Find The Needle Add My Company
What’s The Difference Between Sawn and Planed Timber?

You might be planning your first DIY project wondering where do I begin? Before purchasing timber, you want to make sure you have the right timber for the right job. Suffice it to say that not all timber is the same and the wood that you use for your roof isn’t the same as the kind of wood you’d use to make a coffee table.

To make sure your next project is seamless, it’s important to know the main difference between sawn timber and planed timber. For those ready to begin their project look over our assortment at Coventry Timber Products or, if you have any questions about your project, send us an e-mail at

It can be an overwhelming process to get started on a home improvement or construction project. From making sure that you have all the tools you need, to the proper lumber for the job, the best way to start a project is to be prepared before you even begin. It is important to know the primary use of the timber you choose so your project is a success.

Sawn Timber
planed timber being run through a machine

Planed Treated Timber

Often referred to as planed around timber (PAR) is an excellent choice for any decorative projects where appearance is of the highest importance. It is most commonly used for cabins, shelves and making furniture.

Planed surfaces are smooth, leveled and symmetrical. When working on projects that require exact specifications, planed timber is your best option. Its consistent dimensions are great for kitchen shelves or interior finishing that require smooth surfaces. Its straight edges allow you to strike a line of each piece of timber and avoid any inconsistencies. If your project features wood that is going to be prevalently displayed, then consider smooth planed timber.

There’s a vast array of sizes and options of planed all round timber available to get you underway.

Sawn Timber

Strength and reliability are at the forefront with sawn timber. This makes it an excellent choice for a variety of construction projects. The quality of sawn  timber is excellent for long-lasting structures, even those in moisture-prone areas. Due to its durability, it makes for an excellent choice in providing the foundation for any construction project. 


Another aspect of sawn timber is its overall versatility. By being kiln-dried any excess moisture is removed therefore ensuring the strength and durability of the timber. This makes it great for framing, flooring, roofing and cladding applications. Often referred to as the backbone of construction, sawn timber is a great choice for everybody from a novice DIY’er embarking on their first repairs to the most seasoned of contractors. 

Take a look at our section of high-quality sawn timber to begin your construction project.

Appearance of Timber

If your project intends to show off a sleek wood finish, then planed all around (PAR) might be the best option for you. Notably, the feel and look are some of the more obvious distinctions between sawn and planed timber.

It’s not just about the appearance of the wood, yes in most cases the difference between planed and sawn can be seen in the smoothness and feel of the timber. However, it’s not just about texture, it’s about refining the shape to a more parallel and squared edge so that when you begin your project everything is straight, and you don’t get any intolerances or issues with your wood.

What To Keep In Mind Before You Purchase

You might be wondering if you should just get sawn timber and take it to your local mill to get it planed. There are some things you need to make sure of before starting your project because if something goes wrong with the timber, such as splits or a tension release while being planed, a timber merchant can just pull out a new piece and you won’t have to pay for it. While, if it’s your own wood, you are responsible for the expenses.

Another popular inquiry is why there’s a difference in price between sawn and planed timber. This is because smooth planed timber has been processed to achieve a smoother surface. It is carefully shaped to be geometrically accurate. Planed treated timber is also splinter-free and easier to handle than rough sawn timber. The time it takes to process and achieve a smooth surface also plays a role in the price.

Which Is The Right Timber For Me?

If you have the proper tools at your workshop and feel you want to be in control of the whole process, then you may want to purchase treated sawn timber from a timber merchant. This is best for those who diligently want to take their time with their project and have experience in the process of planing.

On the flip side of that, if you are somebody that doesn’t have access to the kind of machinery necessary for the process of planing timber, then you will need your timber merchant involved in the planing process when purchasing planed treated timber. The same applies if you need your timber perfectly straight, the process of planing will make sure it’s straight.

Depending on the wood you’re looking for, and the project you’re working on, there are sawn and planed versions of the lumber you require.

Ready To Start Your Project?

Now that you have equipped yourself with the knowledge about treated sawn timber and smooth planed timber, you’re ready to start your project. Feel free to browse our options for the best pricing and quality timber to get you started.

If you still have questions, get in touch with a member of our dedicated staff or call us directly at 02476 581 904.

For more information on What’s The Difference Between Sawn and Planed Timber? talk to Coventry Timber Products Ltd

Enquire Now

  Please wait...

Location for : Listing Title