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Alder vs Birch: Who Is The Winner?

The quest for finding the best wood for your DIY projects is easier than you think. You would be surprised to discover several attributes and qualities of these two kinds of wood. It is all up to you to find which one is more suited for your work. 

The comparison of Alder vs Birch is constructed using a few factors in mind. 

Alder is a harder wood than Birch. Birch also has higher resilience with certain external conditions. The comparison is further extended with heat resistance and texture quality. Birch is more heat resistant than Alder. However, Alder has a smooth and glossy texture compared to Birch’s plain surface.

I have a lot of insights to offer you. For this, pay attention to figure out which one outsmarts the other. Keep reading on!

Alder vs Birch – Quick Comparison

Hardness590 lbf (2624 N)1260 lbf (5600 N)
Wood Used ForSimple FurnitureHigh-end Furniture
Heat ResistanceLessMore
TextureSmooth and Glassy surfacePlain and Wavy pattern
Planting ResilienceMoreLess

In a quick comparison guide, I have made a chart that points to 5 key areas. It should be important for you to note that both alder and birch are quite similar. This is because they come from the same family of trees. 

It was difficult for me to differentiate the two. However as pointed out above, there are some integral features that can split the two.

Alder vs Birch – Detailed Comparison

You are probably faced with the option of buying the right kind of wood. This is to support your furniture-making projects. 

In the alder vs birch comparison, you would need to make some settlements. It comes with the question of what kind of woodwork you are applying. Or perhaps, what kind of furniture you will be constructing. 

In the context of home decoration, never avoid the value of sheetrock. It compliments all kinds of alder wood cabinetry or a birch plywood construct!

As you can imagine both types of woods can make your decor look highly fancy. Let me go further pointing out some precise factors to separate the two. 


The alder wood is considered softer than most hardwood. In the comparison department, the alder wood loses out with a lower pound-force. The hardness of certain birches such as yellow birch is almost double. 

The comparison of the alder vs birch hardness scenario is complex. If I have to put it this way, the harder it may not be , the better. This also does not mean alder is better than birch.

Keeping some other factors aside, you can wonder if harder wood is better wood.

Harder wood is considered to be more durable and can be used in making high-end products. This means the yellow birch woods are used for crafting furniture that is more expensive. On the other hand, alder softwood is used for simple furniture. This includes decorative furniture inside homes. 

There are some positive attributes to being a softwood. This is the reason why alder woods are cost-friendly. The easy-to-bend materials are used for making varieties of simple products. 

Winner: The birch wood is hard and more durable. The furniture made with birch wood lasts long and is hard to break. 

Wood (Used For)

I had to go further to compare the alder vs birch wood scenario. This is in a different segment. I have already mentioned what the respective woods are used for.

The good quality of birch wood accounts for ensuring some elegant finishes. This is because of the wood’s ability to surface the finest textures. I will, however, discuss the texture context later. 

Let me give you a real scene to deal with. Say you need to install new doors to an old cabinet, will you buy birch wood? Obviously not!

The products that are available for this are made of alder wood. This is why even being a winner involving a certain factor, does not indicate suitability. To put things in context the alder vs birch cabinets comparison, alder is more suitable. 

So, what suits the birch woods better? If you are making furniture that is high-end! Let’s say you want to install a patio. The rich plywood birch materials are there for you to look at.

Winner: It is hard to determine a winner here. But let’s give alder wood a plus point for being the most beloved product. This is when you are looking for the most cost-friendly option. 

Heat Resistance

The birch wood being stronger and harder is more heat resistant than alder wood. This means no matter how much heat you apply, the birch wood won’t lose its texture. 

The threshold concerning birch wood burning is around 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. This is really a lot! This means the wood will only burn when applied to this much heat. However, there is no point in burning birch wood.

On the other hand, alder wood can be burned to create certain shapes. The softwood would burn and bend easily to turn around any kind of shape. 

In the comparison of alder vs birch firewood, announcing the winner depends on what you want. This is as opposed to what you need. 

There are companies that take customer orders to craft decorative wooden products. They will use alder use to make home decor products as fast as possible. 

Birch woods are used mainly in an industrial or commercialized setting. Maybe for making the bulk amount of high-end furniture with strong tiled finishes. 

Winner: Let us make the birch wood the winner for being able to resist heat better. 


The texture of the alder woods is very smooth with a grainy even surface. These lightweight wooden products are good for your home DIY project. 

If you want to install some wooden covering somewhere, get the alder woods. They are light, cost-friendly, easy to carry, and easy to install. 

The good side of the lightweight alder texture is that you can innovate. The woods would stick easily to any compound. Or perhaps you can consider installing cemented boards on the wood.

The texture of the birch wood has a wavy pattern. Such patterns are ideal for anyone implementing the finest finishes onto the texture. The wood can absorb any type of paint to provide an elegant surface makeover. 

This is the very reason why the birch woods are expensive. 

Winner: Let me allow the alder wood to be the winner here. This is to certify that your home furnishing projects are accompanied by alder products. 

Planting Resilience

The planting resilience factor is indicated by the ability to survive external environmental conditions. Surprisingly, the alder wood does a better job than the birch. 

This is the reason why the cost of maintaining birch wood is more than alder. This is before the final wooden construct is made. 

Consider comparing aspen vs birch vs alder, you will be surprised how environmentally friendly aspen is. 

Generally, birch is more prone to pests than alder. The birch trees attract more bad insects and get eaten up more profoundly. 

This is why the use of pesticides is more common when extracting birch woods. The effort given to ensuring faster and healthy birch growth is more than any other. 

In addition, the birch wood would do badly in highly humid areas. The growth of fungus and other bacterial infestations are more common. Such problems are not found with alder. 

Winner: In the health context, let me allow some points for alder wood. Definitely, alder is your best and beloved choice. 

Best Suggestions For Healthy Woodwork

In order to make your home furnishing projects successful, you must have the right tools. Some suggestions would include involving the best fillers with mallets and scrapers kits.

Do not forget to apply the right liquifying procedures for carving the right shape. These woods are there for you to attract favorable remarks among your friends and family. 

Here are some products you can use:

Dewalt DCK300P1Best brushless woodworking kit
Pocket Hole Jig Kit #850Best for building face frame cabinets
Gorilla Wood FillerEnsures strong bondings
Titan Tools Scraper SetHigh-quality scraping tools

Make sure you use the right tools to apply the best decor construction in your home!


Is an Alder a birch?

Alders belong to a birch family called Betulaceae. Alders are considered to be the trees with the genus named Alnus. The alder light brown wood is often called “poor man’s cherry”. 

Is Alder hard or soft wood?

Alder is not as hard as many birch wood. But they are still in many areas called hardwood due to their family roots. In this abstract, alder is called the softest wood in the hardwood family. 

How do you identify an alder?

Alder trees usually have unique orange-brown flowers that are easy to spot. If you see hard brown strobiles dangling around the tree, you have spotted an alder tree. There are also orange markings everywhere. 


I feel good about being successfully able to compare alder vs birch. I hope you have the same feeling as well. The more you explore, the more interesting it gets.

By wishing you all the best, I am signing off.