African Utile


African Utile is a reddish-brown timber, similar in appearance and properties to sapele, but less liable to distort during drying and in subsequent use.


Colour – The sapwood colour is light brown and distinct from the heartwood. The heartwood colour is fairly uniform reddish or purplish-brown.

Grain – The grain of African Utile is Interlocked and rather irregular. The stripe figure of quartered stock is less marked than in Sapele.

Texture – The texture is more open than in Sapele owing to the larger size of the pores.


  • Natural Durability – The sapwood of African Utile is liable to attack by powder-post beetles. Reported to be moderately resistant to termites in West Africa. Heartwood is durable.
  • Ease Of Drying – Dries at a moderate rate. Tendency for original shakes to extend and for distortion in the form of a twist to develop, but distortion is not generally severe.
  • Preservative Treatment – Extremely resistant to preservative treatment.

Working Properties

  • Sawing – Satisfactory.
  • Boring Qualities – Twist-fluted drills most suitable. A tendency to charring. Support required at drill exit.
  • Planing – A cutting angle of 15 degrees required to avoid tearing of interlocked grain.
  • Blunting Effect On Cutters – Moderate.
  • Gluing – Good.
  • Nailing – Satisfactory.
  • Wood Bending – Buckles severely when bent to any appreciable extent. Classification – Very poor.


Staining and Polishing – Satisfactory when filled.