Janka Wood Hardness Scale

janka wood hardness scaleThe Janka rating is a measure of the amount of force required to push a .444" diameter steel ball half way into a piece of wood. In laymans terms it is a way to measure a woods resistance to denting.

It is not productive to take issue with the exact number, but rather understand the "relative" hardness of one wood to another. I say this because I know from experience that two pieces of the same type of wood, one grown quickly further south and one slowly in more northern climates will have quite different Janka ratings, just because of their individual "speed of growth"... and you certainly can't ask a wholesaler for a chunk of wood that grew on the 72nd parallel.

Thus a common use of the Janka Hardness Scale is to determine a woods suitabliity as a wood for hardwood flooring. The higher the number the greater its resistance to denting as it lives life.

For the woodworker it will be a good indicator on the difficulty of sawing and nailing... or maybe just moving the wood around your shop...


California Redwood 420
Douglas Fir 660
Southern Yellow Pine (loblolly & short leaf) 690
Honduran Mahogany 800
African Mahogany 830
South American Lacewood 840
Southern Yellow Pine (longleaf) 870
Black Cherry 950
American Black Walnut
American Black Walnut Hardwood Flooring
Peruvian Walnut 1080
Brazilian Eucalyptus 1125
Teak 1155
Bamboo (carbonized) 1180
Larch 1200
Heart Pine 1225
Caribbean Heart pine 1240
Yellow Birch 1260
Red Oak (Northern) 1290
American Beech 1300
Ash 1320
White Oak 1360
Australian Cypress 1375
Bamboo (natural) 1380
Royal Mahogany 1400
Hard maple 1450
African Walnut/Sappelle 1500
Brazlian Maple 1500
Zebrawood 1575
Wenge 1630
Brazilian Oak 1650
Bamboo 1650
Patens 1691
Peruvian Maple 1700
Kempas 1710
African Pedauk (Padeuk/African Cherry) 1725
Bolivian Rosewood /Morado 1780
Hickory/Pecan 1820
Kempas 1854
Purpleheart 1860
Jarrah 1910
Amendoim 1912
Merbau 1925
African Rosewood (Bubinga) 1980
Grapia 2053
Jarrah 2082
Purple Heart 2090
Tigerwood 2160
Burma Mahogany 2170
Amberwood 2200
Cabreuva (Santos Mahogany) 2200
Caribbean Rosewood 2300
Mesquite 2345
Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) 2350
Peruvian Cherry 2350
Red Walnut 2450
African Cedar / Bosse 2600
Patagonian Rosewood 2800
Bloodwood 2900
Brazilian Rosewood (Tamarindo) 3000
Brazilian Redwood 3190
Tiete Rosewood 3280
Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) 3540
Southern Chestnut, Tiete Chestnut 3540
Lapacho (usually grouped with IPE Wood)
Ipe Lumber
Bolivian Cherry 3650
African Pearwood/Moabi 3680
Brazilian Walnut / Ipe
Ipe Decking
Brazilian Ebony 3692
Patagonian Rosewood 3840
Brazilian Tiger Mahogany 3840