Rubberwood vs. Pine: Uses, Strength, Durability & Pros Cons

Rubberwood and Pinewood are two completely different kinds of wood used for various purposes. Rubberwood is best for indoor furniture, while Pinewood can make indoor and outdoor furniture (when treated).

Rubberwood is an environmentally friendly wood gotten from the Pará rubber tree. The Pará rubber tree is native to the Guianas and the tropical rainforest of the Amazon basin. Rubber trees can reach a height of 100-125 feet and have a lifespan of about 100 years.

Pine is a coniferous tree or shrub that belongs to the genus ‘Pinus’ of the ‘Pinaceae’ family. They are native to the Northern Hemisphere and temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere. These trees can grow up to 260 feet and live for up to 1000 years; they are long-lived trees.

They have a lot of differences, and one common difference is their wood type. Rubberwood is hardwood, while Pinewood is softwood. This does not necessarily mean that Rubberwood will be stronger than Pinewood.

Rubberwood vs Pine

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 Rubber WoodPine Wood
ColorThe heartwood color ranges from a light blonde to a medium tan color alongside medium brown streaks. The sapwood color is somewhat similar to the heartwood.The heartwood color is golden brown but somewhat resembles a reddish color. The color of the sapwood ranges from creamy white to yellow.
GrainRubber wood has a straight grain with a low natural luster. The texture is somehow coarse but open.The grain of some types of Pine wood is generally straight, while others have an uneven appearance. Pine has growth rings which show as dark bands all over the wood.
WorkabilityRubber wood works well with machines and hands but has an unpleasant smell when being worked on. It glues and finishes nicely but can warp and twist during drying.Pinewood has a smooth surface, making it easy to work with (for hand carving and machines). It takes nails and screws well but tends to have several knots making it difficult to cut.
HeightPará rubber trees can grow up to a height of 100 to 125 feet (30 to 38 meters) in the wild.Some species of Pine trees can grow up to a height of 10 to 260 feet, while some others can reach 50 to 150 feet.
DensityRubber wood is lightweight with a density of 560 to 625 kg/m³.Pine wood has a density of 352 to 849 kg/m³.
Wood typeRubber wood is a  medium-density hardwood.Pine wood is a softwood.

Key Differences Between Rubber Wood and Pine Wood

Uses

One significant difference between Rubber wood and Pine wood is that you canuse them for different purposes. Some of these purposes will be explored below.

Rubber Wood

  • Rubberwood is used in the production of indoor furniture.
  • It is also used to make indoor building components such as cabinets.
  • It is suitable for trays and carvings.
  • Rubberwood is used to make kitchen accessories such as cutting boards.
  • It is used for interior millwork.

Pine wood

  • It is used to manufacture high-value carpentry items such as roofing, furniture, window frames, floors, etc.
  • It is used in the making of paneling and railings.
  • Pressure treated Pine is used as an option for deck building.
  • You can make paper from the pulp of Pine wood.
  • Pine wood can be used to produce plywood and wood veneers.

Strength

Rubberwood has a strength of 9,500 psi, a stiffness of 1.3 million psi, and a hardness of 500 pounds. Compared to the different Pinewood types, only Yellow Pine surpasses with a hardness of 870 pounds, a stiffness of 1.98 Mpsi, and compressive strength of 8,470 psi.

White Pine has a compressive strength of 4,800 psi, a stiffness of 1.24 Mpsi, and a hardness of 380 pounds. Lastly, Sugar Pins has a compressive strength of 4,460 psi, a stiffness of 1.19 Mpsi, and a hardness of 380 pounds.

Similarities Between Rubber Wood and Pine Wood

Durability

Rubberwood and Pinewood are somewhat similar in terms of durability. They can be classified as moderately durable. They do not contain some of the properties that make wood long-lasting.

Rubberwood has a Janka hardness rating of 890 lbs, making it stronger than some hardwoods. It can resist warping but does tend to warp when being dried. It is barely resistant to decay and susceptible to insect attacks. Rubberwood absorbs water quickly, making it a wrong option for outdoor furniture.

Pinewood is stronger than most softwoods but will need to be pressure treated before being used outdoors. This is because it is not naturally rot-resistant, but old-growth pine can resist rot to an extent. It does a great job resisting moisture, shrinkage, swelling, and warping.

Pros and Cons of Rubber Wood

Pros

  • Rubberwood is burn-resistant and does not release toxic fumes.
  • It is considered to be environmentally friendly.
  • It is more affordable than most hardwoods.
  • It is easy to work with, stains well, and finishes nicely.

Cons

  • Rubber wood is susceptible to insect attacks and fungus infestation.
  • It is not resistant to rot and decay.
  • It is not an excellent choice for outdoor use as it is not weather-resistant.
  • It tends to warp and twist while drying.

Pros and Cons of Pine Wood

Pros

  • Pine wood is easy to work with, both with machines and handcraft.
  • It is an affordable softwood.
  • The grain pattern and color of Pinewood give it a traditional aesthetic design.
  • It is more durable than most softwoods and can resist moisture.
  • It has good shock resistance.

Cons

  • Pinewood has a soft texture making it susceptible to scratches and dents.
  • It has little resistance to rot and will need to be pressure treated.
  • The wood tends to have knots which makes it difficult to cut.
  • It is softwood and will need to be maintained regularly.

Conclusion

Picking wood for your furniture or any other purpose can be difficult. Still, now that you have narrowed your options down to two choices, the above disadvantages and advantages will help you make the final choice.

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