Balsa Wood (Products: Panels, Sheets And Stripwood) – Strong And Sturdy

balsa wood uses and properties

what is balsa؟ The world of wood is very diverse. Wood is one of the most important natural materials that has been widely used in human life since the beginning of human existence on the planet. The variety of textures, colors and designs of woods has increased the range of effectiveness of this natural substance in human life. Balsa wood is a Latin American native of the Malvaceae family that grows well in a high range of lands from southern Mexico to southern Brazil.

In this article, we want to talk about the properties of balsa wood as well as its applications. If you are planning to use wood in the interior and exterior decoration of your home or to make some furniture, this article will definitely be very interesting for you.

We will answer these questions in this article. Join us to learn more about the properties and use of balsa wood.

Introducing the Balsa Tree

At the beginning of the article, let’s talk more about the balsa tree. This tree is a flowering plant and its wood is widely used in industry. Due to its rapid growth, it will be a very good option for the woodworking industry and the manufacture of wooden tools because its wood production is very high.

When the wood of this tree is supposed to be utilized in wooden tools, the trunk of the tree should be cut between the ages of 6 and 10 years, so that its wood can be easily used to make all kinds of tools.

Balsa wood is native to the rainforests of South America and has lightweight. Balsa trees grow naturally in the rainforests and humid forests of Central and South America.

read more: Which Wood Is Best For Wardrobes?

Balsa, also called balsa tree, grows from southern Mexico to Bolivia.  What tree does balsa wood come from? To use balsa tree wood for the production of boards, etc., you can cut it when the tree is 6 to 10 years old. Six months after sowing, the thickness of the tree trunk is about 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters and its height is about 3 to 3.5 meters. When the tree is young, the length of these leaves reaches about 120 cm. As the tree gets older, these leaves become smaller until they reach about 20 to 25 cm.

The balsa tree has up to five times more water than wood. Therefore, balsa wood must be carefully dried after cutting.

The process of drying the tree trunk takes about two weeks until the moisture content of the wood reaches only six percent. This process also kills any bacteria or insects inside the wood. In this article, a detailed description of the wood drying process is written.

One of the most important materials for making airplanes is balsa wood. To make these airplanes, balsa wood is covered with thermal coating.


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introducing the balsa tree grow

Characteristics of Balsa Wood

To study the use of Balsa wood, we need to get acquainted with its properties: (balsa wood properties)

  • In terms of weight, balsa wood has a light structure and that is why it is used for insulation purposes and also to make replicas and various types of tennis racquets.
  • The wood cells are very large and have thin walls. For this reason, it has a lighter weight than other woods.
  • It is interesting to know that despite the low weight of balsa wood, it has a very high resistance and in terms of strength, it can be compared to oak and pine wood.
  • Another feature of balsa wood is its soft texture. When it comes to this, you may think that balsa wood is not at all suitable for making tools because it is soft and that will make it brittle. But this is a completely wrong imagination. The softness of wood does not mean that it is fragile, but it shows that the flexibility of wood is very high and as a result, it will be very suitable for carving, inlaying, chopping and cutting.
  • If you look at some species of balsa tree, you will notice that there is a heterogeneous color composition inside. Therefore, when using, we must choose the best balsa wood based on our final product.
  • Since the thickness of balsa wood is less than other trees, when working with this wood, carpenters and artisans should be more careful because it may become brittle.
  • Balsa wood’s adhesion is excellent and if you are going to glue some wooden parts together with a special glue, there will be no restrictions for you in this regard.
  • In general, balsa wood is excellent for shaping different tools and, in this regard, carpenters do not have limitations for polishing wood and making various tools.

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properties of balsa wood


It is interesting to know that this wood is very light in weight and stronger than oak wood and pine wood. Read more about the difference between oak and pine.

Balsa Wood Applications

Next, we will talk about balsa wood uses. Let’s talk a little about the history of balsa wood. During World War I, the Allies were thinking of a great alternative to cork in order to reduce the cost of the war. It was at this time that they accidentally found the balsa tree wood. Of course, the problem with using this wood was the difficulty of cutting it and shredding the tree trunk.

It is still a bit difficult to harvest this wood. Due to the fact that balsa trees do not grow all at once and are scattered, it is not possible to use industrial methods to cut all the trees at once and carpenters must act one by one. According to the characteristics that we have mentioned for balsa wood lumber, the most important usages of this wood are:

balsa wood planks

What products are made from balsa?

  • This wood is used to make the interior walls of aircraft and aircraft replicas, as well as structures and civil maquettes.
  • Balsa wood is used to make sports equipment such as ping pong and tennis racquets and even fishing equipment, yachts and surfboards.
  • Another use of balsa wood is to make guitar bodies.
  • It is interesting to know that even balsa sawdust is used because sawdust is light in weight and is therefore used to fill boxing bags.

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Balsa Wood Price

Certainly one of the most important issues for all craftsmen in the field of making wooden tools is the issue of the cost they have to pay for the raw material, namely wood. We have to say that since balsa tree is native to South America, it will be costly to import it into the country. Of course, this also depends on the type of equipment selected. Definitely, the more amount of balsa wood lumber you use in your device, the higher the price will be.

The quality of the chosen wood for furniture, interior decoration and exterior application, not only determines its durability, but is also very important from an aesthetic point of view.

Finland Wood Company with a team of experienced specialists in the field of recognizing different types of wood, are ready to offer you a variety of wood products. For consultation from our experts, you can call the company numbers or use the online chat service of the website.

You can order balsa wood boards in different sizes. Contact our sales experts now.

What are the disadvantages of balsa wood?

The disadvantages of this wood are insignificant compared to its use and benefits. But the most important disadvantage is the price of balsa wood boards. The price of this wood is more expensive than other woods. 

  • High cost of purchasing this product
  • Its fragility due to its thinness
  • Color inconsistency in some of these trees
  • The need for high accuracy and attention when working with these products
  • Low thickness of this wood compared to other trees

Is balsa wood expensive?

As we said above, this wood is expensive. If you are looking for a wood similar to balsa that is durable and has a reasonable price, we suggest you pine wood.

is balsa wood strong?

Balsa wood is often considered to be the strongest wood in the world for its weight. Models made of balsa wood lumber can last a long time as long as they are not subjected to too much pressure or stress. Balsa wood planks are soft. It easily breaks or cracks on the surface under pressure.

In this article, we have tried to provide you with information about balsa wood. I hope this article was useful for you.


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