Blackwood – African

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Species Description: Wood Species

Without question, the densest and most un-rosewood-like of the Dalbergia’s (for our money, at least!), African Blackwood is a consistent favorite with acoustic guitar luthiers, wood turners, carvers and fine furniture craftsmen, alike; it remains one of the world’s most coveted musical woods. African Blackwood often appears almost completely black, with its grains hardly discernible. (… thus the name. After sanding, a deep, very dark chocolate color emerges.)


Sustainability: This species is listed in CITES Appendix II and the IUCN reports it as being “near threatened.”

Common Uses: Musical instruments (guitars, clarinets, oboes, etc.), inlay, carving, tool handles, and other turned objects.

Comments: Given its trees’ very small profile and the fact that they also commonly grow somewhat twisted (rather than straight up), finding long, straight boards of African Blackwood is a daunting task. It is so dark and dense, it’s almost inconceivable that it is a true Dalbergia-genus rosewood. Expect exceptional pieces to command a premium, as prices have increased — while supplies have drastically decreased — over the last several years.


Available on backorder

Botanical Name

Dalbergia melanoxylon

Other Names

African Blackwood, Mpingo

Main Color Group


Grain Pattern




Avg Dry Weight - LB/FT3


Avg Dry Weight - KG/M3


Janka Hardness - LBF


Janka Hardness - N


Knife Scales - Blackwood - African
R230.0012.7 × 3.8 × 0.95 cmKNIFEBLAF1001
Weight 0.12 kg
Dimensions 12.7 × 3.8 × 0.95 cm
Botanical Name

Dalbergia melanoxylon



Piece Type

Knife Scales

African Knife Scales – Bookmatched set

Limited stock available.  Get them while you can.

Minimum size 12.7 x 3.8 x 0.95 cm


Although we don't have any listed pieces for this species available in our online store, add this species to your Quote Request and we'll get back to you with availability in our warehouse.