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The best knife handle material is an important feature to consider when you are purchasing a new knife.

Different materials offer different benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to know what is available before you make your purchase.

Some of the most common materials used for knife handles are wood, plastic, and metal.

Wood is a popular choice for knife handles because it is durable and provides a good grip. However, it can also be susceptible to moisture and can warp over time.

What are the materials for the knife handle?

What are the two most common materials for knife handles? Wood and plastic are the two most popular materials for knife handles. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Wood is a natural material that is often used because it is attractive and durable. It can also be carved or stained to create a unique look.

However, wood is susceptible to moisture and can warp or rot over time. Plastic is a synthetic material that is often used because it is strong and inexpensive.

Best Knife Handle Material

When choosing a knife handle material is the grip. A good grip is essential for safety and precision while using a knife. Another consideration is the weight and balance of the knife.

Handle made of Polymer

polymer knife handle

Favored by a wide range of knifemakers

Polymer handle scales, such as those made by Benchmade and Spyderco, are a great option for those looking for a low-cost, lightweight option.

While manufacturers may refer to their polymer handle scales as Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon or Glass-Filled Nylon, all of these materials have the same basic properties and are therefore interchangeable.

Benchmade debuted CF-Elite earlier this year, a polymer reinforced with carbon fiber designed to increase rigidity and reduce weight.

Only time will tell if polymers will continue to advance and improve. Polymer handle scales are a no-brainer from a practical standpoint.

Pros

  • Strong and lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive.

Handle Scales Made of Natural Materials

natural knife handle material

Natural handle scale materials include a variety of wood species, bone, horn, shells such as abalone or mother of pearl, and a variety of other natural materials.

Natural handle scale materials are typically used on traditional knives such as slip joints, fixed blades, and gentleman’s knives, among other things.

While it may come as a surprise, materials such as bone or horn have remarkable gripes when wet, and they may compete favorably with micarta or G-10.

Pros

  • Natural beauty is a big plus.

Cons

  • Slippy and pricey are two of the drawbacks.

Handle Scales Made of Carbon Fiber

carbon fiber handle knife

Carbon fiber knife handles have the following characteristics: superior quality, smoothness, and lightweight.

Carbon fiber is a rare material that exudes elegance and sophistication.

Carbon fiber is widely used in a variety of industries, ranging from aerospace and automotive to technology and luxury goods.

As a result, it is an excellent material for knife handle scales.

Although knives are traditionally found in a woven design, marbled carbon fiber blades are becoming increasingly popular.

Carbon fiber is more than just a lovely face; it is also extremely robust and lightweight.

Pros

  • Strong,
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Brittle and expensive.

Handle Scales Made of Stainless Steel

stainless steel knife handle

Knife handles made of stainless steel are inexpensive, long-lasting, and heavy.


If you’re looking for a knife that is both affordable and has considerable, substantial weight to it, stainless steel is the material to choose.

Steel handle scales have qualities that are quite comparable to those of aluminum or titanium, with the key variations being higher weight, magnetism, and torsional strength of the steel handle scales.

Stainless steel is an extremely durable handle scale material that you should consider using for your next knife.

Pros

  • Long-lasting, corrosion-resistant, and durable.

Cons

  • bulky and prone to slipping

Knife handle material micarta

micarta handle knife

This type of fabric, which is typically seen on more expensive blades, is impregnated with phenolic resin and is made up of numerous layers of cloth.

Micarta is scratch-resistant, however, it does not have a natural feel like marble. The shape of the handle contributes to the establishment of grip.

Micarta is available in three different varieties: paper linen, linen, and canvas. Paper linen is a higher-quality type of fabric.

Linoleum Micarta is the most commonly used material, whereas canvas is utilized for heavier canvas cloths.

Micarta has a number of advantages, including the fact that it is impact resistant and easy to clean with soap and water.

In addition, as compared to other materials, it has a little softer and warmer feel to it. It is both lightweight and long-lasting. In addition, it gives a superb gripping surface. Tactical knives are something you will see.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Tough,
  • Light

Cons

  • Pricey.

G-10 Scales for Handle Material

g10 knife handle scales

G-10 is a fiberglass laminate composite grade of Garolite. It has very comparable if not superior characteristics to carbon fiber yet costs a fraction of the price.

Layers of fiberglass fabric are soaked in resin, compressed, and baked under pressure.

The resulting material is tough, hard, light, and strong. G-10 is tougher than Micarta and stronger but more brittle than all other fiberglass resin laminates.

The handle is textured with checkering and various patterns for a secure grip. To establish a distinctive cosmetic look on the G-10 handle, numerous layers of the same color or varying hues can be used.

G-10 is ideal for tactical folders and fixed blade knives since it is strong, lightweight, non-porous, and comes in a number of colors.

Pros

  • Durable, sturdily built, and light in weight.

Cons

  • Brittle and lacking of grace are some of the drawbacks.

Knife handle material wood

wood handle knife

Handles can be made from a variety of various types of wood, although the majority of them are hardwoods such as maple, birch, burl wood, walnut, and pakka wood.

Wooden handles are strong and sturdy, but they become significantly less so when they become wet. Some people also ask is oak good for cutting boards.

Wood, like bone, has been used as a knife handle since knives began. Wood is a fantastic material for heavy-duty blades since it is robust and appealing. Collectors love wood-handled knives because they are beautiful.

Knife handles come in a variety of woods, so choose wisely based on your intended purpose. You don’t want a knife handle made of soft or fine woods like black walnut if you’ll be using it frequently in wet situations; you want hardwood or stable wood.

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, while softwoods are mostly conifers. We as knife collectors are fascinated by the hundreds of so-called exotic hardwoods employed in modern knife production.

Stabilized woods include Dymondwood®, Staminawood®, and Pakkawood®, which are birch plywoods. Solid, durable material with natural beauty is created by compressing polymer resin under great pressure.

Of course, the price of wooden handles varies based on the type and scarcity of the wood used.

As a result, they should not be utilized for duties that require them to be near or in water. Stabilization is a technique in which the pores of the wood are saturated with a resin, which prevents the wood from absorbing moisture.

Pros

  • Beautiful and long-lasting

Cons

  • Porousness and instability are some of the drawbacks.

Leather handle knife

leather handle knife

Leather-handled knives are not uncommon. Even yet, except on vintage hunting and military knives, I rarely see these in use nowadays.

In most cases, the leather is made by tightly wrapping it around another material. Contact cement may be used to secure a sequence of leather washers to the knife tang in some instances. Then they’re contoured, ground, and polished to a lovely sheen.

You won’t find a lot of leather handles on utility or tactical knives due to their lack of longevity and strength.

Knife handles made of bone, wood, or other natural materials are frequently accented with leather.

Pros

  • Old-fashioned
  • Affordable

Cons

  • lack of durability and strength.

Titanium knife handle

Titanium knife handle

Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. It’s a touch heavier than aluminum, but it’s still a light metal. But it costs more to the machine.

Titanium is one of those rare metals that feels warm, so it isn’t as cold as aluminum in the winter.

Titanium is a popular liner material for locking liner knives because it is strong but springy. Unlike stainless steel, Titanium and Aluminum are scratch-prone.

Anodizing titanium gives it a distinctive hue, which is popular on custom blades. It can also be bead-blasted to provide texture.

AVOID THE TITAN MARKETING M Marketing often gives Titanium more credit than it deserves. It’s not indestructible, and not all alloys are as tough.

Pros

  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant

Cons

  • Expensive,
  • scratchy

Bone knife handle material

Bone handle fixed blade knife

Bone handles have been utilized since the dawn of time and are still quite popular among collectors of vintage pocket knives.

The bone comes from naturally deceased animals, such as giraffes and elephants. Today, the most common and least expensive bone is the cow bone.

Other common materials include antler deer, elk, etc., horn sheep, buffalo, cow, etc., and walrus tusk elephant.

Of fact, many prefer bone handles out of habit. My first knife had a gorgeous jigged bone handle. Bone can be colored bright colors and textured to make it easier to hold.

Bone is porous, which impairs its stability and renders it subject to deformation and breaking. For many people, a bone handle is undesirable due to the effects of temperature, light, and moisture.

Pros

  • low cost

Cons

  • slippery

FAQ Sections

What are the two most common materials for knife handle?

Wood and plastic are the two most popular materials for knife handles. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Is nylon A good knife handle?

Nylon is a synthetic material that is made from polyamides. It is strong, durable, and lightweight. It is also resistant to corrosion and heat.