Building Materials

10 of the World’s Heaviest Wood Species

10 of the World’s Heaviest Wood Species

When it comes to doing projects making use of wood, whether large-scale home building or restorations to minute sculptures, the kind of wood used as material for the construction or making of that structure determines a lot of things in the outcome, including how the object or building will actually look, how long it would last, and how dense or heavy it might be.

The last factor is significant in items that might need to be carried or moved around.
This article lists the top 10 heaviest wood in the world, based on wood density.

Take note that the coefficient of variation between the samples could be as high as plus or minus 10%. This means that the actual weight of the woods could differ so much in the actual samples.

Therefore, it is quite possible that an actual sample of the wood that ranks tenth on the list could weigh more than an actual sample of the wood that ranks first! But the list was made with the official wood density taken into consideration and would hold true for most cases.

10 – Verawood (Bulnesia arborea)

Verawood - Bulnesia arborea - wood species

Wood weight density: 74.4 lbs/ft3 (1,192 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

With a density of 74.4 lbs/ft3 (1,192 kg/m3), Verawood is considered a gem among the woods especially because of its beautiful olive-green color, feathery grain pattern, and its ready availability that makes it quite inexpensive to buy.

What more, Verawood takes a great natural polish, making this an excellent option for most wood applications.

9 – Kingwood (Dalbergia cearensis)

Kingwood - Dalbergia cearensis - wood species

Wood weight density: 74.9 lbs/ft3 (1,200 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

Legend has it that Kingwood got its name because several French kings, notably Louis XIV and Louis XV, preferred to use this material in making furniture.

Kingwood’s beautiful dark color and lovely pattern of dark streaks make it an excellent material for making furniture and sculptures. With a density of 74.9 lbs/ft3 (1,200 kg/m3), Kingwood makes it to the Top 10 of the heaviest wood, ranking ninth.

8 – Desert Ironwood (Olneya tesota)

Desert Ironwood - Olneya tesota - wood species

Wood weight density: 75.4 lbs/ft3 (1,208 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

Having a density of 75.4 lbs/ft3 (1,208 kg/m3), Desert Ironwood is certainly a great material to use for various wood structures.

However, because the actual availability of this wood is scarce because it comes from a small tree that’s not viable to be used for timber, the use of Desert Ironwood is limited to small applications.

7 – Snakewood (Brosimum guianense)

Snakewood - Brosimum guianense - wood species

Wood weight density: 75.7 lbs/ft3 (1,212 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

A beautiful wood that has a unique pattern similar to snakeskin, Snakewood is a sought-after wood for a number of uses.

It has a wood density of 75.7 lbs/ft3 (1,212 kg/m3). The only problem with Snakewood is that it is one of the most expensive woods in the world because of its limited availability.

Still, this lovely wood is a favorite wood by those who are lucky enough to afford buying this material.

6 – Leadwood (Combretum imberbe)

Leadwood - Combretum imberbe - wood species

Considered an elusive timber, the Leadwood hails from Africa and is an exceptionally hard wood! With a density of 75.8 lbs/ft3 (1,215 kg/m3), this makes a good option for building homes and other structures.

However, Leadwood is reported to be protected in South Africa; thus, this is not likely going to be for sale anywhere.

5 – Quebracho (Schinopsis spp.)

Quebracho - Schinopsis spp. - wood species

Wood weight density: 77.1 lbs/ft3 (1,235 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

One of the world’s hardest woods, the Quebracho’s name hails from the Spanish term “quebrar hacha” – and that means “axe breaker”!

This can literally break axes! With a density of 77.1 lbs/ft3 (1,235 kg/m3) would make excellent material for building strong structures as long as the builders have the right materials to use on this stubborn wood.

4 – Lignum Vitae (Guaiacum officinale)

Lignum Vitae - Guaiacum officinale - wood species

Wood weight density: 78.5 lbs/ft3 (1,257 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

Listed among the hardest woods in the world, Lignum Vitae also holds the distinction of being one of the densest.

This wood has a density of 78.5 lbs/ft3 (1,257 kg/m3) and would have made excellent material for furniture and in building homes, except that it is now listed as an endangered species.

Since this wood is no longer available for use, builders could choose Verawood as an excellent substitute.

3 – African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon)

African Blackwood - Dalbergia melanoxylon - wood species

Wood weight density: 79.3 lbs/ft3 (1,270 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

Sometimes referred to as the ‘original ebony’, it is believed that African Blackwood is one of the best and most beautiful woods to use in the world.

With a density of 79.3 lbs/ft3 (1,270 kg/m3), this wood certainly is one of the best to use in many applications, including in creating impressive statues and grand homes.

2 – Itin (Prosopis kuntzei)

Itin - Prosopis kuntzei - wood species

Wood weight density: 79.6 lbs/ft3 (1,275 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

An excellent substitute for ebony, Itin has a density of 79.6 lbs/ft3 (1,275 kg/m3).

Cultivated in South America, this super-mesquite tree is actually small but the hardwood material is still an excellent option for building homes.

1 – Black Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum)

Black Ironwood - Krugiodendron ferreum - wood species

Wood weight density: 84.5 lbs/ft3 (1,355 kg/m3) (Average Dried Weight)

Topping this list is the Black Ironwood which boasts of a density of 84.5 lbs/ft3 (1,355 kg/m3).

But while this material would have been perfect in creating grand structures, very few pieces are actually available for sale because it comes from a small tree that is too small to provide commercially viable timber.

Thus, despite the Black Ironwood’s excellent wood hardness and density, it is not used in grand projects but is limited to use in small turning projects.

(Source: Eric Meier of Wood Database | cedarstripkayak)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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