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If you’ve been eyeing using wooden pallets for your project, you must first know what type of pallet you need. There are two types of pallets you can choose from. One is hardwood, which people frequently encounter, and the other is softwood. They look the same in appearance, but they differ in many ways. This article will show you the difference between the two to help you identify the right wood that you need.

Hardwood vs Softwood Pallets: How Do They Differ?

On Origin

Hardwoods come from highly durable flowering trees famous for their undeniable strength: oak, maple, and walnut trees. They are heavy-duty materials but difficult to produce.

On the other hand, softwood pallet production started when there was a shortage of hardwood supply in the US. Instead of using wood from the mentioned trees, manufacturers settled for gymnosperm trees, such as pine and spruce. Supply is not a problem (yet) for softwood pallets since pine is a plentiful wood and easy to process.

On Functionality and Strength

Hardwood pallets have a higher density than other woods that enables them to perform well, even in adverse conditions. They are reliable materials used in projects that require long-lasting durability, such as flooring, home furniture, and construction.

Softwood is obviously not as dense as its hardwood counterparts. However, these wood pallets are easier to handle and known for their wide range of applications. They are used to create paper products, windows, doors, and other wooden furniture. The wood’s low density also makes it prone to warping and splintering.

On Cost

Because of their superior quality and rarity, hardwood pallets are a lot more expensive than softwood pallets. Their supply may be inconsistent, and the trees where they come from do not grow quickly. In contrast, softwood pallets are relatively cheap because they are faster to produce and have greater supply.

On Weight

Weight can either be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on what product it will be used for. If you prefer lighter and easier to transport items, softwood will be ideal for you. It is not as dense as hardwood, making it easier to move. However, it also has a lower weight capacity due to its lower density.

On the other hand, hardwood is significantly denser and heavier than softwood, making it more difficult for people to transport. Less wood is also used to create a pallet, but it has a better weight capacity.

On Sustainability

Softwood grows faster than hardwood. Using it over hardwood reduces deforestation, therefore, making it a more sustainable option. However, since softwood pallets are often single-use, they are often rejected by many retailers.

Hardwood pallets are not as sustainable. When an oak or walnut tree is cut down for pallet creation, it is unlikely for that pallet to last long enough until a new tree grows in its place.

However, both softwood and hardwood pallets are still a more sustainable option than plastic pallets and their other counterparts.


Choosing between hardwood and softwood is like choosing between durability and affordability. Each pallet has its unique strengths and drawbacks, and your decision depends on what you will use the woods for and what among these criteria you prioritize the most.

Have you been wondering where to buy pallets in Tomball? JL Texas Pallets & Logistics is your quality wooden pallet supplier. Whether new, used or custom-built pallets, we can provide you with what you need without minimum order requirements and no delivery charges in selected areas. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings.