What is your favorite handle material?

Jan 11, 1999
Just wondering what everyones favorite handle material for fixed blade knives is. I sometimes get stuck in a rut making what I like and forget that I am not trying to sell the knife to me.
Thanks in advance,
Mike C

Desert Ironwood for me as well. It comes in so many colors and patterns. I just can't get enough of it!


Tom Carey
Micarta, _checkered_ by Julie Marx of CHECKERMARX@compuserve.com of Ferndale, WA.
360 380 1903 Pacific


"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."
Natural's, Mammoth Ivory, Mother of Pearl, Snakewood, Desert Ironwood, Big Horn Sheep.
Man made, G-10, Micarta, Titanium, Carbon Fiber, My 2 cents
I don't have a whole lot of experience with natural materials, although Desert Ironwood seems to be a nice one.
On the synthetic side of the house in I would go with Titanium, G10, Carbon fiber.
List does not denote order of preference.

*Norwegian Knife Nut*

"Military" Fans Unite!!

"The only limitation is lack of imagination."

I actually like the steel handles on my Chris Reeve knives. After steel, G10 is the next best thing.


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)
Micarta was the first thought that popped to mind, but here's a very slightly more in depth take:

My very simple needs in a knife handle material all revolve around it being durable, comfortable and perhaps most important; non-slippery even when bloody, oily, sweaty, gunky, dry, under high or low torque, etc. Also, I'm quite convinced that every single fixed blade knife ought to have some means of protecting the user from inadvertently sliding forward onto the edge or backwards off the handle.

It's because of those very simple criteria that I really, really like simple molded plastic handles on kitchen knives, and contoured Micarta handles on 'nicer' stuff. I'm sorta ambivalent about Kraton(tm) and the other myriad of soft synthetics, but one thing is certain. I don't buy knives based on how the handle "looks". There's far too much effort wasted by way too many folks getting terribly designed handles to 'look' good. I don't care how it looks. I care how it performs.

That's my ELU opinion anyway.
Natural materials; most woods

Manmade materials; micarta, G10, carbon fiber ,Kraton and some of the other similar stuff
You have to love Ironwood
But for the "best" it's Rag Micarta...If you can find someone with some left

For sureness of grip: Kraton
For durability: G10

Hmm.. with regards to natural materials, I kinda like the pakkawood handles from my CASE Shark Tooth and MAKO lockbacks.

For functionality I really like Mad Dog's proprietary handle material. For a dress knife I love Mastodon or Stag.

First, Micarta. It's really tough, grips good, and some of the patterns almost look like wood grain. Second, cord wrapped. Pretty strong, grips good, can be used for cord in an emergency, and is easy to replace. And like the wrap on Strider knives, it looks really cool and grips great.
Favorite "hard use" handle,
Micarta / G-10

Favorite "pretty" handle,
Olive wood (with an Ostrich skin sheath)

Favorite "expensive" handle,
Mother of Pearl (made by Koji Hara)

Wow, I covered a heckuva price range, too!!