Knife Handle Materials
I. Handle Materials
derived from naturally shed deer antlers. When exposed to open flame,
stag takes on that slightly burnt look. Very elegant material for
derived from naturally deceased animals. Bone is usually given a
surface texture, most commonly in the forms of pickbone and jigged
bone. Bone can be dyed to achieve bright colors (e.g. green, blue, and
black). This is the most common handle material for pocketknives.
a fiberglass based laminate. Layers of fiberglass cloth are soaked in
resin and are compressed and baked. The resulting material is very
hard, lightweight, and strong. Surface texture is added in the form of
checkering. G-10 is an ideal material for tactical folders because of
its ruggedness and lightweight. It is usually available in black.
the most common form is linen micarta. Similar construction as G-10.
The layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phoenolic resin. The end
product is a material that is lightweight, strong, as well as having a
touch of class (thus dressier than G-10). Micarta has no surface
texture, it is extremely smooth to the touch. It is a material that
requires hand labor, which translates into a higher priced knife.
Micarta is a relatively soft material that can be scratched if not
composed of thin strands of carbon, tightly woven in a weave pattern,
that are set in resin. It is a highly futuristic looking material with
a definite "ahhhh" factor. Of all the lightweight synthetic handle
materials, carbon fiber is perhaps the strongest. The main visual
attraction of this material is the ability of the carbon strands to
reflect light, making the weave pattern highly visible. Carbon fiber is
also a labor-intensive material that results in a rather pricey knife.
Du Pont developed this thermoplastic material. Of all synthetic
materials, ZYTEL® is the least expensive to produce, which explains the
abundance of work knives that have this material. It is unbreakable:
resists impact and abrasions. ZYTEL® has a slight surface texture, but
knife companies using this material will add additional, more
aggressive surface texture to augment this slight texture.
a nonferrous metal alloy, the most common form of titanium is 6AL/4V:
6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, and 90% pure titanium. This is a lightweight
metal alloy that offers unsurpassed corrosion resistance of any metal.
It has a warm "grip you back" feel and can be finished either by
anodizing or bead blasting. Aside from handles, titanium is also used
as liner materials for locking liner knives for it is a rather
just like titanium, aluminum is also a nonferrous metal. Commonly used
as handles, aluminum gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra
weight. The most common form of aluminum is T6-6061, a heat treatable
grade. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing.
an electrochemical process which adds color to titanium, which is
especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on the voltage
used, colors can vary (high voltage = dark color, low voltage = light
a process by which steel, aluminum, and titanium are finished. Bead
blasting is commonly found on tactical folders and fixed blades, for it
provides a 100% subdued, non-glare finish.