Testing MDF vs Plywood – What to Buy?

As any woodworking fan would tell you, choosing the right board can make or break your project’s success. Many factors come into play, from durability and weight to cost and availability. When it comes down to MDF vs plywood, which one should you buy? Let’s uncover the answers in this blog.

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MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) is a composite material made of wood fibers glued with resins under high pressure. On the other hand, plywood comprises thin veneers peeled off from hardwood or softwood trees and then glued together in layers with alternating grain directions.

If you’re actively working on bulky projects like cabinetry or shelving units, consider using MDF as it’s denser than wood. However, its heftiness also makes it more challenging to handle during construction and transportation.

Plywood beats MDF in terms of affordability due to its natural properties that require little processing. Still, this doesn’t mean sacrificing quality for cost-effectiveness- opt for premium-grade products with no voids between sheets or warping edges.

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When it comes down to sturdiness tests, plywood outshines MDF without breaking a sweat-literally as dampness causes MDF boards to swell like balloons!

Finishing Capability
Plywood allows finishes such as staining and painting to penetrate better due to its unique grain patterns while paper-wrapped (melamine) on MDF provides a laminate-like finish making them ideal solutions for busy kitchens and commercial applications.

While both materials are trendy among builders worldwide, finding what suits your project best depends on location-specific stores that vary widely concerning types & grades.

Q: What is MDF?
A: Now listen here folks, MDF stands for Medium-density fibreboard. This is basically an engineered wood product made from breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres and combining it with wax and resin binder under high temperatures. The result is a board that ain’t as strong as plywood but smoother than baby’s bottom.

Q: And what about Plywood?
A: Plywood on the other hand has been around since Noah built his ark (well not really, but it’s been quite some time now). It’s made by binding layers of thin sheets of wood veneer together using adhesive and stacking them in alternating grain directions. It’s stronger than MDF because it can withstand bending without cracking easily.

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Q: So what should I pick – MDF or Plywood?
A: That depends on several factors my friend. If ya want a smooth finish or yer project requires tightly routed details, then give MDF a try. But if strength is what ya need or yer going for some outdoor furniture shenanigans, then you better pick up some plywood pronto.

Q: Can I paint both types of wood boards?
A: Absolutely! You can paint both the boards according to yer liking!

Q: Which one lasts longer?
A: Heh! Well now there lies the conundrum isn’t it? While MDF ain’t as durable as plywood due to moisture absorption problems (ya don’t wanna get this board wet), some manufacturers are producing waterproof versions that hold water at bay better than plywood. But if ya want durability, then plywood is yer best bet.

Q: What about price?
A: Ah, the million-dollar question! Plywood generally costs more than MDF because of its higher durability and natural wood grain beauty. MDF, on the other hand, is cheaper but flimsier in its construction.

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