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Common Names:

Katalox, Mexican Ebony

Scientific Names:

Swartzia spp. (S. cubensis)

Why we use for Bokken:

Beautiful and robust wood perfect for bokken. Has an almost purple hue to it. Almost exact same qualities as Lignum Vitae but more affordable.


Heartwood is a dark reddish brown to nearly black: sometimes with a strong purple hue. Sapwood is sharply demarcated and is a pale yellowish white.


Has very fine pores and a fine texture. The grain is usually straight, but can also be irregular or interlocked. A curly or wavy grain pattern is sometimes seen as well.


Varies depending upon species, but generally very durable. Heartwood is usually considered to have a high resistance to decay and termites; though it is susceptible to marine borers.


Katalox has a very faint odor when being worked.


Katalox has been reported to cause respiratory irritation in some individuals.


Usually available in turning squares or as figured lumber (generally with a large amount of sapwood present). Expect prices to be in the mid to upper range for an imported tropical hardwood.

Other Comments:

Katalox has exceptional strength properties, and is among the very stiffest and strongest lumber available worldwide. Its dark color makes it a popular substitute for ebony.

Some of our Other Exotic and Domestic Woods



Scientific Name: Euxylophora paraensis

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Black Palm

Black Palm

Scientific Name: Borassus flabellifer

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Scientific Name: Dipteryx odorata

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Scientific Name: Hymenaea courbaril

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Because of the global health crisis that COVID-19 has caused, Blizniak's Bokken will not be taking new custom orders. If you are waiting for an order that you already ordered, it will be completed and shipped shortly. We thank our loyal customers for their support, we look forward to supplying you with our products just as soon as we're able to get back to what we're passionate about. You will be able to order pre-made items and keep watch to see new items added to the site.