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Wood Profile


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.

Black Friday Special! Get 20% Off Your Order! Use Promo Code BF2023 at Checkout!

Use Promo Code BF2023 at Checkout!
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