Size of Cutting Boards:
Your first consideration should be how much counter space you have. Every kitchen should have at least one large cutting board. The bigger the board, the less you will find yourself fussing as the larger surface area of a cutting board gives you more space to work with. You are likely to leave it where it sits, as a good-size cutting board weighs a good deal. So buy a cutting board that fits your counter space.
A stylish wood cutting board may also enhance the look of your kitchen. Small cutting boards are convenient for clean up and cutting small things quickly (for example a garnish or some cheese).
Shape and Thickness of Cutting Boards:
The second question is which shape works best for you? Your main choices are rectangular, square, or round. Be sure that if you buy a cutting board that is several inches thick, its surface does not sit so high on your counter top that you can not cut on it comfortably. Do not choose style over substance.
Types of Wood Cutting Boards:
End-Grain Cutting Boards (reversible):
End-Grain Cutting Boards are the best cutting boards to be found and will meet the needs of the most discerning customer. More durable than regular cutting boards, these end-grain boards look beautiful on your counter top. An end-grain is a much harder surface and has a greater tolerance for the chopping motion. These boards give a truly resistant cutting surface while being kind to the blade’s sharp edge.
The old fashioned cutting boards were always end-grain design (the chopping block) for a reason, it keeps the knives much sharper. Instead of crushing against the wood fibers the blade goes between them much like cutting into a firm brush. You will find that your blade edges last much longer, and you will see no knife marks on the board.
When the individual boards of wood are arranged so that the grain of the wood runs vertically (up and down), this puts one end of each board up so that the cutting surface is actually the end of many individual pieces of hardwood. With the grain aligned in this manner (up and down), when the knife strikes the surface during cutting, the grain of the wood actually separates and then closes when the knife is removed. This accounts for the self-healing aspect of the end-grain surface. The wood itself is not cut, but instead you are cutting between the fibers.
Flat-Grain (Edge) Cutting Boards (reversible):
Flat-Grain Cutting Boards are also one of the best-selling cutting boards for the kitchen – excellent value chopping board and the perfect companion in the kitchen.
The majority of wood cutting boards you can buy today are flat grain design. The main reason for this is that they are significantly easier to manufacture.