Ratings indicate the degree of difficulty working with this species relative to other hardwoods. A '5' rating is the best. A '1' rating is the most challenging.
The Surprising Alternative
Manufacturers looking for a fresh, cost-effective alternative are specifying Northwest Hardwoods brand Western hemlock. That’s because we manufacture our Western hemlock to perform more like a hardwood than a softwood. It is produced from a single species, Tsuga heterophylla, and does not combine other species commonly found in “hem-fir.” Its physical properties and visual appeal are similar to soft maple and alder. It is flat, straight and accepts stains well, making it a good choice for furniture, cabinets and millwork.