Teak vs. Pine: Which One to Use?

Teak vs. Pine

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When it comes to woodworking, choosing the right type of wood is crucial to the success of your project. Two popular choices for woodworking are teak and pine, both having their own unique characteristics that make them suitable for different types of projects.

In this article, we’ll compare both, which will help you decide which one you may want to use for your next big project.

What Is Teak?

Teak is a hardwood native to Southeast Asia, particularly in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar, and is known for its durability and strength, as well as its moisture resistance. This makes it a popular choice for things such as outdoor furniture, boats, and other structures exposed to the elements.

The wood has a golden-brown color that can darken over time with exposure to sunlight. It has a straight grain pattern and a coarse texture, which makes it easy to work with using both hand and power tools.

The high oil content of teak makes it naturally resistant to the elements. Because of this, it’s an ideal choice for outdoor furniture and structures that are exposed to moisture and humidity.

It also has a great natural resistance to pests like termites and insects, which makes it a low-maintenance option for woodworkers.

However, one thing to keep in mind about teak is the cost. Because it is such a high-quality material, it doesn’t come cheap, and using it in projects is often quite costly.

What Is Pine?

Next, we have pine, which is a softwood that is another common choice for a variety of projects. The species is fast growing and is widely available and rather inexpensive.

This wood has a light color and straight grain, and it can be used in a variety of applications. However, this wood is not overly hard or resistant to the elements, so it really shouldn’t be used outdoors. Projects that may be fitting for pine include indoor furniture, veneer, and cabinetry.

Teak vs Pine: What Are the Differences?

Now that we know what each of these materials is, let’s take a closer look at their differences.


Teak is known for its high level of hardness, having a Janka hardness rating of 1,155 lbf, which makes it quite resistant to scratches and dents. Pine, on the other hand, comes in at just 690 lbf, making it more prone to physical damage.


Just like with hardness, teak is also much denser than pine. Teak has a density of 40 lbs/ft3, while pine is only 23 lbs/ft3. This means that teak wood is heavier and more solid than pine wood, and can be used for more weight-bearing applications.

However, as mentioned above, it’s worth considering that the lighter weight of pine makes it much easier to work with.

Pest and Moisture Resistance

Teak wood is naturally resistant to pests and moisture, making it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture and decking. Pine, on the other hand, is not as resistant to the elements, and should really not be used outside.

Overall Strength

At the end of the day, teak is just much stronger than pine. It can handle much more weight and is much better suited for structural applications.


One area where pine does come out on top is workability. It is easier to work with than teak, as it is softer and more pliable, making it easier to cut, shape, and sand. Teak, on the other hand, is harder and more difficult to work with and requires some more specialized tools and techniques.


Teak wood has a rich, golden-brown color and a distinctive grain pattern. It is valued for its beauty and, because of this, is often used in high-end furniture and decorative applications.

Pine, on the other hand, has a lighter color and a more uniform grain pattern and is typically used for more utilitarian purposes. However, at the end of the day, this all really comes down to personal preference.


As mentioned above, teak is more expensive than pine due to its durability, strength, and desirable appearance. Pine, on the other hand, is decently affordable and easily available, making it a popular choice for folks who are working with a tighter budget.

Teak can cost up to $30 per board foot, if not more, while pine shouldn’t cost you more than $8 per board foot.

When to Use Teak?

This wood is a popular choice for woodworking due to its durability, strength, and resistance to decay and insects. It is often used in outdoor furniture, high-end decorative pieces, and even marine-related applications

While teak is a great choice for many woodworking projects, it can be expensive and difficult to work with, making it less accessible to the average woodworker. Additionally, it may not be the best choice for projects that require staining or painting, as those natural oils can make it difficult for finishes to adhere.

When to Use Pine?

Pine is a popular choice for woodworking projects for several reasons. It is a softwood, which means it is easy to work with and can be cut, sanded, and shaped without much effort. It is also readily available and relatively inexpensive, making it a cost-effective option for many projects.

One of the key benefits of this material is its versatility. It can be used for a wide range of projects, from simple DIY furniture to more complex cabinetry and shelving. Also, its lighter color makes it a much better option for painting and staining.

Additionally, it’s easy to find pine that has been sustainably sourced, which makes it the more eco-friendly option. However, pine does have some downsides. This wood is not very resistant to the elements, nor is it very strong, so it shouldn’t be used outdoors or for weight-bearing applications.


When it comes to choosing between teak and pine for woodworking, there are a few factors to consider. Both have their advantages and drawbacks, and the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking for.

Teak is a durable and aesthetically pleasing wood that is resistant to rot and insects, making it ideal for outdoor furniture and decks. It is also a popular choice for high-end decorative pieces and other luxury items. However, it can be expensive and difficult to work with due to its hardness.

Pine, on the other hand, is a more affordable and versatile wood that is easy to work with. It is a popular choice for indoor furniture, particularly in rustic or country-style homes. It is also a good option for beginners who are just starting out with woodworking.

Ultimately, the choice between teak and pine comes down to the specific project you are working on.