Difference Between MDF and Particle Board

Are you looking for a plywood or wood substitute? When you need a replacement for the real deal, MDF and particleboard are two of the greatest options.


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Engineered wood includes MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) and particleboard. Wood by-products such as fibers, sawdust, and shavings are used to create these “woods.”

These components are mixed with chemicals and glue before being compacted into a substance of various thicknesses.

MDF vs Particleboard

The difference between MDF and particleboard is that Particleboard takes a significantly softer edge than MDF. Particleboard is formed of larger, coarser wood particles, whereas MDF is composed of very minute wood fibers, almost like flour. Whenever particleboard is routed, it tends to flake out. Glue on a solid wood strip if you want clearly defined edges with particleboard.

MDF vs Particleboard

MDF is said to be the better of the two materials. Engineered wood is made up of small wood fibers that are invisible to the naked eye. It has a smooth texture and a veneer that gives it the appearance of natural wood.

MDF is constructed up of numerous layers of wood, making it exceedingly heavy, thick, dense, and water-resistant. This wood is also more durable and resistant to cracks and splits.

Particleboard is often used as a base for kitchen and bathroom countertops, as well as in relatively low furniture and floor underlayment.

All power tools can be used to mill the material, but it has a substantial amount of tear-out. To improve the look of particleboard, a thin coating of lamination or veneer is frequently applied to the surface.

Because it tends to chip and break, particleboard is difficult to mold or shape.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMDFParticleboard
LooksSmooth finish.Doesn’t have a smooth finish.
DensityHas a higher density.Doesn’t have a high density.
StrengthMDF is stronger than particleboard.The particleboard is not much strong.
Water ResistanceMore resistance to water.Less resistance to water.
PricingMDF is expensiveParticleboard is cheap.

What is MDF?

MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard, which is an effectively artificial construct made from hardwood & softwood composites that have been broken down.

There have been no apparent wood grains or knots on an MDF board because it is made up of microscopic wood fibers.

By exerting pressure on hot temperatures, the fibers are bonded together with wax to create panels. Now that you know what such an MDF board is made of, you’re probably curious as to how good or horrible it is.

When compared to wood, MDF is often less expensive. MDF boards have a very flat surface that makes them ideal for decorating.

MDF is good to cut & carve designs because of the smooth edges. It has a higher density and strength than particleboard. MDF gives a natural and royal look and is worth the price.

MDF, like any other substance, has its own set of drawbacks: MDF absorbs water as well as other liquids like a cushion and expands if not properly sealed.

MDF is incredibly heavy and tough to work with because it is a solid substance. It doesn’t grip screws so well because it’s constructed of fine fiber. If not handled carefully, MDF is quickly damaged and sags.

What is Particleboard?

Another low-cost product derived from leftover wood materials is particle-board. It’s manufactured by pressing resin and sawdust together along with heat.

Particleboards are frequently utilized in the production of low-cost home decorating furniture. It can also be used as a foundation layer for countertops.

Particleboard is easy to drill into, but it does have a certain amount of tear-out. A particle board’s surface is finished with laminate or veneer to improve its appearance.

Particleboard is hard to shape and mold because it tends to crack or chip.

Particleboard has several advantages over other products such as MDF, solid wood, and plywood, one of which being its inexpensive cost. It’s small and light, making it simple to carry and travel.

When compared to MDF, it has a superior power to retain nails & screws. It is simple to manage and sanitize. It’s simple to drill, cut, grind, paint, glue, and so on.

It’s a green product created from waste wood materials including sawdust, wood chips, and shavings.

When compared to other types of house interior materials like plywood and MDF, particle boards are not as sturdy. Because of its poor strength, it should be treated with caution because it is easily damaged.

Particleboards have a short lifespan. It has poor resistance to dampness and wetness. One of the major drawbacks of particle boards is this. Particleboards can expand when exposed to moisture.

Particleboards are not environmentally friendly since some types of particleboards are made with a resin that can be damaging to one’s health.

Main Differences Between MDF and Particleboard

  1. In terms of aesthetics, usage, strength, even moisture, and water exposure, MDF is a considerably superior engineered wood to particleboard.
  2. In comparison to particleboard, MDF is heavier, thicker, and more durable, with a lower risk of breaking or splintering.
  3. MDF is not so budget-friendly in comparison to Particleboard.
  4. Because of its look and resilience to paint and finishes, particleboard is frequently utilized for interior applications. MDF, on the other hand, has a lovely, smooth finish, as well as a good reactivity to paint and finishes and an almost wood-like look.
  5. MDF is more adaptable than particleboard that can be used for shelves, decorative molding, flooring, including standalone furniture such as doors and cabinets. It can also withstand a lot of stress and has a lot of strength. Particleboard doesn’t hold up well under stress and is not suitable for all tasks.
Difference Between MDF and Particle Board


  1. https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0718-221X2020000300375&script=sci_arttext
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924013606009204
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