The Top 10 Most Popular Woods For Woodworking Projects

In the world of woodworking, there are a lot of different types of wood that you can use to build beautiful projects. 

Each type has its own characteristics and uses, so it’s important to know what they are before you start building anything with your new lumber. 

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most popular woods for woodworking projects:

Top 10 Wood Species For fine Woodworking
Key Takeaways
1. Choosing the right wood is essential for any woodworking project. Different woods have unique properties that can affect the project’s overall stability, appearance, and durability.
2. Some of the most popular hardwoods for woodworking include oak, maple, and cherry, while softwoods like cedar and pine are often used for more economical projects.
3. Understanding the basic techniques of woodworking is crucial for beginners and can help ensure that your projects are successful and long-lasting.
4. Investing in a quality set of woodworking tools is also essential for any woodworking project, and having a well-stocked toolkit can make the job easier and more efficient.
5. Inspiration for woodworking projects is all around us, from bespoke furniture to home decor items. With a little creativity and skill, it’s possible to create unique and beautiful pieces that can enhance any space.


Mahogany is a hard, heavy wood with a dark red-brown color. It’s durable enough to be used in furniture making and has a long history of use in the construction of ships, railroads and buildings. 

Mahogany is sometimes called “West Indian mahogany” because it comes from Central America and the Caribbean islands.

Mahogany is sometimes confused with African mahogany, which isn’t actually a different species but rather just another name for Khaya mahagoni.

Woodcarving can be a challenging but rewarding craft, and mastering the techniques can take time and practice. For tips and advice on woodcarving, check out our comprehensive guide on woodcarving techniques and tips, which covers everything from tool selection to best practices.


Beech is a hard, white wood that’s easy to work with. It has a fine texture, and it takes stain well. Beech is often used for furniture, but it’s also used to make bowls and spoons. 

The bark of the beech tree has been used as an ingredient in traditional medicines for centuries; today, it’s also processed into food supplements like glucosamine sulfate.

Beech trees grow throughout Europe and Asia—and have been known to reach heights of up to 200 feet tall!


A hardwood that is resistant to insects and decay, walnut is a popular choice for furniture, cabinets, flooring, and paneling. 

It has a rich color that can range from light to dark brown. If you want to try something different with this woodworking project, we suggest using walnut oil stain or dye for your project’s finish instead of paint or varnish.

Selecting the right wood is crucial for any woodworking project, as different woods have unique characteristics that can affect the project’s overall stability and appearance. For a breakdown of the top woods used in woodworking, check out our guide on the top 10 most popular woods for woodworking projects.


When people think of hardwoods, teak is often one of the first to come to mind. It’s a popular choice for outdoor furniture and boats, but it’s also used in decking and fences.

Teak is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, Australia, and Africa. Its heartwood has an orange-brown color with darker streaks; the sapwood can be creamy yellow or pale brown. 

As a hardwood that’s resistant to water damage and insect infestation, teak has been used for centuries in construction projects such as bridges and ships. 

In addition to its strength and durability, teak has antimicrobial properties that make it ideal for outdoor use like decks or porches where there may be high levels of moisture present due to rain or snow meltwater during warmer months (or even pooling if you live near oceanfront property).

UseIndustry Examples
Outdoor FurnitureKingsley Bate, Gloster, Barlow Tyrie
BoatsHinckley, Valhalla Boatworks, Sabre Yachts,
FencesSuperior Fence & Rail, Best Fence Company, Bryant Fence Company

This table shows some of the most popular uses of teak hardwood, along with some industry examples. Teak is often used in outdoor furniture, with brands like Kingsley Bate, Gloster, and Barlow Tyrie utilizing the wood in their product lines. Teak is also a popular choice for boats, with boat builders like Hinckley, Valhalla Boatworks, and Sabre Yachts incorporating the wood into their designs.

In addition, teak is also used in decking projects by companies like and, as well as in fences by companies like Superior Fence & Rail, Best Fence Company, and Bryant Fence Company.


If you’re looking for a wood that will add elegance and class to your woodworking project, maple is the perfect choice. 

The color of maple can vary from light brown to dark red, making it easy to pair with almost any color scheme. 

Maple is also available in different grain patterns, which means you can choose the pattern that works best with your aesthetic vision.

But what makes this type of wood so popular? Well firstly, it’s one of the harder varieties on our list – meaning it will be able to withstand regular wear without breaking down or chipping as easily as soft woods like cedar or pine might do over time if exposed too frequently under harsh conditions (e.g., being placed outdoors). 

Secondly, because it has such high levels of strength and flexibility compared other types like oak or birch; people love using these types materials when designing furniture due to how durable they are even after years exposed outdoors!

This means they’re ideal choices for outdoor projects requiring longer periods before replacement work needs done due to their ability withstand moisture damage better than other types might do (keeps going strong!) while also performing well indoors

If you’re new to woodworking, it can be challenging to know where to start. Luckily, our guide on beginner’s woodworking covers everything you need to know to get started, including tools, safety, and basic techniques.


Oak is a very popular wood for furniture making, and it can be found in many different varieties. Oak is a hardwood, which means that it’s strong and durable. It’s also easy to work with, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced makers alike.

Oak has been used since ancient times by shipbuilders, carpenters and craftsmen around the world because of its strength and beauty.

Popular Oak Varieties for Furniture Making

Oak VarietyStrengthDurabilityEase of Use
Red OakStrongHighEasy
White OakStrongVery HighModerate
Black OakStrongHighEasy
Live OakStrongVery HighDifficult

This table shows some of the most popular oak varieties used in furniture-making, along with their respective strengths, durability, and ease of use. Oak is a strong and durable hardwood that is easy to work with, making it an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced woodworkers. Red Oak, Black Oak, and Live Oak are known for their durability and ease of use, while White Oak is valued for its high durability and moderate ease of use.


Cherry is a hard, fine-grained wood that is light in color. This makes cherry a popular choice for furniture and cabinetry. It’s also a popular choice for musical instruments, such as guitars. Cherry is an excellent wood to use when working with intricate details and carvings because of its hardness and strength.

Any woodworking project requires careful planning and the right set of tools, and having a well-stocked toolkit can make all the difference. Check out our guide on the ultimate woodworking tool kit for a rundown of the essential tools you’ll need for any woodworking project.


Pine is a softwood with a light yellow-brown tone. Pine is easy to work with and is used for a variety of projects, including furniture, cabinets and flooring.

Pine is probably one of the best woods for beginners because it’s easy to work with and can be sanded smooth without much effort. 

Pine has a number of other benefits as well: It’s strong enough that it won’t warp even when cut into large pieces; it has few knots (or “knee” in pine) so you can get uniform grain; and the wood generally stays straight while drying out after being cut down from its natural habitat.

Woodworking can be a fantastic way to unleash your creativity and make one-of-a-kind pieces that are both practical and beautiful. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, check out our list of 10 amazing woodworking projects that you can tackle at home, from shelves to coffee tables.


The 10 most popular woods for woodworking projects can be a great way to start your next project! 

You may have never heard of most of these woods before, but they are all excellent choices for creating beautiful furniture and other items.

Further Reading

For further reading on the topic of woodworking woods, check out these helpful guides:

The 10 Best Woods for Woodworking, According to a Pro: This guide covers the top ten woods recommended by a professional woodworking expert, along with their respective attributes and best use cases.

Woods Best for Woodwork: This article provides a useful overview of various woods for woodworking and their different properties, such as texture, durability, and color.

Top 10 Best Woods for Woodworking: This guide provides an authoritative list of the best woods for woodworking, including information about the woods’ natural properties, strengths, and ideal uses.


What are the best woods for woodworking?

The best woods for woodworking include hardwoods like oak, maple, birch, and cherry as well as softer woods like cedar and pine, which are less expensive but still reliable alternatives.

How do I choose the right wood for my project?

Choosing the right wood for your project depends on several factors, such as the type of project you’re undertaking, the desired appearance of the finished product, and your skill level as a woodworker.

What are the differences between hardwoods and softwoods?

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the winter, while softwoods come from coniferous trees that bear evergreen needles. Generally, hardwoods are denser and more expensive than softwoods, which are more affordable and often easier to work with.

Can I store different woods together?

Ideally, you should not store different woods together since they naturally expand and contract at different rates in response to changes in humidity and temperature. This can cause warping or splitting in the wood over time.

How should I maintain my woodworking tools?

To maintain your woodworking tools, make sure to clean them after use and store them in a dry place away from moisture and dust. Regular sharpening and maintenance can also help keep your tools in good working order.