Black Locust Wood

What is Black Locust Wood?

Black Locust wood is a very hard, strong, heavy, and rot-resistant hardwood. Wood is used to make furniture, guitars, and other types of woodworking items.

Black Locust is also known as Robinia and False Acacia. Black locust wood comes from deciduous trees that are native to the Central-eastern United States. The tree is a medium-sized hardwood deciduous tree that grows incredibly fast (3 – 4 feet in a season).

#Black Locust Wood
Scientific nameRobinia pseudoacacia
Tree Height40–100 feet (12–30 meters) tall,  2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Janka Hardness1,700 lbf (7,560 N)
Dry weight48.0 lbs/ft3 (770 kg/m3)
Rot-resistantVery Durable and rot resistant
UsesFurniture, flooring, french post, boat building, and turned objects.

Uses of Black Locust Wood 

Black locust wood is used for a variety of items. It is widely used for furniture, fence posts, railroad ties, veneer, and boatbuilding. Black locust is also used for crafting items, such as tool handles, bows, and other items.

Black locust wood is an excellent choice for durable flooring because the wood is extremely hard and stable. Black Locust Wood is very less prone to scratches and dents.

Black locust wood grain and color

Heartwood can range from a pale greenish-yellow to a darker brown and sapwood is light brown. Like many other hardwoods, the color of black locust also darkens over time. Usually, black locust has a straight grain with medium or fine texture.

Annual growth rings are circular rings found on the end of a log or tree stump which are light brown in color.

Working with Black Locust Wood

Generally, Black locust wood is easy to work with hand and machine tools. Wood has a straight grain but the density and weight are very high, So if you are not using the right tools then you may have to face difficulty.

Black locust also has a blunting effect on cutting edges. So keep your tools sharp. It responds well to stream bending and holds nails and screws well.

Black Locust Wood Advantages and Disadvantages

Black locust is a beautiful, and popular hardwood that is often used to make high-quality furniture and floors. But it also has some disadvantages which you should know before using it.


  1. Black locust wood is strong and durable, making it perfect for furniture, cabinetry, and other craft projects.
  2. Wood is sustainable and naturally resistant to rot and decay. So it is a great choice for indoor and outdoor uses.
  3. Black Locust is a beautiful and versatile wood. It has a deep black color with a strong grain pattern. After finishing, it gives excellent results.


  1. Black Locust Wood is very hard and heavy, so it can be a bit difficult to work with.
  2. Wood has been reported to cause eye and skin irritation.
  3. Compared to other Locust species, the cost of Black Locust is high.

FAQ About Black Locust Wood

Is Black Locust Wood waterproof?

Black locust wood is incredibly water and weather-resistant but it is not completely waterproof. The black locust can withstand the effects of moisture for a longer time than many other hardwoods.

Although, black locust wood can be used outdoors without exterior finishing. But the exterior finish or sealing is recommended because it increases the durability of the wood.

The exterior finish not only protects against moisture but also from UV rays, frost, and insect damage. You can seal the black locust wood with a coating of polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer.

Can you burn Black Locust wood?

Black Locust Wood is an excellent choice for firewood because it is easy to split, burns clean, burns longer, and produces high heat. It has an impressive heat BTU of 28.3 million BTUs per cord.

A British thermal unit (Btu) is a measure of the heat content of wood (fuels) or energy sources.

Black Locust Wood takes 1 year for seasoning (Air Drying), After drying it gives excellent results. It is a great alternative to ash or oak wood.

Is Black Locust wood toxic?

Wood has been reported to cause eye and skin irritation. So be careful while working, Cover your exposed body parts and use goggles.

The black locust tree’s leaves, bark, flowers, and seed pods are also poisonous. The tree contains toxic compounds called toxalbumins.

Is Black locust wood good for flooring?

Black locust wood is hard and durable and it is the best choice for flooring. The black locust has a Janka hardness rating of 1,700 lbf (7,560 N). Which is more than Wenge, Red Pine, and Hornbeam. 

Choosing wood for flooring is not easy as wood floors are prone to dents and scratches when soft. But Black Locust Wood has enough hardness to handle dents and scratches.

Is Black locust wood good for the deck?

Black Locust is a great option for a deck because wood is naturally rot and weather-resistant. Also, it is extremely durable and sustainable for outdoor conditions. The close grain of Black Locust does not allow moisture to penetrate.

Black Locust decks can last for 30-50 years or longer with low maintenance. The best preventive measure you can take to protect your black locust deck is to use wood sealant. 

The wood sealer seals the surface of the deck or fence so that a protective layer is formed between the wood and the environment.

Is black locust wood good for smoking meat?

Black locust wood is not good for smoking meat because the wood comes from poisonous trees so smoked meat will not be edible. 

Due to the high BTU value, it generates a lot of heat hence the meat does not cook properly. Another reason is Black Locust wood does provide any flavor to the meat.

How hard is Black Locust Wood?

Black Locust wood has a hardness of 1,700 lbf (7,560 N) on the Janka scale which is significantly higher than many other hardwoods.

The Janka scale determines the relative hardness of a particular domestic or exotic wood species.

Here are the Janka hardness ratings of other popular wood types compared to Black locust to get an idea about how hard Black Locust Wood is.

Wood species Janka Hardness
Pacific Yew1600
Oak, swamp white1,600
Peroba Rosa1670
Nepalese Alder1,690
Black Locust1700
Black & White Ebony1780


Black Locust Wood is an excellent wood species that is suitable for all outdoor and indoor purposes. It is durable, stable and rot-resistant hence it saves a lot of money on the maintenance of the owners.

Black Locust Wood can be used in all places where furniture is exposed to moisture or weather.