Skippy, good info. To the original poster - A better question may be 'what is the best wood for' . The hardest woods on that list may not be the best woods for a particular purpose. IPE is a very hard wood (top of list) and can be found relatively easily. Would I build kitchen cabinets out of it? No. Might I build a counter top out of it? Maybe. Would I use it for decking? Yes. Would I use it for stud walls? No.