What Is Mango Wood? Pros and Cons
Published January 18, 2023
Mango trees are best known for their fruits. But like most trees, there’s much more to mango trees besides fruit. Their wood, in particular, can be an excellent material for furniture and other wood products.
Of course, mango wood isn’t the most suitable material for all woodworking projects.
Unfortunately, some people don’t understand this, which ends with them using mango wood only to find out it’s not the ideal material for their project. The best way to avoid that is to learn more about mango wood.
Read on as we review several things you need to know about mango wood.
What Is Mango Wood?
As the name implies, mango wood is the lumber from mango trees.
Mango wood is used chiefly for woodworking products like furniture pieces (e.g., chairs, cabinets, benches, tables, and bar stools), musical instruments, and kitchen accessories. However, some manufacturers may also use mango wood to build houses and parts, like flooring, veneer, and panels.
It’s categorized as hardwood since the wood comes from a dicot tree that generates flowers and fruits. You’ll find that most of the advantages and disadvantages of mango wood come from the fact that it’s hardwood.
With that said, let’s look at the advantages of mango wood and why you would want to use it.
Pros of Mango Wood
1. Mango Wood Is Affordable
There’s a consensus that hardwood is generally pricier than softwood. Though it’s true for the most part, some hardwoods aren’t that much more expensive than softwood. Mango wood is one such hardwood.
Mango wood is typically more affordable than most hardwoods because it’s more sustainable.
If you’re unaware, mango trees reach maturity after around 15 years, at which point their wood is ready for harvesting. To put it into perspective, oak trees, which produce hardwood, take 150 years to mature.
Teak trees, on the other hand, take 20 to 25 years to reach maturity. Put simply, mango trees reach maturity relatively faster. Not to mention mango trees are one of the most commonly planted trees worldwide.
Since it’s more abundant, the price of mango wood would naturally be lower as a result.
2. Mango Wood Is Durable
Mango wood is durable mostly because it’s hardwood.
If you’re not aware, hardwood is generally more durable than softwood.
That’s because when a tree continues to mature, it tends to produce more wood fibers. Therefore, trees that grow slower will have more wood fibers, as opposed to trees that reach their maturity reasonably quickly.
That’s why hardwood, which typically grows slower than softwood, is the more durable of the two. But keep in mind that there are softwoods that are relatively durable, like Yew, which are often used for timber framing.
Of course, that applies to mango wood since it’s also hardwood. Its durability and strength are comparable to that of ash, teak, or oak wood, which, if you didn’t know, are some of the most durable wood on the market.
To put this into perspective, mango wood has a score of 1,070 on the Janka hardness scale. Meanwhile, mahogany has a Janka hardness rating of 800 and oak with 1,290. The higher this rating, the more durable the wood. Therefore, mango wood is objectively more durable than mahogany and slightly less durable than oak.
3. Mango Wood Is Aesthetically Beautiful
Although “durable” and “affordable” are excellent characteristics of wood, those aren’t the main appeal of mango wood. The reason why mango wood is sought after by many people is due to its aesthetics.
Mango wood has a relatively unique appearance.
Its color ranges from light brown to golden brown. Its colors are by no means unique since some have a similar color, like teak wood, for example. However, the streaks that characterize the wood are what make it unique.
Teak wood usually has straight or uniform streaks. Mango wood, however, has a rather distinctive pattern and texture since the streaks would often be curled. Due to its varied patterns, it’s difficult to replicate its look.
4. Mango Wood Can Showcase Unique Colors
Apart from its light to golden brown color, mango wood can also showcase other colors due to spalting.
For your reference, spalting is a form of discoloration as a result of fungal infection. It basically changes the color of some parts of the wood. In the case of mango wood, it can show patches of pink, green, and brown.
Though it may sound terrible, spalted wood is actually sought-after and highly-priced by woodworkers as it creates an incredibly unique pattern. And as one might expect, mango wood is susceptible to spalting.
Of course, it’s possible you don’t want a unique color pattern. That’s entirely up to you, but it’s great to hear that you have more color options to choose from aside from the generic color if you decide to go for mango wood.
Cons of Mango Wood
1. Mango Wood Is Prone to Heat
Durability usually only takes into account the wood’s ability to endure wear and tear.
It doesn’t take into account other factors outside of wear and tear, like environmental changes, for example. Unfortunately, mango wood doesn’t hold up well against environmental changes, like extreme heat.
If mango wood is left in the open sun, there’s a good chance it’ll get dehydrated. As a result, cracks may form in several parts of the wood. If it happens frequently, then there may even be a chance it’ll split completely.
At the very least, mango wood is resistant to certain environmental changes, like moisture, for instance.
2. Mango Wood Has a Small Chance of Causing Skin Irritation
Yes, mango wood can indeed cause skin irritation. Of course, it’s a very unlikely possibility, but it’s a possibility nonetheless. If you have particularly sensitive skin, we advise you to go for a different type of wood.
FAQs on Mango Wood
Does Mango Wood Have Any Distinctive Smell?
No, mango wood doesn’t have any noticeable odor, unlike other wood types. That is yet another advantage to mango wood, though it’s not necessarily a noteworthy advantage since many types of wood are the same.
Is Mango Wood Termite Resistant?
Unfortunately, mango wood is not termite resistant. Like most wood, termites can and will plague mango wood if it’s left untreated. That’s why maintenance is necessary for mango wood, or any type of wood, for that matter.
Is It Easy to Work With Mango Wood?
Yes, and no. No, because mango wood has a high silica content, which, if you didn’t know, tends to cause blades to dull more easily. That’s why cutting or shaping it can be an issue. The reason why woodworkers still use mango wood for projects is it’s relatively soft despite its high silica content and the fact that it’s hardwood.
Another reason why it’s a relatively popular material is that its high silica content makes it easy to apply finish or stain on mango wood.
Can Mango Wood Be Used for Outdoor Furniture?
Yes, mango wood is suitable for outdoor furniture, but only if you’re willing to do maintenance regularly.
As stated earlier, it doesn’t hold up well against the open sun, so some may argue that mango wood isn’t ideal as outdoor furniture. But at the same time, its resistance to moisture makes it ideal for outdoors.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you if you want to use it for outdoor furniture.
The Bottom Line
As with any wood, mango wood has its advantages as well as drawbacks. Only after weighing them should you make a decision whether you’ll go for mango wood or not. After all, mango wood may be inexpensive, but it still costs money, and you wouldn’t want to spend money on a project that wouldn’t bring you satisfaction.
Hire The Timber Experts For Your Next Project
Vintage & Specialty Wood should be your source of the highest quality timbers from around the world. When it comes to fabricating and installing reclaimed wood or specialty wood products in your home, we don’t cut corners. We offer many reclaimed wood and specialty wood products such as Douglas Fir, white oak, and much more. We also offer timber framing and wood flooring services as well. Contact our team today to speak to a timber expert about what Vintage & Specialty Wood can do for you.
About The Author
Lenard Arceo is an experienced writer who enjoys writing about home design and real estate topics. In his free time he enjoys learning to code. He has spent most of his life writing for reputable website blogs and has helped reach millions of people on the internet.