When it comes to hardwoods, Ash and Oak are two of the most popular names, and the argument about which is the best hardwood among them might never end.
Ash is a light-colored, dense, durable hardwood that grows on the east coast and some parts of Canada. It draws its name Ash from the word “spear,” maybe because its leaves have a spear shape or the fact that it was used to make weapons in ancient times.
On the other hand, Oakwood is a durable, workable, and beautiful hardwood that is gotten from the oak tree, which is native to the northern hemisphere. It has up to 600 species and two main types: white Oak and red Oak.
The significant difference between Ashwood and Oakwood is that Ash is slightly harder than Oak, while Oak appears to be grainier than Ash. However, they both show great resilience and versatility and are commonly used for furniture, cabinets, wood floors, etc.
Ashwood and Oakwood Comparison Table
|Coarse uniform texture
|White Oak is medium to coarse texture, and Red Oak coarse is texture
|Beige or light brown
|White Oak appears light beige through brown, and Red Oak has reddish and pinkish hues.
|1320 Janka rating
|White Oak 1360 Janka rating Red Oak 1290 Janka
|Compressive strength of 7,410 psi, and bending strength of 15,000 psi
|Compressive and bending strength for White Oak is 7440 and 15,200 respectively, while compressive and bending strength for Red Oak is 6760 and 14, 300. All in psi
|Straight grain, sometimes curly
Differences between Ashwood and Oakwood
Many usually confuse Ash and Oak with being the same. Although they are in the same category of hardwoods, there are still lots of differences between them which can be found in their appearance, texture, hardness, strength, uses, cost, and resale value.
Before going to the sawmill, or timber store, you need to know what the Ash and Oakwood look like so that you won’t buy the wrong one. Their appearance is one of the major differences between them. Anyone with a little knowledge about woods should be able to spot each of them.
From afar, you will see the ash wood’s beige or light brown color. As you get closer, you will begin to notice its straight or sometimes curly grains. Its colors are uniform throughout such that you might not be able to differentiate between its heartwood and sapwood. Ashwood is very beautiful and attractive, which is why it is commonly used for furniture.
For Oakwood, you will be able to notice its straight grains from a distance. It can take on almost any kind of hue because of its several kinds of species. The White Oak has a light beige through brown color while the red Oak has a reddish or pinkish hue, and they can both stain well to look dark or bright. The sapwood of the Oak is always a bit lighter such that you can differentiate it from the heartwood, but sometimes they have a homogeneous look.
There is also a slight difference in how the Ash and the Oakwood feel. Ashwood has a uniformly coarse texture, while Oakwood has a medium to coarse texture. The Red Oak, in particular, has a total coarse texture.
The hardness of the wood will help determine if it is the right wood for your project. Ashwood has a hardness of 1,320, which is higher than the Red Oak at 1,290 but a bit lesser than the white Oak at 1,360, all on the Janka scale.
The strength of wood determines its performance under high tension. That is, if it will bend or compress when subjected to load and nature’s extreme elements. Ashwood has a compressive strength of 7,410 psi and bending strength of 15,000 psi which is slightly lesser than the White Oak, which has a compressive and bending strength of 7,440 and 15,200 psi, respectively, but greater than the Red Oak, which has a compressive and bending strength of 6760 and 14, 300 psi respectively.
Ashwood and Oakwood share some similar uses, but due to their difference in hardness and strength, they are recommended for different specific wood tasks.
Ash is one of the strongest and hardest hardwoods, often regarded as second to Oak, although it has an advantage over Oak here because of its versatility. It finds its uses in sports, for making snooker cues, baseball bats, tennis and rackets, weaponry for making spears, bows, and arrows, building projects for making wood floors, and in-home improvement for making furniture and cabinets, etc.
Oakwood, particularly the White Oak, is often regarded as the father of all hardwoods and is used for special wood projects where its hardness and strength will be of great importance. For instance, due to its excellent resistance to weight, moisture, humidity, and wear and tear, it is preferred in the construction of dams, outdoor floorings, and decks expected to carry heavy loads. It is also used for leather tanning, professional drums used in japan, and barrels where wine and brandies are stored.
Despite all the details mentioned above, your pocket ultimately has the final say. Ashwood is a much more affordable option. It can be purchased for around $2.50 to $7.00 per board foot, while Oakwood comes at a higher price ranging from $4.10 to $9.25 per board foot. It is important to note that these prices may change due to factors like your location and the store you are buying from.
The ash and oak wood both have a good resale value. However, Oakwood generally has a higher resale value than Ash because of its popularity and high demand. It is very easy to find buyers who are willing to pay for it.
Hopefully, this post has been able to answer all your questions concerning ash wood and Oakwood. Clearly, no one is better than each other because they are both useful in their ways.
Both of them are easy to maintain, they stain very well, and they offer a high level of resistance to insects and decay. Ashwood will get your simple tasks done, while Oakwood is best suited for tough wood projects.