Cedar vs. Redwood: What’s Best for My Project?

A effective woodworking venture starts with deciding on your lumber. Whether you are constructing a deck, a fence, furniture, or everything else, a critical element is deciding on the variety of wooden meant for the software.

For a lot of many years, cedar and redwood have been fantastic options for indoor or outdoor use due to the fact of their normal humidity resistance and all round excellent durability. Under, we’ll assess every wood’s look, durability, and widespread utilizes.

trees & plants dividerOverview of Cedar:

A single of the most frequent cedar trees in the United States is the western crimson cedar. This type of cedar is prized for its outstanding shade, longevity, and iconic sweet cedar odor. Considering the range of environments that cedar trees prosper in, their toughness is clear.

Natural Stain cedar wood
Image Credit: Capture and Compose, Shutterstock


Unfinished cedar usually takes on a slight yellowish hue more than time. This is dependent on the distinct grade you get. For illustration, the yellowish hue is genuinely noticeable with western purple cedar. On the other hand, if you conclude up staining it, the coloration will be what ever you make a decision.

Cedar is offered in 10 distinct grades. The grain sample you get is dependent on which grade you go with. However, cedar typically has a smooth straight grain, which contributes to it being a excellent wood to operate with for a lot of assignments.

Even though it’s not the smoothest wooden accessible, this isn’t a identifying issue due to the fact we have obtain to equipment that can make it as easy as practically any other wood.


The Janka hardness check is how hardness is calculated in wooden. Cedar has a Janka rating of 350 lbs . (lbs). So, it is not the hardest wooden out there. Even so, if you really do not need the hardness exclusively, cedar is resilient in its very own way.

Cedar has an exceptional organic resistance to h2o and pests owing to the normal oils it is made up of. These organic resistances make it wonderful for outside initiatives, especially if you want to leave it organic.

western red cedar wood
Image Credit: Rachel Strandquist, Shutterstock

Common Uses

  • Fences
  • Decks
  • Siding
  • Boatbuilding
  • Musical Instruments
  • Furniture

trees & plants dividerOverview of Redwood:

Redwood is a typical wood on the west coastline of the United States. As a outcome, it’s extensively available and economical. However, if you stay on the east coast, the price of redwood and its availability alter substantially.

Because it’s available in knot-free cuts, redwood is used generally as structural lumber since of its hardness and natural resistances.

Redwood Planter Box
Image Credit: Adurable Creation, Shutterstock


In contrast to cedar, redwood comes in close to thirty distinct grades, and usually the trees are considerably more mature, as you can explain to by how massive redwood trees are. You can also get a “clear” quality that will have no knots.

Redwood has a wealthy, reddish-brown color that a lot of locate desirable for deck and fence assignments. With only a very clear coat, it has a lovely end.


A substantial and distinctive feature of redwood is that it is by natural means fire-resistant. Also, with a Janka rating of 450lbs, it’s about 23% harder than cedar. This tends to make it a fantastic decision if you’re seeking for lumber with great structural integrity.

In addition to currently being a relatively tough wood, redwood also has substantial natural drinking water and pest resistance. So, it doesn’t have to be concluded. Even so, sealing it will make for simpler servicing above its lifetime.

Image Credit: veenaavinash14, Pixabay

Common Uses

  • Veneers
  • Construction beams
  • Decks
  • Furniture
  • Exterior house trim
  • Musical instruments

trees & plants divider

Further Comparisons Between Cedar and Redwood

We’ve taken a appear at the basic rundown of each wooden. Now, we’ll go by means of a few of facet-by-aspect comparisons to give you a good idea of which a single is proper for your undertaking.

Price and Availability

There is no universal choose for one particular or the other with regards to price tag and availability because it depends on in which you stay. If you are on the west coastline of the States, the chances are very good that redwood will be significantly more affordable than cedar and more conveniently accessible.

On the other hand, if you live in or around a state that grows cedars like Texas, for illustration, you will have better entry to cedar.

So, if there is no genuine requirement for 1 or the other, you are much better off employing whichever is least expensive in your area.

giant cost redwood
Image Credit: Tobin Akehurst, Shutterstock

Eco-Friendliness and Sustainability

If you’re in the United States or Canada, both cedar and redwood lumber is reasonably eco-friendly owing to not possessing to be transported long distances.

As for sustainability, once again, both trees are sustainably harvested now. And this is a very good issue because it takes 50 or far more many years to regrow the trees! If there had to be a decide of a marginally much more sustainable, it would have to go to redwood.

Even so, sustainable logging practices are in location for both species, and neither will be gone anytime shortly.

When to Use Cedar vs. Redwood

When to Use Cedar When to Use Redwood
Fencing Fencing
Decks Decks
Furniture Furniture
Musical instruments Musical instruments
Boatbuilding Exterior house trim
Construction beams

trees & plants dividerConclusion

As you can see by the comparisons, there is no common winner between cedar and redwood. Economically, the 1 you will want to use is established by exactly where you reside. But much more importantly, what your certain task phone calls for must be the primary choosing issue.

With that getting mentioned, each types of wood have a good deal of similar perfect apps, so your private preference for coloration and seems is also a factor.


Highlighted Graphic Credit history: Still left: Cedar Wooden: Jon-Spalding, Shutterstock | Proper: Redwood: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay