Agathis Wood - the wood of the Kauri trees

Agathis wood is mainly known only to musicians - for which the wood is mainly used. Where this Agathis wood comes from, what instruments it is used for, and what its special qualities are, will be covered in this article.

Technical values

Reading Descriptionvalue
densityabout 0.46 g / cm³
Compressive strength34 - 68 N / mm²
flexural strength60-125 N / mm²

Other names

Agathis wood is the wood of the Kauri trees, and therefore known especially under the name Kauri wood. Of the genus Agathis, however, there are many different subspecies, with the wood of each species may differ slightly.



The structure of Agathis is particularly even, the grain is always straight. The clearly separated annual rings are clearly recognizable.


The heartwood is slightly reddish-brown, but can also be straw-colored - in most cases, it is only very slightly intensely colored. The sapwood has almost the same color as the heartwood, but is usually slightly lighter, so that you can still distinguish sapwood and heartwood.


Kauri wood is easy to work with and hardly causes any problems. Any surface finish is possible, all materials (including paints and glues) are well absorbed by the wood. Surfaces can be polished very well due to the even wood structure.

Shrinkage and drying

Agathis wood dries very easily and quickly and without any problems. There is no danger of throwing or tearing.


Agathis is neither highly weather resistant nor resistant to fungal and insect infestation.


Kauri wood is mainly used for the construction of guitars and basses, but it is more a cheap alternative and low quality. Partly it is also - especially outside of Europe - used for furniture construction, for boat interiors and as plywood.


Kauri wood today comes mainly from Southeast Asia, but originally comes from Australia and Papua New Guinea, where it is originally located.

Here you will find an overview of the most important types of wood worldwide. An overview of the most important tropical wood species, such as Agahtis, can be found here

Tips & Tricks

When guitar or bass are made with parts from Agathis, you do not expect high sound quality. Among professional musicians Agathis has a dubious reputation - despite the impressive trees.

Video Board: Agathis robusta the Kauri Pine