Best Places to Buy Lumber for Woodworking

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Purchasing lumber is tricky. Whether you’re making DIY, home, or large projects, variables like shipping cost, dimensions, sizes, shapes, wood species, and quality must be taken into account. 

Lumber yards have been our go-to source, but there are other alternatives where you can find great selections of wood. To give you all the options, here are the best places to buy lumber and wood. 

1. Home Improvement Stores

Home Depot

Stores like Menard’s, Home Depot, and Lowe’s are prime examples of home improvement stores. Like the name says, stores like these offer products for home improvement, including lumbers.

In addition, you can buy tools, building materials, and services. So it’s ideal for bigger projects since they offer more than just selling lumber, allowing you to buy all you need in one place.

2. Wood and Lumber Yards

drying lumber from the mill

We recommend you go traditional and buy from lumber yards near you if you take woodworking more seriously. Unlike big box stores and hardware stores, lumber yards are focused only on making lumber. 

Whenever you ask for assistance, there’s no better place than to ask staff from lumber yards. Their staffs have specialized knowledge of lumbers since it’s the only thing they have to worry about every day. 

Also, they have far better selections to choose from, and you can even ask for custom cuts! 

3. Online

person using laptop

Online stores skyrocketed these past few years and will continue to grow [1]. Getting wood supplies have been more convenient and often cheaper.

Since lumber’s online availability, stores more dedicated to selling them have grown and become an ideal source for many woodworkers. Here are a few stores where you can buy lumber online:

Rare Wood USA

Rare Wood USA sells over 100 exotic and rare lumber species, hence the name. You can buy lumber from them individually, in pre-cut sizes, or in bulk. While you search, the filter and sort feature is user-friendly, making it easier to find the product you’re looking for. 

Another good thing about them is that they offer free shipping for purchases over $100 in various states in the US.

Rockler

Rockler retails various products for woodworkers, including lumber. We find their product page informative and honest. 

Rockler's wood selection

The specifications are explained well, providing all the information you need. And if you have doubts, customer reviews, ratings, and queries are also displayed.

Woodworkers Source

Selling selections of domestic and exotic lumbers, our team recommends you try Woodworkers Source as well, especially if you’re a beginner buyer. You can request the wood or standard plywood size you want. They also guide you in picking the right product and offer free shipping.

Other Online Stores

Lumber is also available in major e-commerce stores like Amazon and eBay. 

However, besides the stores mentioned above, we recommend visiting Steve Wall Lumber, Hardwood Store, and Bell Forest since they have deeper knowledge of lumber making than major stores. 

ebay

If you’re looking for exotic materials, check out Bell Forest. They sell over 100 kinds of exotic wood. You may try Exotic Lumber Inc. as well. 

4. Reclamation Yards

lumber reclamation yard

Reclamation yards have ample stocks of wood. With some luck, you may find a used wood of quality to get the job done at a reasonable price. 

You can draw out inspiration from reclamation yards, as well. Purchasing from these yards is great if you want to create something wonderful out of recycling and reusing scraps. It also helps with the environment, so it’s worth checking out.  

The downside here is that items are random, they don’t have dedicated lumber mills and only rely on the supply of old materials and furniture being thrown out. Availability is not guaranteed, so picking the right materials is harder. 

But don’t worry too much about it since yard owners are usually passionate about guiding you.

5. Sawmills

man operating a saw mill

Sawmills are fully equipped with woodcutting machinery, that’s why it’s also one of the best places to buy lumbers for your next project. Some mills have tools for finishing touches as well. And larger mills are often situated where the source of wood is abundant. 

You will usually find lumber bought straight from sawmills better since it’s freshly cut. You will also get more freedom in choosing the lumber size you desire. However, lumbers on sawmills cost a bit more than lumbers sold in retail stores. Check the priciest wood types here!

6. Local Hardware & Construction Stores

lumber neatly stacked in a home depot

Besides online stores, local hardware is next to being convenient. You can buy anytime with less hassle if you have one near you. Although, prices, quality, and type of service vary from one another. 

Meanwhile, large construction stores are more guaranteed to sell better quality lumbers. But unlike wood and lumber yards, they may not offer more options to choose from, from different types of plywood to PVC, and so on. 

Nonetheless, it’s still a great place to go if you have other things on your shopping list besides a few planks of wood or PVC for your DIY project.

FAQ

What can be the most affordable way to purchase wood?

The most affordable way to purchase wood is by buying at lumber yards. They have more reasons to drop their prices because lumber is the only thing they make.

However, in terms of overall expenses, you can save more online since they offer discounts and cheap shipping fees. 

Is it more affordable to purchase lumber online?

Purchasing lumber online is more affordable than in traditional stores because they offer lower deals and frequent discounts due to fewer expenses on manpower and facilities. 

Another factor is that you don’t have to spend extra money on travel gas and trucking of the purchased products. 

Conclusion

E-commerce has revolutionized the market extending to the woodworking industry. People are more inclined to shop online than bother going to a physical store. 

We have provided you with online stores you can trust, and we hope we will provide you with the items you expect from traditional stores. We also hope you found other alternative places useful to buy lumber aside from the ones you already know.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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