Wenge heartwood is medium brown, sometimes with a reddish or yellowish hue, with nearly black streaks. Upon application of an oil wood finish, the wood can become nearly black. However, unlike most other dark hardwoods, the heartwood of wenge can lighten, rather than darken, when exposed to sunlight. The grain is straight, with a very coarse texture and low natural luster.

Janka Hardness:

1,930 lbf 

Average Dried Weight:

54.2 lbs/ft3 (870 kg/m3)


Wenge can be difficult to work with hand and machine tools, and blunts their edges. It also sands unevenly due to differences in density between light and dark areas. Wenge is very splintery, so care must be used when handling unfinished wood with bare hands as splinters can be very large and have an increased risk of infection. Wenge also has very large pores that can be difficult to fill if a perfectly smooth/level finish is desired.