Softwood vs. Hardwood

Softwood vs HardwoodWhether seasoned woodworking veteran or wet-behind-the-ears beginner, it’s important to identify the perfect type of wood for your project. If building furniture, cabinetry, flooring or small trinkets and toys, make sure you choose the right wood for the job – and guarantee that your woodworking project lasts for years to come.

There are two types of woods to consider when starting a project. Certain projects may call for softwood or hardwood – but how will you know what to use to create the perfect finished piece?

Softwoods, also known as soft timbers, are different from hardwoods – but not how you may think. Though not necessarily softer than hardwood, softwoods are identifiable by their lighter color and type of tree they’re produced from. Conifers such as cedars, pines, redwoods and spruces produce wonderful softwood, making them the ideal choice for furniture, cabinets and any project that calls for adhesive or finish due to their higher absorption abilities.

Hardwoods, sometimes referred to as hard timbers, are much denser than softwoods – though not necessarily stronger. Woods such as balsa, one of the lightest woods available, is a hardwood – so don’t let the name confuse you! Hardwoods originate from angiosperm trees and are recognizable by their broad leaves, complex internal structures and slow rate of growth. Woods such as oak, ash, elm and eucalyptus are hardwoods – perfect for projects like hardwood flooring and wood paneling, due to their dense internal structure and resistance to scratching.

No matter what type of project you are working on, remember to always choose the best type of wood, ensuring that your creation lasts and lasts.