Hardwood vs. Softwood: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

Natural common wood that is acquired from the trees is classified into two major types by their texture, abilities, and qualities. Hardwood and softwood are the two most common kind of natural food that is attained from trees. People are often confused due to their names and consider the hardwood quite hard in nature and softwood as soft, Whereas there are variations regarding both. Some hardwoods are quite soft in nature as compare to many softwoods. Some hardwoods are hard in nature and vice versa. The main difference between both kinds of woods is that Hardwood is the wood that is attained from angiosperms (flowering plants) and softwood is attained from gymnosperms. The basic difference between both kinds of wood is by the presence of some vessels and pores in them.

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Comparison Chart

Hardwood Softwood
About Hardwood is the kind of wood that is attained from the angiosperm (Flowering Plants). Softwood is the kind of wood that is acquired from the gymnosperm (Seed Producing Plants).
Basic Difference Hardwood has the pores and vessels in the bark ranging in size and shape. Softwoods do possess pores and vessels, but less than hardwood are different in nature.
Density Hardwoods are denser in nature as compare to softwoods. Softwoods are less dense in nature as compare to hardwoods.
Used for Hardwood is mostly used for making furniture, wooden flooring, and is widely used in construction, musical instruments, fuel and different tools. Softwood is mainly used for the production of timber. The attained softwoods produce almost 80% of world’s timber.
Growth rate Hardwood has slower growth rate. Softwood has faster growth rate as compared to the hardwood.
Cooking Purpose Hardwood is more often is used for cooking, burning food, campfires and smoking meat. Hardwood burn longer and intense. Softwood is not preferred for cooking, burning or smoking the food as their fire is not that much intense and hot, it burns quickly from outside.
Fire resistance Hardwood has more resistance against fire as compare to Softwood. Softwood has less resistance against fire as compared to the hardwood.
Cost Hardwood is commonly expensive as compare to softwoods due to immense use in the furniture industry. Softwood is less costly as compare to Hardwood. The products made from softwood can be costly or cheap based on their type.
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What is Hardwood?

Hardwood is the kind of wood that is acquired from angiosperm (Flowering Plants). Hardwood is the most common type wood found in the world. Hardwood is the wood that is mostly used for the production of furniture, making wooden floors, musical instruments, it is also used as fuel and for making various tools. Hardwood is usually derived from the trees that are found in tropical forests and tropical areas. Most of the time people get confused because of the name of the wood. Hardwood is normally hard in nature, and that is because of the strong growth of the flowering plants such as apple, oak, cherry, etc. Although not all sorts of hardwood are hard in nature and possess different variations depending upon their species. Some hardwoods are even softer than the softwoods, whereas on the other handsome hardwood is harder than all kinds of hard and softwoods. Angiosperms plants possess annual growth rings inside their wood or bark, which are used to count the age of the wood and tree. Hardwoods have a complex inner structure as compare to the softwoods. The key difference between the hardwood and softwood is because of the pores and vessels present in the hardwood. These pores and vessels differ in shape and size by the species and specificity of the plants. Hardwood is easily available in the tropical areas and more durable than softwoods, that why there are more products made up of hardwood as compare to the softwood.

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What is Softwood?

Softwood is a kind of wood that is attained from the gymnosperm plants (Seed Producing Plants). Softwoods are not necessarily soft in nature as compare to the hardwood. Some softwoods are even harder than the hardwoods depending on their kind and particular species type. Unlike hardwood, the softwoods are more resistant again the insect attack as they are not damp in nature and are usually free of woodworm. Softwood is mainly used for the production of timber. Softwoods produce the world’s 80% of timber.

Hardwood vs. Softwood

  • Hardwood is a kind of wood that is acquired from angiosperm plants.
  • Softwood is a kind of wood that is attained from gymnosperm plants.
  • Hardwood is used for the production of furniture, wooden flooring, and other wooden products.
  • Softwood is mainly used for the production of timber.

Explanatory Video

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