Ukulele Wood - Which one should I use?

When choosing your own uke, make sure that you know what ukulele wood types are available and which ones will work the best for you. You will notice that the different types of instruments often use various woods and this can produce some diverse sounds. Let’s look at some of the most common types of wood and see what they can bring to the tone and the beauty of your instrument.

Common Ukulele Wood


One of the options getting quite popular in recent years is bamboo. Because the wood grows so quickly, it is greener and better for the environment. If this is important to you as a ukulele player, then you might want to consider instruments made from this wood. It also happens to be quite beautiful, and it features a big, bold sound.


Koa is a tree native to Hawaii, and is therefore a traditional ukulele wood. It’s one of the most common types of wood for these instruments, and with good reason. It is durable, provides a nice, sweet tone, and looks phenomenal. Many feel this wood can offer the best sound.


Mostly used in the fretboard for guitars and ukuleles, it is sometimes used for the body of the instrument as well. They tend to offer round, sweet sounds. The rosewood body uke is not a common instrument, but you can find them.


Maple is another popular ukulele wood, as it has some excellent qualities. It offers a great treble sound and it is highly durable. Since maple comes in different varieties and styles, it also means there are a number grain patterns and styles available.


We all know mango trees for their fruit. However, they are an excellent hardwood, and they can be great for uke bodies, even though most do not initially think of it as a ukulele wood.

These trees are also sustainable, although they do not grow as quickly as bamboo. Once the trees get to a certain age, they stop producing fruit. Harvesting the trees and using them for uke bodies gives them even more use. Once harvested, mango farmers tend to plant another tree right away. The ukuleles made from this type of wood have a nice, bright sound.


Mahogany is simply beautiful. It has a reddish color and is relatively popular for uke wood today. While it does not have the unique grain patterns that other types of wood might offer, it is gorgeous, and it can offer a bright sound, mingled with some bass, to the instrument.

So what's the best wood option?

Now that you have a better idea of some of the different types of woods available today, you might be looking for a recommendation as to which is the best. The honest answer is that they all have their benefits, and often it will come down to the look you love, the sound you want, and the budget you have. It’s a personal choice, so take your time.

One of the best things to do is start looking up videos online that showcase different types of wood ukuleles so you can actually listen to someone playing them. Listen to as many different videos as possible, and then talk with any other players you might know about their recommendations. Experience a few different types personally if you can, and then you will have a better idea of what will be right for you and the type of songs you want to play.

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