Mahogany vs. Walnut Wood (for Flooring, Instruments, Kitchen Appliances and More)

Mahogany is a close-grained hardwood that is extremely dense, strong and hard. It is one of the most popular and useful types of hardwood. Mahogany trees grow very slowly. It is this slow growth that gives mahogany its unmatched strength and thickness.

Similar to mahogany, walnut wood is also close-grained. It is gotten from walnut trees that grow in Southern Europe, the West Indies, Asia, and North and South America. The wood is hard, strong, and doesn’t warp or shrink.

Both wood types are durable and strong, and will work well for any wooden project, but which one is better? Mahogany is easier to work with than walnut wood. This is because walnut wood is thicker, and this makes it difficult to cut. Although, mahogany can also be difficult to cut as it is also a hardwood.

Mahogany vs Walnut Wood

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 MahoganyWalnut
Average Dried Weight40lbs/ft338lbs/ft3
ColourSapwood is yellowish-brown to pale brown. Heartwood is dark red with brown highlights.Sapwood is pale brown to yellowish gray. Heartwood is a rich coffee colour.
GrainThe grain of mahogany varies. Sometimes, it is straight-grained, and sometimes, it is interlocked.Walnut wood has a wavy, somewhat open grain.
GrowthMahogany does not warp or shrink.Walnut wood does not absorb moisture and heat. So, it is resistant to shrinkage and growth.
TextureThe texture is very smooth with few knots.Walnut wood has a rough, uneven texture, with some bumps.
DurabilityMahogany is strong and durable. It can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.Walnut wood is very durable and is resistant to rot and decay.
DensityHas a density of 31-53lb/ft3. It is rated 800-900lbf on the Janka scale.It has a density of 630 kg/m3 and is rated 1010 on the Janka scale.
WorkabilityIt has excellent workability, glues, and finishes well.Walnut wood is easy to work with, both with hand and commercial machines.

Key Differences Between Mahogany and Walnut

Hardness

Both woods are hardwood. However, walnut wood is much harder than mahogany. The hardness of mahogany varies depending on where the tree is grown.

Walnut is also denser and heavier than mahogany.

Uses

Here are some uses of Mahogany;

  • Mahogany is great for making boats. Its tight grained structure ensures that water stays out of the boat.
  • Musical instruments like guitars, cellos, violins, are usually made with mahogany. This is because it creates a softer tone than other hardwoods.
  • Mahogany is used in crafting fine, wooden furniture. It gives the furniture a natural shine along with its deep brown colour.
  • Because of its strength, mahogany is a great choice for flooring and panelling in homes.
  • It can be used in making kitchen appliances such as cutting boards, knives, etc.
  • Pens and pencils are also made using mahogany.

Here are some uses of Walnut wood;

  • Walnut wood is a top choice when making furniture because of its durability and rot resistance.
  • It is great for wood carvings because of its fine grain structure.
  • Walnut wood can also be used in carving musical instruments. However, it creates a different sound than instruments made with mahogany.
  • Walnut is also an excellent choice for making indoor accessories, like knives, decorations, etc.
  • Walnut can be used in making cabinets.
  • It is used for flooring because of its durability and strength.

Similarities Between Mahogany and Walnut

Besides both being hardwoods, mahogany and walnut wood don’t share a lot of similarities.

They are both Hardwoods

Hardwood comes from deciduous trees that lose their leaves as the year goes on. They can also be described as any wood that ranks 1000 and above on the Janka scale of hardness. Mahogany and walnut wood are both hardwoods. They are denser than softwoods, harder to cut, and tend to weigh more.

Hardwoods are great for constructing large wooden projects like boats, crates, doors, and anything that needs to withstand heavy weights.

Pros and Cons of Mahogany

Pros

  • It is very strong and hard. This makes it a great choice for constructing furniture, floors, crates, etc.
  • It is resistant to rot and mould.
  • It does not warp or shrink.
  • Mahogany does not absorb moisture.
  • It is resistant to changes in temperature and harsh weather.
  • It can be used in making a wide range of things.

Cons

  • Because of its thickness and weight, mahogany is harder to cut than most woods.
  • Mahogany is expensive and out of budget for most wood buyers.
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight will make mahogany turn darker over time.
  • There are lots of fake mahogany on the market, and it is easy to get duped if you’re not careful.
  • Because of the high demand, there is a shortage of mahogany. This makes it hard to find.

Pros and Cons of Walnut

Pros

  • It is resistant to dents. This makes it a good choice when making anything that has to carry weight like tables, chairs, crates, etc.
  • It is extremely durable because of its hardness and strength.
  • It has a beautiful shine, and an attractive grain pattern.
  • Walnut wood is excellent for finishing. It takes stains and paint well.
  • It is easy to cut and works well with machines.
  • It is eco-friendly and environmentally friendly.
  • As a hardwood, walnut is more resistant to fire than most wood types.
  • It is easy to repair, and is resistant to mould and moisture.

Cons

  • Because of its durability and density, walnut wood is very expensive.
  • It is not easy to install. Most homeowners require professional help when working with walnut wood.
  • Walnut wood is very heavy and hard to move.
  • Colour can change if exposed to sunlight for too long.
  • Scratches can form easily on walnut wood, so you have to maintain it very well.

Conclusion

By analyzing the advantages, disadvantages, features, and uses of each wood type, you will be able to find the wood that works best for you between mahogany and walnut wood. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and the purpose of the wood.

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