Hardwood vs. Softwood

Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood

 

The kind of wood specifically taken from trees considered angiosperms have been termed as hardwood. This broad leaved wood is often temperate. The term ‘hardwood’ however, does not necessarily mean that all kinds of hardwood are hard; some are soft as well. Hardness varies depending on wood density and the kind of tree it was acquired from. Some types of hardwood are in fact very soft, while some are really hard. Hardwood is often used in constructing houses, making cooking utensils and building different kinds of furniture. A unique feature of hardwood is the presence of pores in it.

Another type of wood, which is obtained from conifers, is the softwood. Unlike most trees conifers retain their green leaves through all the seasons. Softwood is also referred to as Clarkwood, Madmanwood, or Fuchwood. Conifers, in general, are softer compared to angiosperms, from which hardwood comes from. Many prefer using softwood for their utensils and furniture because it can be replaced easier than hardwood.

Differentiating Between the Two

 

Hardwood and softwood are acquired from different trees. Besides this, the two differ greatly in many different areas, too. The angiosperms where hardwood comes from can be found in anywhere in the world, whereas conifers, from where softwood comes from, can only be found in the Northern Hemisphere. Angiosperms also grow slower compared to conifers. While angiosperms fall down due to maturity, conifers live such very long lives that they have come to be known as evergreen or everlasting trees. Hardwood, on the upside, is denser than softwood. There is a greater demand for softwood even if it’s considerably less durable compared to hardwood. This is because softwood costs a lot less than hardwood. Softwood is a very popular choice in building cabins, homes and furniture. Some though, still prefer hardwood regardless of its extravagant costs since it provides more durable furniture and wood for building houses. When examined through a microscope, hardwood and softwood also differ in structure. Two kinds of cells can be observed in softwood, namely: longitudinal wood fibers and transverse ray cells. On the other side, pores are present in hardwood which allows easier water transportation within the wood. Hardwood is often used in high quality furniture, flooring, building wooden toys and boats. Softwood as well is utilized for furniture, ladders, decking and even buildings.

 

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