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Before you buy wood it is important that you know the different types of wood and what to which applications they are best suited. This article is geared towards the person who is looking to gather more information about wood before buying it for a particular project.


Hard and soft wood

Before we go over some of the more common types of wood there are two distinctions used to class woods; hard wood and soft wood. Hard woods is more dense in structure, most hard woods come deciduous trees, they woods are harder to cut through as well as to work with.


Soft wood trees on the other hand are less dense and easier to work with, they are derived from evergreens.




When looking to buy wood make sure that you understand the grades of wood. There are two basic grades which indicate quality these two grades are; select wood and common wood. Select wood are types of wood which you would use in products where the finishing is important, you would not paint over select wood for example. Common wood is the type of wood you would use for construction, it has more defects and not therefore not as prized. You will notice that the price of select wood is more expensive in comparison to common lumber.


Common woods


Pine wood: Starting with the most common soft wood we have pine wood. It has a white or pale yellow colour and is used mostly to make rustic wooden furniture.


Cedar wood: This aromatic wood has a red-brown colour with light streaks. It is used mainly for creating boxes and cupboards.


Hard wood


Mahogany: This is considered to be the best quality and strongest wood around. It can be identified by its reddish brown colour and distinctive markings. This wood is good for carving and furniture. It is very common as it offers great value for money when comparing price and quality.


Teak: Indigenous to South-east Asia and Africa this is a very strong and resistant wood. The colour of teak is yellow but can come in shades as dark as dark brown. It is a good carving wood and is used mostly for oriental style furniture.