Janka Hardness Test

Janka Hardness TestThis measures the hardness of wood. It’s one of the best ways to determine whether or not a wood species has the ability to stand up to denting and wear. So it’s commonly used to see if a species is suitable for use as flooring. It’s also a good indicator of how hard a wood is to saw or nail.

The test measures the force necessary to embed a .444-inch steel ball half of its diameter into the wood species being tested. (The Janka measurement may differ somewhat between boards of the same species, depending on the source of the wood and other variables.) In the United States, a Janka measurement is stated in pounds-force (lbf).

Here are measurements for most of the woods we carry. For comparison, we’ve also included measurements for some of the commonly used woods grown in the United States.

WOOD SPECIES HARDNESS IN LBF
Ipe / Brazilian Walnut 3,680
Sucupira / Brazilian Walnut / Brazilian Chestnut 2,880
Santa Maria 2,870
Jatoba / Brazilian Cherry 2,760
Santos Mahogany 2,200
Tigerwood / Goncalo Alves 2,160
South American Pearwood / Timborana 2,100
Peruvian Olive Wood 2,070
Brazilian Moabi 2,050
Peruvian Acacia 1,970
Hickory / Pecan / Satinwood 1,820
Tatajuba 1,780
Angelim Pedra 1,720
Sambawood 1,650
Hard Maple / Sugar Maple 1,450
White Oak 1,360
Ash (White) 1,320
Red Oak (Northern) 1,260
Black Walnut / North American Walnut 1,010
Sycamore 770
Douglas-fir 660
Alder (Red) 590
Chestnut 540
Hemlock 500
Balsa 100