Why Hardwood Carves Better Than Softwood

The Janka hardness test measures the hardness of wood. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear, and to be carved with great detail.

If the wood is too soft, it does carve easily but not well. The sharp detail that makes a carving look crisp is not there, and the carvings lack the subtle detail that you find when using hardwoods.

At Master Wood Carvers, we use only kiln dried hardwoods such as Maple, Oak and Cherry for our carvings. The less expensive carvers found in Asia use much softer woods in their carvings, and the difference is very apparent. The hardness of wood measured by the Janka test are:



Hard Maple…..1450


To give you a frame of reference, Lignum Vitae, which is used for dock pilings because it has a higher specific gravity than water, and is almost impossible to carve has a Janka rating of 4500.

So when we talk wood carvings, hard is always much better than soft. Check our website for custom carved custom wood corbels, custom fireplace mantels, custom wooden posts, custom decorative capitals and more custom carved products.