Appleply Vs. Baltic Birch: Which Should You Use?

Woodworkers can use plywood for a wide range of projects. When you plan your project, you will need to select the type of plywood that best suits your needs. This is what you need to know if you’re trying to choose between Appleply and Baltic Birch plywood! 

Appleply and Baltic Birch are both types of hardwood plywood. Many woodworkers consider Appleply as an American version of Baltic Birch. Appleply is durable, lightweight, readily available, and cost-effective. While Baltic Birch is more expensive, it is considered the strongest type of plywood. 

Despite both being hardwood plywood variants, Appleply and Baltic Birch are not the same. Due to this, woodworkers must know the difference between these types of plywood. When you understand the uses, properties, and benefits of each type, you can choose the right plywood for your project! 

Appleply Vs. Baltic Birch: Which Should You Use? 

Before we discuss the differences between Appleply and Baltic Birch, let’s consider a core similarity they share. Of course, they are both types of plywood. While plywood has a wide variety of uses, it is commonly used in structural applications. 

However, the type of plywood you use is a crucial consideration. Understanding the differences between plywood types – such as Appleply and Baltic Birch – will allow you to use the material best suited to your upcoming project. 

Appleply Vs. Baltic Birch: Which Should You Use?

There is a misconception amongst woodworkers that all plywood types are the same. While they share certain characteristics, this statement is not true. For instance, Baltic Birch plywood is not the same as Birch plywood.   

The difference between Baltic Birch and Birch plywood is quite vast. Baltic Birch comes from countries bordering the Baltic seas, like Finland and Russia. This type of hardwood plywood is made using a specialized process, which distinguishes it from other types. 

Due to this process, Baltic Birch has no filler or softwood, making it higher-quality plywood. Naturally, this results in many advantages of using Baltic Birch plywood in your next project. However, there are numerous types of plywood for you to consider. 

Appleply is another hardwood plywood, which is also considered a premium option. This kind is made from thin layers of Birch. Manufactured by States Industries, in Oregon, Appleply may be easier to come by than Baltic Birch. 

When people describe Appleply plywood and its features, they often compare it to Baltic Birch. Many woodworkers consider Appleply as America’s own Baltic Birch. However, while they are both hardwood variants, there are still key differences that set them apart. 

To choose the right plywood for your relevant project, you’ll need to understand how these two types differ. In the following sections, we’ll be looking at the benefits of using each kind of plywood. Once we’ve done this, we’ll do a final comparison of Appleply and Baltic Birch. You’ll have the suitable plywood for your job in no time!  

The Benefits Of Using Appleply 

Appleply is a type of plywood made in the state of Oregon. The name of this premium hardwood plywood is a play on “apple pie”, which the state is famous for. Let’s look at the benefits of using Appleply! 

#1: Appleply Is Durable And Lightweight 

Appleply plywood is manufactured in such a way that the panels are both strong and lightweight. Appleply panels are made from solid-grade Birch, with the interior piles also made from hardwood. Due to this, Appleply is more durable than Birch plywood. 

Of course, this is somewhat ironic, given that both Appleply and Birch are made from the same material. However, Birch plywood commonly uses softwood interior piles. Appleply, on the other hand, is more robust and features minimal voids within the panels. 

#2: Appleply Works Better With Machines 

Due to the properties discussed above, Appleply works better with woodworking machines. This means that you’ll be able to machine Appleply without any unwanted fuzzing or tearing. The reason for this also comes down to the manufacturing process of this plywood. 

Appleply Vs. Baltic Birch: Which Should You Use?

The hardwood veneers that Appleply is made from have a very low density. As we mentioned above, the hardwood interior piles also result in minimal voids within Appleply panels. Overall, this process improves the machinability of this hardwood plywood. If you’re worried about tearing or fuzzing, this might be the suitable plywood for your project. 

#3: Appleply Has Versatile Uses 

When the various uses of Appleply are considered, it becomes clear that this is a highly versatile type of plywood. From large-scale projects to hobby projects, there are countless ways Appleply can be used. This makes it a popular material choice for woodworkers – especially when you consider all the benefits collectively. 

Since 1984, when Appleply became commercially available, it has commonly been used for many large-scale, industrial projects. In fact, in many applications, Appleply has replaced dimensional hardwood lumber. This plywood also works for projects on smaller scales, with hobbyists and craftsmen often using it for their creations. 

#4: Appleply Is Readily Available 

As we discussed earlier, Appleply is manufactured by States Industries, which is headquartered in Oregon. For those consumers residing in the United States, Appleply is widely and readily available. For instance, many Lowes locations carry this plywood. 

However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find Baltic Birch at a Lowes store. Baltic Birch would be more readily available in European countries. However, due to this, Baltic Birch plywood is often sized according to European standards.  

#5: Appleply Comes In Many Finishes 

Not only is Appleply readily available, but it’s also readily available in a variety of different finishes. Many of State Industries’ products are available with these finishes. The finish that is used is their proprietary NOVA ultraviolet cured finish. 

This NOVA finish is available as a clear, translucent, and opaque finish. Furthermore, customers will be able to choose between satin, medium, or high gloss finishes for their Appleply panels. For customers interested in accurate color matching, that is another service offered by State Industries!

#6: Appleply Is More Cost-Effective 

Appleply is highly cost-effective plywood for those living in the United States. As we mentioned earlier, there are many diverse uses for Appleply, from large-scale projects to DIY woodworking. Regardless of the scale of your project, Appleply is a fantastic material to use as a primary design element. 

Appleply Vs. Baltic Birch: Which Should You Use?

From fixtures to furniture to architectural interiors, there are numerous ways this versatile plywood can be used. Appleply’s versatility and cost-efficiency make it a fantastic choice for projects of any scale. 

The Benefits Of Using Baltic Birch 

As the name suggests, Baltic Birch plywood comes from countries that border the Baltic seas. Considered one of the strongest types of plywood, there are many advantages to using Baltic Birch in your next woodworking project! 

#1: Baltic Birch Is Stronger Than Other Types

One of the main advantages of Baltic Birch plywood is its sheer strength. Made entirely from Birch piles, there are no softwood piles within these panels. Due to this, Baltic Birch is classed as hardwood plywood. This increased strength is largely attributed to this construction process. 

Compared to other types of plywood, Baltic Birch is comprised of thinner piles. Ultimately, this allows for more piles for a given thickness. This reinforces Baltic Birch, making it far stronger than other types of plywood. 

#2: Baltic Birch Offers More Stability 

Not only is Baltic Birch stronger, but it offers more stability than other types of plywood. Due to the layered birch core, which we discussed above, there are no voids present within Baltic Birch panels. Even with Appleply, which shares many similarities with Baltic Birch, there are still voids present. 

Given that Baltic Birch panels do not have any interior voids, it is perhaps the most stable type of plywood available on the market today. If you’re concerned about the long-term durability of your woodworking projects, Baltic Birch is an excellent material to choose – especially when you consider the remaining advantages! 

#3: Baltic Birch Holds Screws Better 

Once again, this benefit results from Baltic Birch’s unique manufacturing process. As we mentioned above, there are no voids present within these hardwood plywood panels. This means that, by using Baltic Birch for your project, you mitigate the risk of hitting an interior void with your screw. 

Another reason this plywood holds screws better is due to the hardwood piles that are used. Even if you don’t hit an internal void with regular plywood, the softwood piles often struggle to support screws. As any woodworker knows, the ability of plywood to hold screws is crucial. 

Even Appleply – which is considered a premium plywood variant that also features hardwood piles – has some voids within the panels. Due to this, Baltic Birch holds screws better than Appleply and almost any other type of plywood. 

#4: Baltic Birch Sands Easily 

Baltic Birch plywood features a thick veneer, which provides another crucial benefit: the ability to sand it safely. When you invest in Baltic Birch for your woodworking project, you will be able to safely sand your panels without the risk of sanding through them. Ultimately, this type of plywood provides woodworkers with a greater margin when sanding Baltic Birch. 

Appleply Vs. Baltic Birch: Which Should You Use?

#5: Baltic Birch Typically Look Better 

Another great benefit of Baltic Birch is its natural attractiveness. In terms of coloring, the plywood panels are light with a creamy color. The appearance of Baltic Birch is also very consistent, which can be an issue with other types of plywood. There are rarely imperfections with this hardwood plywood. 

As we mentioned earlier, the core of Baltic Birch is free of voids. Furthermore, these panels feature a thicker veneer than other types of plywood. Due to these properties and the consistent appearance of Baltic Birch, many woodworkers like to leave certain areas exposed. 

Not only does this provide a natural and clean aesthetic, but it can save woodworkers a lot of time and material. For instance, it will not be necessary to apply an edge tape. Instead, it’s possible to simply sand the panels!

#6: Baltic Birch Is Made Using Waterproof Glue 

The glue used with Baltic Birch is waterproof. Of course, this makes Baltic Birch an ideal material to use when factors like dampness and exposure to water come into play. However, Baltic Birch’s manufacturing process also makes this glue even more effective! 

As you know, Baltic Birch does not have any voids present within the core. Due to this, every inch of your Baltic Birch panels has a consistent layer of glue. This means that the layers in a panel are fully bonded, increasing the overall strength and durability of this plywood. Now we’ve come full circle with the benefits of Baltic Birch!

Should You Use Appleply Or Baltic Birch? 

As we’ve established, there are many similarities between Appleply and Baltic Birch. After all, both are types of hardwood plywood. However, there are key differences to consider between these materials when choosing the one best suited to your specific needs. 

Baltic Birch is often considered the best type of plywood. This is due to the sheer strength of Baltic Birch, which features no voids and is bonded using waterproof glue. This plywood is also popular due to its consistent and natural appearance. 

Despite these great benefits, Baltic Birch is considerably more expensive than other types of plywood. Ultimately, this is because Baltic Birch is produced in countries bordering the Baltic seas. This means that it is not the most readily available type of Plywood. 

Appleply is often considered an American version of Baltic Birch. Of course, Appleply also features hardwood interior piles with minimal voids present. From large-scale industrial uses to craft projects, Appleply is one of the most versatile plywood types available today. 

Manufactured in Oregon, Appleply is readily available to American consumers. It is also more cost-effective than Appleply, while remaining a durable and lightweight material. These benefits make Appleply a great alternative to Baltic Birch. 

Ultimately, the type of plywood you use for your project is your decision to make. Your choice depends on how you value the benefits each variant offers. If you’re seeking raw beauty and sheer strength, Baltic Birch may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for versatile, durable, and cost-effective plywood, Appleply may be perfect for your needs! 


In this article, we compared Appleply and Baltic Birch to help you choose the best material for your needs. While both types are hardwood plywood, there are key differences between them. Understanding their differences and unique benefits allows you to select the right plywood for your project!


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