Exactly how hard is hard?
I get asked every week which of the woods we offer is “better”, which wood lasts longer, which wood is harder. I remind people that we are the Hardwood Artisans, not the Softwood Schlock. All of our woods are durable, and we use the same time-tested methods in the joinery regardless of wood type.
The best wood in the world is the one that you like. There really is no other answer here.
That said there are some scientific methodologies behind determining hardness. The flooring industry created something called the Janka Test. Being under foot, the flooring industry really got asked that question, to the point that they wanted to truly quantify their answers.
The Janka Test takes measures the amount of force it takes to push a 3/8” diameter ball bearing half its diameter into the face of a piece of wood. The pressure exerted is the Janka density measurement. The higher the number on the Janka Test represents the larger force that was needed to push the ball bearing into the wood; which, represents the greater density of the wood. This test is excellent in that it quantifies the density in a consistent and reliable manner that is easily understood.
Click here to visit a good site to look at Janka Testing results.
Below are the Janka Test results for some of the woods we offer.
Sweet Birch 1470
Sugar Maple 1450
White Oak 1360
Ash (white) 1320
Red Oak (northern) 1290
Black Walnut 1010
Black Cherry 950
Honduran Mahogany 800