Oak vs Walnut vs Rosewood | What’s the Difference?


Oak is native to the Northern Hemisphere. There are more than 500 species of oak. All these species have almost the same habit. The famous oak species are White Oak, Black Oak, Red oak, Willow oak, and many. Oak Wood is strong, hard, heavy. It has great workability.

Walnut has many species such as Black Walnut, English Walnut, and many more. It is used to make cabinets, flooring, furniture, wood veneers, and many applications. Due to its great dark and shiny color, walnut is the best option for making decorative objects. 

Rosewood is well known for its durability. The age of rosewood furniture is around 100-150 years old. It is most commonly found in Asia.  But due to its great properties, it is supplied all over the world. Rosewood is used to make a strong door and window. Its dark brown color and straight grain give a great appearance.

#OakWalnut Rosewood
Grain patternTight GrainOpen GrainTight Grain
Tree Height10–40 m (33–131 ft) tall30-37 meters (100-120 feet )15-20 meters (50-60 feet)
Wood ColorMedium reddish-brownLight brown to dark chocolate.Golden brown to dark reddish-brown
WorkabilityGreatGoodDifficult to work
Janka Hardness1,120 LBF (4,980 N)English Oak1,010 LBF (4,490 N) Black walnut1,780 LBF (7,900 N).
UsesFurniture, Flooring, Musical drums, wine barrels, and firewoodVeneer, Musical Instruments, Flooring, Carving and turning, and Rifle and shotgun handlesDoor, windows, cabinets, flooring, and carving
Oak vs Walnut vs Rosewood


outdoor furniture

Oak Wood is a tropical hardwood. It is mainly used for homewares, flooring, wine barrels, and firewood. English Oak has 1,120 LBF (4,980 N) Janka hardness. This medium makes it suitable for hardening flooring. 

If you are looking for firewood then oak may be a great option. Red oak has 24.6 Heat per Court (Million BTUs) and white oak has 29.1 Heat per Cord (Million BTUs) value. So these are good options for firewood.

Walnut wood is considered better for veneers (which are used to make plywood), furniture, and interior application. Walnut wood is easy to work and smooth. So it is widely used for turning, carving. 

Walnut is good firewood because it burns cleanly and does not leave much smoke. Walnut has a 22.2 Heat per Cord (Million BTUs) value. Due to this, it provides good heat.

Rosewood has great durability and decay-resistance properties. It can be used for indoor and outdoor furniture without any hassle. If we talk about the hardness of rosewood, then it is harder than oak and walnut. Its Janka hardness is 1,780 LBF (7,900 N).

Due to the good hardness and inspect resistance. Rosewood is widely used for flooring.


walnut wood texture

As we know many different species of oak are available. The colors of all these species vary slightly. Such as English Oak and White Oak has light to medium brown color and Sessile Oak has medium yellowish-brown color. Oak has a straight grain, with a coarse and uneven texture.

Walnut has lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown color and Peruvian Walnut has deep chocolate brown. Grain is usually straight but can be irregular.

Rosewood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish-brown and Brazilian rosewood can vary in color from a darker chocolate brown to a lighter purplish or reddish-brown. Rosewood has a uniform, medium to coarse texture and fairly small pores.


The workability of wood depends on its density and grain pattern. It is a bit difficult to work with high density and heavy wood. Oak and walnut have good workability properties. While working with rosewood can be a bit problematic. Because rosewood is more hard and dense.

Oak vs Walnut vs Rosewood Popular Wood Species

Oak SpeciesWalnut SpeciesRosewood Species
Red OakBlack walnutBrazilian Rosewood
White OakEnglish walnutHonduras rosewood
Chestnut OakButternutCocobolo
Scarlet OakBrazilian WalnutEast Indian rosewood
European OakNorthern California Black WalnutAfrican Blackwood
Bur OakJapanese walnutTulipwood
Willow OakManchurian walnutChinese Rosewood
Oak vs Walnut vs Rosewood

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