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!
Are you considering birch hardwood floors for your home? On the Janka Hardness Scale, birch wood is very comparable to oak, making it a very strong and durable choice for hardwood flooring. #woodflooring #eagleriverwisconsin #knowyourwood #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/SiIwNkydZN— Kwaterski Bros. Wood Products, Inc. (@KwaterskiInc) July 8, 2020
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.
- Compressive strength
- Bending strength
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 strength||8,170 psi|
|Bending strength||16,600 psi|
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.
Made out of walnut and birch wood to provide greater strength, our García Credenza is designed and built to last a lifetime in your home. 💫 #MueblesCuevas #AtomicTijuana #MidCentury #Modern #handcrafted #credenza pic.twitter.com/06bs47UNYs— Muebles Cuevas (@MueblesCuevas) March 12, 2020
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.
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.
More beautiful furniture in from Ben & Erin Napier! This Scotsman American Heirloom collection is made from solid maple and birch wood. With its turned post design, this set will be a great complement to any home!! Don’t you just LOVE that storage bench?!?!— Kaminski's Home Furnishings (@KaminskisHome) January 25, 2019
Here’re some pros and cons of Birch wood to get an idea about is Birch wood strong.
|Strong hardwood||No rot resistance|
|High dimensional stability||Expensive|
|High durability||Crack when it is too dry|
|Lightweight||No wear resistance|
|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.
Birch has a rich history in American furniture making. It's used in interior woodwork, flooring, framing, shelving, furniture, etc. Birch wood with ripples is called curly birch; another appearance is called flame birch. Clark’s also carries Russian Birch Plywood. #birch pic.twitter.com/MNY7nyxPmZ— Clark's Hardwood (@ClarksHardwood) April 25, 2018
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,
- 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.
Bathroom cabinets with sliders – made from Birch. 👍🏻— Fix It Fernwood (@FixItFernwood) August 5, 2019
.#fixitfernwood #fix8marketing #yyj #yyjre #yyjrealestate #yyjbiz #localyyj #yyjbusiness #victoriabc #victoriabuzz #viccity #yyjlife #birch #cityofvictoria #victoriahype #womeninbusiness #victoriarealestate #victoriahomes pic.twitter.com/lIGeiYm3HR
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.
My first cutting board ready. Don’t forget to like !! #birchwood #cuttingboard #liveedgewood #wood #woodworker #woodworking #woodwork #birch #loveworkingwithwood #makitatools #makitapowertools #imsoproudofmyself https://t.co/ZxNqqtmuyt pic.twitter.com/2BQaxKLwp8— Nathan Van de Velde (@NathanVdV) July 22, 2018
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
- 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 Type||Janka Hardness Value (N)||Grades|
|Ebony (Brazilian)||16420||Exceedingly Hard|
|Golden Teak||10400||Extremely Hard|
|Birch||5600 N (1260 lbf)||Hard|
|White Pine||1900||Very Soft|
As you can see Birch wood is hard and stronger than many other wood types that we commonly use.
Installing my first hardwood floor! 3/4” Birch and it’s beautiful wood! pic.twitter.com/ePrglEfNal— SkiSki (@imaginerevolt) December 30, 2021
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.
|Compressive Strength||8170 psi||6760 psi|
|Bending strength||16600 psi||14300 psi|
|Janka Hardness rate||1260 lbs||1290 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.
|Compressive Strength||8170 psi||4800 psi|
|Bending strength||16600 psi||8600 psi|
|Janka Hardness rate||1260 lbs||380 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.
|Compressive Strength||8170 psi||7830 psi|
|Bending strength||16600 psi||15800 psi|
|Janka Hardness rate||1260 lbs||1450 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!