7 best wood for shelves

Which is the best wood for shelves?

wood for shelves

Before starting your woodworking project and make different kinds of bookshelves, wall shelves, and other types of shelves, there are some key factors to consider. So read until the end of this article to find out which is the best type of wood for shelves.


To make your bedroom, living room, office, or any other area inside your house look way more beautiful and well designed, you will probably need to have some shelves installed on the walls. Wooden shelves can make your room look fresher and also hold objects such as books, home appliances, toys, and other things.


Choosing the right type of wood for shelves is not a difficult thing to do. You have to keep some factors in mind. Note that the wood you use to make a shelf has to be


  • Durable

  • Inexpensive

  • Easy to cut

  • Easy to paint


If the cost of materials and wood does not matter to you, Mahogany, Walnut, Koa, and African Padauk are the best wood for shelves as long as they offer high durability and strength so that they can easily hold heavy loads and objects.



Good workability, moderate durability, and a reddish color make this type of wood pretty suitable for making shelves that can be subjected to heavy loads. Expensive boards which run from $5 to $30 per board foot might be considered as a downside for Mahogany when it comes to choosing this type of wood for shelves.



The unique color and high durability make Walnut the second expensive choice for making wooden shelves after Mahogany. You don’t need to paint this type of wood as long as it has a perfect color. You may only need to apply a finish to make your shelf and décor in absolute harmony.


African Padauk

Despite being heavy, African Padauk is a good type of wood for shelves because it’s easy to work with. Thanks to its high durability, you can put heavy objects and loads on it. African Padauk holds screws and nails well. By the way, its gluing properties are acceptable for making shelves.



Koa trees are rarely found in the world. With that being said, the cost of lumber is a bit high. Because of having greater strength and stiffness than Walnut, Koa wood is highly appreciated by woodworkers for making bookshelves. It has a unique color and can be used without applying any paints to it.



The thing that makes Pinewood very popular for making shelves is being inexpensive and readily available. Another winner option is that it has a good finish and because of being soft, you can cut it easily. You can also apply paint to Pine easily, but to be honest, the wood itself looks great! You can find more properties and features about Pine in our article.

Pinewood won’t give you good durability because of being soft, so you have to beware of the load you’re going to subject the shelf to. It can only hold light objects, but if you add additional support or have thicker cuts, it can hold heavier loads.


Western Red Cedar

A unique red-colored softwood that can be readily cut and painted. Although red cedar is softwood, carpenters use it a lot to make shelves due to its properties and being moderately durable. On the other hand, red cedar is well-known for being weather-resistant that makes it ideal for making shelves that are used and installed outside the building. The cost for this type of wood can vary from low in the Pacific Northwest region to medium and even high in some countries.



Redwood has a creamy-white to yellow color. it is capable of a clean finish, capable of being painted, glued, stained. This type of wood has moisture-resistant properties that make it widely used among woodworkers and house designers. It is highly durable but easy to work with.



wood for shelves

Shelves play a significant role in our houses. They make rooms look much more beautiful and fresher. Don’t forget that we place objects and our home appliances on shelves. So except for the appearance and the color, there are plenty of options one has to take into account. When choosing a type of wood for shelves features like durability, cost, and being finishable are of paramount importance.

There is no right or wrong option to choose between the above woods mentioned for making shelves. Depending on what a woodworker needs and which is the most important thing, the right type of wood for shelves might be different.

Now that you’ve found out which is the right type of wood for making shelves, you can learn more about different types of wood in another interesting post on our website.



handsaw | hand saw | saw | wood saw | wood

12 Different types of Hand Saws

Whether you want to cut some wood, build a chair, make a wooden bench, or even do some woodworking, chances are you need something to cut the wood to sizes and make beautiful things out of pieces of wood. In this case, you’ll need to know whether to use a hand saw or a power saw because there’s a specific saw for every type of woodworking, and that’s something really important to know if you want to do it just right and avoid teething problems.To help you choose the best handsaw for your cutting projects, we have prepared a complete list of different types of hand saws available out there. Make sure you read on to find the proper one for you.


Teeth, that’s it all!

Generally, the act of cutting wood in different saws is almost the same: using a blade with sharp teeth sticking out from the edge. Saw blades have teeth to cut wood. TPI (teeth per inch) is the number of teeth a blade has per inch (the number varies between 2 to 32). The lower the TPI, the quicker the process of cutting. BTW, with a lower TPI, you’ll have rougher cuts. By adding to the number of TPI you will reach a fine and smoother cut.


Which is the right saw for me?

There are two famous types of saws on the market, hand saws and power saws.

In this article, we are going to introduce different types of hand saws and their uses. If you are looking for different types of power saws and their uses, click here.


Why shall I use a hand saw?

cutting wood using a hand saw


Well, if you want to have a more affordable saw which mostly doesn’t need any source of power and electricity, then universal hand saws would be one of the best options available on the market.



Different types of hand saws:

1. Traditional hand saws

traditional hand saw
CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)

Let me introduce the most versatile type of hand saw!

Hardened and tempered high carbon steel blade with a solid handle makes the traditional hand saw one the most used hand saws out there which lots of woodworkers have one in their set of tools.


  • Cutting raw logs, chipboards, and wood plates.
  • Cutting thick wood


Best for: DIYers who want to cut wood by hand.

our recommendation: CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)


2. Bow saw

bow hand saw
Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood

A bow-shaped metal frame holding a wide blade (also known as a Finn saw or a Swede saw). These saws are mostly used when having a speedy process is much more important than a fine cut. Bow saws need a tremendous amount of physical effort, so they might not come in handy for sawing thick tree branches.


  • Cutting thin tree branches and shrubs.
  • Sawing wood to sizes and making shaped logs.


Best for: Those who want to have more control over cutting and want it to be done quickly without considering the smoothness of the cuts.

our recommendation: Bahco 10-30-23 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw for Green Wood


3. Coping saw

coping hand saw
IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw (2014400)

A U-shaped frame with a tiny blade (that is like a bow saw), coping saw is ideal for woodworkers who want to cut out a shape in the middle of a piece of wood or even the edges of wooden material. Do not use this type of saws if you want to cut logs thicker than 1 inch.


  • Interior cuts
  • Precise cuts
  • Curved cuts

Best for: Model makers who want to have curved cuts.

our recommendation: IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw (2014400)


4. Tenon saw

tenon hand saw
Stanley – Fatmax Tenon/ Back Saw 350Mm 14In 13Tpi

Tenon saws that have a stiff blade with a TPI around 10 to 14 and a closed pistol grip handle, allowing woodworkers to have good control over the depth and direction of the cuts so that they can make precise angled cuts.


  • Quick cutting
  • For mortise and tenon joint cutting
  • Accurate cutting

Best for: Making deep smooth straight cuts on soft and hardwood.

our recommendation: Stanley – Fatmax Tenon/ Back Saw 350Mm 14In 13Tpi


5. Frame saw | frame hand saw

frame saw | frame hand saw
Image from Wikipedia

Frame saw is kind of old saws with a rectangular H-shaped frame and a blade on one side which makes it suitable for almost any cutting process. Sometimes we use frame saws to get the surface ready for face-gluing because of the smooth finish these saws can offer.


  • Cutting curves
  • Crosscutting wet wood
  • Push and pull cutting

Best for: Woodworkers seeking an inexpensive saw with versatile uses.


6. Pruning saw

pruning saw
Corona RS 7510D RazorTOOTH Heavy Duty Pruning Curved Blade Trimming Saw for Hand Cutting Tree Limbs and Branches, 18 Inch

As the name implies, pruning saw is used for hand pruning and trimming small or even medium-sized branches and garden plants. There are different types of pruning saws with versatile uses and different TPIs, but in almost any of these saws, you can see a curved blade and an open handhold.


  • Trimming branches under 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • Cutting on both the push and pull stroke.

Best for: Gardeners who want to trim live shrubs and branches to make their garden look more attractive.

our recommendation: Corona RS 7510D RazorTOOTH Heavy Duty Pruning Curved Blade Trimming Saw for Hand Cutting Tree Limbs and Branches, 18 Inch


7. Japanese saw | Japanese hand saw

japanese saw | japanese handsaw
SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw Hand Saw 9.5 Inch Ryoba Double Edge for Woodworking

If you want to tackle almost any kind of cutting project (whether you are a beginner or a pro woodworker), you probably need to have a Japanese saw in your set of tools. Because of the pull strokes, it maintains a thinner blade which produces less dust.


  • Cutting on the pull stroke.
  • Cutting fast with less physical effort compared to other hand saws

Best for: Carpenters who want smooth, fast, easy cuts.

our recommendation: SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw Hand Saw 9.5 Inch Ryoba Double Edge for Woodworking


8. Hack saw

hack saw | hack handsaw
DEWALT Hack Saw, 5-in-1 (DWHT20547L)

Another type of hand saw is called the “hack saw” which is not only used by carpenters but also plumbers and electricians (due to being capable of cutting metal and plastic). The TPI in these kinds of saws varies from 18 to 30.


  • Cutting pipes, tubes, and wood.

Best for: plumbers and carpenters

our recommendation: DEWALT Hack Saw, 5-in-1 (DWHT20547L)


9. Crosscut hand saw

Crosscut saw | Crosscut hand saw
GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Crosscut Saw, Hardwood Handle, Wood and Tree Saw Hand Saw

If you are looking for a saw, capable of cutting across the wood grain on both push and pull strokes, a crosscut saw might be a good option. Crosscut saw is a muscle-powered saw which means the more weight and pressure you put on it, the faster the process of cutting will be.


  • Forestry work
  • Log bucking

Best for: cutting perpendicular to the wood grain.

our recommendation: GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Crosscut Saw, Hardwood Handle, Wood and Tree Saw Hand Saw


10. Rip-cut hand saw

Rip-cut saw
Kataha Tatebiki Z Saw 10″ Single Edge Rip Saw

A well-known hand saw among woodworkers, capable of doing the process of cutting along the wood grain. Typically that is the main difference it has with a crosscut saw. FYI, doing the process of cutting by rip teeth is much easier.


  • Rough cuts
  • Cutting only on the push stroke

Best for: Cutting wood parallel to the direction of the wood grain.

our recommendation: Kataha Tatebiki Z Saw 10″ Single Edge Rip Saw


11. Veneer saw

Veneer saw
Kunz Veneer Saw

A tiny double-edged saw, primarily used for cutting thin sheets of wood or cutting veneer with the grain which normally cuts on the pull stroke.


  • Clean edge cutting
  • veneering

Best for: veneering process

our recommendation: Kunz Veneer Saw


12. Keyhole saw

Keyhole saw
DEWALT Jab Saw (DWHT20540)

A keyhole saw (also known as a jab saw) can cut holes in drywall and softwood. Imagine that you want to cut a hole in your room wall for an electric cable or switch. In this case, a keyhole saw with a long narrow blade will come in handy.


  • Cutting small holes

Best for: Cutting small shapes in a wall, plywood, and softwood.

our recommendation: DEWALT Jab Saw (DWHT20540)