •         Best Feature: Strong features in every category, best for everyday use

Care

Be careful to never put this end grain cutting board in the dishwasher or it could get moldy. Instead, always handwash this board with warm water and a gentle soap. Stand it up on one side to airdry.

Pros

  •         Great for cutting every type of food
  •         Big enough to chop a large amount of food without being heavy
  •         Easy on knives and long-lasting

Cons

  •         No nonslip feet on the bottom

Large Thick End Grain Walnut Wood Cutting Board

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Best Choice with Additional Features and Accessories

About

This is a large rectangular end grain cutting board made from black walnut wood, which gives it a dark and rich color. This board’s dimensions are 17” X 17” X 1.5” and it weighs 7 lbs. A gift box is included with this cutting board.

  •         Material: Black walnut wood
  •         Price Range: $115-$135
  •         Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  •         Best Feature: Bonus features and accessories

Care

Since this is a pricier and high-quality cutting board, you’ll want to keep it looking nice. Always handwash this end grain cutting board as soon as you’re done using it with a mild dish soap and warm water. Never fully submerge it under the water.

Pros

  •         High-quality wood and construction
  •         Juice groove, nonslip feet, and bonus gift box
  •         Lots of room to work on the board

Cons

  •         For a wooden cutting board, this board is heavy at 7 lbs.

Acacia Wood Kitchen Cutting Board with End-Grain

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Best Unique Pattern

About

This is a rectangular board with a light acacia wood. The dimensions are 17.9” X 12.9” X 1.1”, so this is a medium-sized cutting board. Whether you’re cutting food or making a food display, this cutting board would be perfect.

  •         Material: Acacia wood
  •         Price Range: $30-$50
  •         Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  •         Best Feature: Unique style with end grain pattern

Care

To keep this end grain cutting board in top shape, never put it in the dishwasher. When you’ve finished handwashing it, stand it up on one side to airdry completely.

Pros

  •         Great value for a low price
  •         Pretty and unique design
  •         Acacia is an incredibly durable hardwood

Cons

  •         No grooves to catch excess liquids

Small End Grain Bamboo Cutting Board

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Best Compact Size

About

This is the smallest cutting board on the list at 10.63” X 9.38” X 1.94”. This end grain cutting board is made from bamboo, making it lightweight and easy to use. The name of the brand, Top Notch Kitchenware, is branded into the corner of the board.

  •         Material: Bamboo
  •         Price Range: $30-$50
  •         Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  •         Best Feature: Compact size

Care

Bamboo will get moldy if you put it in the dishwasher or fully submerge it in water. Instead, handwash this cutting board one side at a time and stand it up to airdry.

Pros

  •         Compact size and handles make it easy to use and wash
  •         High-quality brand
  •         Juice grooves and nonslip feet make it easy to use

Cons

  •         Bamboo isn’t as durable as hardwoods

FANICHI Extra Large & Thick Acacia Wood Cutting Board

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Best Overall

About

This gorgeous end grain cutting board made of acacia wood showcases the rings of the tree beautifully in its checkboard pattern. At 17” X 13” X 1.5”, you’ll have plenty of room to prep food or use this board as a display platter. This cutting board comes with a juice groove, nonslip feet, handles on the side, and three built-in compartments.

  •         Material: Acacia wood
  •         Price Range: $30-$50
  •         Warranty: Please contact seller directly
  •         Best Feature: Best in all categories

Care

Be sure to always hand wash this end grain cutting board one side at a time before standing it up to airdry. Regularly seal this cutting board with mineral oil or beeswax.

Pros

  •         High-quality hardwood for an affordable price
  •         Best functionality features for cutting every type of food
  •         Sustainably sourced wood
  •         Pretty tree ring design

Cons

  •         The upward grooves make chopping harder by the edges of the board

DALSTRONG Lion’s Wood End-Grain Teak Cutting & Serving Board

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Best Unique Construction

About

You’ll have plenty of room to work on this teak wood board that measures 18.4” X 14.6” X 3.2”. The construction of this board gives it a unique shape with steel handlebars on the side. This cutting board is excellent for chopping every kind of food.

  •         Material: Teak wood
  •         Price Range: $80-$100
  •         Warranty: Lifetime Warranty
  •         Best Feature: Construction of the board

Care

To care for this board that comes pre-sealed with oils, seal it regularly with mineral oil or beeswax if you notice it losing its shine. When it’s time to wash the board, handwash immediately after use with a mild dish soap. Let it airdry.

Pros

  •         Steel handlebars add aesthetic appeal and better functionality
  •         Ideal for cutting every kind of food and making charcuterie displays
  •         High-quality board with more thickness than others

Cons

  •         Some may not like the steel handlebar design

FAQ

Here, we’ll answer some of your most pressing questions about end grain cutting boards. Stay tuned to learn even more!

Question: What is the Advantage of an End Grain Cutting Board?

Answer: End grain cutting boards are long-lasting cutting boards. This is because when you cut on an end grain board, your knife is going in between wood fibers instead of against them (like with side grain cutting boards.)

Question: What is the Best End Grain Cutting Board?

Answer: This depends on what kind of wood you like best. Hardwoods like walnut, cherry, and beech make excellent cutting board materials, though each has their own pros and cons. We recommend a hardwood cutting board over a softwood cutting board.

Question: Why is an End Grain Better than a Side Grain Cutting Board?

Answer: End grain cutting boards don’t dull knives as quickly, crack, scuff, or hold in as much bacteria as side grain cutting boards. End grain cutting boards are typically longer lasting than side grain cutting boards, and they are less likely to stain.

The Final Word

Did you learn something new today about end grain cutting boards? Are you ready to try making this cutting board yourself? Comment below and tell us all about your thoughts and experiences when it comes to end grain cutting boards.

If you ask me, the FANICHI Extra Large & Thick Acacia Wood Cutting Board is one of the best overall choices because it\’s great for every day use but also looks stylish on your table as a platter.

If you want even more helpful tips about the best cutting boards, head over and check out our website!

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