Janka Hardness Scale

How hard is hard?

Trying to figure what what wood specie you want 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
Hickory1820
Locust1700
Hard Maple / Sugar Maple1450
Coffee Bean1390
White Oak1360
Ash (White)1320
Red Oak (Northern)1290
Heart Pine1225
Black Walnut1010
Black Cherry950
Paper Birch910
Cedar900
Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf)870
Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly and Shortleaf)690
Douglas Fir660
Chestnut540
Hemlock500
White Pine420
Basswood410
Eastern White Pine380