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Advantages of plywood
Because it consists of layers of wood veneer with the grain on each layer running a different direction, it’s a very strong building material.
It’s less susceptible to water damage than MDF, and won’t soak up water and swell as quickly or easily as MDF does.
It’s stainable, which makes it perfect for kitchen cabinets, table tops, and other projects where you want a large stained wood surface.
It holds screws very tightly since the varying grains of wood on each layer give the screws something to hold onto.
Disadvantages of plywood
It’s more expensive than MDF. And obviously, the higher the grade, and the more special the species of wood, the more expensive it gets.
Because of the layers that show on the edge, you have to finish off the edges somehow. This can be done with iron-on edge banding or with pieces of lumber or decorative molding.
Plywood will often splinter on the edges when cut, so it’s harder to get a smooth cut with plywood than it is with MDF.
It’s more difficult to cut detailed designs into plywood (scrolled, scalloped, etc.) because the edges will splinter, and then you’re left with edges that show layers and might possibly have voids in some places.