Uses of hardwood and softwood and their types

This article describes the most common types of soft and hardwood and their characteristics and uses.


Common hardwood and softwood

When we say softwood, it does not necessarily mean that it is weaker and less dense than hardwoods. The main difference between hardwood and softwood is how they reproduce. Softwoods are among the stumps and hardwoods are among the stalks. Softwoods come from pine trees such as cypress, poplar wood, and pine, and are somewhat yellow or reddish. Because most pine trees grow fast and straight, their wood, called softwood, is typically cheaper than hardwood.

It is relatively easy to find stable softwoods. (Sustainable woods are woods grown on tree plantations to ensure endless reserves of wood.) If we use these types of wood, we will not participate in the deforestation process of the world. And we always have a source of wood for our designs.

Here is a list of common types of softwoods and their characteristics. (On a scale of 1 to 4, 1 is the softest wood.)


Cypress wood

The most common type of Cypress is its western red variety. Western red cypress wood, as its name implies, has a reddish color. This type of wood is relatively soft (1 on a scale of 1 to 4) with straight veins and a slightly fragrant scent. Western red cypress wood is mostly used for outdoor designs such as furniture, ship decks, and the appearance of buildings because it can withstand humid environments without deterioration. The price of western red cypress wood is moderate and can be found in many carpenters.

Cypress wood is one of the most fragrant woods and is strong enough to withstand natural environments. So great for ship decks and furniture.


Poplar wood

The most famous Poplar wood is the Douglas Poplar. This wood has clear straight veins and its color is reddish-brown. Poplar is often used for construction; However, it is cheap and can be used to make some furniture. Poplar does not have a very interesting streak pattern and does not polish well, so the best time to use it is when you want to paint the final product.

Douglas poplar is somewhat sturdy and is among the hardwood and softwood. On a scale of 1 to 4, its scale is 4.

This wood is very common in carpentry and its price is very cheap. This will probably tempt you to make something with Poplar wood.



Rustic pine wood, Russian wood veneer, sandblast, wood paint, wood carving.

Pine has different cultivars, including Russian pine, Christmas pine, white pine, and yellow pine. From all of them, excellent furniture is made. Pine is very easy to work with because most varieties are relatively soft and good for carving.

Pine is commonly used in furniture making because it is easy to shape and polish.

In general, pine polishes very well. Of course, Russian pine can leak sap, so be careful when using this type of pine. Pine is available by most carpenters, but the pinewood found in carpentry is often of a lower grade than lumber sellers. Of course, it also depends on the style of carpentry. Some are custom builders and use the best pine species. Like Finnish pine

Like cypress wood, the mammoth tree is mostly used for outdoor designs due to its moisture resistance. The mammoth tree is relatively soft and has straight veins. As its name suggests, its color is reddish. The mammoth tree is easy to work with, relatively soft (2 on a scale of 1 to 4) and moderately priced. Found in carpentry.

Most carpenters are interested in working with hardwood and softwood. The variety of colors, textures, and patterns of the veins makes some interesting furniture made of this type of wood. What limits the consumption of hardwood trees is their price. Tools made from some species of this tree can be very expensive.

Some hardwoods are now very difficult to find because they are cut rudely without worrying about their extinction. (An example is Brazilian violet rosewood.) This is not only a waste to the environment, but also drastically increases the price of these woods. If you can, try to buy wood from sustainable forests. (Commercial tree plantations where wood supply is guaranteed.) This can support sustainable forestry.

Here is a list of the most common hardwoods and softwoods and their characteristics. (On a hardness scale of one to 5, 5 is the hardest wood.)


Is redwood hard or softwood?

Examples of forest trees include alder, oyster, beech, hickory, mahogany, maple, oak, teak, and walnut. Examples of softwoods are cedar, Douglas, Poplar, pine, red, and yu. Most hardwoods have a higher density than most softwoods. Most chopped wood has a lower density than most wood.


Sparrow tongue wood

The color of sparrow tongue wood ranges from white to pale brown and has straight veins. Working with this wood is simple (hardness 4 on a scale of 1 to 5). It also polishes very nicely but it gets harder and harder to find. This wood is not found in carpentry and is available in larger lumber shops. Sparrow's tongue is a good alternative to white oak.



Birch has two different types: yellow and white. Yellow birch is a pale yellow to white and the inside of the wood is reddish-brown. White birch has a whiter color that resembles maple. Both types of birch trees have a hardness of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. Birch is readily available and cheaper than many other hardwoods and softwoods. Birch can be found in many carpenters, although it is better to get them from lumber shops.

Birch is cheap and has many fans. That is why it is often used to make furniture.

Birch is strong and easy to work with. However, it isn't easy to polish because the polish is not applied evenly. So you may prefer to paint anything you make with this wood.


Cherry wood

Cherries are very popular and have many uses. It is also easy to work with. It polishes and ages beautifully. The color of the inner part of the cherry wood is reddish-brown. Its outer layer is almost white.

Cherries have a hardness of 2 on a scale of 1 to 5. The use of this wood to make furniture is very common and is available in sustainable growth forests. Cherry wood is not found in carpentry, so you should visit lumber shops. The reason is the demand, the price of cherry wood is somewhat more expensive compared to other hardwood and softwood such as oak and maple.



One of the hardwoods and softwoods for furniture is mahogany. (This wood is also called Honduran Mahogany.) The color of red mahogany is a deep brown to deep red. Its veins are straight, its texture is medium and its hardness is about 2 on a scale of 1 to 5. It polishes very well and looks great with just one coat of oil.

The only drawback is that mahogany does not grow in sustainable forests. You will not find mahogany in carpentry. The only place to find mahogany is in the lumberyard, and the price is affordable.


Maple wood

Maple has two different types: soft and hard. Both figures are harder than many other kinds of wood. Hard maple (5 on a scale of 1 to 5) is very hard to work with, but soft maple is relatively easy to work with.

Both varieties are more durable than many other kinds of wood due to their softness and straight veins and are also cheaper than other hardwoods and softwoods. Maple can not be found in carpentry and you have to go to lumber shops to buy it.



Oak is one of the most widely used hardwoods and softwood for furniture. Oak is available in two varieties, red and white. Sturdy oak (hardness about 4 on a scale of 1 to 5) and easy to work with. White oak is preferred for making furniture because it has a more attractive appearance compared to red oak. White oak is resistant to moisture and can be used in outdoor furniture.

Oak is commonly used for flooring and furniture because many people like its streaks.

Oak is one of the hardwood and softwood that can be cut from a radius into 4 parts. White oak cut in this way is cheaper than some other hardwoods such as cherries. The oak veins have a beautiful pattern and electricity. Red oak can be found in many carpenters, but if you are looking for white oak, visit lumber shops.


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