Oak Grading Guide


Not sure what Oak Grading to choose? Here is our helpful guide to help you decide and understand the difference.

All Oak Grades are classified under the European standard. These grades can look like this: Q – B A.

Find out more below!

Products details

  • Q is for Quercus, which is Latin for Oak. This is the first letter for all of our grades.
  • P is for Product – The second letter shown is the product:
  • B is for Boules – Cut from one tree, can be cut to any thickness – Waney Edge
  • S is for Selected Boards – Does not have to be the same tree and can be cut to any thickness or length needed – Waney Edge
  • F is for Squared Edge – Sawn to size – Kiln Dried Oak
  • P is for Beams – Cut to length required and can have several finishes – Oak Beams

A, 1, 2, 3 is for Quality – The last letter refers to the quality grade. The letter can be an A for exceptional quality Oak, or it can be a number 1 to 3, with 3 being of lower quality.

1 being good quality and 3 would have quite a bit of character, such as knots and sap. There is also a 4 which is the lowest quality, but we don’t supply that. The quality grade can also be referred to as Prime, FAS (first and seconds), Joinery, Character.

Prime – Quality grade 1. The word Prime generally means ‘of the best quality’. It’s nearly flawless with less knots, one small bark pocket is allowed, and small sap bands are allowed. Perfect for joinery, carpentry, furniture and cladding.

Joinery – Joinery would be quality grade 2. Joinery or Secondary grade is as good as Prime, but more knots and sap are allowed.

Character – Character would be quality grade 3. At Hardwoods Group, Character is a favourite and we have seen some great projects made with it. This is anything that doesn’t make the Prime grade, and like the words says, the Oak has more character. There might be slight colour variations and knots, sap and splits.

Pippy – Pippy doesn’t have a grade. Pippy or sometimes called Patte de chat is  translated to ‘cats paw’ in French due to lots and lots of small knots.

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