What is the Best Knife Handle Material? Kitchen knives change in purpose and design, but the management plays a major part in the functionality and outcomes. The ideal knife handle is essential in kitchen knife security since it helps prevent slips and other mishaps that cause cuts and a finger’s loss!
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Top-Rated Knife Handle Materials
Stainless Steel provides exceptional durability and resistance to rust but isn’t especially lightweight. Furthermore, stainless steel grips can be somewhat slippery, so producers need to integrate etching or ridges to provide essential friction.
You will frequently see stainless steel employed in conjunction with rubber or plastic to improve the traction. However, stainless steel handles are generally to be averted at EDC or heavy-duty knives because of the extra weight.
Pros: Powerful, durable, and rust-resistant
Cons: Heavy, may be slippery
Aluminum, generally anodized for color, hardness, and protection, is a durable material for knife handles. It is a very low-density metal that provides a nice hefty feel to the knife without weighing it. The most frequent type of Aluminum used now is your T6-6061 metal that has enormous tensile power.
Properly texturized, an Aluminum handle may provide a reasonably safe grip that’s also comfortable and simple for prolonged use. On the downside, if you use your knife rather a bit during chilly winter months, you may discover the handle uncomfortably cold, given its conductive properties.
Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its more powerful, however more expensive brother Titanium found on the premium knives.
Pros: Powerful, light, durable, resistant to rust
Cons: Cold to maintain, maybe a little slippery, vulnerable to scratches and dings
Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy. Also, it delivers the ideal rust (rust) immunity of any metal. It is a little thicker than aluminum but considered a lightweight metal and a lot more durable. Regrettably, it is also more costly to machine.
Titanium is one of these rare metals which has a warm feel to it. Therefore it does not force you to suffer quite as much in the winter period as something such as Aluminum.
It is very sturdy and elastic, which is why you commonly find ceramic utilized as the liner material to get a shaving liner. Be aware that both Titanium and Aluminum suffer from becoming prone to dents when compared with stainless steel.
Titanium can be a special and appealing color throughout the anodization process, which is very common on custom knives. Additionally, it may be texturized via bead-blasting.
Beware the Titanium advertising machine nonetheless. You will frequently see Titanium being given more credit than it deserves through successful marketing. It is far from indestructible rather than all metals that are equally as strong as stainless steel.
Pros: Powerful, light, rust resistance
Cons: Relatively expensive, prone to scratches
Carbon fiber is a rather generic term referring to thin strands of carbon being closely woven then put in resin. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is exactly what you buy when you get a knife promoted with a carbon fiber manage – the outcome? A solid yet lightweight material that’s also rather costly.
While powerful, it is far from indestructible and suffers from becoming brittle. Consider carbon fiber for a lot of straws stuck together. It is super powerful (much more than steel) in one direction but begins to split when stressed in different instructions. As it is brittle, it may crack if exposed to sharp impacts.
On account of how the carbon-weave’ reflects mild, it’s possible to attain some fine looking results at a knife handle. Production of carbon fiber manages a labor-intensive process, but it has been found just on the higher-end knives. This material isn’t affordable!
Pros: Powerful, lightweight, eye-catching
Cons: Expensive, brittle
Micarta is a favorite branded illustration of aphonic that describes distinct materials made using the organic chemical Phenol (a kind of resin).
Thin layers of lace clothes are soaked in a phenolic resin, producing a lightweight, powerful product and seems somewhat cuter than G-10. It was initially introduced as an electric insulator and easily among the greatest plastics available for making knife handles.
Regrettably, Micarta has zero surface feel, is quite slick and smooth, and demands quite a lot of hand labor to produce then split some texture to the knife. This makes it expensive, which translates into a higher priced knife. Note, many will inform you Micarta can be readily scraped but allow me to assure you this isn’t the situation.
Micarta is quite difficult, and it isn’t easy to scratch in any way. Sure it will scratch under assault out of sharpened steel, like G-10 and carbon dioxide will; however, generally, it holds up quite well indeed.
Pros: Tough, light, lasting
Cons: Expensive, brittle
G-10 is a standard of Garolite that’s a laminate composite made from fiberglass. It has very similar properties (maybe slightly poor ) to carbon fiber however could be had for nearly a portion of the price tag.
The maker takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them bakes them under strain. The substance that results in it tough, challenging, really lightweight, and powerful. G-10 is considered the most demanding of all ceramic resin laminates and more powerful (even more brittle) than Micarta.
Checkering and other designs add a feel to the handle, making for a good, comfortable grip. The production process can use many layers of the same color or varying colors to reach an exceptional decorative look on the G-10 handle.
Tactical folders and fixed blade knives gain from the attributes of G-10 since it’s lightweight and durable, non-porous, and offered in an assortment of colors. G-10 is now one of my favorite handle substances for knives.
While more economical to produce than carbon fiber, it has to be cut and invisibly to a shape that isn’t as cheap as the injection molding process employed in FRN manages.
Pros: Tough, light, lasting
Cons: Brittle, lacks elegance
In technical terms, I find Micarta, G-10, and Carbon Fiber to be somewhat similar concerning their attributes as knife handle materials. Many can assert the individual qualities, but they’re super lightweight and strong at the close of the day.
You can read more: Top 40 Best American Made Pocket Knives Review 2021
Zytel is a kind of Fiberglass Reinforces Nylon (FRN), a thermoplastic material introduced by American chemical company DuPont. Zytel is super powerful, resistant to bending, abrasion, and nearly indestructible. What is more, it is cheap!
With FRN, the nylon fibers are organized haphazardly, leading to it being powerful in all directions compared to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta that have the fiberglass strands aligned one direction. Many knife fans didn’t warm-up to Zytel, asserting it seems cheap and somewhat hollow. Additionally, it tends to be slightly less grippy’ compared to G-10.
FRN is cheap as it can be injected into any desired shape and textured in many methods from the production process.
All this leads nicely to high volume production and hence reduced price. Note also that not all FRN handles will be the same. I have seen Spyderco do some wonderful things with FRN, whereas some lower’ brands fight to get the maximum.
Micarta is quite like G-10, though a bit more expensive.
Pros: Powerful, tough, zero maintenance, cheap
Cons: Cheap plastic texture, less grippy than G-10
Bone handles are used since the dawn of man and are still extremely popular with the knife collector neighborhood; that is the most basic stuff for antique pocket knives. The Bone consists of obviously dead creatures and many creatures, such as elephants and giraffes.
However, the most common and most economical Bone utilized now is your abundant cow bone. Besides Bone, comparable materials such as antler (deer, elk, etc.), horns (sheep, cow, buffalo, etc.), and tusks (i.e., elephant, walrus) will frequently be used.
Much like Bone manages only due to tradition. I recall my first knife needed a jigged bone handle, and it was a beautiful thing. The Bone may be dyed to attain bright colors and maybe textured to create a simpler grip.
Regrettably, Bone is somewhat slippery for heavy-duty use, and it is porous that impacts its equilibrium, and makes it vulnerable to deformation and cracking. Temperature, humidity, and light may affect a bone handle’s aspects, making them unsuitable for all.
Pros: Cheap, use of dyes to create eye-catching designs, conventional
Cons: Porous, vulnerable to breaking, somewhat slippery
Like wood, the bone was used as a knife manage because knives were created. A fantastic excellent wood handling may be lasting and appealing, making wood a comparatively cheap material for heavy-duty knives. Wood also adds a great deal of beauty to a knife, making wood-handled knives popular amongst collectors.
Various kinds of forests are used in knife handles, which means you need to pick wisely according to how and where you are likely to use the knife. If you’re likely to use it in moist conditions frequently, you do not want your knife to manage to be made from fine or softwoods such as black walnut; easier to utilize wood or a stabilized timber, where the wood is stained with vinyl.
Hardwoods originate from deciduous trees, to softwoods largely come from coniferous trees. There are dozens and dozens of so-called exotic woods used in knife making now and every showing unique attributes that excite us as knife collectors.
Cases of stabilized woods comprise Dymondwood®, Staminawood®, and Pakkawood® that are plywoods typically produced from birch. Manufacturers inject polymer resin then compress under high pressure to make an extremely compact and durable substance that displays natural beauty.
Naturally, there’s a vast array of pricing among wooden grips based on the form and lack of the timber used.
Pros: Plenty of variety, attractive, durable, comfortable to maintain
Cons: Porous and instable
You can read more: Top 21+ Best Slip Joint Knives Review 2021
Mother of Pearl
Located within mollusks like oysters, Mother of Pearl is the substance that may eventually become pearls (thus the title ). It’s a costly material but extremely fashionable and strong, making it perfect for upscale and interrogate knife production. The Mother of Pearl fabric is comparatively easy to control from the workshop and maybe floor and sculpted into various shapes.
For the best in exotic beauty, there’s the Dark Mother of Pearl, which originates from Tahiti but is quite rare. On the marginally cheaper finish, consider Abalone that’s taken in the casing of the mollusks and can also be amazing but lacks strength.
Pros: Natural beauty
Cons: Expensive, slippy
Sometimes you may see knives with leather grips. However, I don’t see many of them in production now except possibly on classic military and hunting knives. The production process generally involves wrapping the leather closely around another substance.
Sometimes a collection of leather washers have been compacted and piled on the knife tang and held together with contact cement. All these are subsequently profiled through grinding and completed to show an attractive appearance.
While leather knife handles are fine to check at, they lack the strength and durability to find them in a strategic or utility knife. You will often find leather used to accent knife grips manufactured from wood, Bone, or other all-natural materials.
Pros: Cheap, conventional
Cons: Lacks strength and durability
It is weird, but I am seeing an increasing number of brands selling knives Paracord handles. It appears to be trendy today!
Other firms normally have a choice, for full tang fixed blades, where it is possible to purchase the edge (and tangs), then add your personal paranoid or habit manage.
Paracord is short for Parachute Cord.
Wow. Nobody ever told you, hey! Yep, Paracord was initially utilized at the suspension lines of parachutes. It’s proven to be the greatest cordage for bushcraft, survival, and essentially any outside trip!
Additionally, it is a fantastic point to have cordage easily available in almost any survival situation, if it is for constructing a shield, repairing your luggage, creating a bow drill…
But keep in mind that two to three meters of cordage is not necessarily what will save your own life, and I would personally rather choose a sturdy, comfortable handle to get a knife I’ll use a lot.
- A fantastic solution for minimalists/survivalists.
- Looks fancier than more ordinary’ substances
- Paracord will remain useful.
- Perhaps not the most comfortable to maintain.
- Can soak up loosen or fluid.
- Not a really sturdy, dependable alternative…
The stag is a substance derived from deer antlers (which drop off naturally annually). It’s a really classy-looking alternative for searching fans.
The stag is principally utilized in hunting and Bowie knives because stag, horn, and Bone frequently signify hunting trophies (traditionally).
Such as Bone, the stag isn’t the best for hardcore usage. It may get slip slippery can decode over time as it’s porous. But it provides a knife an exceptional appearance that no additional substance will.
- A conventional classic look.
- Comparatively lasting and water-resistant.
- An exceptional substance and texture.
- It can become really slippery.
- Is not so durable nor powerful.
- Porous, also prone to breaking.
Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API