Baltic birch plywood vs blonde wood

Is Baltic birch plywood and the blonde board plywood that Lowe’s and Home Depot sell the same?

Sort of, yes, and no, it depends on how you look at it.

Baltic Birch is specifically that Northern European/Russian product which was branded thus.

“Blonde” plywood is a competing product made to be the nearest equivalent which can be sold at a good value/price point.

For some projects they can be treated as interchangeable, but the politics of them (which is off-topic here) is not interchangeable and is left to each person’s own judgement.

I have bought “blonde” plywood at Home Depot and hated it. In my opinion baltic birch is a much superior product. The blonde plywood I got was light and soft. Birch is a much harder wood and the layers are thinner and more of them. Additionally the blonde wood had voids inside some of the layers much more than baltic birch plywood. The good baltic birch has knot holes and voids but they are patched with solid material so you get a better looking carve when going below the surface with baltic birch.

I have not used it but I have read reviews that appleply is a good alternative to baltic birch. True baltic birch comes from the Ukraine area where a war is going on and the production of baltic birch is low or non existent. There are other places that baltic birch plywood is produced but not in the qualities that it was produced before the war in Ukraine.

I cannot be positive but the blonde plywood is made from old rubber trees in Asia. When a rubber tree stops producing it is harvested and turned to to cheap hardwood. A lot of finger jointed bench tops and cheap furniture use the rubber trees made into panels. It has no real good grain or color and is at the low end of the hardness scale. Basically it is a garbage wood that has some uses in cheap furniture.

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