Acacia and teak are household names in the woodworking industry. They both make beautiful outdoor furniture and are particularly known to be extremely weather resistant. Both are also strong and versatile.

But which one is better? Which one should you pick for your next woodworking project, assuming you can only choose from the two? Let’s find out.

Acacia vs Teak Wood

Teak is definitely better than acacia. It is durable and boasts a higher natural moisture resistance. Moreover, teak has the coveted deep reddish-brown tint that makes it a top choice for luxurious furniture.

That said, acacia is also very strong and a great pick for patio furniture.

Acacia Wood vs Teak Wood: The Basics

The following is a basic overview of each wood type to set us up for the head-to-head comparison.

What is Acacia Wood?

Acacia wood is obtained from acacia trees. The acacia tree, genus acacia, family Fabaceae, is a fast-growing hardwood tree native to Australia. The trees also grow naturally in the Pacific Islands, Africa, and parts of the Americas.

Types

There are hundreds of acacia species, with a few studies mentioning 700+ types. However, the most common varieties are;

  • Acacia koa
  • Creeping wattle
  • Box leaf wattle
  • Coastal wattle
  • Flax-leaf wattle

General properties

Acacia wood’s heartwood ranges from dark red to light brown color to dark red hue, with an attractive natural grain and sharply demarcated sapwood.

A golden or medium brown heartwood is also not uncommon, as are figured grains called rings. The unique combination of qualities makes acacia one of the most sought materials for rustic or farmhouse decor and furniture.

Additionally, the beautiful grain pattern lends exceptionally to end grain chopping boards.

Acacia Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many reasons to choose acacia wood for woodworking as almost as many reasons to over avoid it; here are the advantages and disadvantages of acacia wood.

What We Liked Most

  • It’s is hard, strong, and durable
  • Acacia is scratch-resistant
  • Highly workable
  • It is highly water-resistant
  • Affordable

What Could Be Improved

  • It is heavy (one of the most dense woods)
  • It tends to have defects and variations
  • Doesn’t withstand heat
  • Difficult to maintain

What is Teak Wood

Teak wood is obtained from raw teak trees. The teak tree, Tectona grandis, is a deciduous hardwood native to Indonesia, India, and Central America. Thailand also has a few natural teak forests.

Types

Teak comes in many species. However, the four main types that you’re likely to come across in the US are;

  • Burmese teak wood
  • Indonesian teak wood
  • African plantation teak wood
  • Thailand teak wood
  • Brazilian teak wood

General Characteristics

Teak wood is unique for many reasons. First off, it’s identifiable by the luxurious deep dark red or reddish-brown hue that many people consider the benchmark for royal timber.

It also has a medium luster and oily feel. Secondly, teak is one of the most weather-resistant types of wood. It produces natural oils that work as built-in water repellants, allowing the raw timber to ward off moisture, rotting, and harsh chemicals.

As a result, untreated teak furniture can last more than 30 years outdoors without rotting. The rich natural oils also give the luxury hardwood a high heat resistance.

Teak has a fine to coarse, even texture and a straight, tight grain pattern. Unfortunately, the grain pattern is not very inspiring. But one downfall is that teak wood is expensive.

Recommended Reading: How much does teak wood cost?

Teak Wood Pros and Cons

If you decide to source teak for your next woodworking project, you should know the following pros and cons of teak furniture.

What We Liked Most

  • Teak is naturally beautiful
  • It’s strong and durable
  • It’s highly versatile
  • Highly resistant to weather and rotting

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s is very expensive
  • It’s not readily available

Teak vs Acacia Wood Difference: Head to Head

So, you have acacia vs. teak wood to choose from and can only pick one. Here’s a head-to-head to help you make the right choice;

Origin

Teak and acacia are both hardwoods. However, they are from different plant families and native to different locations. Teak is from the Lamiaceae family of plants, also known as Labiatae.

Lamiaceae are large, deciduous, flowing plants commonly known as mints or sages. The trees are native to India, Indonesia, and Asia.

On the other hand, acacia is from the Fabaceae family, which is also known as Leguminosae. Leguminosae is a family of shrubs and trees best recognized by their fruit and compound, stipulate leaves.

The plants are native to the Pacific Islands, Africa, and some parts of the Americas.

Appearance

Acacia wood and teak wood couldn’t be more different in appearance. Acacia wood typically has a light brown color. It can look a strong red when freshly cut.

However, it becomes a soft light brown once dried. However, that truly sets it apart os the beautiful grain pattern. Acacia wood pieces are characterized by gorgeous wavy grain patterns that are very easy on the eye.

On the other hand, teak is deep reddish-brown and remains so after it dries. It will only weather to a dark brown color if you leave the wooden furniture outside for a prolonged period.

Unfortunately, teak’s grain pattern isn’t very inspiring. Nevertheless, it has a tight grain pattern that’s occasionally interlocked.

Density and hardness

Both acacia and teak are dense wood species that are very hard and strong. Acacia generally weighs 700 kg/m3, whereas the densest teak wood species is the African plantation teak, with a density of 980kg/m3.

Both are also very hard, though teak is harder. Acacia hardness is rated 2,300 lbf on the Janka scale, while teak, though rated 1,550 Janka, on average, can go up to 3,000+ Janka.

For instance, the Brazilian teak is rated 3540 Janka, making it one of the hardest trees.

Durability

Many factors determine the durability of a piece of wood or the wood’s products. However, weather resistance and the ability to resist pests, insects, decay, and rotting are the biggest factors.

Fortunately, both acacia and teak score highly in these areas, with teak ranking slightly higher. Acacia wood is highly weather-resistant, with natural oils that allow it to repel moisture and water.

It is also highly resistant to pests, though it’s only moderately rot-resistant. Meanwhile, teak is even more durable, typically lasting a lifetime with good maintenance. It’s highly decay and rot-resistant and is naturally resistant to pests.

Workability

The workability of a wood type depends on physical properties, such as hardness, texture, and the presence of stains and knots.

The good news is that neither acacia nor teak trees have knots to worry about, though you’re bound to run into one or two knots when using acacia. The two wood types also rarely have stains as they are naturally resistant to pests and diseases.

However, Remember that both are very hard hardwoods. Extra hard timber can be challenging to cut, especially with hand tools. So, you need power tools in both cases.

Teak is even more challenging to work with as it’s harder and has a coarse texture.

Learn more here on how to stain acacia wood easily.

Availability

The obvious winner here is acacia, albeit with a few twists. Acacia wood grows in large plantations in African countries and many parts of Central America. So, it’s highly available.

However, the problem is getting it to the US. Since it’s an exotic wood, the availability depends on the shipping networks.

The opposite is true for teak. It’s native to the US, taking shipping challenges out of the equation. However, it’s very rare and therefore not readily available either. So, generally, you will find acacia lumber more easily.

Sustainability

A wood species is sustainable if it’s available in large forest areas and not immediately threatened by deforestation or natural factors. So, you can guess that acacia is more sustainable than teak wood.

Acacia grows naturally in many African countries. Moreover, it grows very fast. So, new trees quickly replace old ones. Unfortunately, teak isn’t as sustainable.

First, the area under teak is dwindling. Worse still, teak grows very slowly. Thus, replacing old trees becomes a challenge. Finally, illegal logging is a major challenge for acacia trees.

Uses

Both teak and acacia wood are highly versatile, with applications ranging from furniture making to cabinetry, woodturning, construction, and fine woodworking.

Acacia wood is an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor use. It makes durable outdoor furniture, countertops, and cutting boards. It’s also a good choice for artistic work, such as making bird perches and wooden bowls.

Above all, it’s used for support beams in construction.

Meanwhile, teak is primarily used for luxury furniture, though it also makes the perfect material for boat building, high-class joinery, and flooring. It’s also used to make chemical tanks, paneling, flooring, and plywood.

Price

Finally, teak is significantly more expensive than acacia wood. It’s important to note that both are expensive woods due to their physical properties. However, teak is significantly more expensive because it’s considered a luxury wood.

The exact prices vary depending on your location, time of the year, and the wood species. However, acacia wood will generally set you back around $10/ board foot.

Shipping costs mainly influence the price. On the other hand, teak costs $50/board foot, depending on availability.

Acacia vs Teak: Stand Out Features

The standout differences between acacia wood and teak wood are appearance, durability, and pricing.

  • Appearance: Acacia wood is a light brown wood with a gorgeous grain pattern. On the other hand, teak is a deep reddish-brown wood with a straight grain pattern. Unfortunately, teak’s straight grain patterns aren’t very exciting.
  • Durability: Both acacia and teak wood are very durable. However, teak is far more durable than acacia wood. Untreated teak wood has more natural moisture resistance, insect resistance, and decay resistance than untreated acacia.
  • Pricing: Acacia and teak are expensive hardwoods because of their outstanding physical qualities. However, teak is up to five times as expensive as acacia because it’s more durable, has the coveted dark reddish-brown color, and is rarer and thus very difficult to find.

Is Acacia Wood the Same as Teak

No, acacia wood isn’t the same as teak. Although both are hardwoods, they belong to two different pant families and boast different physical and natural properties.

For instance, whereas acacia has a light brown shade, teak is deep reddish-brown. Teak is also much harder and more durable than acacia.

Related:

Walnut vs teak

Teak Vs Mahogany

Acacia vs Teak: Verdict

Acacia and teak are excellent hardwood choices for many woodworking projects. They are hard, strong, and durable. Moreover, both are highly resistant to pests and weather elements. However, they are also different in many ways.

  • When to Use Acacia Wood: We recommend using teak for mid-range rustic indoor furniture. The light brown color and beautiful figured grain patterns make it the perfect choice for farm-house style decor.
  • When to Use Teak Wood: We recommend using teak for luxury indoor and patio furniture. The dark reddish-brown color and oily luster also make it a great choice for high-end office furniture.

So, overall, it comes down to the type of project you’re working on. However, if you’re solely concerned about the better wood between the two, teak is much better.

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