Relative Hardness (Janka Scale)

The Janka Scale indicates the relative hardness of a wood species. The scale was created by measuring the force required to insert a .444 inch steel ball to half of its diameter into a piece of wood. This scale allows you to see how resistant each wood type is to dings and scratches. In other words, how will it hold up to the daily abuse and wear and tear of the kids and the dog going up and down the stairs. The scale also indicates how difficult each wood is to cut and drill,  something to keep in mind if you’re doing the craftsmanship yourself.

Hardness Wood Species
3640 Ipe (Brazilian Walnut)
2450 Red Walnut
2350 Brazilian Cherry
2345 Mesquite
2200 Santos Mahogany
1925 Merbau
1910 Jarrah
1860 Purpleheart
Hardness Wood Species
1820 Hickory/Pecan
1725 African Padauk
1650 Brazilian Oak
1630 Wenge
1450 Hard Maple
1380 Bamboo
1360 White Oak
1320 Ash
1300 American Beech
Hardness Wood Species
1290 Red Oak
1260 Yellow Birch
1225 Heart Pine
1010 Black Walnut
950 Black Cherry
870 Souther Yellow Pine
660 Douglas Fir