Acacia Wood VS Koa Wood – WoodTours

There is a lot of misunderstanding about acacia and koa woods. You see people labeling them as being both the same or even being interchangeable. Nothing could be further from the truth. These woods are very different in appearance and in use. In this post we will talk about what makes each wood unique, the difference between koa and acacias, their lookouts, and why you should use one over the other in some situations while not in others.


Origin: Acacia wood vs Koa wood

Acacia has over 1200 species that can be found worldwide, including Africa and Australia. Acacia trees can be grown in many places throughout the world. On the other hand, Hawaii is the only place in the world where you can find Koa wood. The Hawaiian koa trees are endemic to Hawaii. Koa is a very rare tree, which makes it expensive. Koa wood is a true Hawaiian endemic tree that has over 50 species.


Color: Acacia wood has warm brown color with darker streaks throughout the wood. The color of the wood can vary from board to board, making each piece unique. Koa wood has a more golden brown color with dark streaks throughout the wood. The color of the wood can also vary from board to board, making each piece unique.

Grain Pattern: The acacia wood is a very hard, heavy, close-grained wood with high natural oil content. It has a dark brown color with contrasting shades of brown, tan, and black. Acacia’s grain pattern is similar to that of oak but with less defined rings and more prominent rays.

The grain pattern in Koa wood is a mix of brown, gray, and sometimes black. The grain pattern appears on straight lines and becomes curved as it reaches the end of the furniture piece. There are also some zigzag patterns that appear throughout the furniture piece.

Hardness and Density:

The most significant difference between the two kinds of wood is their hardness. Koa wood is slightly softer than Acacia wood, which means it’s easier to work with when carving or creating projects. Acacia wood has a hardness rating of 2200 pounds per square inch, while koa wood has a hardness rating of 1800 pounds per square inch, making acacia wood 20 percent harder than koa wood.

Acacia is more dense than koa. This makes it heavier and more difficult to work with. The density of Acacia Wood is .92g/cm3 and the density of Koa Wood is .89g/cm3

Durability and strength:

There is a difference between Acacia Wood and Koa wood Durability and strength. The Acacia Wood is more durable than the Koa Wood for its natural oil content which makes it water-resistant. The Acacia wood is more stable than the Koa Wood. The Koa wood can be easily scratched by other materials but the Acacia wood cannot be easily damaged.

The strength of each wood depends on how it’s used, but in general, acacia is stronger than koa. This is because acacia has more of the tough fibers that give wood its strength than koa does.

Resistance to Water:

Koa wood is much more resistant to water than Acacia wood. Koa is a Hawaiian wood that grows in the rainforest of Hawaii. Acacia wood comes from many different places around the world depending on what species you’re talking about.

Acacia has a high oil content, which makes it resistant to the effects of moisture and humidity. It does not swell or warps as much as other types of wood when exposed to water and because of this, works well in environments prone to dampness.

Koa is a very dense tropical hardwood, which allows it to stand up to rigorous use in the water. It is less prone to checking, cracking, warping, and splitting than other woods. This means that it is an ideal choice for outdoor furniture.

Maintenance and Eco-Friendliness:

Acacia wood is generally easier to maintain than Koa wood. The natural oils that are found in Acacia wood make it resistant to water damage and rot. The oils also make it less likely for the wood to swell or shrink in hotter or cooler temperatures. Koa wood has many of the same properties as Acacia wood, but since it’s rare, it tends to cost more to maintain over time.

There are a lot of differences between acacia wood and Koa wood. When it comes to Eco-friendliness, acacia wood is more environmentally friendly than Koa wood due to its easy availability as well as its fast growth rate. There is an abundance of Acacia trees in Australia and they are highly renewable. Koa trees on the other hand take up to 10 years to mature and they can only be found in Hawaii which makes the shipping process more expensive and less efficient.


Koa is a very rare tree, which makes it more expensive than Acacia wood. Koa is an endemic Hawaiian tree and a cultural icon of the islands. It’s been used for centuries in furniture, canoes, and art, but it’s incredibly rare. That makes it expensive, with prices for very high-quality Koa reaching $20 to $30 a board foot in some cases. Acacia wood is more affordable than Koa, with prices around $4 to $7 per board foot for rough-sawn lumber.


Acacia is used mainly for outdoor furniture while koa is used mainly for indoor furniture such as tables and chairs. Koa wood is suitable for outdoor furniture, ukuleles, surfboards, cabinetry, and flooring due to its hard and durable nature. Acacia wood is used in furniture making, flooring, shipbuilding, window and door frames, and musical instruments.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between Acacia Wood and Koa Wood?

Acacia wood is a hardwood that’s native to Australia. It has a smooth grain with a yellowish-brown hue. Koa wood is native to Hawaii and has a golden-brown hue with blond streaks.

How long does acacia wood last?

Acacia wood can last up to 25 years if taken care of properly. It is also naturally resistant to rot and decay making it an ideal choice for patio furniture. It can be left out in all weather conditions without any issue.

What are some uses for Acacia Wood?

In the past, Acacia wood was used for boat building, landscaping, and furniture. It was also used for making musical instruments because of its gorgeous grain pattern and rich color. Today, we often use acacia wood for outdoor furniture because of its durability and weather resistance.


If you are looking for an affordable wood alternative to koa, then acacia wood may be what you need. Acacia is a common wood type originating on the African continent with a soft consistency. Acacia resembles koa in several characteristics; including light coloring as well as resistance to UV light. Acacia is also commonly used in Africa for grilling with the same tropical effect as Koa Wood. Koa tends to have a more orange or yellow-toned stain, whereas Acacia is more reddish-toned.