Other names:

Mai sak, pahi (Burma); sagwan, tekku, kyun, sagon, tegina, tadi (India); jati sak (Thailand); djati, gia thi (Indonesia).


Indigenous to Burma, India and South East Asia, it has been introduced into East and West Africa and the Caribbean, also.

General description:

The true teak of Burma is a golden-brown colour without marking, but most other teak is rich brown with darker chocolate-brown markings. Teak is generally straight to wavy grained, coarse textured, uneven and sometimes with a white glistening deposit. Weight varies from 610-690 kg/m3 (38-43  1l/ft3), average 650 kg/m3 (40  1l/ft3); specific gravity .65.

Mechanical properties:

This hard, medium density timber has medium bending strength, high crushing strength combined with low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. It is fissile and brittle with great dimensional stability. Teak can be steam bent to a moderate radius of curvature.


This timber dries well but rather slowly. Variations in drying rates can occur in individual pieces. Standing trees are girdled and left to dry out for three years before felling. There is small movement in service.

Working Properties:

Teak offers medium resistance to tools but a severe blunting effect on cutters. Tungsten carbide tipped saws are suitable. Pre-boring is necessary for nailing and Gluing is good on freshly planed or sanded surfaces. Fine machine dust is a skin irritant. Teak stains well and takes a satisfactory finish, especially an oil finish.


It is very durable due to it being liable to insect attack. It is extremely resistant to preservation treatment.


Extensively used for ship and boat building for decking, rails, hatches, etc. It is used for cabinetmaking, interior and exterior joinery, flooring, exterior structural work and garden furniture. Also for acid resistant purposes such as chemical vats, fume ducts and laboratory benches. All grades of plywood, and sliced for decorative and face veneers.