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Kraton handles

Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
56
Does anyone (or company) make Kraton handles for ESEE knives? I'd like to replace existing handles and try out these.
 
You may be wanting Thermorun much tougher but I'm not sure where one would acquire any.
 
Does anyone (or company) make Kraton handles for ESEE knives? I'd like to replace existing handles and try out these.

You may be wanting Thermorun much tougher but I'm not sure where one would acquire any.


David Mary David Mary works with that upgraded material which is much better than Kraton, I’ll tag him for you.
You may also visit his hosted Knifemakers’s forum here too, and either contact him directly or post a question to him there.

Direct link to his forum:

 
The material I am using a lot now is called Suretouch, which is G10 layered with rubber. So far out of all the people I have introduced to it, only one person has said he didn't care for it, and everyone else has been amazed. And it has become my favorite handle material for user knives.

Retired UPS Driver Retired UPS Driver thank you so much for the shout out. I hope you're enjoying your weekend!
 
Suretouch is great, IMO.

Not sure what knife you're after but I've done cheap mods on some users, machetes and beckers with slick handles usually, using bar tape from bikes, butyl inner tubes, or the fusing silicone wrap stuff. All have that rubber, grippy feel. I like the feel of the inner tubes the most, taping or gluing it on if I can't slide it on, but it's amazingly ugly.

The problem with kraton handles as an aftermarket is it's made in a mold, not sanded or cut. The closest I can think I've heard of people using, which I haven't used but bought a small chunk of, is horse stall mat. I've heard it wears out but I'm not sure how long it takes to actually wear out.
 
I use a horse stall mat in the driveway for kettlebell training, and while it is definitely durable, I think it's not something I would want for a knife handle. A bit too easy to cut. Of course it's opinion and YMMV.
 
Not sure how you'd find one to fit your knife but Kraton is great IMHO. Buck was the first to use it in knives, I think. Charles Buck sent me a 119 to review a long while back and I used that knife to field dress a moose -- the handle stayed grippy throughout that ordeal (I had to do it myself) and the light weight was great. Cold Steel's Master Hunter, SRK and other models (I think) have Kraton grips. Fallkniven uses Thermorun which is siilar but a bit harder and not as grippy. I've never had a problem with Kraton wearing or being affected by chemicals.
 
Since we're talking about Kraton, I had a Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter with Kraton and I did like the material. I made a Kydex sheath for the knife, and the tight fit did some cosmetic wearing to the handle, but it never lost functionality.
 
I was kind of wondering what kraton is, I didn't think I've come across it yet. However I do have an old school Cold Steel SRK in Carbon V. If that's Kraton then yea that stuff is great! Very grippy, has a little shock absorbtion, and seems to wear very slowly for what it is. I got mine from a buddy and it had a semi hard life. The blade coating is worn in some places and scratched up, the sheath is pretty worn, but the rubbery handle has almost zero wear. It's very heavily checkered on the flates of the handle with grippy lines on the edges and the checkering is still very crisp. I was kind of wondering what that material was called. However like someone above said, it has to be molded so that's a very hard thing to do for a custom maker or an aftermarket scale company. You pretty much have to be making tons and tons of them for it to pay off.
 
Hence Suretouch. I really do think it is better in general.
 
I love Kraton and rubber handles in general.

Yeah I know, hotspots etc.



But I find myself making one or two cuts with a knife and then re-sheathing more often than spending an hour making repetitive cuts so the point is moot for me.


Grip > all
 
I was kind of wondering what kraton is,
I think that most "Kraton" knife handles are made using some grade of Kraton D, a synthetic rubber. There are a bunch of different grades of Kraton D. Have no idea which one(s) get used. To get fancy, it's a block copolymer based on a styrene and elastomer(s) . Styrene gives it rigidity, the elastomer ingredient(s) give if flexibility. The grades go from very hard to very soft, depending on the exact composition (AKA grade).

Normally elastomers are molded to final form. They can be machined, with difficulty, but it's not standard practice. All of the Kraton knife handles I've seen have been molded directly to the handle.
 
The material I am using a lot now is called Suretouch, which is G10 layered with rubber. So far out of all the people I have introduced to it, only one person has said he didn't care for it, and everyone else has been amazed. And it has become my favorite handle material for user knives.

Retired UPS Driver Retired UPS Driver thank you so much for the shout out. I hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Thanks for introducing me to a new material!

I love the durability of G10, but hate the hand feeling it has... Feels like stone or something to me. I'll have to check out SureTouch. I have a rehandle project I've been looking to have done for quite some time (which I was actually going to talk to you about coincidentally), and I think the material might be a better fit than the Micarta I had originally planned for it.
 
Personally, I'm not impressed with the stuff. Maybe there's an alternative that doesn't go all gummy and fall apart over time?
I've had at least 10-12 Cold Steel kraton knives over the years and not one has gotten gummy or fallen apart.
I bought the SRK below in 1989 when it first came out and as you can see the kraton handle, while no longer shiny as when new, is still solid.
You can also see that the black blade coating is pretty much all gone.
Sure my knives with micarta, wood, leather are far far better looking. But I find kraton (and similiar synthetics) to be very
durable and utilitarian. Some people have reported problems with kraton handles and while I'm certain such cases exist,
in my opinion they are the exception rather than the rule and the idea that all kraton handles get gummy or fall apart is an internet myth.
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I can't speak to all kraton handles but I edced three mini pals from cold steel over the space of 4 or 5 years on my keychain. Every single one of them went gummy and fell apart. Maybe they used a different formula on those, maybe it was the constant body heat I don't know, but that was my experience. No thanks.
 
FWIW, Knargeng is right that there are different grades. Today, Cold Steel uses what they call Kray-ex that seems more dense and less affected by chemicals than the Kraton they used to use.
 
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