Why is Cocobolo so Expensive?

The Rare Preferred Hardwood of the Martial Arts world. Why is Cocobolo so Expensive?

Cocobolo Dalbergia retusa is the long sought after hardwood in martial arts.  It is in the family of the Rosewoods Dalbergia nigra. In part it is very popular because of it’s weight and density but also because of the beautiful colors and patterns that appear in the wood’s grain.  With this wood however it is not the demand that is the problem as much as it is the supply.  So Why is Cocobolo so Expensive? The first price point that drives it up is being able to find it.  The second is how much it costs once you have located something you can use.  Unlike red oak or ash, cocobolo is a medium to small sized tree that has fewer straight branches.  It is much harder to mill and even harder to get good undamaged straight boards so you can work with them.  Hardwoods of this nature eat through expensive cutting bits in weeks, where as the same bit would last a lifetime with normal woods.  The last price point that adds more to the final cost is how hard it is to work with.  The first problem; the saw dust is poisonous to humans.  Don’t get me wrong, all saw dust is bad for people and use of a mask is the general practice, but with cocobolo it is down right hurtful.  It is much like getting poison ivy on the inside of your lungs.  Not fun.  So we use suits and masks and it’s hot and miserable doing so.

In the end it’s always worth it but much more time and work go into things made of cocobolo.  It’s a rare wood loved by all the martial arts.  The time may also be coming when cocobolo is gone from the planet.  I wonder what those cocobolo nunchaku would be worth then? At USA Nunchaku Co. We hunt down cocobolo every week to use in our wood shop so we can bring you great nunchaku pieces.  It’s a time honored hardwood in the martial arts world, but don’t forget all the other great woods we have available.


Other Choices

While cocobolo is a great hardwood, there are others that will also serve the same purpose.  We encourage our nunchaku users to try out different weight hardwoods and test out some of the many other exotic hardwood options we provide. Most of our customers will wind up with nunchaku they use privately and nunchaku they use in class for strikes and contact with other weapons which spare the more expensive nunchaku from harm. As always, if you have more questions about any of our nunchaku please feel free to contact us and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Cocobolo Dust

Cocobolo Dust

Cocobolo Nunchaku Oh my, it is so hot outside in north America this summer.  Right now in the north east the humidity has taken over completely.  Day and night it is 100 % in charge.  It’s pea soup at 5:30am, and it just gets hotter and stickier as the sun crosses the  sky.  There is only like one guy that I know who isn’t bothered by this at all.  Not to worry cocobolo , the last 2016 batch of  nunchaku are on the way.  We spent the weekend doing the ruff cuts and hard routes and Cocobolo dust.  Soon the next batch will be at the sanding stations.

Cocobolo dust is one thing that is hard to deal with.  Most people don’t know that the saw dust is poisonous.   It has a strong smell when it’s cut and creates a red dust power that gets on everything. I can tell you is to horrible.  In the shop the saw dust can get crazy.  We cut and expel a lot of wood.  Add the 72% relative humidity and 92 degrees F, it makes the cocobolo dust cling to your skin and turn to a paste.  I have to take breaks and continuously wash off while cutting this wood.  Not much fun, but the only path to the beautiful and colorful wood becoming a set of nunchaku cocobolo nunchaku .

This time around we will have cocobolo featured but we will also have some other great woods like zebra, bloodwood, red oak, and locust.  Small and slim models with some of the high end woods and our new highly searched for “nunchaku stringing packet“.  I’m planning three complete batches to be for sale between now and Christmas so there will be plenty to go around for everyone.  As always each is handmade, never stained and we sand, oil and string every pair.  It’s without question and best nunchaku value for the practicing martial artist and best of all, they are made in the USA.

Blonde Cocobolo Nunchaku

Blonde Cocobolo Nunchaku

Blonde Cocobolo NunchakuThis pair was a special cut fro the master block of cocobolo we used.  The oils have set out the great colors in the wood grain.  These are not stained.  The lighter pulp wood looks blonde next to the fiery red in the dark cocobolo grains.  I have number of other cocobolo in the store now but this one we are listing alone in the store. This is why I’ve decided to call it Blonde Cocobolo Nunchaku.

Stop  by the shop to check them all out.

Coming up on the next round we will be cutting blood wood and will be featuring the return of the Lignum Vitae (ironwood)nunchaku.

Lignum Vitae (Genuine) is an exotic wood native to the tropical regions of the Americas. It is a very hard, dense, and heavy wood, with a fine texture. The heartwood color ranges from a dark greenish brown to black. Lignum Vitae is excellent for wood turning, as well as being used for bearings, bushings, some marine applications, and mallet heads. It has an oily to waxy character and takes a high polish.

Exotic wood Nunchaku

Exotic wood Nunchaku

Exotic Woods I’ve been working away at getting the new stock ready for this coming weekend.  So far everything is a go.  This time we will have Red Oak, Cocobolo, African Blackwood and Locust.  The weather here has been horrible and the wood shop has been cold but things are moving along well.  All of the blanks are being shaped and the toxic stuff has been cut.  Most people don’t know that the cocobolo dust is very toxic.  We have to wear masks when cutting it as it becomes hard to breath and the air literally turns maroon.  In the end it is well worth the time put into them as the cocobolo tend to feature some of the most beautiful wood grains.  This time I have a few pieces that feature the pulp wood from the cocobolo which is a lighter color and makes for the wonderful finish mixed with the dark red colors.

Locust Wood Nunchaku
From tree to block the Locust wood is cut down to make nunchaku.

African Blackwood is our newest exotic wood type.  It has taken the place of the ebony which has become impossible to find in sizes we can use.  It has a dark to pitch black color and is very dense and heavy.  The grain is very fine much like the ironwood we also use.  This makes for an overall dense heavy nunchaku which comes alive when it’s weight gets put into motion.

Stop back on Sunday morning to usanunchaku.com and check out the new arrivals.

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