Janka Hardness Scale

How hard is hard?

Trying to figure which wood to use for a project? Compare different species based on their hardness.

hardness of wood

The Janka hardness test is a measurement of the force necessary to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. It is a flooring industry standard for gauging the ability of various species to tolerate denting and normal wear, as well as being a good indication of the effort required to either nail or saw the particular wood.

Please note that this is just a partial list containing some of the most popular choices for woods we work with.

Wood SpeciesHardness
Hard Maple ( Sugar)1450
Coffee Bean1390
White Oak1360
Ash (White)1320
Red Oak (Northern)1290
Heart Pine1225
Black Walnut1010
Black Cherry950
Paper Birch910
Southern Yellow Pine870
Douglas Fir660
White Pine420
Eastern White Pine380