Mdo Vs. Mdf


Woodworkers need to be familiar with their tools and materials because they are good furniture built. Having the right set of tools is great, but it is impossible to achieve great results without the proper wood materials. Mdo and Mdf are the two great wood materials and are referred to as panels. However, establishing the differences between both would help in several ways – thus, the reason for this Mdo Vs. Mdf article.

What is Mdo?

Medium Density Overlay, also called, Mdo is a material made out of processed plywood, with the surface protected with resin to enhance strength and resistance. This resin is applied using heat and pressure; it is responsible for the Mdo’s surface smoothness.

What is Mdf?

Medium Density Fiberboard, also known as Mdf, is a processed wood made out of hard- or soft-board. It is also bound with resin on the surface under high temperature and pressure; however, water, max, and resin binder are involved in the process. Likewise, the surface is protected against weather, wear and tear, and enhanced surface smoothness.

Mdo Or Mdf?

With both wood panels almost looking similar, it could be a little challenging deciding what to use. In fact, these materials are available almost everywhere at affordable prices. However, there are some benefits with using a particular wood panel over the other, i.e., Mdo over Mdf, and vice-versa.

What are the Factors Involved In Using Mdo and Mdf?

Mdo and Mdf are alike but different in several ways. These factors below are set to show those differences, and hopefully, you can decide on which to go for between the duo.

  1. Structural Support

Both Mdf and Mdo have great surfaces, but one striking difference is in their structural support. MDO is a stronger choice than MDF. The reason is that it has a larger sheet than the former. It is also not affected by the center of gravity.

On the other hand, Mdf is used to build decent pieces of furniture, such as tabletops; however, the structural integrity is only average. Besides, they need wide and longer sheets to achieve this goal while putting their weights into consideration.

With this factor, it is easy to determine what to use for a particular task or whatnot.

  1. Strength/Durability

Another difference between the two wood panels is the durability/strength. This factor is responsible for how well and long you would be able to use them. If you would like to make a piece of furniture that will last years, using a panel with poor quality will only be a disaster.

MDO and MDF have good durability, but there is a slight difference. MDO has better tensile strength, making it suitable to build structures that can support heavyweights. On the other hand, MDF only has a tensile strength of about 90 pounds over a sheet with 4 x 8 ins’ dimensions.

  1. Weight and Density

Medium Density Overlay or Fiberboard sure tells right away that they are dense materials with individual weights and capacities. That being said, MDO is denser in structure due to the additional layers of sheet. Surprisingly, it also has a layer of MDF to improve its strength.

MDO existed because there was a need to modify MDF so that the properties it lacked could be accounted for, i.e., weight and strength.

  1. Weather Resistance

Every material with a coating is designed to provide strength, resistance, and surface smoothness. MDO and MDF are both not left out, as they are coated with resins in different ways; while one is done under heat, the other is carried out under pressure. Therefore, there is differential resistance to certain factors, and one of them is Weather.

MDO has a water-resistant and weather-resistant resin layer, making it suitable to use in humid conditions. On the other hand, MDF has limited use; it is not great in high humid areas or under sunlight. There is a great chance that it would be affected by sunlight.

  1. Cutting/Ease of Use

The application/usability of wood panels also differ. The ease of cutting MDO is entirely different from that of MDF. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot cut them the way you want, only that MDO is less messy.

  1. Price

One last difference between both is their prices. MDO takes a longer production process than MDF; hence, it is more expensive. However, irrespective of the wood panel type, they are effective and affordable, even more than the conventional hardwood you see around.


Mdo Vs. Mdf is a great guide to help you decide what to use for specific tasks or structures ideal for the home, office, or anywhere else. By following the factors mentioned above, everything else that involves wood material selection becomes easy for you.