Softwood and hardwood are two different types of wood. To choose between these two types of wood one must know the differences between them. The main differences between Softwood and Hardwood are given below.

Softwood vs Hardwood
CharacteristicsSoftwoodHardwood
Source Softwood is collected from conifer trees which are evergreen having needle-shaped leaves. these are generally gymnosperms. Hardwood is obtained from deciduous trees (loses leaves in autumn). They are basically angiosperms.
Fibre Less dense, strait fiber is found. In case of hardwood, the fibers are quite close and dense.
Resin quality It is resinous wood contains good and regular texture and fragrant smell. Non-resinous woods have enough acid.
Weight Lightweight and softer than hardwood. Heavyweight and harder than softwood.
Colour Softwood is light in color. Normally these are dark colored woods.
Resistance to fire poorer than hardwood, burn at a high rate. better than softwood. Burn at a very slow rate.
Weather resistance If they are modified or treated then these may become resistant to whether having an environmental impact. Naturally resistant to whether having a less environmental impact.
Duration Less durable wood. Hardwoods are highly durable and last for several decades.
Ring structure Distinct annual rings are found. The annual rings are not distinct.
Medullary rays Indistinct medullary rays. Distinct medullary rays.
Growth rate Soft wood trees grow faster than hardwood trees. The growth rate of this type of trees is slower.
Wood branching Creates more branch or shoots. Have fewer shoots.
Tensile and shear strength Well tensile and comparatively weaker shear strength. Good tensile and shear strength.
Cost Less expensive. More expensive.
Uses Paper pulp, paper, solid wood products, Woodwares like homes and cabins and also for furniture. Generally flooring and furniture. Also used for papermaking.
Workability Easier to carve. Difficult to curve.
Example Black willow (Salix nigra), Redwood (Sequoioideae sp). Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus).

 

 
 

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