Hardwood vs. Softwood

Main 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.

Hardwood vs. Softwood — Is There a Difference?
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Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood

Hardwood vs. Softwood

Hardwood is a kind of wood that is acquired from angiosperm plants.

Hardwood vs. Softwood

Softwood is a kind of wood that is attained from gymnosperm plants.

Hardwood vs. Softwood

Hardwood is used for the production of furniture, wooden flooring, and other wooden products.

Hardwood vs. Softwood

Softwood is mainly used for the production of timber.

Hardwoodnoun

The wood from any dicotyledonous tree, without regard to its hardness.

Balsa is a hardwood, but a soft hardwood.

Softwoodnoun

The wood from any conifer (or from Ginkgo), without regard to how soft this wood is.

SYP is a softwood, but it is harder than many hardwoods.
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Hardwoodnoun

(countable) (in more general use) As the preceding but limited to those that are commercial timbers, and are at least average in hardness.

Ash, hickory and oak are some of the most prominent domestic hardwoods.

Softwoodnoun

Wood of this kind but limited to those that are commercial timbers.

Hardwoodnoun

The tree or tree species that yields the preceding.

This hardwood has been planted extensively throughout the hills here.

Softwoodnoun

The tree or tree species that yields this wood.

This softwood has been planted extensively throughout Scotland.

Hardwoodnoun

(uncountable) A joint term for the commercial timbers, without distinguishing which.

You should have used hardwood for this window sill instead of this junk.

Softwoodnoun

(uncountable) Any commercial timber.

You should have used softwood for the frame of this shed, instead of overbuilding it like this.
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Hardwoodnoun

The sport of basketball, in particular, an indoor basketball court; so named because the floor of an indoor basketball court is normally made of hardwood.

Softwoodnoun

wood that is easy to saw (from conifers such as pine or fir)

Hardwoodadjective

Of a floor: made of interlocking hardwood boards.

Softwoodadjective

made of the easy-to-cut wood of a coniferous tree, as e.g. pine;

softwood lumber

Hardwoodnoun

the wood of broad-leaved dicotyledonous trees (as distinguished from the wood of conifers)

Hardwoodadjective

made of the hard-to-cut wood of a broad-leaved tree, as e.g. oak;

hardwood floors

Comparison Chart

HardwoodSoftwood
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.

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.

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.