You have the tools to work with, you have the right gear and the ability, all you need now is the right type of material. What are the best types of wood to use? Any successful wood project is reliant on selection of the right wood. Using the wrong type of wood for a particular project can result in sorts of issues. Selecting the write wood/lumber isn’t difficult. Here’s what to look for:

Types of wood

Softwoods: This comes from cone-bearing (coniferous) trees like pine and redwood. This sort of wood is mostly used for construction of homes, they’re also much cheaper than hardwood.

Hardwoods: This comes from (deciduous) trees that shed their leaves like oak and mahogany. They’re costly but the Hardwoods are sold by the board foot, which is defined as a square foot of rough lumber that is 1 inch thick.

In addition to hardwoods and softwoods, there are certain characteristics that are common in all wood types.


We can make heavy woods out because of their weight, tight grained pattern and resist wear. Unlike softwoods it’s harder for them to dent or scratch.


This is the aspect of the wood that lets us know the condition and stability of the wood. Its vital in deciding how we finish the wood.


In a way this is like the personality of the wood. For example, green heart will give you a very different look and character than red cedar.


Every tree grows with its own grain pattern, it’s like the fingerprints of trees. Two pieces of board from the same type of tree won’t look the same. The direction that the cell fibers in wood grow is what we call the grain.

The grain direction is important to consider when building either structural or decorative projects, the grain has to be taken into consideration. The pattern density of the wood determines how strong it is, so for example straight grained wood are usually stronger than the others.

Types of lumber

Common lumber: This is used for general building and other house projects.

Select lumber: This is best used for things like furniture when you need to focus on detail and appearance.

Choosing which type of lumber to use is getting easier because select & common lumber are graded. Grading depends on the number of knots, blemishes and overall quality. If you’re not sure what to use, consult with a local carpenter for advice.