Differences Between Hardwood and Softwood

Hardwood is generally obtained from broad leaves or deciduous trees where as the softwood is obtained from trees having needle shaped yes or conifers. The major differences between hardwood and softwood are given as under.

1Hardwood is dark in color.Softwood is light in color.
2Hardwood is heavy in weight.Softwood is light in weight.
3Hardwoods are harder and denser.Softwoods are comparatively lighter.
4Hard wood has less resin content.Feed softwoods are resinous.
5Hardwood doesn’t split quickly.Softwood gets split quickly.
6Hardwood is difficult to work.Softwood is easy to work.
7Its annual rings are close and often indistinct.Its annual rings are well spaced and quit distinct.
8It is slow growing.It is fast growing.
9It has good tensile and shear resistance.It has good tensile resistance but is weak across the fibers.
10It doesn’t catch fire very soon.It catches fire very soon.
11Hardwood is typically more expensive than softwood.Softwood is typically less expensive compared to hardwood.
12Examples of hardwood trees are alder, beech, hickory, mahogany, maple, teak, oak, and walnut.Examples of softwood trees are cedar, douglas fir, juniper, pine, spruce, redwood, and yew.

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All Comments

  • One of the attributes listed for softwoods says:

    “For a given mass flow rate, it requires less Frontal area.”

    This is clearly an editing error as this comment applies to fluid flow. The comment probably should have said that the softwood is easier to work.

    Kim Aaron Jan 9, 2016 11:51 pm Reply
    • Thanks for pointing out.

      Vinodh Reddy Chennu Jan 10, 2016 10:05 am Reply
  • Comes from gymnosperm trees which usually have needles and cones. Medullary rays and tracheids transport water and produce sap. When viewed under a microscope, softwoods have no visible pores because of tracheids.

    Hosting Jun 2, 2016 4:27 pm Reply

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