The grading rules for sawn beech in Europe are typically based on the European standard EN 975-1:1996. This standard sets out a number of different grades based on the appearance and quality of the wood.
The grades are as follows:
- QF1: This is the highest grade of beech timber, and is generally reserved for use in high-quality furniture and joinery. It has a uniform light color and a very fine, straight grain. It is free from knots, cracks, and other defects, and has a very smooth surface.
- QF2: This grade is also suitable for use in furniture and joinery, but may have some minor defects such as small knots or slight color variations. It has a straight grain and a smooth surface.
- QF3: This grade is suitable for use in furniture and joinery where a more rustic appearance is acceptable. It may have knots, color variations, and some surface irregularities, but still has a relatively straight grain.
- QF4: This grade is suitable for use in general carpentry and construction. It may have knots, irregular grain patterns, and other defects, but is still of sufficient quality for structural use.
- QF5: This is the lowest grade of beech timber, and is generally not suitable for use in furniture or joinery. It may have significant defects such as large knots, cracks, and other imperfections, and is typically used for lower-quality carpentry and construction projects.
It's worth noting that these grades may be slightly different depending on the specific country and industry in question. Additionally, some companies may have their own internal grading systems that differ from the standard.