Which Knife Handle Materials Should You Choose?

Which Knife Handle Materials Should You Choose?

Jun 27 2023 - 8:40

It can be overwhelming searching through all the different knife handle materials. Which is best for your knife? Continue reading this blog to explore various knife handle materials to help you decide which to choose.

Bone

Bone knife handles have existed for centuries and are still incredibly popular in the knife community. Many enthusiasts love collecting this material, and it’s one of the most common handle types on traditional pocket knives. Manufacturers receive the bone from many types of naturally deceased animals, including giraffes and elephants. The most cost-effective bone handles come from cows. Apart from bone, you can find handles made with horns, antlers, and tusks. These natural materials come from elk, sheep, elephants, deer, buffalo, walrus, and more.

Many knife enthusiasts appreciate bone handles because of tradition. Manufacturers can texturize the bone for a better grip and dye the material in many colors.

What are the pros and cons of bone knife handles?

  • Pros: They can have eye-catching designs, are inexpensive, and are traditional.
  • Cons: They can be slippery, porous, and susceptible to cracking.

Micarta

Micarta knife handles have become increasingly popular among the knife community. They’re lightweight and durable, which makes them the perfect choice for outdoor enthusiasts. So, how are these handles made? Phenolic resin-soaked linen cloths get thinly layered to create the handle. Micarta was actually first produced as an electrical insulator.

This knife handle type needs a lot of hand labor to provide surface texture. Otherwise, the handle is too smooth and slippery. Because of this need, it’s a pricier knife handle. You won’t need to worry about this handle enduring scratches from everyday wear and tear. It holds up very well.

What are the pros and cons of Micarta knife handles?

  • Cons: They are more expensive than other knife handles.
  • Pros: They’re durable, strong, and lightweight.

Titanium

Titanium is the way to go if you’re looking for a metal handle with the best rust resistance. Even though it’s heavier than aluminum, it’s still considered a lightweight metal handle option. It’s also strong. One of the benefits of titanium handles comes in the wintertime. It has a warm feel, alleviating the bitter cold you could feel if you chose an aluminum handle.

This handle type is prone to scratches but also incredibly sturdy. Some even say it has a “springy” quality to it. The anodization process gives titanium knife handles attractive and unique colors. Manufacturers will often use bead blasting to add texture to the handle. Bead blasting is a process that shoots bead-shaped glass bits from a high-pressure tool toward the knife handle.

What are the pros and cons of titanium knife handles?

  • Pros: These knife handles are corrosion-resistant, strong, and lightweight.
  • Cons: They’re prone to scratches and are fairly expensive.

Wood

Wood knife handles have been around for centuries, just like bone. A high-quality wooden knife handle is attractive and durable. It’s a relatively inexpensive material that creates robust knife handles. Thanks to the wood grains, each handle is unique and beautiful. Many collectors appreciate variety, so they’re drawn to wooden handles.

You need to watch out for the type of wood used to create the wooden handles. Consider what conditions you’ll be using your knife in most often. Avoid fine or softwood types, such as black walnut, if working primarily in wet conditions. You’re better off finding a stabilized or hardwood knife handle option. In these options, the wood gets injected with plastic to help provide stabilization.

You’ll discover that price points vary for wooden knife handles. It all depends on the scarcity and type of wood used to create the handle.

What are the pros and cons of wooden knife handles?

  • Con: Wooden handles are unstable and porous.
  • Pros: You’ll find incredible variety, a comfortable handle, and durability with wooden knife handles.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has been one of the premier knife handle materials for a while. They provide incredible resistance and durability. It’s important to note that stainless steel knife handles aren’t known for being lightweight. Manufacturers will incorporate ridges or edging to counteract the slipperiness of stainless steel.

You may find stainless steel handles with rubber or plastic to help improve the grip. Due to the additional weight, stainless steel knife handles aren’t preferred for everyday carry knives. They’re also not the best option for heavy-duty knives. You won’t need to worry about corrosion or rust with a stainless steel knife handle.

What are the pros and cons of stainless steel knife handles?

  • Pros: Stainless steel knife handles are durable, corrosion-resistant, and strong.
  • Cons: They can be slippery and heavy.

G-10

G-10 knife handles are a grade of Garolite. It’s a laminate composite made of fiberglass. The properties are similar to carbon fiber but at a less expensive cost. The fiberglass cloths get soaked in resin, compressed, and then baked under pressure. The material created from this process is lightweight, strong, robust, and hard. Many knife enthusiasts claim that G-10 is stronger than Micarta, even though it’s more brittle.

Various patterns add texture to the G-10 handle. You’ll get a comfortable, solid grip with this material. G-10 knife handles come in different colors and patterns. No two handles will be the same. Fixed knife blades and tactile knives benefit greatly from G-10 handles.

What are the pros and cons of G-10 knife handles:

  • Cons: They are brittle and not attractive looking.
  • Pros: G-10 knife handles are durable, strong, and lightweight.

Carbon Fiber

This material is likely the most expensive knife handle type you’ll find. Thin carbon strands are tightly woven and then set in resin to create an incredibly strong yet lightweight material. The downside is that carbon fiber knife handles are prone to brittleness. The knife handle can crack if exposed to sharp impacts.

Carbon fiber handles are incredibly attractive. The carbon weaves reflect light resulting in a beautiful knife handle, but the production process is tedious. That’s why you’ll mainly find this material on high-end knives.

What are the pros and cons of carbon fiber knife handles?

  • Pros: Carbon fiber handles are eye-catching, lightweight, and strong.
  • Cons: They’re costly and brittle.

So, now that you’ve learned about the various knife handle materials, you can choose the right one for you. When you’re ready to explore different knives, The Knife Connection has a wide collection. Our ESEE scales are incredibly popular, and you’ll discover several materials to choose from. You won’t regret purchasing a knife from our incredible website.

Which Knife Handle Materials Should You Choose?

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