Rosewood: Uses, Types, Properties, Pros & Cons

Rosewood Uses, Types, Properties, Advantages, and Disadvantages

What is Rosewood?

Rosewood is the common name for several kinds of wood in the genus Dalbergia. Overall, this wood has good characteristics and is useful for several things.

As the main Rosewood in this article, we will be using Brazilian Rosewood. Because historically, it’s species most often associated with Rosewood. So, it seems like that’s good.

The properties of Rosewood

The heartwood of Brazilian Rosewood is very durable, including resistant to rot and insect attack.

This wood is dark brown to black with straight grains. It has beauty, hardness, strength, and stability; it also Has a rose-like scent at work.

However, this wood is endangered, and its trade is highly regulated.

Rosewood advantages and disadvantages


Durable: The heartwood of Brazilian Rosewood is rated very durable. Resistance to rot and insect attack. We think that also applies to finished goods made of Rosewood.

It will be a high-quality item. In addition, some other properties are also improving quality. It’s great for things like fine furniture, piano cases, acoustic guitars, and more.

Easy to work: High-quality wood with many benefits. Easy to work with machines and tools, that’s Brazilian Rosewood. It turns and finishes nicely.

Although it might give a blunt effect, this wood is high in natural oils, so it’s sometimes difficult to glue.

But it doesn’t seem like a big problem, especially for professionals.


Pricing: This wood may be very expensive. That’s because Brazilian Rosewood is rare, and its trade is highly regulated. In addition, another reason may be the high demand.

The trade may be only in pre-existing wood or reclaimed. Use it well if you have a chance to get/work this wood.

Endangered: Caring for nature is also very important. Brazilian Rosewood is endangered. Listed in the most stringent appendix CITES Appendix I.

The species is also listed on the IUCN red list due to more than 20% population reduction over the past 3 generations.

Therefore, you should not be too obsessed with this wood, even to justify various ways.

Health risk: Brazilian Rosewood is a sensitizer, and the reaction is usually only skin and eye irritation. However, severe reactions are rare.

That’s why you should pay close attention to this. Use equipment according to health and safety standards.

Because even though it’s rare, severe reactions maybe can happen to you.

Rosewood for fine furniture

Some rosewoods are great for fine furniture, including Brazilian Rosewood.

This exotic wood deserves it and is very qualified. Its properties such as durability, hard, heavy, and others.

Other rosewoods for fine furniture are East Indian, Honduran, and Siamese rosewood.

While Burmese, Madagascar, and Yucatan rosewood seem suitable only for ordinary furniture.

Rosewood for musical instruments

All rosewoods we know of are good for musical instruments.

However, each Rosewood has a different role in musical instruments and types of musical instruments.

Examples include Brazilian Rosewood for acoustic guitars, Madagascar rosewood for fingerboards and guitar bodies, and Burmese Rosewood for percussion.

You can choose it according to your needs.

Rosewood for veneer

Several rosewoods are also used for veneers, including Brazilian Rosewood.

Although we think it’s too valuable for that.

The beautiful look of Rosewood is worthy of being a veneer. It will add artistic value to everything it covers.

Some types of Rosewood used in this case are East Indian, Honduran, and Madagascar Rosewood.

Rosewood for turned objects

All Rosewood can also be used for this. We think this is a pretty good choice for rosewood uses, including the rare ones.

Work it with turns to make decorative objects and other things is interesting.

You can put the decoration in a place that is easy to see to make the house more beautiful.

Rosewood for knife scales

Rosewood is also suitable for knife scales, but not all.

From the data we got, only Amazon Rosewood is commonly used for this.

The reason may be that the properties of this wood are suitable for knife scales.

For the other rosewoods, we don’t have data yet. Would you please experiment yourself?

Rosewood for pens

Not only knife scales, but Amazon Rosewood is also commonly used for pens.

We also think this wood is perfect for it, because of its beautiful appearance.

It looks like the pen will be expensive because amazon rosewood is also expensive.

Used for small objects is suitable for expensive and rare wood.

Rosewood for flooring

You can also use Rosewood for flooring, although it’s not recommended.

We think making flooring is a waste. That’s why, although this is good, beautiful, and ideal, you should avoid it.

The types of Rosewood that are suitable for this are Brazilian Rosewood and Burmese Rosewood. We haven’t information about other Rosewood.

Rosewood for inlays

Making your table more beautiful seems quite interesting.

You can try inlays using Madagascar Rosewood.

This wood is excellent for such inlays because it’s solid, hard, and easy to work with.

In addition, this wood is an attractive dark brown to black color.

We don’t know about the other rosewoods yet.

Rosewood for carving

It not only requires high carving skills but also requires an ideal carving medium.

Madagascar Rosewood seems like the ideal carving medium.

That seems to be one of the common uses of Madagascar Rosewood.

It looks like this wood is good for that. So, you can try it yourself to make beautiful art.

Types of Rosewood

Amazon Rosewood (Dalbergia spruceana)

The Amazon Rosewood tree is small to medium in size in Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela.

Amazon rosewood is solid, quite difficult to work with, and possibly very expensive.

It’s brown to dark brown in appearance, with darker grains that tend to be black.

This wood is excellent for knife scales, pens, and more.

Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra)

The Brazilian is a rare species with a tree height of 100-130 feet.

This wood is very durable against decay and insect attack.

They are costly and tightly regulated but still easy to work.

It will give off a rose-like scent when worked on.

Its use is for fine furniture, turned objects, veneers, and more.

Burmese Rosewood (Dalbergia Oliveri)

The distribution of this wood is Myanmar and other Southeast Asian regions.

The Burmese Rosewood tree is 50-100 feet tall with 1-3 feet diameter.

The wood is brown to dark brown with usually straight grains.

This wood is not rare, with a price range of about middle to upper.

The wood used is furniture, turned objects, etc.

East Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia)

The East Indian Rosewood tree is up to 100 feet tall, with 2-4 feet diameter.

The distribution is India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

East Indian Rosewood tends to be dark brown with straight black grain.

This wood is difficult to work with but can be used for fine furniture, veneer, musical instruments, and turned objects.

Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii)

Honduran Rosewood has somewhat varied colors.

It’s brown, dark brown, to black, with grains that tend to be irregular.

Honduran trees are about 50-100 feet tall in diameter.

Its uses for wood are fine furniture, turned objects, musical instruments, and veneers.

Very durable against rot but moderate to insect attack.

Madagascar Rosewood (Dalbergia spp.)

Madagascar Rosewood is also known as Palisander.

It has a tree height of 50-75 feet with a diameter of 1-3 feet, Madagascar distribution, and has an exotic woody appearance.

It consists of 4 species with moderate to very long resistance to decay.

Its uses are furniture, veneer, inlays, carving, etc.

Siamese Rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis)

Siamese Rosewood seems to have several mentions in some countries.

The distribution of this wood is Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

The tree is about 65-100 feet tall with a beautiful woody appearance.

This wood is also considered very durable. It is suitable for some things such as fine furniture, musical instruments, turned objects, etc.

Another type of Rosewood is Yucatan Rosewood.

You can use Rosewood to make exotic items.

This wood is excellent for that. Its durability also tends to be very good.

Rosewood characteristics also support it all. Fine furniture is good if made from this wood.

But because many types of Rosewood are rare, it seems like you have to look for other wood alternatives.

We recommend choosing a type of mahogany wood for that.