SOFTWOOD VENEER cores are light and strong but do not typically yield a panel as flat and smooth as composite cores like particleboard or MDF. Using a two step, or “blank” process can significantly improve veneer core panels’ flatness.
MEDIUM DENSITY FIBERBOARD, (MDF) is flat and smooth with good thickness tolerances. It machines well, but wears machine tooling and is quite heavy. Screw holding strength is less than veneer core.
PARTICLEBOARD is the low cost core of choice. It is about the same weight as MDF, but does not machine as well and has poor screw holding capacity. Particleboard is flat and smooth, and has good thickness tolerances.
Specialty Cores include many variations within the above core types, as well as hybrids and non wood based panel products that are coming into commercial use.