As a woodworker, it is important to know the various types of wood that you are likely to deal with. You also need to know how to distinguish one wood from the other. Each variety of wood has unique characteristics that can be beneficial or sometimes even disadvantageous. The skill and knowledge of a woodworker should enable them to select the most appropriate type of wood for a particular project.
Mango wood and teak wood are two seemingly similar types of wood but differ vastly. Both of these woods are versatile and strong and play a popular role in making furniture and building material. Apart from the general differences in appearance, we’ll look at the durability, workability, maintenance and price of both Teak and Mango Wood.
Mango Wood vs. Teak Wood
You can get mango wood in various colors and its grain pattern is unique as well. It does not require much finishing thanks to its high durability. However, if you are going to use mango wood outdoors, then you need to get it treated appropriately to prevent attacks from insects and rot. Cleaning mango wood is a simple process, so it is easy to maintain.
Like mango wood, teak is also a hardwood, considerably stronger than teak wood in terms of hardness, and more durable. A unique characteristic of teak is that it produces natural oils that make it durable and give it a pungent leathery smell. In appearance, teak has a yellow to golden-brown color, similar to mango wood. But the close and straight grain pattern of teak comes out beautifully when polished, which makes it a popular choice in woodworking projects.
The botanical name for Mango is Mangifera indica. It grows predominantly in India and other countries of the Indian subcontinent. It also exists in various countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, and even Australia. In India, mango wood furniture is commonly sold without finishing and people add a finish or paint it later on.
Mango wood is one of the softer hardwoods, and one of the most sustainable types of wood that you may come across. It is easy to work on and combines nicely with metallic materials like wrought iron. If you polish and buff mango wood, you can give it a vintage look.
Teak whose botanical name is Tectona grandis typically grows in Southeast Asia, most prominently in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Myanmar. It is a wood that has been used since ancient times. Teak was popularly used in the houses of wealthy people in the 7th Century. Shipbuilders also used it to make boats and ships.
Today we use teak wood to make furniture and household objects. It also plays a vital role in the construction industry and also in making ships and boats. Woodworkers covet teak due to its fine grain that gets highlighted when polished, and the natural durability and strength of the wood.
Due to over-exploitation, teak wood is a restricted wood species, and the trading of teak is banned in several countries. Today, governments have stepped in to develop and regulate the teak industry. So, it is quite expensive, and you need to ensure that the wood is procured from a legal source.
Mango Wood vs. Teak Wood: Appearance
The grain pattern of mango wood presents interesting patterns and colors due to “spalting” which is when a fungus infects the tree. Spalting is a desirable defect common to many fruit trees. The sapwood of the mango wood tree is not as dark as the heartwood and the grain pattern is smooth and uniform with an occasional but some interlocking does occur.
The grain pattern of teak wood is straight with some degree of waviness. The wood darkens with age and the surface has an oily consistency because of the natural oils that teak contains. The color of teak varies according to how the wood is cut and where it is taken from on the tree.
Mango Wood vs. Teak Wood: Durability
Mango wood is a strong and durable wood but needs to be treated against insect attacks. If properly treated with insecticide, it can last for several years. Teak wood harder than mango wood and possesses natural durability due to the oil that it produces. It is one of the strongest hardwoods which makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor furniture as well as a building material. Teak is quite resistant to mold and rot and will last a lifetime if maintained properly.
Mango Wood vs. Teak Wood: Maintenance
Even if you leave it as it is, because mango wood has a natural finish, with a bit of sanding it will still look good. However, ensure adequate treatment with insecticide before using the wood because of its being prone to insect attack.
Teak needs considerably more maintenance, to bring out the aesthetic beauty of the wood. You need to clean it regularly and wipe up spills immediately. Wet cups and saucers will leave white rings on varnished teak. To get the best results from teak, you should strip down the surface and apply oil, varnish, or paint with a primer every few years.
Mango Wood vs. Teak Wood: Price
There is no comparison between the price of mango wood and teak. Mango wood is readily available, being a highly sustainable variety of wood. Teak on the other hand is on the endangered list of wood species, which makes it a costly wood. Since there are different grades of teak, you will observe a wide price range of teak wood. It also depends on the way the teak is cut. For example, quarter sawn teak is more costly than flat sawn teak.
Mango Wood vs. Teak Wood: Sustainability
Mango trees grow fast and you can get a fully-grown tree in about 15 years. Moreover, the mango fruit is a major cash crop. Hence, when the trees no longer bear fruit, they are chopped down and replaced with new trees. Thus, there is a constant source of mango wood and it is one of the most sustainable woods in the world.
Teak, on the other hand, has been exploited for hundreds of years and as a result, it became a scarce wood, and it was considered endangered. Although many governments stepped in to control teak trading, it has a long way to become a sustainable wood.
Mango Wood vs. Teak Wood: Comparison Table
|Botanical name||Mangifera indica||Tectona grandis|
|Color||Multi-colored due to spalting||Golden brown to dark brown|
|Durability||Highly durable||Extremely Durable|
|Hardness (Janka Scale)||1,070||2,330|
|Strength||Strong but not as strong as teak||One of the strongest types of wood|
|Maintenance||Low maintenance||Needs regular maintenance|
|Price||Cheaper than most hardwoods||Expensive|
|Suitability for outdoors||Yes||Yes|
|Suitability for wood carving||Yes||Yes|
|Workability||Easy to work on||Easy to work on|
|Smell||Faint mango odor when cut||Pungent, leathery smell|
If you are looking for a strong and durable wood that is easy to work on and also reasonably-priced one, mango wood is a good choice. But if you have an ample budget, you can try to procure teak wood. You can get satisfactory results from both types of wood, but if you are looking for classy looks, then teak is your best choice. Whichever type of wood you choose, now that you know about the benefits of either one you can use them as required, for your woodworking projects.