The Ultimate Guide to Knife Handle Materials

Knife handles are an important part of a knife. They allow the user to comfortably grip and use the blade, they offer protection for hands from sharp edges, and they can be decorative as well.

Knife handle materials vary in appearance, durability (resistance to wear), the economy of production, suitability for different designs or uses. In this blog post, you will learn about some popular options for knife handle materials so you can make the best decision possible when choosing which type is right for your needs!

knife handle

What is a knife handle?

A knife handle, also known as the grip or hilt, is an extension of the blade that allows for more control and comfort when using it. The most important function of a knife handle is to provide a comfortable grip and allow you to use them with ease.

What are the types of knife handle materials? 

There are many different types of materials that can be used to make a knife handle. Listed below are the most common.

  • Wood

One type is wood which often has an attractive appearance and feels. However, this may not always be the best option due to its tendency to slide in your hands when wet or greasy foods come into contact with it. This can lead to accidents and injuries that could have been prevented otherwise.

Caution: Bacteria and microbes can live in the wood and transfer onto your food.

  • Metal

Another common material for handles is metal. It is often used for chef’s knives. Metal’s unique properties make it easy to clean and maintain. Plus, metal is strong enough for the toughest work which makes these knives a good choice if you are planning on using them extensively.

  • Plastic

Some people prefer plastic handles as they might not be able to use more traditional materials because of their specific needs or abilities. Plastic may not be as strong or durable, but it is lightweight and easy to keep clean.

  • Rubber

Some handles are made out of rubber which provides a comfortable grip. However, the use of rubber though may not be the most durable option.

  • Bone

Bone as a handle may sound old but is a very durable and beautiful material. Nonetheless, it may not be the best handle for everyone as it is sometimes difficult to keep clean and can require some maintenance.

  • Fiberglass

Another option is fiberglass which has a similar look to metal, but it’s not as cold when you touch it as metal would be. There are also some cool patterns that this material comes in for handles such as fish scale or wavy.

How do you care for handles made out of different materials?

Knives are notoriously difficult to keep clean. This is why it’s important to choose the right handle material for your knives so that they don’t get too dirty or stained in use.

Listed are tips on how to care for your blade’s handle made out of different materials.

  • Always wash your blade by hand. Do not use a dishwasher to clean it, as the detergents and water may be too harsh for the handle’s material.
  • Oil your knife with mineral oil or vegetable oil (like olive) about once every six months to maintain its condition.
  • Keep your blade in a safe, dry place. When not in use, always store it with the edge facing down to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on its handle that could weaken it over time.

How do you choose the best material for you and your needs?

There are a few factors you need to consider in selecting the best knife handle. They include the following.

  • Usage

Keep in mind the purpose of the knife. Is it for a specific task such as carving or cutting? Or is the purpose to be an all-purpose knife that can handle different types of tasks?

  • Comfortability

The level of comfortability is a factor to consider. Some handle types are easier to grip than others. What if comfortable to some may not necessarily be comfortable to you. Hence, find a handle that suits the contour of your hands.

  • Budget

Different materials have different prices. It is important to study the market to know if whether or not, you are getting the handle that suits you at the best price.

Glossary of Common Knife Handle Terms

  • grip

Grip refers to the way you handle or hold the knife. Some of the grips are straight, ax, and pinch grips.

  • butt

This part is the edge of the blade’s handle nearest the blade.

  • knuckle guard

This is a protective, metal structure located on the side of the blade’s handle; this piece serves as protection for your knuckles when holding or gripping onto the blade.

  • pommel

The pommel is the rear or lower end of the knife often has some type of grip and provides balance for your hand.

  • grip tape/handle material

This refers to any sort of material that aids in providing comfortability and grip to the user.

  • hilt

The hilt pertains to the rear or lower end of the knife which often has some type of grip and provides balance for your hand.

Final Verdict

The whole is just as good as its parts. So, it is important to take time to learn more about knife handles like their kinds and proper handling. In this way, we may know which ones will best suit our needs and wants.

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