Take a few pieces of wood from different trees and look carefully. Just by looking, you will notice that the texture of the woods is different from each other, and this difference has led to the woods being in different groups in terms of degree of hardness. A group of woods is known as softwoods. You may think that wood softness means its flexibility so that it can bend easily with the slightest force. But this idea is completely wrong. Follow us in this article to introduce you to the most popular softwoods and their features. When you have more information in this area, you will definitely be more precise when buying equipment.
Softwoods are a type of wood that come from coniferous trees, which typically have needles instead of leaves. Here is a list of common softwoods:
- Douglas Fir
These softwoods are commonly used in construction, furniture making, and woodworking due to their easy workability, light weight, and affordable cost.
softwoods price list: Softwood lumber prices vary depending on the type of wood and the size of the lumber.
read more: Wood In Helsinki
The Most Important Characteristics of Softwoods
First, you need to know that softwoods belong to the coniferous family. One of the most prominent features of softwood is the color difference of layers inside the wood. This means that when cutting down a tree, you can easily distinguish the layers of wood, one by one. Based on this color difference, experts can well determine the age of the trees through these annual rings. The color spectrum of softwoods ranges from very pale yellow to reddish-brown, which is why it is especially effective for making decorative items.
Certainly, it should be noted that the softness of wood does not mean that its texture is weak, but coniferous trees have fully compacted structure that, while soft, has very high durability and is therefore used in the construction industry. In fact, softwoods have relatively high strength. So the word softness goes back to the issue of wood polishing. Working with softwoods is much easier than hardwoods, and carpenters and woodworkers can make the finest designs on softwoods, even with hand tools. Another characteristic of softwoods is that they are cheaper than hardwoods.
Softwood is commonly used in the construction of buildings, furniture, and other items. It is also used for making paper, boxes, crates, and other packaging materials. Softwood is also used for making musical instruments, such as guitars, violins, and drums. Softwood is also used for making charcoal, and for fuel in wood-burning stoves.
Softwood materials are materials made from softwood trees, such as pine, fir, spruce, and cedar. These materials are typically used in construction, furniture making, and other woodworking projects. Softwood materials are generally less expensive than hardwood materials, but they are also less durable and more prone to warping and cracking.
The color of soft wood is typically a light tan or yellowish–brown.
read more: Tulipwood
Therefore, in general, the most important properties of softwoods can be classified as follows:
- These woods belong to evergreen trees whose leaves are needle-shaped and the seeds are inside a cone.
- Woods of the Gymnosperms family are considered softwoods.
- Softwoods produce a lot of sap, which should be taken into account when working with them.
- Softwoods are also light in terms of weight and density.
- The resistance of this type of wood to fire is very low.
More products: Plywood
what is the softest wood?
The softest wood is typically considered to be Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale), which is a lightweight and porous wood that grows in Central and South America. Balsa wood is often used in model-making and for buoyancy applications because of its low density and softness. It has a Janka hardness rating of only 70 lbf (pounds-force), which is significantly lower than most other woods. However, it’s worth noting that there may be other types of softwood that are less well-known or less commonly used, so the answer may vary depending on context.
read more: Composite vs. Timber Decking
Introducing the Most Popular Softwoods
The cypress tree is one of the most beautiful green space trees that can be found in abundance in our country, Finland. There are different types of cypress wood in Finland, which, in addition to diversity in terms of appearance and growth form, are also different in terms of wood color and texture. Cypress is an evergreen tree with a reddish-brown wood color and a relatively soft texture.
If you look closely at the pieces of cypress wood, you will see straight veins on them. Of course, it should be noted that cypress wood, despite being soft, has a very high strength and therefore will be a very good option for building ship decks and patio furniture.
|Advantages||– Natural Resistance to Decay||– Relatively High Cost||– Outdoor Furniture|
|– Aromatic Fragrance||– Limited Availability||– Decking|
|– Lightweight and Easy to Work With||– May Warp or Crack||– Cedar Shingles and Siding|
|– Beautiful, Attractive Appearance||– Requires Regular Maintenance||– Fencing|
|– Insect Repellent Properties||– Limited Load-Bearing Capacity||– Boat Building|
|– Low Density, Making It Easy to Transport||– Susceptible to Moisture and Rot||– Interior Paneling and Trim|
|Disadvantages||– Natural Color Fades Over Time||– Not Suitable for Structural Applications||– Saunas and Hot Tubs|
|– Requires Periodic Sealing/Finishing||– Not as Durable as Hardwoods||– Closets and Chests|
|– Limited Size and Length Availability||– Vulnerable to Termites and Carpenter Ants||– Decorative Items|
|Applications||– Outdoor Decking and Porches||– Outdoor Structural Beams and Supports||– Cedar Chests and Boxes|
|– Siding and Shingles for Homes||– Load-Bearing Structural Components||– Cedar Closets and Wardrobes|
|– Cedar Furniture and Adirondack Chairs||– Flooring Material||– Sauna Rooms|
|– Fencing and Privacy Screens||– Boat Hulls and Marine Applications||– Decorative Moldings and Trim|
|– Saunas and Hot Tubs||– Interior Paneling and Cabinetry||– Essential Oil Production (Cedarwood Oil)|
One of the prominent features of poplar wood is the straight veins that are easily visible. The color of this wood is reddish-brown and it is mainly used for making furniture. Poplar wood is known as one of the hardwoods among softwoods because it is somewhat strong and has relatively good strength.
More products: Finland Thermowood
|Advantages||– Affordability and Cost-Effectiveness||– Softwood: Prone to Denting and Scratching||– Furniture Manufacturing|
|– Lightweight and Easy to Work With||– Less Durable than Hardwoods||– Cabinets and Cabinetry|
|– Straight and Uniform Grain Pattern||– Not Suitable for Outdoor Use||– Moldings and Trim|
|– Easy to Paint, Stain, or Finish||– Limited Resistance to Moisture and Decay||– Plywood Production|
|– Low Expansion and Contraction Rates||– May Have Greenish or Yellowish Color in Heartwood||– Interior Paneling and Panel Products|
|– Eco-Friendly and Sustainable||– Crates and Packaging|
|Disadvantages||– Not as Aesthetically Appealing as Hardwoods||– Toys and Puzzles|
|– Susceptible to Insect Damage||– Musical Instruments (e.g., guitars)|
|– Limited Natural Color Variation||– Lumber Core for Doors and Furniture|
|Applications||– Interior Joinery and Millwork||– Drawer Boxes and Drawer Sides|
|– Paint-Grade Furniture and Cabinetry||– Shelving Units and Storage Systems|
|– Wooden Dowels and Molding Material||– Particleboard and MDF Substrates|
|– Drawer Sides and Bottoms||– Painted or Veneered Surfaces|
A common example of a softwood tree is the pine tree. Pine trees are evergreen conifers that are native to many parts of the world. They are known for their tall, straight trunks and their long, soft needles. Pine trees are used for many purposes, such as lumber, paper, and even food.
Other trees that can be found in abundance in Finland are pine tree species. The most common uses of pine wood are in the manufacture of home appliances such as furniture, tables and chairs, and the like. Pinewood polishing is very easy and you will not have any restrictions and problems even for delicate carvings. Another strength of pine wood is getting polished very well and therefore it will enhance the beauty of the item.
Redwood belongs to the coniferous family and is native to the coastal forests of Northern California. Redwood is also relatively soft and its color tends to be red. If you cut this wood crosswise, you will notice that the outer layer is completely red and the inner part is light. This color difference has made it more attractive.
More products: Disposable Pallet
If we want to mention another type of softwood, we have to talk about cherry wood, which is mainly used for interior architecture, furniture and even cabinets. The most important reason for the attractiveness of this wood is its reddish color, which has increased its efficiency for interior decoration design. Especially as it is easy to work with this wood and does not crack or break.
The scientific name of hemlock wood is Tsuga. It is easy to work on this wood by hand or with powerful tools. It does not have a lot of power to hold nails and screws. The reason is that this wood is soft. The common uses of hemlock wood are in making boxes, pallets, chests, plywood, frame making and other construction purposes.
Basswood is a valuable species of wood that is relatively soft. It has many applications in wood products. It is a large tree native to North America that can reach over 80 feet in height.
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.
softwoods vs hardwoods
Softwoods and hardwoods are two categories of wood that are differentiated based on their physical characteristics, growing patterns, and uses. Here are some of the main differences between the two:
- Origin: Softwoods come from coniferous or evergreen trees, which have needle-like or scale-like leaves and bear cones. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees that shed their leaves annually.
- Structure: Softwoods have a simpler structure, with cells that are long and narrow, and arranged parallel to one another. Hardwoods have a more complex structure, with cells that are shorter and wider, and arranged in a more varied and intricate pattern.
- Density: Hardwoods are generally denser and heavier than softwoods, which makes them stronger and more durable. However, some softwoods like Douglas fir and yellow pine can be quite dense and strong as well.
- Grain pattern: Hardwoods typically have a more prominent and attractive grain pattern than softwoods, which makes them popular for furniture-making and decorative purposes.
- Uses: Softwoods are commonly used for construction, paper-making, and as fuel. Hardwoods are used for a wide variety of applications, including furniture, flooring, cabinetry, musical instruments, and more.
Overall, the distinction between softwoods and hardwoods is not absolute, and there are many exceptions and variations within each category. The terms “softwood” and “hardwood” are more of a general classification that reflects the broad properties and characteristics of different types of wood.
read more: Domestic Lumber
What does softwood look like?
Softwood typically has a light color and a straight grain. It is usually lighter in weight than hardwood and is often used for construction, furniture, and paper products. Softwoods tend to be less dense and more porous than hardwoods, making them easier to work with.