Welcome to our list of the top 20 hardest woods in the world. From dense African Ironwood to the famously hard Lignum Vitae, we’ll explore some of the toughest woods on the planet and why they’re so resilient. We’ll also take a look at how these woods are used and where they come from. So let’s get started and find out which woods make it onto our list of the top 20 hardest woods in the world!1. Lignum Vitae: Considered the “wood of life”, Lignum Vitae is the hardest and heaviest wood in the world. It comes from Central and South America and is extremely dense and oily.
2. Ebony: This wood comes from tropical trees found in Africa and India, and is so dark it looks almost black. The heartwood of this wood is so hard it can be polished to a glass-like finish.
3. Ironwood: This durable wood comes from several species around the world, but is especially common in Australia. It’s known for its strength, hardness, and resistance to rot.
4. Snakewood: Found in South America’s Amazon rainforest, snakewood gets its name from its serpentine grain pattern that resembles snake skin when viewed closely. It’s a difficult wood to work with due to its density and hardness.
5. Sandalwood: This fragrant wood hails from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; specifically from the Santalum tree family varieties that are very slow-growing and hardy. It has long been sought out for its uses in perfume, incense, furniture making, etc., due to its unique aroma and durability.
6. Teak: A tropical hardwood found primarily in Southeast Asia, teak is widely used due to its water resistance as well as its strength compared to other woods found across the globe.
7. Rosewood: Derived from several different species of trees originating from tropical regions like Central America, rosewood has been used for centuries in furniture making due to its strong scent and durability when exposed to weathering or use over time .
8. Bocote: This Mexican timber varies greatly in colors ranging from yellowish brown to dark brown with black streaks throughout it; making it a popular choice for musical instruments such as guitars or violins .
9. Brazilian Walnut: Also known as “Ipe” this tropical hardwood grows mainly in Brazil but can also be found growing throughout Central America as well . It is one of the most durable woods available today , which makes it a great choice for use on decks or outdoor furniture .
10 Mahogany: This classic hardwood gets its name from the Moghul emperor who popularized it centuries ago . Mahogany is remarkably strong , yet lightweight , making it an ideal choice for all sorts of furniture construction .
11 Jarrah : This Australian timber species has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio , making it an excellent choice for flooring , decking , framing , and joinery work . Its dark red hue also adds a nice touch of color when used indoors .
12 Wenge : A unique African timber often used in cabinetry work , wenge has remarkable hardness that makes it ideal for use on tabletops or other high-traffic items such as kitchen countertops . Its unique brown stripes make it stand out among other woods too !
13 Pau Ferro : Hailing from Brazil , pau ferro has a rich reddish-brown hue that makes it popular among luthiers who build musical instruments such as guitars or basses . Its strength also makes it an ideal choice for furniture construction as well .
14 Osage Orange : Native to North America , osage orange has long been prized by Native Americans for use on bows ; but nowadays this durable hardwood can be used on any number of projects because of its exceptional strength .
15 Cocobolo : An exotic hardwood found primarily in Central American countries such as Costa Rica , cocobolo gets its name from the Spanish word “coco” which means “nut” – because of how much like coconuts these trees look when they are young !
16 Monkeypod : Growing naturally throughout Hawaii , monkeypod trees produce beautiful golden hues when their wood is cut into boards ; making them popular choices among builders looking to add a touch of elegance to their projects .
17 Purpleheart : Found mainly throughout Central America , purpleheart gets its namesake because of how deep purple coloration becomes when exposed to sunlight over time – giving off an almost iridescent sheen !
18 Bloodwood : An exotic Brazilian timber species with an unmistakable deep red hue ; bloodwood has long been sought after by turners due to how easy it cuts when being worked with lathes or other tools designed specifically for turning pieces into finished works of art !
19 Hickory : Found across North American forests ranging everywhere between Canada down through Texas ; hickory is one of the most common types of wood used by carpenters because of how strong yet lightweight it can be once properly dried out after harvesting !
20 Shedua : A rare African timber species often thought only found within African countries such as Cameroon or Ivory Coast ; shedua wood features beautiful golden yellow streaks throughout each board –
Understanding the Janka Scale
The Janka scale is a widely recognized and accepted measurement of the hardness of wood. It was developed by an Austrian-born wood researcher named Gabriel Janka in 1906 and has been used ever since as the standard for measuring the hardness of various woods. The Janka scale is measured in pounds-force (lbf) and is a measure of the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball into the wood to a depth of half its diameter. The higher the number, the harder the wood.
The Janka scale can be useful when comparing different types of wood and deciding which one is best for a particular project or application. Different woods have different levels of hardness, so it’s important to understand what each type offers in terms of durability and strength before making a decision. Knowing the Janka rating can help you select the right type of wood for your project, as well as give you an idea of how long it will last.
In addition to being useful for comparing different types of wood, understanding the Janka scale can also help you determine how much wear and tear your flooring or furniture will experience over time. Knowing what type of wood is most durable and can withstand heavy traffic can help you make an informed decision when purchasing flooring or furniture. The rating also takes into account things like moisture content, which can affect how long your furniture or flooring will last before needing to be replaced or refinished.
Lignum Vitae is one of the hardest woods in the world, with a measured strength of 4500 lbf. Due to its superior strength and durability, it is often used in applications where high strength and resistance to wear are needed. Lignum Vitae has been used for centuries in shipbuilding, furniture-making, and even as a construction material. It is also highly resistant to rot and insect damage, making it an ideal choice for outdoor applications. Additionally, its unique color adds an attractive touch to any project. Lignum Vitae is a popular choice among woodworkers for its unique properties and attractive appearance. Whether you’re looking for a strong building material or an elegant finish for your woodworking project, Lignum Vitae is the perfect choice.
Mahogany is a type of wood that is known for its strength and beauty. It has a high density, which makes it very durable and capable of withstanding heavy loads. The wood also has an attractive reddish-brown color that adds to its beauty. It is often used for furniture, cabinetry, paneling, and other woodworking applications. Mahogany has a Janka hardness rating of 1,010 lbf, making it one of the most durable woods available.
Black walnut is a type of hardwood that is known for its durability and strength. It has a dark brownish-black color that makes it attractive for many woodworking projects. Its density gives it excellent resistance to wear and tear and makes it suitable for furniture, cabinetry, paneling, and other applications. Black walnut has a Janka hardness rating of 1120 lbf making it one of the hardest woods available.
African blackwood is an incredibly dense hardwood that is known for its strength and beauty. It has an attractive black color that adds to its aesthetic appeal and makes it suitable for many different woodworking applications. African blackwood has an exceptionally high Janka hardness rating of 3680 lbf making it one of the strongest woods available today.
Pine is one of the most common wood species used in woodworking projects. It is a softwood that offers good strength and durability, as well as being easy to work with. Pine is often used for furniture, cabinets, doors, and even musical instruments. The average strength of pine wood is about 890 lbf (pounds-force).
Oak is an extremely popular type of hardwood used in woodworking projects. It has a beautiful grain pattern and comes in a variety of colors ranging from light to dark. Oak is known for its excellent strength, durability, and ability to withstand moisture. On average, oak wood has a strength rating of 1360 lbf.
Maple is another type of hardwood commonly used in woodworking projects. It has a light color with occasional streaks of darker color throughout the grain. Maple is often used for making furniture and cabinets due to its strength and durability. The average strength rating for maple wood is 1630 lbf.
Hickory is a very strong hardwood that offers good resistance to wear and tear. Its distinct grain pattern makes it an attractive choice for many furniture projects including chairs, tables, desks, and other cabinetry items. Hickory has an impressive strength rating of 1820 lbf on average.
Alder is a common choice of wood for instruments due to its lightweight, yet strong properties. The average Janka rating for Alder is 860 lbf, making it one of the softer hardwoods used for making musical instruments. The lighter weight of Alder also makes it easier to work with and more comfortable to play. It has a warm and balanced tone that lends itself well to all styles of music.
Ash is another popular wood used in the construction of musical instruments, particularly electric guitars. It has a slightly higher Janka rating than Alder at 1320 lbf, making it slightly harder and more durable. Ash has a brighter tone than Alder, which can be great for genres such as rock or metal where a bright sound may be desired. Ash also has good sustain and resonance, which can give your instrument great clarity and definition when played.
Maple is another popular choice of wood for musical instruments due to its strength and durability. The Janka rating for Maple is 1450 lbf, making it significantly harder than both Alder and Ash. Maple has a bright sound with plenty of articulation and clarity, making it well suited to genres such as rock or jazz where the definition in your playing needs to be heard clearly. It also has good sustain properties, adding depth and richness to your instrument’s tone.
Mahogany is one of the hardest woods used in the construction of musical instruments with an exceptionally high Janka rating of 1880 lbf. Mahogany has a warm and rounded tone that lends itself well to genres such as blues or folk where warmth might be desired in your sound. It also has good projection properties which can make your instrument sound loud even when played softly.
Macassar Ebony is one of the hardest woods used in musical instrument construction with an incredibly high Janka rating of 1810 lbf. This makes Macassar Ebony an excellent choice for those looking for maximum strength and durability in their instrument’s construction material. Macassar Ebony has a very bright sound with lots of clarity and articulation that works well in genres such as metal or punk where you want your playing to really cut through the mix.
American Oak is a type of hardwood that is known for its strength and durability. It has an average strength of 1660 pounds-force (lbf) and is commonly used in construction and furniture making. American Oak is quite popular for its stability and resistance to moisture, making it a great choice for outdoor applications. Its color varies from light tan to dark brown, with the darker shades being more desirable. It is also known for its ability to take stains easily, making it very versatile. American Oak can be found in many different styles, from rustic to contemporary.
Redwood is another type of hardwood that is known for its durability and strength. It has an average strength of 1320 lbf and is often used in construction, joinery, furniture making, and shipbuilding. Redwood is a soft wood with a reddish-brown color that ranges from light to dark depending on the species. It is highly resistant to moisture and decay, making it perfect for outdoor applications such as decks, fences, siding, and other structures. Redwood’s natural beauty makes it a popular choice for furniture and cabinetry as well as building projects.
Teak is a tropical hardwood native to Southeast Asia that has long been prized for its beauty and durability. Teak has an average strength of 1420 lbf and holds up well against the elements like sun exposure, rot, insects, warping, and water damage. Teak’s natural oils make it especially resistant to moisture and decay so it’s often used in marine applications such as boat decks as well as outdoor projects like decking or siding. The wood’s golden-brown color deepens with age when exposed to sunlight creating beautiful patinas that further enhance its beauty over time.
Mahogany is yet another type of hardwood that has long been prized by woodworkers due to its beauty, stability, strength, and durability. Mahogany averages 1650 lbf when tested on the Janka scale which measures hardness in woods; this makes it one of the strongest hardwoods available today which makes it perfect for high traffic areas or items that may experience more wear and tear over time such as flooring or furniture pieces like tables or chairs. Mahogany’s rich reddish-brown color also adds warmth to any room while its tight grain pattern adds texture which further enhances the look of any project made with this wood species.
Brazilian Ironwood (Ipe) is another strong tropical hardwood with an impressive average Janka hardness rating of 1790 lbf making it one of the strongest woods available today. Brazilian Ironwood’s naturally oily character makes it incredibly resistant against rot or decay while also protecting against water damage or insect infestation; these qualities make Brazilian Ironwood ideal for outdoor projects like decking or siding where weather can cause problems over time if not properly protected. Brazilian Ironwood’s color ranges from olive brown to dark brown with stripes throughout giving each piece unique character; this makes Brazilian Ironwood ideal for larger projects where you need consistent coloring throughout but still want each board’s grain pattern visible enough to add texture without being overwhelming
African Mahogany is a popular wood type that is durable and strong. It has a reddish-brown color with a straight grain, and it has a fine texture that makes it ideal for furniture making. African Mahogany has a Janka hardness rating of 1540 lbf, making it well suited for cabinetry and flooring applications. Its strength and durability make it an excellent choice for many woodworking projects.
Honduran Mahogany is another popular wood type that is strong and durable. It has a reddish-brown to golden brown color with a interlocked grain, making it ideal for furniture-making. Honduran Mahogany has a Janka hardness rating of 2200 lbf, making it well suited for cabinetry and flooring projects. It is also often used in boat building due to its strength and water resistance.
Teak is an extremely strong and durable hardwood that is popular in outdoor applications such as decking, outdoor furniture, and boatbuilding. It has a yellowish-brown color with an interlocked grain pattern, giving it an attractive appearance that makes it ideal for many uses. Teak has a Janka hardness rating of 1820 lbf, making it well suited for heavy use applications such as flooring or outdoor decks.
Jatoba is an extremely hard wood with a reddish-brown color that makes it ideal for many uses. It has an interlocked grain pattern that gives it an attractive appearance, making it well suited for furniture or cabinetry projects. Jatoba has a Janka hardness rating of 2350 lbf, making it one of the hardest woods available on the market today. This makes it perfect for high traffic areas such as hallways or kitchen floors where durability is important.
Brazilian Walnut (also known as Ipe) is one of the most popular hardwoods on the market today due to its extreme strength and durability. It has an orange/brown to black color with fine texture which makes it perfect for furniture or cabinetry projects. Brazilian Walnut has a Janka hardness rating of 3680 lbf, making it one of the hardest woods available on the market today. This makes Brazilian Walnut perfect for heavy use applications such as flooring or outdoor decks where durability is important.
Bolivian Rosewood is another strong hardwood type with excellent durability that makes it perfect for many projects such as furniture-making or cabinetry work. Bolivian Rosewood has dark brown to black color with interlocked grain pattern which gives this wood its beautiful appearance. Bolivian Rosewood also features an impressive Janka hardness rating of 1725 lbf which adds to its incredible strength and durability properties, making this wood ideal for heavy use applications in areas where durability matters most.
The 20 hardest woods in the world are incredibly strong and durable. They have unique properties that make them resistant to decay, rot, and other forms of damage. Many of these woods are also quite beautiful, making them a great choice for furniture and other decorative pieces. Each species has its own set of characteristics, so it is important to understand the details before making a purchase. With their strength and longevity, these woods can provide lasting beauty for any home or business.
Overall, the 20 hardest woods in the world offer an array of benefits that make them a great choice for any project. They are strong and durable, yet still beautiful and unique. Whether you need to build something to last or find something attractive to spruce up your home or office, one of these woods may be just what you’re looking for.