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Acacia Vs. Teak - Head to Head Comparison!
Today, two of the most popular varieties of wood are acacia and teak. Acacia and teak are popular varieties of wood that offer a plethora of benefits, many of which are shared by both varieties. But, all of this begs a question: acacia vs. teak, which one is better?
Throughout this guide, you will learn all about what sets acacia and teak apart from one another. Making use of this information will allow you to determine which variety of wood offers exactly what you are looking for. That way, by the time you finish reading this guide, you will know which variety of wood is better for your needs.
What Are the Basic Properties of Acacia?
Acacia is a dense and bulky hardwood. Due to acacia’s density and bulkiness, it is heavier and far more durable than other varieties of wood, such as oak and pine.
Cracks are rare, as a result of acacia’s density. But, that being said, acacia can easily be scratched, and it’s likely that a plank of acacia will contain at least a few scratches.
Most acacia possesses a distinctive grain pattern that is either completely straight, or wavy and chaotic. More often than not, these patterns will differ from plank to plank. One plank may possess a grain pattern that consists of straight lines, while another plank may be filled with chaotic waves.
The grain patterns aren’t the only thing that vary from plank to plank: acacia supports multiple hues of red and brown. Deep hues of reddish-brown are quite common, and so are light hues of brown and dark hues of red.
Where is Acacia From?
You can find acacia all across most of the Indian subcontinent, except for the northern regions. Since acacia is abundant throughout most of the Indian subcontinent, acquiring it is quite easy.
Even though acacia is, primarily, found in the Indian subcontinent, certain African countries are known to possess abundant amounts of acacia. Egypt and Sudan are the two most notable countries, but you can find acacia throughout various parts of Saudi Arabia, as well.
How Strong is Acacia Wood?
Acacia is hard, dense, and bulky. Due to all three of those qualities, acacia is strong and capable of withstanding a great deal of wear-and-tear.
For most woodworking tasks, acacia is perfect, due to the strength that it offers. That being said, acacia tends to vary a great deal when it comes to general hardness and strength. You can easily find acacia planks that are, on the Janka scale, as low as 1,100 or as high as 4,270.
As a general rule, the weakest acacia plank will be more than sufficient for most woodworking tasks. For more elaborate woodworking tasks that require stronger varieties of wood, you will need to be thorough in finding planks that offer the highest level of strength that acacia can offer.
What Distinguishes Acacia from Other Varieties of Wood?
The most distinct traits acacia possesses are purely aesthetic. These aesthetic traits make it easy to tell acacia apart from other varieties of wood, including teak.
Every acacia plank will possess one of two grain patterns: a straight grain pattern, or a wavy grain pattern. A single acacia tree will, more often than not, possess both grain patterns at various points within the tree.
A single acacia tree will, also, possess more than one color. Many acacia planks are deep hues of colors such as red and brown. But, lighter hues are common, as well, and it isn’t uncommon for several planks, all from the same acacia tree, to be different colors and hues.
Beyond those major aesthetic traits, acacia is quite affordable and very easy to work on. Both of these traits set it apart from other, equally durable, varieties of wood.
Acacia: Pros & Cons
- Easy to Purchase
- Very Durable
- Unique Aesthetic
- Durability Varies
- Aesthetic May Not Be Pleasing to You
- Not Water Resistant
What Are the Basic Properties of Teak?
The first thing most people notice about teak is its distinctive smell. Teak possesses a sharp, penetrating smell that is quite similar to leather. Most people can tell teak apart from other varieties of wood just from its distinctive smell.
A plank of teak will almost always consist primarily of straight lines. This grain pattern is universal, and teak is not known for possessing a chaotic or scattered grain pattern.
All of that being said, though, some teak planks may possess a wavy grain pattern. A wavy grain pattern is entirely due to the way a teak plank has been cut. If the grain pattern is especially wavy, that’s a sign that the plank you are purchasing may not actually be teak wood.
Teak is, generally speaking, one of two colors: brown or golden. The sapwood tends to be a lighter shade of brown or gold, while the heartwood is a darker shade of brown or gold.
A plank of teak, no matter how small it may be, is quite heavy. Teak is a dense, bulky hardwood that, as a result of those two factors, has a lot of heft to it. This density and bulk is a large reason as to why teak is so durable.
Where is Teak From?
For many years, Myanmar was the only country you could acquire teak from. Soon after teak became more well-known, teak trees were planted throughout various countries in Southeast Asia.
The abundance of teak, throughout Southeast Asia, lead to severe overexploitation. To prevent further overexploitation, teak exportation is highly regulated throughout Southeast Asia and, as a result, quite expensive.
Today, the two best countries to purchase teak from are Myanmar and Indonesia. Due to the regulatory efforts of Myanmar and Indonesia, acquiring teak is not easy, and you will need to spend a large amount of money to do so.
How Strong is Teak?
Teak is dense, bulky, and hard. As a result of those three major qualities, teak is one of the strongest hardwoods that you can purchase. Despite this being the case, though, teak is weaker than some varieties of acacia.
Earlier in this guide, we mentioned that acacia possesses a hardness rating that is anywhere from 1,100 to 4,270. Teak lacks that same level of variety and, instead, every teak plank possesses a hardness rating of 2,330.
A hardness rating of 2,330 is excellent. All of this strength allows teak to be used for nearly any woodworking task. Nevertheless, acacia can be, depending on the variety you purchase, stronger than teak.
Teak, however, does offer one major advantage that acacia does not: water resistance. Every plank of teak contains a high-percentage of natural oils. All of these natural oils prevent water from being absorbed into the wood.
Since teak is water resistant, it’s one of the best varieties of wood you can use both indoor and outdoor projects. In direct contrast, acacia is not water resistant and is meant for indoor usage.
What Distinguishes Teak from Other Types of Wood?
The most distinct trait that teak possesses is its smell. Teak possesses a sharp, penetrating smell that is very easy to recognize. This makes teak very easy to tell apart from other varieties of wood.
Most varieties of wood support chaotic grain patterns that are chaotic and scattered. Teak doesn’t and, instead, consists of straight lines. This, too, is another distinct trait that sets teak apart from other varieties of wood.
Even though shades of gold and brown look wonderful, they aren’t especially unique. Because of this, teak’s coloring doesn’t set it apart from many other varieties of wood. But, when these colors are combined with the distinctive grain pattern, they create a unique aesthetic that can make it easier to distinguish teak from other varieties.
Beyond those aesthetic qualities, teak is durable, dense, hefty, and water-resistant. Each one of these qualities sets teak apart from other varieties of wood, while also contributing to teak’s high-price. Teak’s high-price is another major distinguishing trait, and a large reason as to why teak is less popular than other varieties of wood.
Teak: Pros & Cons
- Aesthetically Pleasing
- Extremely Durable
- Water Resistant
- Great for Outdoor and Indoor Spaces
- Very Expensive
- Difficult to Acquire
- Strong Smell
Conclusion: Acacia Vs. Teak - Which Wood is Better?
The answer to “Acacia vs. Teak?” is entirely dependent on your woodworking needs. Both varieties of wood offer a plethora of great qualities, as well as many similarities. But, the differences between the two set both varieties apart in significant ways, and these differences will determine which variety is the better choice for you.
Acacia is affordable and durable. For many, acacia is the ideal choice, due to its affordability, the ease of acquiring it, and the durability that it offers. That being said, though, acacia lacks the aesthetic charm that teak offers, as well as water resistance.
Teak is expensive, durable, and beautiful. Purchasing teak is not easy, due to its scarcity and price. But, the aesthetic that teak offers is extraordinary, and the water resistant nature of teak allows teak to be used indoors and outdoors.
In the end, for high-quality wood that is affordable, reliable, and great for indoor use, acacia is wonderful. For wood that is aesthetically pleasing, durable, and great for indoor and outdoor use, teak is the ideal choice.