Is Birch Wood Strong? All You Need To Know!

Is Birch wood strong

Birchwood is one of the most popular woods that is commonly used for many indoor and outdoor woodworking projects. It is a durable hardwood with pale white to reddish-brown color that adds a unique aesthetic appearance to our woodworks. When I was first started to work with Birch wood, I was always wondered, Is Birch wood strong?

I’ve researched and here’s what I’ve found:

Yes, Birch wood is extremely strong. It has relatively high compressive strength and bending strength than most other woods. Because of its great strength, Birch wood is used to make furniture, cabinets, flooring, and high-grade plywood. Birch is hard, heavy, and strong with good shock resistance and crushing strength.

But there’s a lot more to know about the strength of Birch wood to get the best uses from them.

So, in this article, we’ll walk through is Birch wood strong, how strong is Birch wood is, is Birch wood good for furniture, cabinets, and cutting boards in terms of strength and how hard is Birch wood as well.

Furthermore, I’ll answer frequently asked questions about the strength of Birch wood compared to other wood types as well.

Just keep reading!

How Strong Is Birch Wood?

Birch wood is stronger than any other softwood and most of the hardwoods as well. The strength of Birch wood depends on the values of the following factors.

They are,

  • Compressive strength
  • Bending strength
  • Density
  • Stiffness
  • Hardness

So, let’s have a look at the values of the above factors to get a clear idea about how strong is Birch wood.

Compressive strength8,170 psi
Bending strength16,600 psi
Density0.62
Stiffness2.01 Mpsi
Hardness1,260 lb

As you can see the compressive strength and bending strength of Birch wood is high and even most of the hardwoods cannot surpass those values.

This is why Birch wood is considered one of the strongest wood types on the planet.

Birch is a straight-grained wood that has a uniform texture. High-quality Birch woods have sapwood which is wide and white and the heartwood is reddish.

Is Birch Wood Good for Furniture in Terms of Strength?

Birch wood has some exceptional qualities with a great amount of strength which makes it perfect for any furniture. Birch is a smart choice for solid hardwood furniture.

Furniture made of Birch wood is highly durable because of its great strength and can last long more than our lifetime easily with proper care.

Birch wood furniture has a natural resistance to dents and scratches. Therefore, you’ll be able to keep your Birch furniture fresh as new for more than a decade.

In terms of its workability, Birch wood is easy to work with. It does not split or tear apart easily with hand tools and machine tools. It handles so well with saw, router, and lather. Also, it glues, turns, and finishes well.

But you need to make sure that woodworking tools that you put on Birch wood are well sharpened before starting to make furniture out of it. Otherwise, the wood can split at any second while you’re working on it.

By following slow feed speed, you can prevent the Birch wood from splitting. Before the woodworking project begins, make sure to sand the whole wooden surface using 80 grits to 400 grit sandpapers to make it nice and smooth. Drilling and screwing are recommended at slow speed especially near the edges.

Once you finish the building furniture out of Birch, sand the entire surface and stain it for extra wood care. Staining will improve durability without destroying the strength of Birch wood.

Read: How To Fix Wood Stain Mistakes!

Even though Birch wood is strong enough to make any kind of furniture, I never recommend making Birch wood for outdoor use. Outdoor furniture that is made of Birch wood has all the strength, but they’re lack resistance. Birch wood has zero resistance to rotting. Therefore, if you keep Birch furniture outside, it will start to rot eventually even though it has a great amount of strength.

Here’re some pros and cons of Birch wood to get an idea about is Birch wood strong.

ProsCons
Strong hardwoodNo rot resistance
High dimensional stabilityExpensive
High durabilityCrack when it is too dry
LightweightNo wear resistance
High workability 
Versatile 
Resistant to dents and scratches 
Attractive wood grain 

As you can see Birch wood is a really strong wood with superior qualities that can easily use to make any kind of furniture.

So, let’s find out how strong is Birch wood under the following applications.

Is Birch Wood Strong Enough for Cabinets?

Birch wood is well strong for any type of cabinet. Birch is a hardwood with great durability, appearance, and finishing properties.

It can withstand any load, and you’ll be able to make strong durable cabinets with it.

The attractive straight and uniform wood grain pattern will add a unique aesthetic look to the cabinetry.

The workability of Birch wood is also high, and you can make the cabinets as you wish due to its flexibility in use.

The finishing part is an essential thing for any woodworking project. So, when it comes to cabinetry, Birch wood has excellent finishing properties. It is easy to sand, polish and most importantly it takes the stain so well. Therefore, you’ll be able to get nice and smooth Birch wood cabinetry with only 2 – 3 coats of wood stain because of its close grain structure.

When it comes to cabinetry, Cabinet manufacturers love to work with Birch wood because Birch wood is,

  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • High tensile strength

Birch wood is considered one of the cheapest hardwood types. It is cost-effective, and the qualities of Birch wood are exceptional for the price. This is why Birch wood is a popular option for kitchen cabinets.

Because of having high tensile strength, Birch wood holds nail well, screw well. It has reliable structural integrity due to its high tensile strength. Cabinets made of Birch wood can easily withstand for a long time without getting damage from environmental elements.

Is Birch Wood Strong Enough for Cutting Boards?

Birch wood is extremely strong enough for cutting boards. Because Birch is a tight hard grained wood that withstands against knife edges without making a single scratch or dent.

Some wood cutting boards with less strength get scratches and cutting marks when they use regularly. So, when we’re cutting meats, fruits, and vegetables, the food compounds will trap inside those scratches and marks and cause food allergies.

But Birch wood is well strong and doesn’t get marks or scratches. Therefore, I highly recommend Birch wood as a strong and food-safe material to use as a cutting board.

How Hard Is Birch Wood?

Birch wood is considered one of the hardest wood on the planet. According to the Janka hardness scale, Birch wood has a higher rating of 1,260 lbf (5,600 N).

Birch is heavy and strong. According to the American hardwood information center, more than 1,260 pounds of pressure is required to mar yellow Birch (popular Birch type).

Only 5 wood types on the planet can surpass Birch wood in terms of hardness. They are,

  • Hard Maple
  • Hickory
  • Beech
  • White Oak
  • Red Oak

You can get a clear idea about the hardness of Birch wood compared to other wood types by following the hardness scale.

Wood TypeJanka Hardness Value (N)Grades
Ebony (Brazilian)16420Exceedingly Hard
Cumaru15470Exceedingly Hard
Ebony14300Extremely Hard
Golden Teak10400Extremely Hard
Rosewood7900Hard
White Oak6000Hard
Ash5900Hard
Birch5600 N (1260 lbf)Hard
Walnut4500Firm
Cherry4200Firm
Mahogany3600Firm
Douglas Fir2900Soft
Chestnut2400Soft
Poplar2400Soft
White Pine1900Very Soft
Balsa310Very Soft

As you can see Birch wood is hard and stronger than many other wood types that we commonly use.

So, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about Birch wood strength compared to other wood types.

Is Birch Wood Stronger Than Oak?

Birch wood is stronger than Oak. Birch wood is stronger and denser hardwood than Oak.

FactorsBirchOak
Compressive Strength8170 psi6760 psi
Bending strength16600 psi14300 psi
Janka Hardness rate1260 lbs1290 lbs

As you can see Birch is much stronger than Oak wood with higher durability and hardness. Working with Birch wood is more pleasurable with few knots and a straight grain pattern.

But in terms of resistance, Oak wood is more resistant to environmental elements than Birch wood. Therefore, Oak wood furniture can use for both interior and exterior woodworking projects.

Is Birch Wood Stronger Than Pine?

Birch wood is stronger than Pine. Birch is a hardwood and Pine wood is considered a softwood. When we look at the strength factors Birch wood is having better compressive strength, bending strength, and hardness than Pine wood.

FactorsBirchPine
Compressive Strength8170 psi4800 psi
Bending strength16600 psi8600 psi
Janka Hardness rate1260 lbs380 lbs

Therefore, Pinewood can easily replace by Birch wood and get better qualities as well.

Is Birch Wood Stronger Than Maple?

Birch wood has the nearly same strength as Maple wood. Both are hardwoods with exceptional qualities. You can clearly get an idea about the strengths of these two by following the below scale.

FactorsBirchMaple
Compressive Strength8170 psi7830 psi
Bending strength16600 psi15800 psi
Janka Hardness rate1260 lbs1450 lbs

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Is Birch Wood Strong?

In this article we have deeply discussed is Birch wood strong and how strong is Birch wood by taking its qualities, advantages, and disadvantages.

Also, we have discussed is Birch wood is strong enough for cabinets, cutting boards and how hard is Birch wood as well.

Birch wood is extremely hard, heavy dense wood with lots of great qualities we can apply in many woodworking projects without any issue. But when it comes to outdoor usage, it is better not to use Birch wood because of its less resistance to outdoor elements.

Hope you have gained good knowledge about how strong Birch wood is. So, let’s begin your next woodworking project with Birch wood. Have fun in woodworking!

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