Utile is a tropical hardwood, and is great for outdoor construction projects and furniture-making applications


Utile hardwood is a type of tropical hardwood grown in West Africa.  Known for its durability, strength and resistance to decay and insects, utile is commonly used for a variety of construction and furniture-making applications. The wood is also very dense and heavy, which gives it added strength and stability.  Due to its density, utile wood is also used as a substitute for heavy woods like teak.

Utile can vary in colour depending on the specific species and where it is sourced from. Typically, it is a dark reddish-brown colour with a hint of purple.

When it comes to longevity, utile is considered a ‘durable’ wood species. With proper maintenance, utile hardwood flooring, furniture and other items made of utile can last for decades, even centuries. The natural oils and resins in the wood make it resistant to moisture and decay, which helps to extend its lifespan.

However, it is important to note that exposure to extreme weather conditions or prolonged exposure to moisture can cause utile wood to expand or warp over time. Therefore, it is important to properly finish and seal utile hardwood to protect it from the elements, and to maintain it regularly to ensure its longevity – please call us if you need advice.

Premier Forest Products can machine utile hardwood to order in standard and bespoke profiles.

Utile at a glance:

  • Botanical name: Entandrophragma utile
  • Common names: Sipo, Sipo Mahogany, African Mahogany
  • Colour: Dark reddish-brown with a hint of purple
  • Grain: Interlocked, wavy
  • Texture: Medium, uniform
  • Hardness: Janka hardness rating of 1,180 lbf (5,260 N), hard
  • Durability: Moderately durable to durable
  • Density: Approx 635-660 kg/m3
  • Workability: Utile is a dense wood that can be difficult to work with hand tools, but it machines well and takes finishes well
  • Stability: Good

*The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear.

Image supplied courtesy of The Wood Database.


You might be interested in