Janka Values of North-American Hardwoods

We often get asked about the resistance of our furniture to denting, scratching, and general wear and tear. The resistance of wood to denting and scratching is measured on the Janka scale.

What is the Janka Scale?

Janka values represent the amount of pound-force that is required to partially embed a small steel ball into the surface of the wood. Below we've compiled the janka values of several of the most popular North American hardwoods used to make furniture in the United States and attempted to represent them visually.

Infographic: Janka Values of North American Furniture Hardwoods

Wood Species Janka Value in Pound-Force (Newtons)
Black Locust 1,700 lbf (7,600 N)
Sugar Maple 1,450 lbf (6,400 N)
White Oak 1,360 lbf (6,000 N)
Ash 1,320 lbf (5,900 N)
Red Oak 1,290 lbf (5,700 N)
Yellow Birch 1,260 lbf (5,600 N)
Black Walnut 1,010 lbf (4,500 N)
Black Cherry 950 lbf (4,200 N)
Alder 590 lbf (2,600 N)
Chestnut 540 lbf (2,400 N)
17

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