Hemlock Wood vs Pine | Identification, Uses, and Workability

Hemlock is more durable, stronger, and harder than pine. Hemlock is slightly more expensive than pine. Both kinds of wood are suitable for making indoor and outdoor projects.

Hemlock Wood

Hemlock is lightweight, easy to finish, and a versatile softwood. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor purposes.

There are many types of Hemlock, such as Eastern Hemlock, Western Hemlock, Mountain Hemlock, etc.

Hemlock is a coniferous tree native to eastern North America. The height of a mature tree can be around 140 to 150 feet and the trunk’s diameter can be 2 to 3 feet.

Pine Wood

Pine is strong, durable, stiff, and the most popular softwood. This is a great wood, used for all types of wooden projects.

The genus consists of over 120 different pine species. Some popular species are as follows. Eastern White Pine, Longleaf Pine, Western White Pine, and many more.

Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees. They are native to northern temperate regions.

#Hemlock WoodPine Wood
Scientific nameTsugaPinus
WorkabilityIt’s not as easy to work as PineVery easy to work
Rot resistanceLow in decay resistanceNot a rot-resistant wood
Wood ColorPale yellowish brownwhite or pale yellow
UsesBoxes, pallets, crates, plywood, framing, and other construction purposes.Boxes, pallets, crates, plywood, framing, and other construction purposes.

Uses of Hemlock Wood

Hemlock wood is used to make boxes, crates, pallets, light framing, sheathing, roofing, sub-flooring, etc.

Hemlock is a great softwood because it is light, strong, and beautiful. Wood can be used for exterior and interior projects. Because it is moderately rot resistant. 

Uses of Pine Wood

Pine wood is widely used for crates, boxes, interior millwork, light construction lumber, carving, and boat building.

Pine is one of the most popular softwoods used in manufacturing and carpentry projects. It is not naturally rot resistant, but pressure-treated pine can be used for exterior purposes. 


Hemlock Wood

Heartwood is light reddish brown and sapwood is light brown. Generally, there are straight grains but can also be interlocked and spiraled.

Pine Wood

Heartwood is light brown or creamy white to yellow and sapwood is a pale yellow to nearly white. The grain is straight with an even, medium texture.

Working with Hemlock Wood

In general, working with hemlock is not very easy. Because of its grain pattern, the wood tends to splinter easily when worked with tools. 

Hemlock is a soft wood, it can be easy to carve and trim. Wood holds nails well and accepts almost all types of glue without any problems. It gives excellent results after finishing.

Working with Pine Wood

Pine is easier to work with all types of machines. It has straight and uniform grains that easily allow the tool blades to be shaped. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Some species of pine, such as Longleaf Pine, contain resin. So resin can gum up tools and clog sandpaper. 

Similarities of Hemlock and Pine Wood

Hemlock and pine are both softwoods. They are soft and lightweight, but strong and durable.

Hemlock and pine wood are not naturally rot resistant. So, they need regular care.


Pine lumber is more affordable than hemlock. Pine lumber is also easily available in different board sizes.

The main reason for being inexpensive is that pine trees grow very fast. Pine trees do not require much care.

But the price of their species may vary, and the price also depends on the grade of lumber.

Which wood is stronger?

Hemlock is stronger and more rigid than pine. So, for heavy construction, choosing hemlock may be an excellent choice.

Pine is durable and strong when used in furniture. Pine is an excellent choice for making all types of furniture and carpentry items. 

Which wood is rot resistant between Hemlock and Pine?

Pine is not naturally rot-resistant but old-growth pine is less prone to rot and decay. For underground use, treated pine works better than ordinary pine.

Pine is not a good choice for making boats, but pine can be used to make small boats. But after finishing the boat, it is necessary to apply a water-resistant coating on it.

Hemlock is also not rot resistant. it is rated low in decay resistance. It is also susceptible to insect attack. Outdoor finishing can reduce the rotting process.


Pine is the most commonly used wood as compared to hemlock. Pine is versatile and widely available at a moderate price.

Hemlock and pine are two different types of wood. They have their own merits and demerits. Which should you use? It depends on your usage.