Relative Hardness (Janka Scale)

The relative hardness of a wood refers to the force required to insert a .444 inch steel ball to half of its diameter into a piece of wood. Brazilian cherry is more than twice as hard as black walnut which means Brazilian cherry is more than twice as resistant to dings and scratches, it also means that it is twice as hard to cut. Though Brazilian Cherry and Santos Mahogany are hard the oily nature and straight grain make them relatively easy to machine. Carbide tipped blades and large horsepower modern tools allow carpenters to easily work with exotic woods.

To see what many of these wood types look like, visit our Wood Selection page.

HardnessWood Species
3880Curupay
3640Ipe (Brazilian Walnut)
3540Cumaru
2900Bloodwood
2450Red Walnut
2350Brazilan Cherry
2345Mesquite
2200Santos Mahogany
2160Tigerwood
1925Merbau
1910Jarrah
1860Purple Heart
1820Hickory
1725Padauk
1650Brazilian Oak (Cerejeira)
1630Wedge
1500Sapele
1450Hard Maple
1380Bamboo
1375Cypress
1360Quartersawn White Oak
1360White Oak
1320Ash
1300Steamed Beech
1300American Beech
1290Red Oak
1260Birch
1225Reclaimed Heart Pine
1155Teak
1125Lyptus (Red Grandis)
1080Peruvian
1010Walnut
950American Cherry
950Soft Maple
870Southern Yellow Pine
830African Mahogany
660Douglas Fir
600Spanish Cedar
590Alder
540Paint Grade
540Poplar – Stain Grade
460Ponderosa Pine
430White Pine