Is Pine Wood Strong? With Pros and Cons

is pine wood strong

Pine wood is commonly used wood in making furniture and carpentry items. It is known as a budget-friendly wood type among woodworkers.

Pine wood is lightweight and has an attractive wood grain which makes it perfect for nice-looking woodwork.

But when it comes to woodworking with pine wood, people are always wondering, Is Pine Wood Strong?

Here’s what I know from working with pine wood:

Yes, Pine wood is strong. It is a very stiff softwood with relatively high compressive strength, density, and bending strength than most other softwoods. This makes pine wood strong and durable to use for making furniture, paneling, window frames, roofing, and many other woodworks. Even though pine wood is stronger than many other softwoods, it is weaker than all the hardwoods.

But there’s a lot more to know about is pine wood strong than many other wood types like plywood, poplar cedar, how strong is plywood, is pine wood strong for furniture, bed frames shelves, and many more.

Furthermore, I’ll discuss frequently asked questions about pine wood in terms of its strength as well.

So, let’s dive in!

How Strong is Pine Wood?

When it comes to softwoods, pine wood is so much stronger than many other softwoods. You can get a clear idea about how strong is pine wood by analyzing its,

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

So, let’s dive into each of the above factors to get an idea about the strength of both white and yellow pine wood.

PropertiesWhite PineYellow Pine
Compressive strength4800psi8470psi
Bending strength8600psi14500psi

As you can see in terms of density, hardness, stiffness, compressive strength, and bending strength yellow pine is stronger than white pine.

The compressive strength and bending strength of yellow pine are higher than most hardwoods as well.

This is the reason why pine wood is considered a strong wood.

But in density wise, both yellow pine and white pine are less dense than many other kinds of wood.

Therefore, pine wood is lightweight and has high workability.

Overall, apart from being a softwood, pine wood is such a strong wood type that is suitable for any purpose.

But always keep in mind that there is always a hardwood with better strength than pine wood.

Is Pine Wood Strong for Furniture?

Pine wood is strong for furniture. Even though it has a relatively low density which is considered as a softwood, the compressive and bending strengths of pine wood are significantly higher than some hardwoods as well.

Therefore, Pine wood is considered a strong and durable wood type for both indoor and outdoor furniture.

Pinewood has good workability and dimensional stability which is so much useful for furniture making.

Because of being a softwood, pine wood takes manipulation with saw, lather, or router as well.

Pine wood can easily tear up and before the project you need to make sure the woodworking or carving tools are properly sharpened.

To prevent pine wood from tearing, follow slow speed feed speed. Sanding should not do in harsh. Use fine-grit sandpaper starting from 80 grit up to 400 grits.

Always make sure to do the drilling and all other woodworking activities slowly to avoid tearing. Finish the furniture with proper staining.

By following the above guidelines when working with pine wood, the resulting pine wood furniture will be strong and durable.

With proper finishing, you can make both strong interior and exterior furniture, and columns, using pine wood.

Here’re some of the advantages and disadvantages you get by using pine wood for furniture.

Dimensional stabilityTear up easily
LightweightDent and scratch easily
High workabilityRequire light sanding
DurableNeed more paint
InexpensiveLess strength than most hardwoods
Resist for swelling & shrinking 
Attractive wood grain 
Has good moisture resistance 

As you can see there are lots of advantages of using pine wood for making furniture than its cons.

Ultimately, pine wood is one of the best wood for furniture, even though it’s weaker than hardwoods.

So, let’s have a look at frequently asked questions about the strength of pine wood for various purposes.

Is Pine Wood Strong for Bed Frame?

Pine wood is one of the best wood for bed frames. It is versatile, easy to work, cheap, and sturdy. Pine wood is easy to paint, and you’ll never regret using pine wood for a bed frame.

The strength of pine wood is well enough to use it for a bed frame.

Pinewood has good moisture resistance than most other woods and it is significantly resistant to decay and rotting.

The only problem with pine wood is it dents and scratches easily because of being softwood.

Therefore, pine wood is not strong as hardwoods, but it won’t be a problem because with proper maintenance it won’t warp for a long time.

Also make sure to consider the length of the planks, because much larger and longer planks of pine wood don’t have the strength to support the huge weight.

Pine wood easily support a bed frame for,

  • 2 fully grown people
  • 2 mattresses
  • Pillows and blankets

Pine wood has great dimensional stability which is so much helpful to keep the bed frame steady and screwing, drilling, and sanding is so much easier even for a beginner in woodworking.

Is Pine Wood Strong for Stairs?

Pine is a popular wood for stairs because it is easy to work with, sand, and finish. The strength of pine wood for stairs is pretty much higher and doesn’t rot or decay easily.

The main drawback of pine wood stairs is they can damage easily and are not hard and durable as hardwoods.

If you have dogs in your house, I don’t recommend pine wood stairs because they scratch easily because of pets’ claws.

Among yellow pine and white pine, yellow pine is so dense and has great strength as well. Therefore, most people tend to go with yellow pine and it has good durability as well.

Pine wood easily accepts paint and stain.

Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the finishing part of your beautiful pine stairs.

Is Pine Wood Strong for Shelves?

Pine wood is not strong enough for shelves. It can sag under a lot of weight. Pine wood dent and scratch easily as well.

But there are some occasions we can use pine wood for shelves, but it’s not considered the best wood type for shelves due to its comparatively low strength and durability than hardwoods like cherry, birch, maple which have excellent strength for shelves than pine wood.

The other drawbacks of using pine wood for shelves are, you may need extra support for long spans, and they don’t offer good rigidity for a long time. Also, need lots of maintenance, and that costs time and money.

In my opinion, without going for pine wood, you can easily find good hardwood for shelves.

If you want to get the same color as pine wood, applying a stain is the best option rather than going for pine wood.

What is the Strongest Pine Wood?

Yellow pine is known as the strongest pine wood. it even considered one of the strongest softwoods. Yellow pine is strong in terms of,

  • Compressive strength with 8470psi
  • Density with 0.59
  • Bending Strength with 14500psi
  • Hardness with 870lb
  • Stiffness with 1.98Mpsi

The high strength to weight ratio of yellow pine makes it strong and poplar for many constructions.

So, let’s have a look at the strength of other poplar woods against the strength of pine wood to get an answer for if pine wood is strong enough?

Is Pine Stronger Than Plywood?

Even though normally plywood is considered weaker than solid woods, there are some plywood stronger than pine. For example, pine plywood can hold a higher bending force before breaking than solid pine wood.

2 things make any plywood stronger than pine. They are,

  1. Number of layers of plywood
  2. Adhesives

Most plywood is weaker than pine wood.

But if the number of layers of plywood is high and the adhesives are bonded well, plywood will easily gain higher strength than solid pine wood.

Is Pine Stronger Than Poplar?

Poplar wood is stronger than pine. But yellow pine is stronger than poplar and white pine is weaker.

According to the Jana hardness values, you can get a pretty good idea about the strength variations of pine wood and poplar.

  • Poplar wood – 540 lb.
  • Yellow pine – 870 lb.
  • White pine – 380 lb.

Is Pine Stronger Than Cedar?

Cedar is stronger and durable than pine wood. Even though cedar is considered softwood, it has good dent and scratch resistance than pine wood. cedar wood is resistant to warping and shrinking as well.

According to the Janks hardness values, in terms of hardness pine and cedar show the following results.

  • Red cedar – 350 lb.
  • White cedar – 320 lb.
  • Yellow pine – 870 lb.
  • White pine – 380 lb.

As you can see even though pine wood is weaker than cedar, in terms of hardness pine wood is significantly higher than cedarwood.

Therefore, many people use pine wood as the best alternative option for cedarwood.

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

From this article, I have widely discussed is pine wood strong with its characteristics.

Furthermore, we have discussed is pine wood strong for furniture, bed frames, Stairs, and shelves.

In a conclusion, pine wood is considered a strong and durable wood type. It is used for any woodworking task and is a great wood, especially for beginners due to its high workability.

With proper maintenance, you can keep the strength of pine wood for long enough.

What is the next woodwork you going to make with pine wood? Think deeply and give it a try!

Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him!

5 thoughts on “Is Pine Wood Strong? With Pros and Cons”

  1. What a informative post thanks. Here in South Africa most of our structural timber is pine. Almost all wood related products here are manufactured from yellow pine… Anyway, it’s always nice to read more about wood working techniques and types of timber used. Keep up the good work.

  2. This article answered almost all of my questions. I’ve used white pine for most of my projects but it will be my first murphy bed attempt. I noticed the bed frame you made which looks to be all 2″ (1.5″) thick. I’m wondering if 1″ boards would be sufficient strenght for a bed frame. It’s the first time I come across your articles but will definitely follow for future reference. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.


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