Koto wood - new in trade but already very popular

Koto is one of the most recently used species in Europe - but it has become very popular in a short time. What distinguishes this African wood, and what else you should know about Koto, you will learn in detail in this post.

Technical values

Reading Descriptionvalue
mass900 - 950 kg / m³ (fresh) or 580 - 630 kg / m³ (dry)
Compressive strengthapprox. 60 N / mm²
flexural strengthapprox. 120 N / mm²

Other names and DIN designation

Like most African woods, Koto is traded under many different names. Alternative names are for example:

  • Ake
  • Awari or
  • Ikame

If the wood is steamed, and it also changes its color significantly, it is usually traded under the name "Anatoli".

DIN designation

In the DIN Koto is marked with the short name PQXX.



Koto is a coarse-pored wood with scattered pores. Overall, it is pore-poor, the pore grooves are still easy to recognize. The wood rays are clearly visible. Light stains occur, they are very pronounced on most woods. Gloss stripes are visible. Pores can be either white or black filled.


The sapwood and heartwood are not very different in color, both have a yellowish-white color. Koto darkens slightly, the heartwood retains its light color and dull shine even after long storage. After steaming, a brownish, oak-like color is created ("Anatoli" as a name for the steamed koto woods).


Koto is only moderately hard, but silicic deposits sometimes make it difficult to work. Otherwise, it is quite easy.

Shrinkage and drying

The drying takes a long time (high initial moisture) and must be done carefully, otherwise cracking and deformation may occur. The shrinkage behavior is rather moderate.


Koto is not weather resistant and resistant to fungal and insect attack (resistance class 5).


Koto has only recently been on the market, but is already a very sought-after wood in furniture making, and is often used as a substitute for oak wood. Wallcoverings from Koto are also common. Outdoor use is generally not possible.


Koto comes mainly from West African countries, but also from Central Africa. South American, related species have very similar characteristics and are also imported to a limited extent.


In the timber trade Koto is generally traded as lumber at prices between 900 and 1,100 EUR per m³. Here it is often offered as a replacement for Ramin.

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 Koto, can be found here.

Tips & Tricks

Koto can be a good substitute for oak wood in furniture making. Above all, the muted variants ("Anatoli") have a very oak-like hue before nature and are therefore particularly suitable as a replacement. Before polishing, however, the pores at Koto must be filled to compensate for unevenness.

Video Board: Building a low cost extension using farmhouse materials - The 100k House: Tricks of the Trade - BBC