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Get me up to speed on terotuf

Discussion in 'Carothers Performance Knives' started by Hard Knocks, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Hard Knocks

    Hard Knocks Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I haven't had any terotuf yet. Lately I've been going with the unbuffed canvases. Is terotuf the same way, where you can go with buffed or unbuffed? And if so, which do you prefer?
  2. Murman

    Murman KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 11, 2015
    I've seen Scott Gossman used it a few years ago.
  3. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    Terotuff is a great handle material. I like to leave it a little rough, it provides a fantastic grip wet or dry.
  4. Choppaman

    Choppaman Gold Member Gold Member

    May 6, 2017
    Ended up ordering the last HDFK in unbuffed OD Green with an extra set of Terotuff scales. Was suggested I try that for better grip. I've heard good things about it. It certainly isn't the nicest looking set you can get. (buffed looks nice but slippery). I'll know more once I get it! Sorry nothing now but hope to have something soon.
    Hard Knocks likes this.
  5. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Terotuff is my favorite handle material. Good grip wet or dry AND does not suck the heat out of my hand in winter the way polished G10 or micarta will. It is also a little more shock-absorbing IMO, compared to those harder materials, which all combine to making it a good choice for larger chopper type blades. I have three knives with Terotuff scales (none CPK unfortunately), 3.5", 5", 7" blades, and it works well on all of them.
    din and Jo the Machinist like this.
  6. Hard Knocks

    Hard Knocks Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Thanks for the responses!

    I've got a HDFK coming from this last sale and I asked for terotuf. I'm excited to try it. I didn't specify any style of finish on it though, and I'm wondering if I should have.
    CataD likes this.
  7. TommyGun56

    TommyGun56 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    Dave, Here are Nathan's thought on different handle materials

    My thoughts on some of these materials:

    TT has light weight, grip when wet or dry and shock absorption. IMO it's less attractive and it isn't as stable as other synthetics, but its properties make it ideal on a chopper. To me it's a little unsightly and its attributes aren't as well utilized on something like an EDC, I like my EDC to be a little dressier, but the EDC is a working tool and it's a good material for sweaty hands so I will make some. I don't think it would be a sanitary material to use in the kitchen or skinning game.

    Micarta is heavier than TT but lighter than G10. Good grip wet or dry. It's attractive and stable and works well in most applications. It's strong and has the best wear resistance so it will hold up over years of hard use without breaking down. Not all micarta is created equal, I stay away from the import stuff and try to stick to known proven quality materials. The micarta I use is well impregnated and I consider it sanitary in the kitchen and skinning game.

    G10 is heavy and has less grip and poor shock absorption. It is very stable, attractive, sanitary and strong. It's good on small scales where the weight difference is minimal and impact is a non-issue. Despite its popularity I wouldn't want it on a chopper. Despite being hard and having high glass fiber content it has mediocre abrasion resistance and extended use in a gritty sheath will cause it to wear. Probably not enough to cause a functional problem, but I'd stick to micarta if I were carrying a lot in gritty locations.

    Wood is nice.

    These thoughts are applicable if the knife is being used hard. I recognize that folks enjoy acquiring knives for many reasons, and I have a lot of gratitude for the collectors who make this venture possible, but at the end of the day I am dedicated to building hard use tools for end users who use them hard. I have carried and used knives for a long time and I used to go through about one a year. They'd wear down or break down. I graduated to better knives that held up better, perform better and are safer to use. That's my experience. And I build my work for that person like me who works things hard and wears things out. I'm focused on building hard use working tools. So, when I don't offer G10 on a big knife, it's because I wouldn't want it there. A collector may feel different, and that collector's point of view is perfectly valid, but I have to make judgments based on personal experience and go with what I know.
  8. pbubsy

    pbubsy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 27, 2006
    It's ugly but once you use it, you see the beauty of the stuff. I have it on choppers and medium/small knives alike. It grips well and seems to be pretty durable. For CPK, I tend to be stuck between this, green micarta and the antique.
  9. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    terotuf is pretty UV resistant as well
  10. donscpoo

    donscpoo Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2013
    Ugly? Not too bad IMO :D


    TT is now my preferred handle material on medium to large (5-12”) blade. It offers excellent grip compared to Micarta and G10. It is a very practical handle for a tool.
  11. zmbhntr

    zmbhntr ̿' ̿'\̵͇̿̿\з=(•̪●)=ε/̵͇̿̿/'̿''̿ ̿ Platinum Member

    Jul 28, 2014
    I love it, it's super comfortable to grip when chopping, even if that chopping includes chopping down trees!

  12. Hard Knocks

    Hard Knocks Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Thank you guys. And thank you Tommy for digging that info up :thumbsup:

    That does look good Don!

    Lorien, as in fade-resistant?
    gusbuster and TommyGun56 like this.
  13. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    TT doesn’t swell or shrink and may be more stable than micarta due to it being a polyester versus a cotton.
  14. Jo the Machinist

    Jo the Machinist KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 17, 2015
    We do not buff it.
    Hard Knocks likes this.
  15. TommyGun56

    TommyGun56 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    More info on materials, My understanding is this is why Dan Keffeler, and Nathan added Micarta Liners to Tero Tuf-Added Stability (as usual i Reserve the right to be WRONG)

    G10 is the most stable and stiffest. It's also the heaviest. It is the most abrasive to work with, but surprisingly it has poor abrasive wear resistance. It looks good on a knife, but I don't like it on my own because it's unnecessarily heavy and other materials offer a better grip.

    Micarta is significantly lighter than G10, and a little more flexible. It's still much stiffer, stronger and more dimensionally stable than wood (the material that's been used successfully in this application for millennia). It offers a good grip even when wet or goopy and it wears better in a gritty kydex sheath. It has poor impact resistance compared to other synthetics (not much better than wood) and can crack or chip if used on a throwing knife or similar. Phenolic is not inferior to epoxy, it's just different.

    Tero Tuf is the most flexible (least stiff, not a good thing). It's durable and apparently it has the best grip when your hands are sweaty. It's on the knife that won the last two world cutting championships. It's attractive from a manufacturing point of view because it's nontoxic and non abrasive. To me, the biggest problem is poor dimensional stability. It can shrink away and allow a full tang to stand proud more than the others which requires some special thought on how and where it is used.

    They're all quite good and we're fortunate to have them, but there are relative pros and cons to all of them.
    Odog27 and Hard Knocks like this.
  16. chumaman


    Nov 13, 2012
    Sandblasted G10 has pretty solid grip :thumbsup:
  17. Oyster

    Oyster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    ^ as long as it is relatively new. (See “poor abrasive wear resistance”).
  18. Hard Knocks

    Hard Knocks Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Thank you Jo. That eases my mind on not specifying it one way or the other. Can't wait until that HDFK lands!

    That's what I've been doing with a bunch of canvas micarta grips also. Freshens them up pretty well, and they're nice and grippy for quite awhile afterward.
  19. JustinFournier

    JustinFournier Gold Member Gold Member

    May 7, 2012
    I have enjoyed TT so far. At first I was a bit skeptical, but now I prefer it to unbuffed micarta. So basically I go buffed micarta, or TT. When I can wood of course. I have a HDFK with TT, and one with buffed ECVM, and since I haven't chopped with either yet, it hasn't been a big difference for shock absorption, but I can tell you the TT on gloves, it's really grippy and has a more organic feel. So, TT, and buffed ECVM is all I have left outside of wood.

    Edit: Now that I really enjoy it, I think it looks better than unbuffed micarta. So it's not the most ugly, at least not to me.
    din, TommyGun56 and Choppaman like this.
  20. Hard Knocks

    Hard Knocks Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    It's funny how many things in life look better when they work right. Thanks for the input!
    Odog27, JustinFournier and Choppaman like this.

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