What Wood to Use for Woodworking: A Beginner’s Guide

What Wood to Use for Your Woodworking Projects

Woodworking is a fun and rewarding hobby that allows you to create beautiful and functional furniture and home decor items. However, if you’re new to woodworking, choosing the right type of wood can be intimidating. With so many options available, it’s hard to know where to start. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore the best types of wood for woodworking projects, their different characteristics, and what they’re best used for.

Softwoods vs Hardwoods

Before we dive into specific types of wood, let’s talk about the two main categories: softwoods and hardwoods. Softwoods come from coniferous trees and are typically cheaper, lighter, and easier to work with. Some common softwoods include pine, spruce, and cedar. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees and are generally more expensive, heavier, and denser. Some common hardwoods include oak, maple, and cherry.

knock down frames pine


Pine is a popular choice for beginners because it’s widely available and affordable. It’s a softwood that’s easy to work with and takes stains and finishes well. Pine has a pale yellow color with dark knots and is often used for rustic furniture and decorative items.

wooden chair pine


Spruce is another softwood that’s easy to work with and has a light color. It’s often used for interior trim, framing, and construction. Spruce is not as strong as other softwoods and is best used for smaller projects.

cedar drawer lining


Cedar is a softwood that’s known for its pleasant aroma and natural insect repellent properties. It’s often used for outdoor furniture, closets, and storage chests. Cedar has a reddish-brown color and is resistant to decay and moisture.

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oak dining table


Oak is a popular hardwood that’s known for its strength and durability. It has a light to medium brown color with a distinctive grain pattern. Oak is often used for furniture, flooring, and cabinetry. It’s a bit more difficult to work with than softwoods, but it takes stain and finishes very well.

maple cabinets


Maple is a hardwood that’s used for its strength and light color. It’s often used for cabinets, flooring, and furniture. Maple has a smooth surface and a fine grain that takes stain and finishes well. It’s more expensive than some other woods, but it’s very durable and long-lasting.

cherry bed frame


Cherry is a hardwood that’s known for its rich color and beautiful grain. It’s often used for high-end furniture and decorative items. Cherry has a reddish-brown color that deepens over time and takes stain and finishes very well. It’s more expensive than some other hardwoods, but it’s highly sought after for its beauty and durability.


Choosing the right type of wood is an important part of any woodworking project. Softwoods like pine and spruce are best for beginners, while hardwoods like oak and cherry are more difficult to work with but provide beautiful results. Whatever type of wood you choose, make sure to select high-quality lumber that’s free of defects and has a straight grain. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful and functional woodworking projects that will last for years to come.

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