Mahogany wood - just real American

Mahogany growths are available in nearly 50 different species. The "real" mahogany wood, however, is the so-called "American mahogany" alone. What distinguishes this wood species, which properties it has, and what else you should know about mahogany, you will learn in detail in this post.

Technical values ​​(American mahogany)

Reading Descriptionvalue
densityapprox. 0.45 - 0.75 g / cm³ (dry approx. 520 kg / m³)
Compressive strengthapprox. 50 N / mm²
flexural strengthapprox. 90 N / mm²

Alternative names, species distinction, DIN mark

Types of American mahogany

The so-called "American mahogany" occurs in several different ways with different home areas. The species found on the Caribbean islands are no longer exported today, even a small deposit on the west coast of Central America is no longer used today because it is protected. The only species that is still exported from "real" mahogany is Swietenia macrophyllia.

Sipo and Sapelli

The two types of wood Sipo and Sapelli are also mahogany species, but do not count as true mahogany.

Alternative names

For mahogany there are, as for many tropical woods, a variety of alternative names. The most important are.

  • Acajou Amerique (French speaking countries)
  • Mahoganay (English speaking countries)
  • mogano

DIN abbreviation

The international DIN abbreviation for mahogany is, according to the botanical name, SWMC



Genuine mahogany has medium to large pores and a very fine, well-recognizable veining. The rays are very fine. Clear golden luster is possible (depending on the course of the wood fibers, and only after drying).


The color of the heartwood is initially light, often reddish, later darkening to a very dark brown. The sapwood retains its yellowish gray or light gray color.


Mahogany has a medium hardness, but very good wood properties and allows a very good workability. Weight and strength characteristics may differ depending on the origin in general, the southern grown woods are slightly heavier and firmer.

Shrinkage and drying

The drying process is generally problem-free, the shrinkage is very low for mahogany. That makes it among other things to an excellently workable wood with outstanding characteristics.


American mahogany is highly weather-resistant and therefore suitable for outdoor use. It is also resistant to fungal and insect attack. However, it is classified only in the resistance class 2 - 3, which is only slightly better than Douglas fir or larch wood. However, outdoor use is still very possible.


Above all, mahogany is a wood for high-quality interiors - both as solid wood and as veneer wood. It is also appreciated in high-quality boat building (yacht building) as high-quality equipment wood. Occasionally also used in the Türbau.


Genuine (American) mahogany comes exclusively from Central and South America. The wood species is common in almost all countries of South America.


For real mahogany, the timber trade usually requires around 3,800 - 4,000 EUR per m³, so it is nearly four times as expensive as oak wood. The alternative species Sipo and Sapelli, however, are significantly cheaper, they usually cost only half or less.

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

Tips & Tricks

Nuclear deposits in the pores, which may be dark or whitish, are considered as wood defects, do not affect the technical qualities of the wood.

Video Board: Alder vs Swamp Ash vs Mahogany - Guitar Body Wood Tone Test