What Is Olive Wood Used For? Most Common Uses

Olive Knowledge is a part of Amazon Associates. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read our Affiliate Disclosure to learn more.

olive wood pieces in carpentry

Even though olive trees aren’t spread widely across the globe, olive wood products are very popular among many people. Today, I want to show you the most common things people make from olive wood, and also some other things that olive wood is used for.

Common Uses of Olive Wood:

  • For making dishes.
  • For creating souvenirs.
  • To make high-end furniture.
  • For crafting musical instruments.
  • For house flooring (parquet and laminate).
  • As a firewood for heating.
  • As a smoking wood for grilling.
  • As a firewood for BBQ.

Most Common Uses of Olive Tree Wood

Here, you can find some of the most common products crafted from olive wood. Many woodworkers out there like to create these products, especially in tourist places. If you’d like to buy some things made from olive wood, I advise you to check on Etsy – there are plenty of them.

Creating Dishes

No doubt, the number one thing people create from olive wood is the dishes. You can find dozens of olive wood products used in the kitchen. That’s especially popular in the Mediterranean countries such as Croatia, Italy, Greece, Spain, etc.

Some of the most common dishes made from olive wood are:

  • Cutting boards
  • Serving boards
  • Knife handles
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Prosciutto racks
  • Pot mats

Olive wood is extremely dense, which is great for making dishes such as cutting boards and knife handles. That’s why it’s so popular. Also, olive wood’s specific look and smell contribute to the perfect appearance of those products, as well as the high demand for them.

Crafting Souvenirs

olive wood souvenir

Souvenirs are the second most common type of products made from olive wood. Actually, most other categories are at the same time some kind of souvenirs.

Most common souvenirs made from olive wood:

  • Wall clocks
  • Bracelets
  • Countries’ Emblems
  • Picture frames
  • Pens
  • Wine and olive oil racks
  • Candle holders
  • Ashtrays
  • Keychains
  • Religious works of art

Just to note, these are only the most common olive wood souvenirs. There’s no end to this list, you can make any souvenir with olive wood. In my opinion, the most popular ones are religious works of art.

Also, olive wood souvenirs are commonly made with a combination of limestone. That’s especially popular for Croatia since we have one of the most popular and high-quality limestones here.

Making High-End Furniture

There’s a high demand for furniture made from olive wood. Mostly, that’s high-end furniture that costs a fortune, but people just like it. I recently wrote an article Can You Make Furniture From Olive Wood so make sure to check it out. I gave you a thorough answer on that topic.

Most common high-end furniture made from olive wood:

  • Small coffee tables
  • Decorative chests
  • Coat racks and stands
  • Chairs
  • Table lamps
  • Dining tables (mostly epoxy ones)

If you’re surprised by the fact that furniture made from olive wood is mostly high-end, that’s because olive wood is expensive to buy in the first place. I’ll discuss that below.

Producing Musical Instruments

Many people don’t know it, but olive wood is extremely popular for making musical instruments. However, it’s most popular in the countries where olive trees naturally grow and where those musical instruments have some kind of historical value.

Some most common olive wood musical instruments are:

  • Clariphones
  • Sopila (wooden horn originating from Istria peninsula, Republic of Croatia)
  • Chalumeau
  • Guitars
  • Mandolins

As you can see, not many instruments are made from olive wood, even though olive wood (especially the wild one) is a great tonewood and can get very old, which is fantastic for musical instruments.

Flooring (Parquet and Laminate)

Even though olive wood flooring isn’t generally so popular, it’s especially popular in richer people who want high-end flooring that nobody has. Parquets and laminates made from olive wood are extremely durable and long-lasting, with a very fine finish and specific colors.

So, flooring made from olive wood will usually be extremely expensive when compared to floorings made from other types of wood.

Some Other Uses of Olive Wood

dishes made from olive wood

I showed you the most common products made from olive wood. Now, I’d like to show you some other uses of olive wood, too. These aren’t considered real „products“, because they’re not crafted or made in woodworking companies. They’re more like straight use of olive wood for specific purposes.

As Firewood For Heating

Olive wood is one of the best firewoods out there, it has an extremely high density of more than 900kg/m3 (62lbs/ft), which is much more than oak, for instance. Yet, not many people use it as firewood, and that’s because of olive wood’s poor availability and high price.

It’s also very calorific, which means that it has a very strong fire and will quickly heat up your home. Check my article on Using Olive Wood As Firewood, where I explained everything in detail.

In my country, many people use olive wood as firewood because it’s available since there are plenty of olive tree farms. However, no one grows olive trees for that purpose. It’s 90% grown for making olive oil.

For Grilling Wood (Barbecue)

Since olive wood is so dense and calorific, it can be perfect for grilling. The best thing about olive wood is the specific taste and smell it gives to the food. It will give food a mild, sweet, woody flavor.

However, when grilling, you should use olive wood in combination with other types of wood. That’s because olive wood is extremely calorific, and its flame is so strong that it could melt the grill. Just keep that in mind.

As Smoking Wood For Food

Another use of olive wood is as smoking wood for food. It’s especially good for pork, beef, and poultry. Also, you can use it when cooking a pizza in the wood oven.

Smoking wood is extremely popular in the USA, and together with many other types of wood that are great for smoking food, olive wood is becoming more and more popular. If you’d like to know more specific information, I advise you to check the Smokey Olive Wood, where you can also buy various products with different types of tastes.

Why Do People Like Olive Wood Products?

People just adore olive wood products. Even though it’s hard to get some products made from olive wood, the demand for it is still pretty high.

I think there are several reasons for people like olive wood products:

  • It’s a great souvenir for the countries they visited
  • It reminds them of something
  • Olive wood has a specific look and smell
  • It’s a high-quality tree that’s extremely dense and long-lasting
  • Even though it’s a high-density tree, it’s still easy to carve, which makes it great for making souvenirs
  • Not many people have olive wood products, so it’s good if you want to stand out from the crowd

Why Are Olive Wood Products So Expensive?

If you wonder why olive wood products are more expensive than other similar products, that’s because olive wood isn’t as available as wood from other trees. Also, because of that, the price of raw olive wood is pretty high.

With low availability comes the high price, which is totally understandable. So, if a woodworker needs to pay a high price to buy the wood and then create some awesome product, of course, it’s expected for those products to be expensive.

Also, olive trees don’t grow quickly, and they usually don’t have large and thick trunks, which makes it hard to get some larger pieces of wood (especially lumber) from them. So, people often use gluing methods to create larger products such as dining tables, and all that adds to the price.

Furthermore, I see more and more people combine olive wood with epoxy to create small coffee tables, dining tables, and many more interesting products. And all of them are pretty expensive.