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Cutting Boards: End-Grain vs. Edge-Grain

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I want to get a new cutting board for home use, and I was looking at the Boos boards.

 

My question is: Is End-Grain that much better than Edge-Grain?

 

People make it seem like cutting on an edge-grain board will turn my knife into a butter knife or something...

 

Any opinions?

 

Thanks!

Kevin

post #2 of 17
Better, yes. "that much better", with the emphasis I think you intended, no... Not really.
post #3 of 17
But it also depends on the material... Bamboo in any orientation is not easy on knives. I'm assuming that you are considering maple.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lin View Post
 

I want to get a new cutting board for home use, and I was looking at the Boos boards..............

 

Thanks!

Kevin

 

Recently at this forum there's been posted lots of negative reviews of Boos boards: poor customer service along with waaaaaaaay poor (I stated POOR) assembly - like gaps between the individual pieces/blocks that make up the board.

 

I can strongly recommend BOARDSMITH of Texas (formerly of NC) but you might be put on a waiting list for their product depending on the season.  Here at Cheftalk I posted a review of my end grain cutting board from BOARDSMITH.  You won't be disappointed.

 

(EDIT) My review of BoardSMITH'S cutting board is located here.

 

And I just spoke with the head of BOARDSMITH, John Loftis, in Texas and he's committed to providing the same high quality product as when David Smith headed up the company in North Carolina.


Edited by kokopuffs - 11/7/15 at 9:41am

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post #5 of 17

Being a home cook my prep times are simply not that great and I don't have to be as hard on boards as others, cause I'm not in that much of a hurry.  But if I wanted to be able to slice and dice onions and such with gay abandon for on a regular basis I'd definitely want an end grain board, and/or a PM steel blade that handles that sort of abuse better.  In the long run, as well as the short term in many respects, all around a "good" edge-grain board is worth it for many home cooks.

 

Actually I would have bought a BoardSmith board from Dave while he was still making them just to have one.  Hearing what professional wood workers had to say of his craftsmanship you'd think they very likely would be considered collector items some day.  But my SO didn't want the relatively big thing taking up counter space and interfering with her decor (I've gotten used to using a smallish edge-grain board and larger poly board, which store out of the way beautifully on top of the microwave, along with a tea kettle).

 

John Loftis is now the guy to go to.  Unless you strongly feel there are better ways to spend your money then go for it, but the holidays are coming up so unless you want to wait till some time after December, or later, better hurry.

 

 

 

Rick

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post......................But my SO didn't want the relatively big thing taking up counter space and interfering with her decor ...............

Rick

 

BoardSMITH'S smallest end grain board, the one that measures 2 x 12 x 18 is no bigger than your usual cutting board found at the market - 'splain that statement you made to your S.O..


Edited by kokopuffs - 11/7/15 at 12:49pm

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post #7 of 17

Been using an old end grain walnut board from Boardsmith for a long time. No delivery ha ha.

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post #8 of 17

With end grain, the wood fibers are running straight up and down, with edge grain the fibers are running left to right.  It is somewhat easier on the knife edge to land in between the fibers then it is to go across them.  Scars don't show up as much on end grain boards either, kind of a quasi "self healing" thingee. 

 

There is a bit more labour involved in making an end gain board as opposed to an edge grain, and for this reason, the boards are slightly more expensive.

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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post
 

 

BoardSMITH'S smallest end grain board, the one that measures 2 x 12 x 18 is no bigger than your usual cutting board found at the market - 'splain that statement you made to your S.O..

She was only very ambivalent about a smaller board, but I decided in that size range I'd prefer just sticking with the current setup.  The black poly board is nearly invisible on top of the microwave, easy to move around, easy to clean, the small wood board rinses under the sink and dries overnight in the dish drain.  And now I've just grown accustomed to the whole arrangement over the years.  I still wouldn't mind an 18x24 on the counter, but it just ain't gonna happen.

 

 

Rick

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the responses! I'll definitely look into the BoardSmith's, though it seems a bit hard to justify spending $200+ on a board!

1. Would any wood cutting board (end grain or edge grain) be easier on knives than the plastic boards?

2. In terms of wood, BoardSmith's mentions that cherry is easier on knives than maple, but for a home cook, does this really matter?

Thanks!!
post #11 of 17

Cherry is I believe the softest of accepted woods for boards, so I'd say yes here.  Again I feel edge-grain is fine for many home cooks, and since their construction is less technique-intensive you can look at less expensive offerings here.  But you can look at it this way also - if you have a $200+ dollar knife, you can justify a $200+ board.

 

Whatever it is definitely go 18x24+, as just about everyone here will tell you.  I tolerate it easy enough, but I don't feel it exactly luxurious working off a 14x17.

 

 

 

Rick

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post
 

Cherry is I believe the softest of accepted woods for boards, so I'd say yes here.  Again I feel edge-grain is fine for many home cooks, and since their construction is less technique-intensive you can look at less expensive offerings here.  But you can look at it this way also - if you have a $200+ dollar knife, you can justify a $200+ board.

 

Whatever it is definitely go 18x24+, as just about everyone here will tell you.  I tolerate it easy enough, but I don't feel it exactly luxurious working off a 14x17.

 

 

 

Rick

 

Thanks for the quick response, Rick.

 

I'm going to be using <$200 knives for the most part (Wusthof Ikon & Shun Classic Chef's Knives). I was looking at the 18x24" Maple board from Boardsmith and that runs almost $300! Not sure if I can justify a board that costs twice as much as my knife!

 

Are there any edge-grain offerings that you would recommend? (Some posts mentioned that the Boos products aren't good?)

 

Thanks!

post #13 of 17
If you hang around the internet you'll always read something bad about everything. The complaints about Boos seem like real complaints but think about all of the boards they sell with no complaints. For a more affordable alternative look into JK Adams. I'm quite happy with mine, both edge grain and end grain.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

If you hang around the internet you'll always read something bad about everything. The complaints about Boos seem like real complaints but think about all of the boards they sell with no complaints. For a more affordable alternative look into JK Adams. I'm quite happy with mine, both edge grain and end grain.

 

It seems like JK Adams doesn't make 18x24"+ boards? Looks like they are either smaller than 18x24 or they have grooves along the edges (effectively smaller cutting area).

post #15 of 17
18x24 is pretty big for most home kitchens. The biggest I have is like 20x16 and is double sided. Often that is too big and a 17x12 is quite sufficient.
post #16 of 17
The boards with grooves are mostly for meat carving. Not so much for general cutting IMO.
post #17 of 17

Yes well I was assuming a decent sized kitchen.

 

But even 14x20 is considerably more spacious than 12x17, and even an 18x 24 will sit nicely enough atop a standard microwave, of course you'd probably want your counter to be at least 24 wide.

 

Extra free length on the counter isn't so important as you have a table, stovetop, etc for your mise bowls.

 

I do feel my 14x17 is a little dinky, but when you consider the whole dynamic it's tolerable as I said.

 

So of course sizes are debatable here.

 

Speaking of JK Adams, this one's end-grain, Cherry, nicely thick [for an added margin of durability against possible defects], 18x18 and a decent price. https://www.jkadams.com/collection-35

 

 

Rick

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