What Is the Strongest Type of Wood?

bottom up view of large mahogany tree with others creating a green canopy

Wood is one of the most popular materials for building furniture with and for good reason. The strength, durability, beautiful aesthetic and relative availability has ensured its continuing use around the world. In this blog, we will be looking at one attribute in particular and asking, ‘what is the strongest type of wood?

How do you determine wood strength?

While most natural woods can be classed as strong compared to plastic or synthetic wood alternatives, hardwoods are where you will find the strongest types of wood due to their denser grain and complex structure.

Depending on the application, some of these attributes may be more important than others. For example, scratch-resistance may be more desirable than the ability to bear heavy loads for some pieces, however density is always a good indicator of a wood’s overall strength.

Wood strength is measured by a few different factors: density, compressive strength, bending strength and hardness.

Woodwork shop showing raw wood being cut in preparation to make furniture
mahogany log pile felled, cut and stamped with white tracking marks
mid production raw mahogany bookcase build in workshop

What are some of the strongest types of wood?

1. Mahogany

Mahogany has one of the most distinctive appearances of any wood with its rich, red-brown tones and hints of flame, and it is also one of the strongest types of wood used in furniture construction.

Mahogany does not shrink and warp as easily as other woods and is also resistant to rot and mould. Unlike many other hardwoods, mahogany is easier to work with, and can be easily carved by craftsmen.

Mahogany has a dense grain, a good structure and is exceptionally durable, making it a great choice for furniture around the home.

2. Mango wood

Mango wood is perhaps not as well-known as the other woods on this list, but it is a strong wood with a handsome aesthetic. It is younger than some other popular hardwoods because mango trees grow quickly and naturally stop producing fruit at a certain age.

Mango wood is another hardwood but doesn’t have as dense a grain as some others, meaning it can be cut and shaped into some attractive designs without the use of special tools. Mango wood is dense, durable and hard-wearing, with a beautiful natural golden-brown hue that gets darker with age.

3. Oak

Oak is one of the most commonly used hardwoods in furniture as all oak species are strong, hard and heavy, with a close grain. Oak also requires very little maintenance and is resistant to many fungal infections that could compromise its strength.

Oak can be used for furniture, flooring and joinery and, while it may not have as distinctive an aesthetic as mahogany, this neutrality means it will rarely look out of place in any home design.

4. Walnut

Walnut is another strong, durable and long-lasting wood that makes a great choice of material for furniture. Walnut resists warping and shrinkage, and has a typically straight grain that makes it an easier wood to work with when making furniture. Walnut wood comes in a range of rich browns and is resistant to general wear and tear.

A wood’s strength can be measured by a number of different attributes, such as its density or hardness, but all of the above woods are great choices for furniture that will stand the test of time while still looking fantastic.

You can browse our range of solid wood furniture to get started.

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