Handle Materials

Feb 25, 2001
I've been looking over all of the various handle offerings from companies like Spyderco and CRKT, and I'm not quite sure what to make of them. Seeing that most of the handles are black, it's hard to tell the differences between them from a picture. The materials I'm talking about are Zytel, FRN, Micarta, Carbon fibre, and G-10. Only having a Point Guard right now, I've only experienced the Zytel and think it's pretty nice stuff.

Could someone shed a little light on the properties and quality of the various handle materials? Comparitive weights, friction, durability and stuff?

Oh yah. My wife got her new Camillus Yellowjacket last night. My M16 and Navigator haven't arrived yet, so I'm soooooo jealous!!! I had to start ribbing her last night. "Ooooh Camillllllussss. That's not cutlery! That's snobbery!" hehehehehe
Check out www.agrussell.com and go to the knife encyclopedia. They explain all kinds of stuff their.
From my experience.
Zytel- injection molded plastic. Virtually no glass content or anything else to reinforce it. It will flex and bend. Its nice stuff but not as good as some of the other choices, especially for wear resistance. Being softer its going to wear faster. Most knives made with it are pretty deeply textured to give a good grip so scratches don't show up to bad though.

G10- Tough stuff. Strands of glass are woven into sheets. Then lots of sheets are stacked in a press with epoxy resin and put under high pressure. Its basically fiber glass, but has the benefit of an organizerd structure to it. the resin itself is fairly soft and can be scratched pretty easily. The glass fibers make it tough though. you may scratch it but it would be hard to gouge out a big peice or crack it.

Micarta- same process as G10 only slightly different materials. Rather than glass and epoxy resin its another type of plastic reinforced with sheets of either paper or linen. Its tough stuff, but not quite as strong as G10, and can be scratched more easily. Its also less grippy. if its not finished right.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer... but I've got the sharpest knife in the room.