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Thread: What's your choice for bushcraft knife handle material?

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketbomb View Post

    Handle shape, in my opinion, is a ton more important than handle material. The shape is very personal and depends heavily on somebody's style of use, what the knife is mostly used for, and just plain personal preference.
    ^This. Ergos are the most important deciding factor at the end of the day. The way I look at it is that a well-designed handle shape should stay locked in your hand even if it's made of oiled glass.


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  2. #22
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    Thanks for the reply's so far!

    Interesting to hear what Folks are choosing and why.

    I tend to prefer synthetic materials for my knives over wood if for no reason other than texture. Otherwise, i really appreciate some of these beautiful wood-handled bushcraft knives.
    Last edited by fmajor007; 01-13-2012 at 08:35 PM. Reason: i'm an idiot.

  3. #23
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    I prefer synthetics for the simple fact that wood moves,(to quote a popular maker here on BF)even stabilized wood will warp,shrink or crack.
    I've had three knives with some beautiful wood handles & all three developed cracks(even the stabilized).I have a couple others with more straight grained wood that simply shrank.
    I've had no such problems with my G10,micarta,or rubber(Res C)handles.
    I still order & buy knives with wood handles because it's just plain so much more beautiful,but like the beautiful woman,it comes at the cost of higher maintenance.
    I recently bought a bottle of mineral oil for soaking my wood handles,so hopefully I won't have anymore issues with my wood.
    I was using Ren Wax,but it doesn't soak in like the mineral oil will.
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  4. #24
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    Micarta first, G10 maybe, and carbon fiber if it's textured. I GREATLY prefer micarta. I really dislike natural materials, have had waaaaay too many crack, split, discolor, etc. I'm all about function.

  5. #25
    This ;-)
    Resiprene C Handle

    (Think of it as an all-terrain truck tire with better chemical resistance)

    Resiprene C was made famous as a handle material when it was used on the Busse Combat Basics. Respirene C, these handles have all the advantages of rubber handles without any of the disadvantages. They are comfortable, shock absorbing, slip resistant when wet, and provide insulation from the cold. Unlike Kraton, Resiprene C is a Non-hygroscopic material which means that it will neither "take on" or "emit" fluids. This quality not only gives them unparalleled durability but makes them extremely easy to keep clean as dirt will simply not stick to them. It is impervious to salt water, petroleum based chemicals and is much more resistant to higher and colder temps than is Kraton. Resiprene C is likewise impervious to the powerful insect repellant, DEET. It is so amazingly tough and durable that Busse stands as the only company to have ever put a Lifetime Guarantee on a rubber handle. All Scrap Yard handles are fully textured to supply a slip-resistant purchase in any grip configuration. So, whether you hold the blade in a saber grip, reverse grip, upside down grip, side grip, or whatever which way you are required to hold it for your particular application, you will be assured of having a secure hold.

  6. #26
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    wood,lignum vitae(self-lubricating,tough,wood on this handle is piece of + 40 years old marlin spike )



    or curly birch(linseed oil soaked and carnauba wax sealed)



    I just like more natural material,for feel and looks

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by facablade View Post
    This ;-)
    Resiprene C Handle

    (Think of it as an all-terrain truck tire with better chemical resistance)

    Resiprene C was made famous as a handle material when it was used on the Busse Combat Basics. Respirene C, these handles have all the advantages of rubber handles without any of the disadvantages. They are comfortable, shock absorbing, slip resistant when wet, and provide insulation from the cold. Unlike Kraton, Resiprene C is a Non-hygroscopic material which means that it will neither "take on" or "emit" fluids. This quality not only gives them unparalleled durability but makes them extremely easy to keep clean as dirt will simply not stick to them. It is impervious to salt water, petroleum based chemicals and is much more resistant to higher and colder temps than is Kraton. Resiprene C is likewise impervious to the powerful insect repellant, DEET. It is so amazingly tough and durable that Busse stands as the only company to have ever put a Lifetime Guarantee on a rubber handle. All Scrap Yard handles are fully textured to supply a slip-resistant purchase in any grip configuration. So, whether you hold the blade in a saber grip, reverse grip, upside down grip, side grip, or whatever which way you are required to hold it for your particular application, you will be assured of having a secure hold.
    This Resiprene C material sounds awesome. Google Search results found this material available only as attached to a Scrap Yard knife, but not available as a material for individual purchase. While Scrap Yard knives are very nice (as i've read), it would be good to be able to buy the handle material separately.

  8. #28
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    Rinos - hvala ti puno! Odlicno slike i noževa!!!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmajor007 View Post
    This Resiprene C material sounds awesome. Google Search results found this material available only as attached to a Scrap Yard knife, but not available as a material for individual purchase. While Scrap Yard knives are very nice (as i've read), it would be good to be able to buy the handle material separately.
    Another nice thing about Resp C is that if you accidentally cut it (which I have), you can repair it with a lighter. BTDT.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodak View Post
    Another nice thing about Resp C is that if you accidentally cut it (which I have), you can repair it with a lighter. BTDT.
    Sounds awesome - where can you buy it? Aside from already attached to a knife that is.....

  11. #31
    hi this material is used in swamprat, scarpyard and busse basic lines.......

  12. #32
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    I guess I like the look of wood, antler and bone. Yet I seem to buy micarta and sometimes G-10. I like Bark River's polished micarta and G-10, for the look I suppose. It's smooth and a little slick, but usually shaped well. Shape trumps grip in lots of cases. Like said, blood and guts make everything slick.
    The polished canvas micarta has a good look, but also stays clean. I own some unpolished micarta, and it's fine for those knives, ESEE, and a Becker BK2. Those are outdoor, hard use knives, they can get dirty and I can choose to clean them or not.
    The polished micarta always looks good, it's protected by the slick waxy polish. Nice polished wood handles are similar, in that they don't get stained or soak up blood.
    I've been thinking of using horse stall mats on a few machetes I'd like to rehandle. For grip and vibration dampening more than looks. But, those are tools that get swung for chopping, not for a bushcraft knife.
    For a knife in the woods, I think more about the shape. It's got to be comfortable for long or hard use. The material is second to shape, but still must be durable. With wood, there's a chance you'll get a bad piece, weird grain, hidden stresses that can crack or just shrink. I choose micarta for outdoor knives, it even takes more to sand it than G-10, in my limited experience. G-10 is strong but a file or sand paper will cut through it faster than canvas micarta. That may depend on the exact material and epoxy that was used?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmajor007 View Post
    One more than the other?

    Why?
    depends on the knife. I don't think there is a real, valid, performance difference.
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  14. #34
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    Fmajor007, can't help you there, I just have it on my Swamp Rat knife handles. Great stuff!

  15. #35
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    Well, so far, by far, synthetic handles are most peoples 1st choice for handle material on a bushcraft knife.

    I also really appreciate a lovely wood-grain handle, but at the end of the day function is beauty's master and synthetics have generally proven themselves superior over natural materials.

    Thanks for the reply's, opinions and comments.

  16. #36
    I think this way

  17. #37
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    Arguably synthetics have a lot of advantages:
    About Micarta/G10: they are very tough and mostly imprevious to environnement.
    My main problem with micarta/G10 is weight, it's significantly heavier than wood, to the point it will change knife balance. Generally nothing terrible, but after some time with micarta knife, when you reach for a knife handled knife, you're surprised how light and lively it feels.
    Also since Micarta is more expensive (than common wood-not burls and other special woods), more difficult to grind and heavier (again), micarta/G10 handles tend to be slimmer: again no deal breaker but when you grab a beefier Stromeng wood handle, you appreciate it a lot.
    Finally Micarta integral handles are pretty rare.

    Because of all this, despite some flaws like soaking (can be remedied with regular oiling) or risks of splitting (possible, in my experience it can take more than what most people would think), I still like wood.

    I've liked the "bamboo-micarta" on the BCNW, somewhere between wood and micarta.
    Also like hard plastic on mora: much lighter than micarta, and yet pretty tough.

    About rubber like material I have mixed feelings: while they give good prehension, for long use I feel they are less comfortable and result in more blisters than hard, slightly textured, materials. Also they tend to get sticky, gathering dirt, small chips, nasty stuff tends to settle between the rubbery handle and the tang...

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmajor007 View Post
    Sounds awesome - where can you buy it? Aside from already attached to a knife that is.....
    As far as I know, you can't. Resiprene is made by some italian company. Resiprene C is probably some Busse-lingo for it.
    If you're really into this, you could try:
    * heat shrinking plastic tube (eletric equipement)
    * self-amalgamating tape (ditto)
    (seen those done)

    Also possibly any big rubber/flexible plasti part like
    * tires???
    * old rubber/plastic boots???

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravaillac View Post
    As far as I know, you can't. Resiprene is made by some italian company. Resiprene C is probably some Busse-lingo for it.
    If you're really into this, you could try:
    * heat shrinking plastic tube (eletric equipement)
    * self-amalgamating tape (ditto)
    (seen those done)

    Also possibly any big rubber/flexible plasti part like
    * tires???
    * old rubber/plastic boots???
    Agree. I'm sure Res C like other rubber handle materials would require a mold which would be cost prohibitive for just one knife. As far as I know the only custom maker i've seen use kraton on knife handles was some Shiva Ki knives. For a small maker you would have to know you were going to sell the heck out of them before you purchased the mold which probably is why Busse uses the same handle on all of their models.

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