What’s the Difference Between Peruvian and Black walnut Wood?

There are thousands of wood species, and choosing the ideal species for furniture or flooring projects can be challenging. Walnut wood is a popular species that has been used for centuries for making high-end furniture, crafts and tools. Since there are many walnut species, two popular species are the Peruvian walnut and the Black walnut. So what is the difference between Peruvian walnut and Black walnut?

The difference between Peruvian walnut wood and black walnut is mainly in their color, texture, hardness, and grain pattern. Peruvian walnut wood is dark to deep chocolate brown with a straight grain, while black walnut has dark chocolate brown color with an irregular pattern. Although Black walnut wood is harder than Peruvian walnut wood, so black walnut wood is stronger and better able to withstand shock or decay.

Walnut wood is one of the rarest and most expensive hardwoods because of its high demand and natural limitations.

What is Peruvian Walnut?

Peruvian Walnut wood is know for its deep brown color and durability, native to Southern Mexico, Central and South America. Peruvian walnut is used for making furniture and flooring. It is also known as Tropical Walnut and Nogal.

Peruvian walnut wood has some similarities with other walnut species in terms of color and workability.

What is Black Walnut?

Black Walnut wood is highly prized for its rich dark brown color, and distinctive grain pattern. It is rated as very durable and versatile, primarily used for furniture and flooring projects.

Black Walnut wood can be relatively expensive compared to many other hardwoods. The tree itself is not as common as some other species, and its slow growth contributes to its limited supply.

Peruvian Walnut vs  Black Walnut

CharacteristicsPeruvian WalnutBlack Walnut
Scientific nameJuglans spp.Juglans nigra
Tree Size20-60 ft (7-18 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter100–120 ft (30–37 m) tall, 2–3 ft (.6–1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight37 lbs/ft3 (600 kg/m3)38 lbs/ft3 (610 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness960 lbf (4,250 N)1,010 lbf (4,490 N)
Crushing Strength6,550 lbf/in2 (45.2 MPa)7,580 lbf/in (52.3 MPa)
UsesFurniture, cabinets, flooring and plywoodFurniture, cabinetry, gunstocks, interior paneling


Peruvian walnut and Black walnut both have similar uses; it is widely used for furniture, cabinets, high-quality flooring, gunstocks, interior paneling, turned items or decorative wooden items.

Peruvian walnut wood is one of the most popular woods used for guitar manufacturing because of its dark color and uniform grain. 

Color and Grain Patterns

When it comes to comparing the color and grain pattern of Peruvian walnut and black walnut wood, Peruvian walnut wood is generally dark in color, ranging from a deep chocolate brown, purplish-brown. While Black walnuts can range from pale brown to dark chocolate. This color is often consistent throughout the wood, with occasional lighter streaks or highlights.

Primarily, Peruvian walnut and black walnut both have straight grains but can also be irregular.

Cost Comparison

Black walnut is generally more expensive than Peruvian walnut due to its high demand, limited availability, and the desirability of its rich color and intricate grain pattern.

The low cost of Peruvian walnut wood makes it a popular choice for high-quality woodworking projects. But still, the price of wood can depend on many things, such as availability, demand, and regional differences.


Black walnut wood is harder and denser than Peruvian walnut wood. Black walnut wood has a known hardness value of 1,010 lbf and Peruvian walnut wood has a known hardness value of 960 lbf.

Here is a hardness list of some popular wood species to give you an idea of how hard walnut wood is.

Wood SpeciesJanka Hardness
Cyprus cedar820 lbf (3,670 N)*
Bigleaf maple850 lbf (3,780 N)
Paper Birch910 lbf (4,050 N)
Peruvian walnut960 lbf (4,250 N)
Pumpkin Ash990 lbf (4,400 N)
Black walnut1,010 lbf (4,490 N)
Sweet Cherry1,150 lbf (5,120 N)


In conclusion, walnut is one of the excellent wood species for woodworking projects. Peruvian walnut and Black walnut is a species of walnut that are similar in many respects, such as color and durability. Peruvian walnut can be used as an alternative to black walnut.

But there is a slight difference in the price of both kinds of wood, so you can use Peruvian walnuts as an alternative to black walnuts.