Picking the right type of wood is half of your work. But, if you are a beginner woodworker, then selecting the right wood can pose a bit of a challenge. Some wood is more comfortable to manipulate than other and can significantly facilitate your job.

The type and quality immensely impact the end product. So, what is the best choice for your project, is it softwood or hardwood. Here are a couple of differences you should pay attention to and popular types of wood in both categories. This will help you set up your goals and make a right decision.



You would think that this material is weaker than hardwood, which isn’t necessarily true. Usually softwood grows faster and straighter than hardwood, and as a result, it is more common and less expensive.

You will find the majority of furniture pieces made of softwood, and it is a popular choice in many homes and department stores. The most popular softwoods are spruce, pine, and fir. These three share similar characteristics and can be used in most construction projects. Pine is used for common woodworking projects such as shop cabinets, wooden bookshelf with glass doors and basic furnishings.


Hardwoods are more expensive than softwoods, and if you are looking for a high-quality stainable end product, then hardwood should be your choice. There are a couple of types you should consider:

Oak – it comes in various forms, and it’s widely used in furniture building. Oak is quite durable, comfortable to work with and it isn’t too heavy or challenging to manipulate. Maple is another favorite selection for furniture pieces. It has a distinctive finish and can be a bit tough to work with when applying the finish.

Chery and mahogany are excellent for beautiful furniture, architectural projects, and decorative finishes. However, they are pretty expensive and are generally used by professionals. We wouldn’t recommend them to beginners because if you make a mistake, it can be a rather expensive one.

Considering that the majority of woodworking projects are time-consuming, it is essential to choose the material you will be working with carefully.