How to Choose Lumber for Woodworking

Hardwoods have broad leaves that they shed annually, they produce a nut or fruit. North American examples are: ash, cherry, oak, maple and poplar species.

Softwoods have needles instead of leaves. North American examples are fir, cedar, pine, hemlock, redwood and spruce.

Tropical Hardwoods are not not native to the USA examples would be mahogany, rosewood, teak and wenge.

A wood’s Janka rating tells you how hard it is. The higher the number, the harder the wood. Below I have put a printable Janka chart that you can download.

To download the Janka chart right click on the link below and select “Save target as”.

Download Janka Chart