What is the Best Wood to Make Chess Pieces?

The best wood to make wooden chess pieces is a question that has been debated by many people. Different types of wood are used for making chess pieces for different reasons. Some chess pieces are made out of wood because it is the cheapest material to use, while other chess pieces are made out of wood because it is the most aesthetically pleasing material to use. However, the best material to use for making chess pieces is determined by the type of chess pieces that are being made. So, if you want to know what wood is used to make chess pieces, keep reading the article.

Types of Wood

The most popular choice among players is hardwood such as walnut, elm, and ash. These woods are dense and strong and are more resistant to wear and tear than other options. Some players also prefer the look of natural wood such as pear, poplar, and birch, which have a more traditional feel.

So, there are many types of wood used to make chess pieces. Another common wood used is white poplar, which is an inexpensive and widely available wood.

Other woods that are sometimes used include mahogany, which is a darker wood, and walnut, which is a lighter wood.

How to Choose the Best Wood to Make Chess Pieces?

Do you know what wood is used for chess pieces? Choosing which wood to use when making chess pieces can be a daunting task.

There are so many types of wood to choose from, each with its own unique grain patterns and color ranges, that it can be hard to narrow down which one will give the best results. If you’re dead set on using a particular kind of wood for your chess sets, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the results you want. Most importantly, make sure that you’re using wood that will allow the pieces to be stained and varnished so that they retain their color and style.

pieces of a wooden chess


The best material for making chess pieces is hardwood. Hardwoods are the most expensive and highest quality materials for making chess pieces. They are also the most durable and strongest materials for chess pieces. Some of the most popular hardwoods for making chess pieces include maple, walnut, mahogany and oak. So, the best wood for making chess pieces is hardwoods, because of its strength. Hardwoods are trees that are difficult to grow in a lot of places. They are also the most expensive wood material for making chess pieces.


When it comes to making chess sets, there is no better material to use than softwoods. These materials are strong, lightweight, and durable, making them the best choice for making chess pieces. The best softwoods to use for making chess pieces are cedar and pine. Both of these woods are strong, which means they can withstand the wear and tear caused by frequent use.

Some people prefer to make their own pieces, and this is a great way to customize your chess set and make it truly unique. So, one material that many chess players use when making their own pieces is softwood. Softwoods such as balsa, cedar, and pine are easy to work with, inexpensive, and readily available.


The best wood to make chess pieces is mahogany. It is strong and dense, making it the best wood for making chess pieces. It has a beautiful grain, which gives chess pieces a finely detailed look. It also smells nice when it is cut. It’s dense, heavy, and doesn’t shrink or expand much when it’s dried. If you can find it, try to get a piece of solid mahogany. However, other woods can also be used to make chess pieces.


Sheesham is a wood from India, which is very hard and durable. It is often used to make chess pieces because of its rich, elegant and subtle grain pattern. It is a very smooth wood, which is ideal for the intricate carvings needed for chess pieces. It has a warm, golden color and is considered one of the most premium woods used for chess pieces.

Sheesham is a hard, lightweight, and durable wood that withstands water and oil well. It also has a subtle smell that is pleasant to the eyes and nose.


This wood is dense, strong, and hard enough to fight off any damage. It also looks elegant on the best chess board and feels great in the hand. The only downside is that it’s hard to find ebony in large quantities. It is the strongest and most durable and is also the most beautiful type.

wooden chess pieces

It has a unique reddish color that provides a majestic appearance to the pieces and has a smooth finish that adds to the elegance of the game.

The grain in ebony is also very distinctive, which makes it a great choice for chess pieces.

Much of the world's ebony is harvested in Africa, but today most ebony is grown in Asia. It’s also the most expensive wood, so you’ll have to be willing to pay the extra money for the best chess pieces.


One of the most sought-after woods in the world is the rare and expensive rosewood. It’s used in luxury furniture and musical instruments. But in the world of chess, rosewood is the king. The best chess sets are made of rosewood, and the most beautiful chess pieces are carved from this wood.

Wood Types for Inexpensive Chess Sets to Buy or to Make

For many people, the game of chess conjures up images of quiet contemplation, thoughtful analysis, and the thrill of victory. But for some, the game is also synonymous with the beautiful pieces that are used to play it. The rich variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that can be found in a chess set can be a delight to the eye and can add an extra dimension of interest to the game.

So, when it comes to buying a chess set for your loved one, you want to make sure you buy the best pieces you can afford. But what are the best types of wood to use for chess sets? Which ones are the most expensive? The answer for many chess lovers is that the best wood for making chess pieces is hardwood such as oak, ash, hickory, and other similar woods. These types of wood are inexpensive and provide a great aesthetic for chess sets. Most hardwoods are resistant to moisture and can be used to make chess sets without worrying about them getting wet and moldy. Most hardwoods are also relatively easy to work with, so they're an excellent choice for people who want to make chess sets but don't have a lot of experience working with wood.


It is one of the most expensive woods in the world, but it comes from a species of giant sandalwood trees found only in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The trees are so old that they have been around long enough to have evolved special defense mechanisms that make it difficult for insects to grow on them. The fine hairs on the surface of sandalwood are also rich in resin, which makes it extra sweet and aromatic.

Exotic Wood Types

If you are thinking of buying chess pieces for your chess club or school, you’ve probably looked at the traditional wood options: oak, mahogany, and ebony. These traditional wood types are good for making chess pieces, and many chess sets are still made of these traditional wood types. However, if you’re looking to make a statement with your chess pieces, you may want to consider using an exotic wood type such as cocobolo, zebrawood, or purpleheart. These types of wood are incredibly beautiful, and they are great for making chess pieces that are unique and that will surely impress your guests. Other exotic types of wood that can be used to make chess pieces are bubinga and padauk.


The best wood for making chess pieces is bubinga, a hardwood from Africa that is both durable and beautiful. Bubinga is known for its rich color and grain, and also for its strength and durability. It is resistant to insects and decay, making it the ideal wood for making chess pieces.

wooden chess in a living room


Purpleheart is a beautiful wood that is used for many products. It is known for its durability, strength and great looks. Purpleheart wood is a great choice for chess pieces because it is strong and resistant to wear. It also has a great texture and color that will give your chess set an exotic look.

Certified Organic Wood

Some people only use wood that is certified organic, which helps to preserve the forests where the wood comes from.

Quality chess pieces are made from genuine, organic wood. This gives the pieces a unique look and feel, and helps protect the pieces from insect damage. The best chess pieces are made from certified organic wood, which has been processed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. This helps keep the pieces free from defects and blemishes, making them look their best.

Popular Chess Boards Brands

While many prefer the feel of solid wood pieces, others prefer the brighter colors and designs of plastic or metal pieces. The best material for making chess pieces depends on the brand of chess pieces you like the most, and most importantly, your own personal preference. Some of the most popular brands of chess pieces are those made by Chesapeake, Warr Acres, and Gameware.

Best Wood for Chess Set

The best wood to make chess pieces is cedar. It has a rich, aromatic smell that brings comfort to players and spectators. Cedar also has natural antimicrobial properties, making it a superior material for pieces that will be frequently handled by players and spectators. It also has a beautiful grain and a silky feel that makes it a pleasure to hold.

The Best Wood for Turning Chess Pieces

The best wood for making chess pieces was African blackwood, which is now illegal to harvest. Another one is American black walnut, which is also illegal to harvest. Both of these woods are hard, durable and beautiful, but American black walnut is slightly stronger and will turn a finer finish. Both of these woods are illegal to harvest in many areas. Other options are hardwood such as oak, hickory, or fruitwood such as apple, pear, or cherry. The best wood for turning chess pieces is softwood such as fir, pine, or spruce.

Where Can I Order Custom Wooden Chess Sets Online?

If you’re looking for a unique gift for your favorite chess fan, look no further than a custom wooden chess set. You can order one online through specialty retailers, like Chessable, or your favorite chess store. Just keep in mind that while most wooden chess sets are made from maple, many specialty manufacturers also offer sets made from other types of wood, such as oak, beech, and even ebony. Hand-carved ebony sets are beautiful and are therefore ideal for use in formal tournaments. So, luckily, you don't have to buy a pre-made set when you can order a custom wooden chess set online instead.

Final Thoughts

Chess is one of the most fascinating games ever played. The complexity of the game, and the ability to strategize hundreds of moves ahead has kept fans captivated for centuries.

wooden chessboard

The best chess pieces are made from the best wood, so finding the right wood for chess pieces is incredibly important. The right wood will not only enhance the look and feel of your chess pieces, but will also make your pieces stronger.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is hardwood?

Hardwood is a type of wood that is dense and hard.

What is best to use for the chess set, rosewood or sandalwood?

Sandalwood is a better option. It has a beautiful scent that is reminiscent of vanilla and has a soft and creamy feel when touched. It also has a rich dark color, which makes the chess pieces look even more authentic. On the other hand, rosewood is also a popular wood for making chess pieces.

Which wood is best for chess?

The best wood for making chess pieces is maple because it is lightweight and provides a smooth feel when playing the game. It is also easy to work with and can be dyed to any color to create unique chess pieces. The downside to maple is that it is only found in the far northern regions of the world, which makes it hard to source.

What wood is used for chess boards?

The best wood to make chess pieces is the most durable and strongest wood available, such as oak and walnut. Each piece is made from a solid block of wood, so the more intricate the design, the better it will look and feel. Some chess boards are made from a variety of different woods, including oak, maple, and birch. Each of these woods has its own unique grain pattern and color, making every board unique. Hope you got an answer about what type of wood is used for chess boards.

Author - Nurlana Alasgarli
Nurlana Alasgarli           

Content Specialist

Nurlana Alasgarli is a professional copywriter with more than 6 years of creative writing experience. Having lived and experienced all over the world, there are many writing genres that Nurlana follows, including nature, arts and crafts and the outdoors. Nurlana brings life to content creation, captivating her readers.


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