Oak is usually a stronger wood than maple because it is more resistant to breaking when bent, impacted and compressed both with and across the grain. These characteristics vary by species as the sugar maple, which is the strongest maple, outperforms some oak species.
Live oak, water oak and swamp white oak produce the strongest wood while southern red oak and bur oak produce the weakest. Silver maple and big leaf maple produce the weakest maple wood. Both oak and maple are suitable for furniture making, but oak is preferable for heavy-duty uses such as house framing and boat building.