Hickory is a hardwood tree native to North America. It grows well in warm climates and thrives in areas where summers are hot and winters are cold.
The trees produce large amounts of resin, which gives them their distinctive smell.
Hickory is known for being strong and durable. Its hardness allows it to resist moisture and insects. This means that it can last longer than other types of wood.
And since it’s naturally resistant to decay, it lasts even longer.
Woodworkers have used hickory for centuries due to its high quality and versatility. Today, there are still plenty of uses for this versatile wood.
If you want to learn more about hickory, keep reading! We have put together this helpful guide which tells you everything you need to know about hickory wood.
What Is Hickory Wood?
Hickory is a type of hardwood, which means it comes from a deciduous tree. Deciduous trees shed their leaves once a year, unlike evergreen trees.
Deciduous trees grow very slowly, meaning hickory is a very dense form of wood.
There are 12 different species of hickory trees that are native to the United States and other types in different parts of the world.
A lot of the time, the different types of hickory wood are harvested and bundled together to be sold under the ‘hickory’ label regardless of what type of hickory tree they are.
The heartwood at the center of the drink is medium brown as it has had less exposure to the sun, whereas the sapwood on the outside of the trunk is light brown.
The Janka Hardness rating is used to determine the strength of different kinds of wood. Hickory ranks higher than most other commercial hardwoods like oak and ash.
Pecan hickory is a type of tree that grows in the Southern states, and it is softer than the classic hickory trees that tend to be found in the Eastern states.
What Is Hickory Used For?
Hickory wood is widely used throughout the world for a variety of purposes and has long been prized for its durability and strength.
While many people think of hickory as just an outdoor material, it can be used indoors too.
Hickory is often used to make cabinets and tabletops. It’s also commonly used for making baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, and tennis rackets.
Here are some examples of how hickory wood is used:
- Furniture – Hickory is a very sturdy wood that is easy to work with. It’s ideal for making tables, chairs, benches, shelves, and much more.
- Hardware – Hickory is a good choice for hardware products such as hinges, handles, drawer pulls, knobs, and latches.
- Farming Supplies – Hickory wood is also useful for farming supplies like plows, harrows, and rakes.
- Home decor – Hickory wood is a beautiful wood that adds warmth to any home decor project.
- Woodworking supplies – You can use hickory wood to create tools and accessories for your woodworking projects.
- Materials for boats and wooden crafts– Hickory is a common wood used for boats and wooden crafts.
- Marketing Products – Hickory wood is used to make signs, billboards, and posters.
Why Use Hickory Wood?
So what makes hickory such a great choice of wood?
The main selling point of hickory wood is that it is very strong. It is stronger than oak and even stronger than hard maple, making it an excellent choice for projects that require durable wood.
Hickory is one of the strongest hardwoods that are native to North America, as well as one of the densest.
Another great thing about hickory wood is that it is easily accessible. The price is usually affordable because the wood is harvested in North America.
Most hardwood dealers should have hickory wood readily available to purchase.
What Are The Downsides To Using Hickory Wood?
Hickory wood might be strong, but certain features can make it quite challenging to work with.
Woodworkers find hickory woods one of the most difficult to work with, especially if they are using blades.
If the blade isn’t sharp enough it can easily be torn out of the wood, and your blades will become dull very quickly.
Even if you use traditional hand tools, you will need to be patient and take regular breaks to sharpen them.
This is fine if you are an experienced woodworker, but beginners or hobbyists would find this to be quite a challenge.
The other issue with hickory wood is that it can be quite inconsistent in terms of color and grain pattern. This is because the different species of hickory are harvested and sold together.
If you are making furniture, flooring, or wall paneling then this could be a big issue as you need the wood to look even. For other woodworking projects, this won’t matter so much.
What Is Hickory Wood Used For?
Hickory wood can be used for lots of different types of woodworking projects, but there are some things that it is commonly used for:
- Cooking Fuel – Hickory has a high content of thermal energy, which makes it ideal to use as firewood or as fuel for smokers and grills.
- Tool Handles – The durability of hickory wood makes it perfect for crafting tool handles that take a lot of heavy use. The density of the wood also helps to absorb shock and stop it from traveling into the hand.
- Flooring – Hickory is very wear-resistant, which makes it an excellent choice for hardwood flooring. It will last a long time.
- Furniture – If you want furniture that will last you long, then hickory wood is ideal. It is especially popular for making chair seats.
Hickory is one of the strongest and densest types of hardwood that is native to North America. It has lots of different uses and can be quite versatile when it comes to woodworking projects.
However, some features of hickory wood make it difficult to work with, which means it is better suited for woodworkers who are not beginners.