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The type of wood people choose determines the strength and beauty of the finished piece. There are many kinds of woods available and each of them has its own characteristics. The following sections will give some exposure to some of the common types of soft and hardwoods.

#1 Softwoods

Softwoods are not less in strength as compared to hardwoods. Coniferous trees, such as fir, pine and tend, are the main sources of Softwoods. Softwoods are comparatively less expensive than hardwoods because most of the growth of the coniferous tree is fast and straight.
Below listed are the common types of softwood with characteristics.


Cedar lumber

Cedar lumber – Source ( Wikipedia)

The Western red variety is the most general type of cedar. It is a reddish color. This type of wood has a quite aromatic smell, straight gain and is relatively soft. As it can withstand moist environment without rotting, it is mainly used for outdoor projects like the desk, furniture, building exterior etc. It is moderately priced and can be found at any common home centers.


Fir Board

Fir Board – Source (Flickr)

This type of softwood is also known as Douglas fir. Fir has reddish-brown tint and has straight pronounced grain. It is mostly used for buildings but can also be used for making furniture because of its less price. Fir is moderately hard and strong.


Pine Wood

Pine Wood – Source (Pexels)

Pine is available in many varieties, including Ponderosa, Sugar, Yellow, and White, and each of them is used to make quality furniture. Pine is available in most of the home centers.


An amplifier made of Redwood

An amplifier made of Redwood – Source (Wikipedia)

Redwood is mostly used for outdoor purposes, as it resists the moisture. It has straight grain and is fairly soft. As its name suggests, it has a reddish tint. it is relatively soft and convenient to work with. Redwood is available at local home centers at the moderate price.

#2 Hardwoods

Most of the woodworkers prefer to use hardwoods. The variety of textures and colours of hardwoods makes it more preferable to make beautiful furniture. The only issue to use hardwood is its cost, it is expensive as compared to Softwoods.
Below listed are the common types of hardwoods with characteristics.


Ash Wood Grain – Source (Hull Forest Products)

It is a straight grain and white to pale brown wood. It’s pretty convenient to work with it and it reacts to stain quite nicely. It’s very difficult to find Ash, as it is not available at local home centers. Ash can only be found at the bigger lumberyard.


Birch Wood Trunk

Birch Wood Trunk – Source (Pixabay)

Birch is available in white and yellow varieties. The hardness level of both types of birch is pretty good. These type of hardwoods are easily available and are less expensive. Birch can be found at any local home centers, but it’s good to get it from the lumberyard. Birch is stable and convenient to work with.


Cherry Wood Cross-Section

Cherry Wood Cross-Section – Source (Flickr)

It is one of the most preferred and very popular wood. The heartwood of cherry is reddish-brown in color and sapwood is almost white in color. It offers average hardness and ages beautifully. It is one of the most common woods used for making furniture. To get the cherry it necessary to visit the lumberyard as it is not available at local home centers. Due to its increasing demand, its price is increasing as compared to other domestic hardwoods.



Mahogany Card Table American

Mahogany Card Table American – Source (Wikipedia)


It is considered as one of the best furniture wood. Mahogany has a straight grain and average hardness. It reacts to stains very nicely and gives good look with just one coat of oil. Not being grown in the sustainable forest is the only drawback of Mahogany. Mahogany is not available at local home centers and thus you will have to visit lumberyard, and it will cost.


Curly Maple Wood Bench

Curly Maple Wood Bench – Source (Wikipedia)

Maples are available in two varieties: hard and soft. Both of these Maple varieties are harder and stable as compared to most of the other woods. They are also less expensive than other types of hardwoods. Maples are not available at local home centers, it can be found only at the lumberyard.


Oak Wood Texture – Source (Pixabay)

It is one of the widely used woods for making furniture. It is available in two varieties: white and red. The Oak offers a great level of hardness and is convenient to work with. Because of having a more attractive figure as compared to Red Oak, White Oak is used for furniture-making. White Oak can be used for outdoor purposes as it resists moisture. Red Oak can be available at local home centers but white oak can only be found at the lumberyard.


Poplar Wood Cross Section

Poplar Wood Cross Section – Source (Wikipedia)

Poplar is one of the fairly soft hardwoods that make it easy to work with and is less expensive.The heartwood of Poplar has some green or brown streaks. Generally, Poplars are not used in furniture-making as it is not one of the beautiful wood, and if it is used, mostly get painted. Poplars can be used to make drawers because it is stable and less expensive. Poplars can be found at any large home stores but it will be good choice to get it from the lumberyard.


Teak Wood Texture

Teak Wood Texture – Source (Wikipedia)

Teak is becoming one of the rarest hardwood with time. Teak is one of the best weather-resistant and beautiful, but is very expensive. It is golden brown in color and has an oily feel. It’s average in hardness level. It can only be available from specialist suppliers or larger lumberyard.


Walnut Wood Texture

Walnut Wood Texture – Source (Pixnio)

It offers a great level of hardness and is rich brown wood. Walnut is too much expensive and it’s very difficult to find it for large projects. However, Walnut is still one of the best wood to work with and give satisfactory results and lasting. Walnut is not available at the local home center and if a huge quantity of Walnut is needed then you will have to special order it from the lumberyard.