SOLVED: Poplar Wood Vs. Pine Wood: Which One Is The Winner?

All in all, the success of woodworking projects relies on numerous factors but few prove to be more influential than the material.  Nowadays, while homeowners have access to a wide range of wood, many still elect to use poplar and pine for woodworking. Versatile and flexible, both types of wood work wells in most residential projects that people could think of. Nonetheless, regarding the one that comes out on top in poplar wood vs. pine wood, opinions vary from person to person.

A Summary Of Wood Types

Need some insights as you cannot decide between poplar and pine on your own? Then it’s suggested that you spare a bit of time to give this article a read. Down below is all the information that you must know about these types of wood before choosing one over the other.

Poplar And Pine: Breakdowns 

  • Poplar: Also known as white wood, poplar is one of the softer hardwoods that have low density so it’s easy to work with. In addition to that, since poplar features a reasonable moisture content, people could fold it into rigid structures as they see fit. Because of that, it’s possible to use poplar to make all sorts of things from packaging boxes to guitars. Last but not least, poplar grows quickly so sourcing it for woodworking projects is a walk in the park by all accounts.
  • Pine: As a common type of softwood, pine sees extensive use in a multitude of projects including furniture, flooring, etc. It’s worth pointing out that pine is a less than ideal choice for outdoor use due to the lack of resistance against elements. However, homeowners may pressure treat pine in advance to increase its ability to resist sunlight, moisture, snow, … In any case, pine is a breeze to manipulate so people don’t have to do much to shape it to their liking.

A Comparison Of Wood Types 


Generally speaking, the strength of poplar and pine is unexceptional but poplar is usually the stronger one between the two. As a result, poplar is not as prone to scratching and denting as pine over time which is a big plus in woodworking. Naturally, for projects in high-traffic areas, the majority of today’s homeowners rate poplar above pine in most of the cases. That being said, if pressure-treated, pine is going to work great in the outdoors.


Thanks to the absence of knots, pitches and so on, poplar boasts a uniform look that fits a lot of themes inside modern households. Aside from that, poplar not only comes in various colors but it’s also paintable when a need arises. As for pine, while its look is more or less uniform, it often contains knots, pitches, …Additionally, the color of pine falls behind that of poplar once it comes to variety.

Needless to say, in terms of appearance, poplar is the one that comes out on top in poplar wood vs. pine wood. You should stick to poplar if you care about the way your project presents itself.


The density of poplar and pine means people rarely need to exert themselves to cut through them in time of need. Depending on the situation, homeowners could use either machines or tools to process both types of wood. Moreover, regarding drilling and gluing, there is no need for prior preparation and that saves a bit of time. Still, it’s strongly recommended that you use something sharp to cut poplar to prevent its surface from becoming fuzzy afterward.


Since pine packs many pitches, it’s going to wear down woodworking machines and tools of homeowners faster than poplar. In addition, woodworking projects that involve pine feature a draw-out cleanup as people must remove pitches from their equipment. Meanwhile, everyone should be able to use poplar for multiple projects without having to worry too much about wear as it lacks pitches. Also, poplar is free of knots so the odds of machines and tools getting stuck tend to be low.


Usually, people don’t have to empty their wallet to get poplar and pine for their woodworking projects. However, on average, poplar costs slightly more than pine which affects the expense of projects to a certain extent. For small-scale projects, the difference between prices of wood types seems minor but it would become significant as the extent of projects grows. Unsurprisingly, most cost-conscious homeowners consider pine to be the winner in poplar wood vs. pine wood.

How To Choose Between Poplar And Pine: Suggestions 

Tips for Using Poplar in Woodworking Projects

Owing to the attributes of poplar and pine, one of them would prove more suitable than the other for particular projects. Nonetheless, in the case that you want to make the right call, you should take a look at these hints.

  • Take projects into account: For general-purpose projects, pine work wonders as it’s able to adapt to an assortment of settings. The notches and pitches of pine may even allow you to add characters to your woodworking projects. Still, if you plan to do projects that require a clean finish, it’s widely advised that you go for poplar. With the uniform look of poplar, it’s a breeze to match your project with the surroundings.
  • Keep maintenance in mind: To stay in top shape, all woodworking projects no matter the scale require maintenance. Since poplar could put up with more abuse than pine in use, its maintenance needs less time and effort. Don’t have the patience to look after your projects around the clock? Then there is a good chance that you would come to like using poplar for your woodworking.
  • Think about shopping budget: If you have money to spend, feel free to use whichever type of wood you like for your projects. On the other hand, if your wallet is kind of tight, you should select pine to save a couple of bucks for other needs.


Tips for Woodworking With Pine

Between poplar and pine, which one is lighter?

While poplar is a hardwood, it’s lighter than many softwoods including pine. Thus, poplar is a popular choice for a number of off-the-ground woodworking projects. The lightweight nature of poplar permits people to position their projects without much difficulty. Also, lighter woodworking projects create less strain for structures that support them.

How long do poplar and pine last?

If neglected, poplar and pine would show signs of degradation after several years. As a result, it’s essential to perform maintenance on both types of wood to keep them in good condition.

Where could I source poplar and pine?

Nowadays, you would be able to stock up on poplar and pine for your woodworking projects by visiting home improvement stores. Such stores sell wood of variable dimensions which is why you don’t have to spend much time cutting wood. Besides that, it’s possible to source poplar and pine from lumber yards if you live near them. However, once it comes to wood from lumber yards, cutting is necessary due to non-uniform measurements.


Leave a Comment