The hardness or softness of woods is something most woodworkers need to know at some time or another. Thankfully the flooring industry (where hardness is crucial) has taken the time to test and rate most of the woods available around the world for their hardness.

As a woodworker, sometimes I am involved in building a particular project and would like to know the hardness of different woods I may be contemplating. For example, anyone who make musical instruments like guitars, banjos or Ukeleles, need to know the hardness of woods for the necks of these instruments as well as the finger boards.

In making guitars and banjos the necks can be made of many different materials ranging from mahoganies to hard maples but in most cases the finger boards are made of Rosewood. Knowing the hardness of these woods can help the woodworker select other woods that may also be suitable for the job. Or if you are looking for something that needs be hard wearing or soft wearing, it's sometimes necessary to know the hardness. If you are one of those woodworkers how likes to make their own wooden hinges and clasps for a project, harder woods are needed.

Carvers on the other hand are often looking for woods that are softer for carving. Knowing what woods are softer can help them determine what woods they might want to carve. Not every carver wants to carve the softest woods, sometimes picking a particular wood is a necesseity depending on what a client might want, so READ MORE to see the actual hardness scales of some selected woods. If you need more, please search for the Janka Hardness Scale.

Lignum vitae / Guayacan / Pockenholz 4500 
   IpĂȘ / "Brazilian Walnut"
  Red Mahogany, Turpentine
  Mesquite   2345
 Bubinga, Cameron
  Hickory / Pecan, Satinwood  
 African Padauk
  Black Locust
  Wenge, Red Pine
  Hard Maple / Sugar Maple
  Natural Bamboo
 White Oak
  Ash (White)
  American Beech
   Red Oak (Northern)     
  Yellow Birch, Iroko Kambala
  Cocobolo   1136
  Black Walnut/North American Walnut
  Black Cherry, Paper Birch    910 
  Lacewood, Leopardwood
  African Mahogany
 Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany    
 Southern Yellow Pine
  Douglas Fir   660
  Alder (Red)
 Chestnut   540
 Hemlock    500
  White Pine    420 
 Eastern White Pine

Copyright - Colin Knecht