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Why End Grain?

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This picture is a great representation of the difference between a "face grain board" and an "end grain board". Note how the knife's edge goes between the grain fibers of the end grain board yet cuts through the fibers of the face grain board. The grain fibers of the end grain board close when the knife is retracted, also known as self-healing, however with a face grain board the grain fibers are cut and will not close. The deep cuts on the face grain board also offer a unique home for trapped bacteria. The wood species used in this scratch test is "white oak". Scratch test results will differ slightly in both "face grain" and "end grain" scratch testing depending on wood species, though with only minor variances. Pictures show a very accurate representation of scratch test results based upon the wood species and Janka hardness of the wood used in my end grain boards.

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Face grain board scratch test prior to mineral oil treatment. Knife marks clearly visible. Microscopic wood particles added to food ingredients. Wood grain is cut, dulling the knife

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Face grain board scratch test after mineral oil treatment. Knife marks remain clearly visible.

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End grain board scratch test prior to mineral oil treatment. Knife edge goes between wood grain fibers and does not cut actual grain, thus saving the knife's sharp edge. No wood particles added to food ingredients and minute visible knife marks.

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End grain board scratch test after mineral oil treatment. Knife marks are almost invisible to the naked eye. To sum it up; end grain boards are the most gentle on your knife's edge, saving your knife investment cost, sharpening time and allowing a safer food prep with a properly sharp knife. End grain boards do not contribute microscopic wood particles to your foods. The aesthetic beauty of these end grain boards, though not a functional benefit, certainly does add sophistication to any kitchen.