When discussing the disadvantages of acacia wood, an apt comparison immediately comes to mind: Acacia is like the supermodel of outdoor furniture. It’s beautiful to look at but demanding and high-maintenance!
This post will shed some light on some lesser-known issues with acacia wood and give you a fuller picture of whether your project is worth the investment in acacia.
Time to knock everyone’s favorite hardwood down a peg!
Acacia Wood Overview
Before we can get into the messy details of the main disadvantages of acacia wood, let’s slow down and discuss its main features (and why so many people love it!)
The main selling point for acacia is its durability. This timber is tougher than a two-dollar steak, but it comes at a price, as we’ll see later. Acacia wood isn’t a fragile, delicate wood that you need to worry about knocking around too much.
Overall, this is a beautiful, long-lasting, and tough hardwood. Sounds nice, right?
It is, but there are some downsides!
Disadvantages of Acacia Wood
The three main sore spots you’ll run into with acacia are its temperature sensitivity, maintenance requirements, and the generally higher price tag.
Let’s explore the three disadvantages more thoroughly.
When dealing with variations in heat, acacia is kind of a baby.
This heat sensitivity becomes a real problem with higher temperatures. Leave an acacia wood table next to a fireplace or radiator for too long, and you’ll start to see serious warping.
As a result, temperature delicacy is one of the main disadvantages of acacia wood furniture.
I touched on this earlier, but acacia is a high-maintenance lumber to work with!
If you plan to keep your acacia furniture in peak condition, expect regular cleanings with soap and water.
And that’s not even getting started with all the chemicals acacia can’t mix with! Steer clear of ammonia, silicon, nail polish, certain varnishes, etc.
Compared to other hardwoods, acacia can reach some pricey extremes.
While this higher price is partially offset by other advantages like a longer lifespan and higher durability, it can still act as an insurmountable obstacle for those making do with a tighter budget.
Luckily, you can shop around for several other budget-friendly wood alternatives if the acacia wood price point might break the bank, so don’t feel stuck with it!
All these disadvantages (heat sensitivity, higher price, etc.) are abstract, though.
What real, practical drawbacks does acacia pose when you’re kicking off a woodworking project?
Don’t worry; I’ve got plenty of scenarios for you!
Woes of Warped Tables
Imagine you finish building a beautiful acacia dining table.
You rejoice in your work and prepare for a long, pleasant relationship with your handcrafted table!
Only one problem: The table is a bit too close to the nearby fireplace, and after a few years, there are undeniable signs your table has warped beyond repair.
Not exactly the generations-spanning dining table you planned for!
A frustrating reality is that heat-induced warping is one of the most significant disadvantages of acacia wood furniture.
Fortunately, if you’re not enthusiastic about building your table, there are plenty of exceptionally well-crafted acacia dining tables to shop for, like this Giantex acacia wood table.
Zero-Chemical Cleaning Routine
Another hypothetical: You’ve built an impressive outdoor bench for when you have guests over in the summer.
Sounds nice…but you used acacia!
Now, when cleaning the bench (which you now have to do frequently, as acacia is fussy like that), you have to take special care not to use a chemical cleaner if you want to avoid another warping disaster like the dining table.
Blowing Up the Budget
Just one more scenario, I promise:
You’re planning an elaborate figurine woodworking project, so naturally, you must shop for some lumber.
At first, you’re delighted when you come across a beautiful supply of dark brown acacia wood.
But that delight quickly turns to dismay when you realize that you spent almost the whole budget on your timber source and now have to make do with cheaper tools!
The examples I illustrated were a bit silly. Still, hopefully, I’ve helped illuminate why acacia isn’t necessarily the best choice for all projects and that it has many more drawbacks than many people think!
Despite the disadvantages of acacia wood, it’s still a favorite for woodworkers everywhere, and most of the time, its pros far outweigh its cons.
Let’s take a moment to answer some of the most common questions about the downsides of acacia!
What are the Disadvantages of Acacia Wood?
The most significant disadvantages of acacia wood are its strong sensitivity to changes in temperature, its higher-maintenance requirements, and the typically more expensive price point it’s sold at.
While, on their own, none of these disadvantages are incredibly challenging, they can be a bit much to deal with in aggregate.
Is Acacia Wood Good for Outdoor Furniture?
Yes, acacia wood shines in outdoor furniture uses!
This type of lumber has many properties, like durability and a longer lifespan, that make it a strong candidate for an outdoor furniture woodworking project.
That said, there are a few disadvantages of acacia wood outdoor furniture!
The main potential problem areas will arise if you live in an area with extreme summers or winters or a lot of rainfall to contend with.
Does Acacia Wood Warp Easily?
Acacia wood doesn’t necessarily warp easily, but it’s more likely to suffer from warping in a couple of situations.
First, you’ll want to watch for high-heat sources like fireplaces. Frequent exposure to higher temperatures can considerably make an acacia wood chair or table warp.
Likewise, it’s best to keep acacia wood surfaces free from certain chemicals, especially silicon and ammonia; they are not friendly to it!
How Long Does Acacia Wood Last Outside?
If provided with proper maintenance and infrequent exposure to rainstorms and extreme heat, acacia wood can last outside for many years!
One of acacia wood’s most sought-after benefits is its longevity, so it shines brightly for outdoor furniture projects.
Is Acacia Wood Water-Resistant?
Acacia wood naturally has a lot of resistance to moisture and water.
But, prolonged and frequent exposure to high amounts of liquid will eventually cause it to swell. One neat way around this issue is by using a set of coasters. If you’re a fan of irony, you can even use an acacia coaster!
We can add this to the list of the unfortunate disadvantages of acacia wood.
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