“Medium Density Fibreboard” is an artificial wood made from residual wood, by passing it through a defibrator, and then combining the resultant wood fibers, with some wax and resin binders. The combination is then passed through high temperatures and pressure to form panels. Both hardwood as well as softwood can be used to make MDF. It is better in strength when compared to particle board, and denser as well. It is denser when compared to plywood as well. The best part is, this almost sawdust based product is often cheaper than plywood. It is available in varying thicknesses. It comes with a smooth surface. When it is cut, its edges are smooth as well. It is easy to cut using tools like jigsaws, scroll saws, and even band saws. It does have a tendency to absorb liquids so it needs to be sealed well at the edges and all over using a primer that is oil based. Aerosol sprays are not good for it. Screws do not fit easily into it, and can damage it. It is heavy and it is not possible to stain it. VOCs like urea-formaldehyde are often used to manufacture it. Primer and paints can reduce off gassing, but particles can be inhaled while cutting it. Therefore, wearing a mask is advisable, and any work relating to it should be preferably done outdoors.

a. This is an affordable alternative to plywood, and can easily be used where there would be no liquids or high moisture. b. There are varieties such as those that are fire retardant, moisture resistant, or ultra light variety. c. It reduces work as needed with conventional wood, or for that matter even with plywood because it is easy to cut evenly. d. It is a strong and smooth material. e. It is available in various thicknesses. f. It is an environmentally friendly product because it is made from waste wood, and both soft as well as hard wood can be used to make it.

a. It absorbs liquids so it needs to be sealed properly with specific types of primers and sealants. b. It can release VOCs, so masks should be worn while working with it. c. It does not accept stain. d. It is also heavy e. Affixing screws is not easy




I'm not sure what the exact benefits of each are other than what you mentioned, but if I had to choose then it would be MDF. I can't remember exactly but I do believe that we used MDF for some of our projects in school for Design Tech.
Posted by kingcool52 on 02-24-2018

I prefer MDF

MDF is an exiting insect-free material with a layer that inhibits most insect borers.

Another positive aspect of the MDF is to be more compact, which allows innovative creations, being able to receive more rounded forms in addition to a lacquered paint (with enameled paint), this creates unlimited possibilities for the design of your furniture.

For environments such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries, there are ULTRA MDF boards, which are more resistant to water.

Posted by hermessantos on 02-23-2018


I'm a building contractor by profession and we've been using fibreboards as a replacement for plywood for 25 years now.

There are many kinds of Fbreboard's and MDF is the cheapest, we call it plain fibreboard which we seldom use here. I'm living in a tropical country where theres a lot of typhoons and a 6 month long rainy season. We usually use it for indoor light minor works like built-in cabinets, decorative indoor work and drop ceilings, to save on cost . What we often use here are Fibre Cement Board and Dura Boards which contains both wood and cement. These boards are more durable, and are fire, water, sound, insect/termite proof. They also serves as a good insulators. And the cost is also cheaper by 10? to 20? than plywood.

Plywood is susceptible to water, termite and fire which fibreboards address so well.

Posted by Kakashi2020 on 02-24-2018
JB Fernandez


When it comes to safety, I don't compromise my family. That is why I prefer using MDF. It is much more durable and efficient compared to plywood.
Posted by JB Fernandez on 02-26-2018



Like MDF, plywood is also an artificial wood made from natural wood. But unlike MDF it is made from wood veneers that are often less than 1/8th of an inch. These plies of wood are glued to get the desired thickness. The process helps to get the panels of various thicknesses. The surface is smooth and even, and there are no knots or holes as are possible with pure timber panels. It is possible to give it the desired wood like finish by gluing a veneer that has the grain on it. It is usually light, and requires less work. It is cheaper than conventional wood since face veneer is not always needed. It also does not split at the edges when it is nailed. It expands and shrinks but not as much as conventional wood. There is less warping as well. Bending it is, however, a tall order, because bonding is done with grains against the other. Therefore, it cannot be bent perpendicularly to that grain. Normally, plies or the wood are glued at right angles. In better quality plywood, however, they may have additional angles such as 0, 45, 135, as well as 180. There are many varieties to choose from, such as tropical plywood, softwood plywood, hardwood plywood, etc.

a. It is an affordable alternative to conventional wood; b. It can be stained, especially the higher grade plywood. c. It has considerable strength; d. Screws can be used on it.

a. Compared to MDF, plywood is more expensive, especially if better quality wood is used to make it. b. Edges need to be finished for two reasons. One is that layers can be seen, and the second is because splintering is possible since it is difficult to cut it smoothly. c. It is difficult to bend and create designs such as scalloped features or scrolled features with it, because of its brittleness. d. Some plywood may have urea-formaldehyde, which is a VOC.



MDF is cheap, that's it.

I've worked for almost a decade with a furniture making company which uses MDF as the main material for all of its products. The only reason we used MDF was its cheaper price and nothing else. Cost-effectiveness is the name of the game for most contractors. We even imported them in containers to save on cost.

All of our products were for export and the main selling point wasn't the material but the art paint in them which makes them look antiquated. They are not meant to be used heavily. MDF doesn't hold screws very well and they soak in water no matter how you seal them. Of course, the company only wants to sell the furniture and what happens after the sale is the buyer's risk.

For personal use, I'd prefer plywood although I have to pay a little bit extra for them. They are still cheaper than wood but are more durable than MDF.

Posted by chatbox on 02-24-2018

Plyboard is Better

My grandfather was a carpenter and contractor, so I grew up watching him work on a daily basis with plyboard. I am sure that this makes me a bit biased towards this comparison, but there was nothing my grandfather couldn't carve out of plyboard with a band saw, or other tools, and I saw him build houses and many type of structures with his expertise and this pressed wood. i can see the obvious advantages of MDF, but plyboard seems much more durable, and it is more resistant to elemental factors, such as moisture.
Posted by JoeMilford on 02-23-2018

Go Ply Be Fly.

I'm gonna go with Plywood here, not because of it's pros, but because of the cons that MDF suggests, absorbing liquid can be annoying as hell to work with and also the fact that you can't work with screws is kind of a minus too. Plywood can be more expensive, but it's always better to get something of better quality even though MDF has it's own pluses too.
Posted by manmad on 02-26-2018

There's an Alternative for Plywood?

Most of my experiences with DIY home projects have been with plywood. It's like it wasn't even a choice. Whatever the project was, plywood was purchased to do it. You mean there was an alternative? Must not have have been a very good one. Nobody ever suggested it when we went to the store. (O.o)

Although if a suggestion had been made and it was also mentioned that the alternative, MDF, was fireproof, it may have made all the difference.

But for now, I'm just sticking with what I know. I know about plywood.

Posted by foxchannel on 03-22-2018


More flexible in terms of usage and is also easier to work with for most people, while also being an overall better material than MDF. The only advantage of MDF is that it's cheaper, but plywood is more durable
Posted by treecko142 on 02-26-2018

Nothing beats classic.

Plywood are the most used material in doing furniture works. And it is proven to be strong and dependable in many things. Unlike MDF that we can say it is only cheap. In quality, plywood still is the best.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 04-14-2018

More expensive but worth it

I always think it's better to shell out a bit more for quality, rather than just going for the cheapest option. For that reason plywood is always going to be my choice.
Posted by amelia88 on 08-06-2018

Universally Used

There's a reason why most of the people in the world use plywood. It's cheap. It's readily available and is used in so many construction applications.
Posted by rlpzbeermoney on 10-08-2018


I vote for plywood. Its because plywood is accessible. it can easily be bought and be used.
Posted by jeffreyjose48 on 09-23-2018


In terms of workability and durabilty plywoog has a great advantages over mdf. MDF is just basically cheaper than plywood but the range and variety of uses of plywoods simply outshadows mdf board.
Posted by bee.rthooyah on 10-27-2018


I mean if the two are roughly comparable I would choose to use MDF. I mean if it is cheaper than plywood and would do the same thing, why pay more for something? It is just one of the ways that you can save money I think if you use MDF. I would find it to be one of the options that might make sense in my particular case. I would use it if I had to.
Posted by kgord on 02-23-2018
I have never used Medium Density Fibreboard and I don't know anything about MDF. However, I use plywood and I am quite happy with this material for furniture, room partition etc. The main drawbacks of using plywood is it is easily damaged by water. However, you can make it last long by applying enamel paint or use laminated plywood.
Posted by vinaya on 02-23-2018
I prefer plywood because more natural than the other one,though expensive but it last better if stored away from liquid like any other wood,plywood is more durable and long lasting if handle with care and maintained just coat it with some good paint to have the best of it.
Posted by lovely on 02-23-2018
It is most used rather than MDF. And in that, we can say that plywood is more better than MDF. Plywood will never stay famous on every carpentry work if it is not a genuine strong item.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 04-14-2018
I have been assisting in the repairs of our home hence I know some of the construction materials that were used. I am familiar with the plywood and I even know the density like ½ inch or ¼ inch and I think there is the thinnest plywood which is 1/8 of an inch. Anyway, plywood is very expensive now such that people tend to use concrete in their designs. Concrete is much cheaper especially for walls. And plywood easily break when it gets wet.
Posted by Corzhens on 02-24-2018
We used plywood in some parts of our house and I would say it would last long if you keep them away from being wet. We have been living in our house since 1991 and I would say that those that are made of plywood that are kept away from being wet still exists today with enamel paint painted on them.
Posted by Scarlet on 02-26-2018
By no means am I some sort of top-class carpenter, but I do have some experience with handiwork and renovation. As far as I'm aware, MDF wood and plywood aren't really used for the same applications. With my limited experience in carpentry, I've never worked with MDF wood when it comes to home construction. It seems to be the type of wood that one would use in making cheap home furniture. On the other hand, I've done plenty of framework using plywood and it seems like a very good material for cheap yet sturdy walls.
Posted by Denis_P on 02-26-2018
I think the MDF will be better than the plywood since it is more stronger and it is environment friendly while some are even fire resistant.
Posted by babyright on 02-26-2018
Plywood is a more popular choice here and the good thing that I've come to notice that is it last longer when you get the quality one for your building and that's the reason I enjoy using it for building purposes than the MDF. This is not to say that MDF is a bad choice, but the way many of the builders in my environment go for plywood got to show that it's really worth the money spent to buy it as well.
Posted by Barida on 02-26-2018
According to your application and budget, you can select any one of the two. Generally, the ready-made furniture available in shops is of MDF and custom made furniture is of plywood. But overall Plywood is better, as it is made with layers of wood glued in cross-direction to give it high strength, and depending on the resin used it can be waterproof. Other than that one thing should be kept in mind. Don't use Plywood when the land is prone to termites.
Posted by muaaz.93 on 02-27-2018
Plywood for me is very useful. Just like in my case, we have a carpentry business. A lot of our things are created by plywood.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 04-14-2018
Durability and quality is the best way to go specially when you want your work or product to be well made. Using MDF on woodworking has limitations and should not be use as the main material for any woodworking projects. Its still best to use plywood because of the durability of the material.
Posted by fishbate on 06-12-2018
Fibreboards are becoming the norm nowadays because it's waterproof, fireproof , soundproof and it's also a good insulating material. It's stronger and can last a very long time unlike Wooden Plywood which can easily be damaged by weathering.
Posted by Kakashi2020 on 09-12-2018
I choose plywood. This plywood is very familiar to me. I can buy plywood here in any hardware store.
Posted by jeffreyjose48 on 09-23-2018
It depends but I think plywood would be more useful and safe. Not only that but it's quality gives long lasting so choosing a plywood would be better than MDF. It's better to choose quality over quantity so therefore I will choose plywood.
Posted by nekonieden on 11-21-2018