Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood

Hardwood vs Softwood

What is Hardwood? Wood obtained from angiosperm trees are referred to as hardwood. This type of wood is mostly temperate and broad leaved. The name ‘Hardwood’ doesn’t always imply that this type of wood is always hard and it can be soft as well. The range of hardness varies a lot along with the density of different forms of hardwood. There are types of hardwood which are either very soft and on the other hand there are hardwoods which are too much hard. Hardwood is used in the construction of houses, in the manufacture of utensils for cooking purposes as well as in the manufacturing of different types of furniture. One special property of this wood is that it has pores in it.

What is Softwood? Types of wood that are obtained from conifers are referred to as Softwood. These types of wood are also called Fuchwood, Clarkwood or Madmanwood. Trees from which softwood is obtained are usually softer than those from which hardwood is obtained. However, there are types of softwood which can be harder than different types of hardwoods. Trees from which softwood is acquired are mostly fast-growing trees. Mostly, softwood is obtained from trees which stay green through all the weathers. A number of furniture, utensils and appliances are made from softwood due to the reason that it is easily renewable as compared to hardwood.

Difference between Hardwood and Softwood

Softwood and hardwood are obtained from different types of trees and there are a number of differences between these two. Some of these differences are discussed here. Hardwood is obtained from trees which are present in various parts of the world whereas Softwood is obtained specifically from trees that are present in Northern Hemisphere. Rate of growth of hardwood is slower than that of softwood making softwood mostly used type of wood in furniture. Trees which provide hardwood fall down at their stage of maturity while softwood trees are commonly known as ‘Evergreen’ trees due to their long life. Hardwood is highly dense as compared to the softwood which is less dense. Though softwood is used in furniture industry at a large scale, it has low durability as compared to hardwood. Softwood is used on a large scale for the manufacturing of furniture and to build homes and cabins. Hardwood is used at a smaller scale and is found in furniture manufacturing and trimmings but at a lower scale compared to softwood. Cost of hardwood is high as compared to that of softwood. Hardwood is much expensive resulting in limited use of hardwood in furniture and other areas. The microscopic structure of both types of wood is also different from each other. Cells of only two kinds are present in Softwood which is transverse ray cells and longitudinal wood fibers. On the other hand, hardwood has pores in it which allows easy transportation of water in hardwood as compared to softwood. Hardwood is commonly used in flooring and in the manufacture of high quality furniture. Hardwood is also employed in construction of boats and wooden toys. Softwood is used in the construction of some of the buildings, ladders, and in decking as well as some furniture.