DON'T USE 3/4" PLYWOOD If You Don't Need It…TRY THIS! (1/2" Plywood Vs. 3/4" Plywood–When to Use)

DON'T USE 3/4" PLYWOOD If You Don't Need It…TRY THIS! (1/2" Plywood Vs. 3/4" Plywood–When to Use)

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DON’T USE 3/4″ PLYWOOD If You Don’t Need It…TRY THIS! (1/2″ Plywood Vs. 3/4″ Plywood–When to Use)

Many new woodworkers and DIYers rush to use 3/4″ plywood for any small project. But, in many cases, 3/4″ plywood is overkill! This short video from The Honest Carpenter will show you a better alternative for many DIY projects–1/2″ plywood!

1/2″ plywood comes in nearly every variety that 3/4″ plywood does. It’s extremely strong and stable.

Many people seem to avoid 1/2″ plywood on the assumption that it’s weak. But, it has many of the same properties as 3/4″ plywood.

(3/4″ is a much more common measurement for wood in general–this may be one of the reasons that people assume that they need to purchase 3/4″ plywood.)

–It’s lighter (by almost 20 lbs. per sheet)
–It’s cheaper (by $10-12 on overage per sheet)
–It’s easier on tools
–It produces less sawdust
–It is easier to handle and manipulate
–It has an edge just wide enough to be hit with brads and trim nails

–Anything that will be walked on
–Anything that will be hit hard with tools
–Anything that will be roughly handled.

–Try not to span it more than 24″ unsupported in any direction
–Get support directly beneath the edges
–Use glue when bonding pieces
–Use face frames for additional support on trim projects

Thanks for watching! Be sure to check us out at The Honest Carpenter Website:


  1. Josh Kilgore on October 19, 2022 at 1:47 am

    This just makes sense, I built my house with 1×3 because its so much cheaper!!!

  2. Tearial311 on October 19, 2022 at 1:47 am

    How are you jointing the 1/2”?

  3. DIY Audio Guy on October 19, 2022 at 1:48 am

    I built a stupid heavy TV stand/bookshelf out of 3/4. It was WAY over built. Expensive and heavy. Half inch would have been fine.

  4. Germell McKee on October 19, 2022 at 1:48 am

    Great Tip Thanks ! ! !

  5. Shamar Milton on October 19, 2022 at 1:49 am

    This helped me out a lot

  6. Ricky Bobby on October 19, 2022 at 1:49 am

    You convinced me. Im going to start putting in 1/2” floors.

  7. wyldeslash2003 on October 19, 2022 at 1:49 am

    Johnny Lawrence?

  8. Rob on October 19, 2022 at 1:50 am

    Lost me when you showed buying wood at HD. The mark of a true craftsman.

  9. Peter Owens on October 19, 2022 at 1:50 am

    Ok agreed, I have used 16 mm also. Problem I face is the wide variety of finishes, number of ply veneers and voids. Marine grades are perfect but very costly so what to buy??

  10. Drushtant Gaikwad on October 19, 2022 at 1:52 am

    I have 3 doors of wardrobe of size 7 X 2 foot, can we use 18mm plywood with concealed hinges to hold. Will the plywood bend after couple of years

  11. ZYL SEGUNDO on October 19, 2022 at 1:52 am

    dito sa pinas ang 1/2 parang ¼ na..😂

  12. Duckily The Lovely on October 19, 2022 at 1:53 am

    If you have the money, just buy 3/4s. That;s it.
    Stronger, and just better.

  13. Jeremey Milam on October 19, 2022 at 1:53 am

    Thanks !!! I just came across your channel. I’ve been guilty of this as well. I’m definitely gonna try this from now on. 👍🏼

  14. Ezio Auditore on October 19, 2022 at 1:54 am

    "Until 2022" lol.

  15. Keith Marlowe on October 19, 2022 at 1:56 am

    "Out of control until 2022". We are 1/2 way through and still out of control. Go Brandon

  16. Gigi Laroux on October 19, 2022 at 2:00 am

    I’m building a bed platform for inside my car and I don’t want any sagging/bowing would a 1/2” suffice? Also planning to use birch.

  17. rwreuter on October 19, 2022 at 2:01 am

    What is the real or actual size of this 1/2 plywood you are referring too?

  18. Mohammad Shamsuzzaman on October 19, 2022 at 2:01 am

    get can get cheaper but high quality plywood from Bangladesh as alternative to china..
    Bangladesh is most competitive market in Asia for Plywood sector and wood industry..
    local manufacturing is racing each other local and import supplies for lower price .
    if US market need help, feel free to contact me (large quantities/LC order)

  19. Michael S on October 19, 2022 at 2:02 am

    This is an older video because we are almost through 2022 and prices haven’t come down yet & considering people are still buying it doubt it ever will

  20. Melvin Gray on October 19, 2022 at 2:02 am

    I stopped using 1/2" plywood so much because lumber mills started giving us less in quality in plywood, plywood used to be made with an odd number of sheets/plies, as a rule, such as 5 sheets for 1/2" plywood, 7 sheets for 5/8", 9 sheets for 3/4" plywood and so on, and if the 3/4" was Baltic Birch it had 15 plies and very tightly made, the odd number of sheets was for greater strength, now where I live I can’t find high-quality plywood made like it used to be made, only 3 plies 1/2" which was not even made then and 4 plies 1/2" in which they charge more for and is not as strong as it once was, and the 3/4" is also poorly manufactured and the prices are totally ridiculous and not affordable, these days I just don’t buy plywood at all because bottom line the prices being charged is just pure greed by the Mills and is not because of the rotten lies we are being told. the only 1/2" plywood I would feel good about using is Baltic Birch because it is strong and has many sheets/plies and no voids and is High Quality, but still, again it is very expensive, Thank you for the video I’m sure it will help many people who are seeking to save money. I would suggest checking out your local lumber yards for plywood purchase, It has been my experience that the quality of plywood is better than stores like the Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards.

  21. Melissa Monfort on October 19, 2022 at 2:03 am

    My kitchen cabinets were built in 1958 using 1/2" plywood and were in perfect condition- I replaced them with cabinets made from 3/4" plywood. It is overkill!

  22. Peter McLaughlin on October 19, 2022 at 2:03 am

    One downside of 1/2" plywood is if you are making any joinery such as dados or rabbets you have less meat and strength in the joint.

  23. Mobile empire on October 19, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Good subject , Thumbs up

  24. Groyper Supreme on October 19, 2022 at 2:04 am

    doesn’t matter if you buy birch though. the savings is negligible.

  25. GERRY. SHAFER on October 19, 2022 at 2:05 am

    WILL. 1/ 2. BE. GOOD. TO. WALK. ON. IN. AN. ATTIC. ?? TKS.

  26. Friendly Woodworks on October 19, 2022 at 2:05 am

    What about on a floor? I dread redoing an old tongue and groove hardwood floor and those are .75 thick. I am thinking 3/4 hardwood panels. Any advice would be helpful since machines up to 1,000lbs will be rolling across it.

  27. John Treble on October 19, 2022 at 2:07 am

    I just made a bunch of 30”x30” using 5/8” plywood instead of 3/4 or 1/2 inch. Since they are used in my wood shop, I didn’t require hardwood veneers, and to increase utility, each 30×30 has a 30×12 cubby with no doors. I got BCX plywood and made sure the exposed walls were B grade. So happy with my cabinets and even more happy with the open cubbies!

  28. Billy Blackie on October 19, 2022 at 2:08 am

    Glad to see this video I was getting into this frame of mind until now I see this video. I’m using 3/4" but only because I got an old sheet from brother and using to build french cleats and tool hanging holders but I’m only using as demos to see how it looks for when I make newer improved ones with improvements. I will stick to 3/4" for the cleats for strength and because once hung they won’t be moved but I will use 1/2" for tool holders and if not good I will use all 1/2" as in my 60sband medical probs and loss of strength at my age makes sense to use 1/2" great vid good man powerful info

  29. Trash Talker on October 19, 2022 at 2:09 am

    I’m doing a diy Kitchen Island Hack and a DIY Tv Stand. So thanks this saves a lot in cash for me today.

  30. Lazy Way on October 19, 2022 at 2:10 am

    I use 1 1/2 inch solid oak for everything.

  31. LL Lee on October 19, 2022 at 2:12 am

    I have a cubed storage system that I bought from The Container Store many years ago with the 1/2" plywood construction. They were discontinuing the product, so I bought all I could, but I’m missing some pieces for one of my cubes. How can I make a slit in between the plywood to make cubbyholes for shoes? Is there another way besides a table saw?

  32. Patrick McGever on October 19, 2022 at 2:12 am

    I use 3/4" ply for spots that will have a 1/4" dado or deeper (depending on details of course) but generally I do try to keep 1/2" of uncut ply, and that’s plenty strong.

    Long pieces, even with cross support, I prefer 3/4" for the rigidity. Example: planning a 230" built-in, and it’s all using 3/4".

    There is also a pleasing-ratio to maintain. 84" bookcase with 16" openings : 3/4"

    24" x 18" utility cabinet: 1/2" or 3/8"

  33. S King on October 19, 2022 at 2:15 am

    I’m glad I checked this video out before beginning my cabinet project, I was about to make some big mistakes (I still am but, at least I’ll save some money)

  34. Gearhead ArtStudio on October 19, 2022 at 2:16 am

    I lived in Japan for almost 30 years and 12mm ply is the industry standard. On occasion we will use thicker but really rare. If we are going to do a floor then we double the ply but offset the wood joints to overlap and use a floor glue that expands and wont crack like normal wood glue. All construction is based on 3×6 so it is much better for cost,waste , cutting. When you finish a house here you leave with a bag of scraps and cutoffs not like in the states where you have a big dumpster to put all the waste. I can not believe how must waste there is in the states compared to Japan. Same tools,same blueprints, less people on a job, 3×6 everything,very little waste. I think people take more pride in their work and feel that if they measure correctly there will be less mistakes which make the job faster,cleaner and more profitable. American construction could really learn some things from them. Also 2×4 is almost non existing for framing interior walls but that is for another rant…..

  35. Lisa Stephens on October 19, 2022 at 2:16 am


  36. James DEFRANGE on October 19, 2022 at 2:17 am

    Haha, 2022… lumber peices stil rising.

  37. Richard Daugherty on October 19, 2022 at 2:17 am

    100% agree! One thing you didn’t cover is that not all plywood is created equal. If I’m doing cabinets I want Baltic birch plywood. That raises the price but the product is far better. It’s got no voids, it’s flat (!) and the edges look far better than inferior plywood. I’ve actually seen table tops rounded over, sanded smooth, and finished in Baltic birch that looked beautiful. I get shop grade for shop projects, and you can even get pre-finished furniture grade for cabinetry, etc. If something is going to get rough use I’ll get the big box stuff but that stuff isn’t flat and I hate it.

  38. Ayanna Pritchett on October 19, 2022 at 2:18 am

    2022 and it’s still crazy

  39. Jared Reviea on October 19, 2022 at 2:20 am

    You should do a video on that closet organizer

  40. cb meeks on October 19, 2022 at 2:21 am

    Late 2022 speaking here….lumber is still out of control.

  41. lila Mayoral on October 19, 2022 at 2:21 am

    So whats the price on 2022@?

  42. 212caboose on October 19, 2022 at 2:26 am

    "…Prices out of control… Until 2022…" The optimism is hilarious…

    Narrator: Prices did NOT go down in 2022. In fact, they’re steadily going up.

  43. John Kitterman on October 19, 2022 at 2:34 am

    Would 1/2" be ok for lumber cleat shelves or should I go with 3/4"?

  44. Gardener Mike in San Antonio on October 19, 2022 at 2:36 am

    I just subbed and rang the bell. Very good video. I have always looked at it as you had. Now I’m going to try 1/2" to save my back and some $$$.

  45. James Hebert on October 19, 2022 at 2:38 am

    Could I do French cleat rails in 1/2” ply? This is to support individual 2 x 24 x 48 inch acoustic foam pads. Thinking of backing them with 1/4” ply sheeting, and 1/2” ply cleats, to keep them flat, lightweight, and movable.

  46. Charlie Brown on October 19, 2022 at 2:38 am

    Can this be used for kitchen cabinets or is it best to still use 3/4 inch?

  47. Mike Collins on October 19, 2022 at 2:41 am

    0-:21 – "Now that cheap lumber prices are out of control, and probably will be till 2022 …"
    Lucky now that 2022 is here, all prices have reverted to the low-cost affordability we had when this video was made – May 2021.

  48. AW Overland on October 19, 2022 at 2:42 am

    Is almost 2023 and the prices still out of control

  49. TheBenjammin5150 on October 19, 2022 at 2:42 am

    1/2 limits the type of joinery you can use though.

  50. Crystal Toledo on October 19, 2022 at 2:44 am

    If you had to do it over on your truck bed would you use 1/2” plywood or stay with 3/4”
    Thanks great info