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.
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.