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Suar Wood vs American Black Walnut: Which Furniture Wood To Choose

Suar Wood vs American Black Walnut: Which Furniture Wood To Choose

When it comes to choosing wood for your home furniture, there are countless options available, from the ever reliable oak to the eco-friendly bamboo.

Two popular choices among woodworkers – and especially live edge furniture enthusiasts – are Suar wood and American Black Walnut. 

Both woods have their own unique characteristics that make them suitable for different types of furniture. 

But which one is the better choice if you’re planning on adding a statement live edge piece in your home? 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the size, aesthetics, and exotic appeal of Suar wood and American Black Walnut to help you make an informed decision.

Let’s dig in!

What is Suar wood?

Suar wood is a species of tree that is primarily found in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries.

Its Latin name is Albizia Saman, the same as for Monkeypod and the South American Walnut. However, all of these variants of the same species have different places of origin, as well as different colors and densities.

In this article, we are focusing on Suar wood, the Albizia Saman variant from Indonesia.

Suar is known for its large size and unique, natural grain patterns. 

The wood is commonly used in the construction of furniture, particularly for larger pieces like live edge tables, as well as in flooring and cabinetry. 

Suar wood is also prized for its durability and resistance to water, rot, and decay, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture as well.

What is American Black Walnut wood?

American Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) is a species of tree that is native to North America, primarily found in the eastern United States and southern Ontario, Canada. 

The wood is known for its rich dark color, often described as a chocolate brown with a purplish cast. It has a straight grain with a fine, uniform texture. 

It’s a popular choice for furniture making, flooring, cabinetry, gunstocks, and other decorative items such as bowls and cutting boards. 

American Black Walnut is considered a premium hardwood and is often used in high-end furniture and flooring.

However, unlike Suar wood, it is not resistant to water and moisture, meaning it should not be left in an open area for a long period of time. 

Furthermore, American Black Walnut wood can easily get scratched or damaged by sharp items such as knives. Its use in the kitchen and dining area is therefore not recommended.

Size comparison

The Suar tree is significantly larger than the American Black Walnut. This is especially beneficial for those looking to create large pieces of live edge furniture. 

Live edge tables, in particular, are becoming increasingly popular due to the unique, natural look they provide. 

With its larger size, Suar wood can be used to create truly impressive solid wood furniture that is sure to stand out in any room.

The larger size of Suar wood also has another advantage: it allows for greater creativity in furniture design. With larger pieces of live edge wood, woodworkers have more freedom to experiment with different shapes and designs, resulting in unique and eye-catching pieces.

Aesthetics comparison

When it comes to aesthetics, Suar wood is often considered superior to American Black Walnut. 

The unique grain patterns and fine lines in Suar wood are better distinguished, both because of the species and because of the finishing process. 

Suar wood has a well-known criss-cross grain pattern that is not only visually pleasing, but also makes the wood resistant to decay, termites, and cracking.

The Indonesians have been perfecting the art of drying and treating Suar wood for decades and take immense pride in their work. This dedication to the process results in wood that is beautiful, durable, and long-lasting.

On the other hand, American Black Walnut, despite being native to North America, often comes from areas in Central America where the attention to detail and the dedication to the process is not as pronounced. This can result in wood that may not have the same level of distinction in grain patterns and may not be as durable.

It’s important to note that the process of drying and treating wood is crucial to achieving the desired aesthetic results, and in this regard, Suar wood stands out for its top quality.

Exotic appeal

The exotic appeal is another factor to consider when choosing between Suar wood and American Black Walnut. 

Suar wood, with its origins in Indonesia, is considered more exotic and unique than American Black Walnut. This is particularly appealing to people with means who are looking for something high-end.

Not only that, but Suar wood’s relative rarity compared to American Black Walnut makes it a popular choice among everyone who wants live edge furniture that cannot be easily found in homes across the country. 

If you’re looking for a statement piece that will be an amazing conversation starter, a Suar wood live edge element is a must-have.

Price comparison

American Black Walnut is often considered more expensive than Suar wood. 

One of the main reasons for this is the limited availability of American Black Walnut due to logging restrictions in the United States. These restrictions are in place to protect the natural habitats of the American Black Walnut tree and ensure the sustainability of the species.

As a result, American Black Walnut is often sourced from Central America, where logging restrictions may not be as strict, which leads to poor drying and treatment processes mentioned above. 

Suar wood, on the other hand, is relatively more affordable and can be a more cost-effective option for those looking to purchase high-quality furniture or decorative items.


Suar wood and American Black Walnut are both great options for furniture making. 

However, Suar wood’s larger size, superior aesthetics, and exotic appeal make it the better choice for those looking to decorate their home with one-of-a-kind impressive pieces. 

If you’re in the market for a live edge table, or any other piece of furniture made from a live edge wood slab, Suar wood is an excellent choice. Contact us at Bali Teak Collective for more information on how you can get ahold of Suar wood for your home.