Knife Handle Mastery

Handles are the second most sought out aspect of a knife after its blade. There was a time when blades and handles were simply serving a functional purpose and nothing else. A blunt practical wooden or metal handle was more than enough to do the job. Hundreds of years later and knives have now become so much more than weapons. They have become works of art. Craftsmen and bladesmiths now strive to make the most unique blades and handles that are etched and carved with artistic design. Even more interesting is the fact that other knives followed suit, including hunting knives, carving knives, letter openers, and chef’s knives.


After deciding the handle shape and dimension comes the most interesting part, choosing the handle material. A variety of materials can be used such as:

  1.  Wood
  2.  Stainless Steel
  3.  Bone
  4.  Stag Antlers
  5.  Micarta
  6.  G-10
  7.  Carbon Fiber
  8.  Aluminum
  9.  Titanium
  10.  Zinc Alloy

The type of handle is usually directly associated with the purpose of the knife itself. A hunting knife is required to be sturdy and place comfortably in the hand whilst on the other hand, a tactical knife needs to be robust and quick opening.

It is very common to discover that knives with mind-blowing handles usually follow in suit with brilliant blades as well. Damascus knives are popular for their stylish and elegant designs that are just as deadly as they are fashionable. The Damascus features a stunning Crown Deer Stag handle polished off with brass and wood spacers. The blade itself is forged from high-quality Damascus steel that was finished off with a hand pattern design.

A great benefit to using stag antlers or wood for your hunting knife handle is the added opportunity to carve out a great design. Fixed knives will typically sport this type of handle due to the practicality of forging with the blade. Folding and automatic knives require added mechanisms making it more complicated to handcraft the handle.

This is not to say that a basic handle can’t be good or even great. Handles, just like knives serve their own specific purpose. Folding knives tend to most commonly come action-packed in an aluminum, titanium, or zinc alloy casing, allowing for a rugged yet quick deploying blade. The handles themselves sport etched designs, but what makes them truly stand out is their added functionality. They tend to contain seatbelt cutters, glass breakers, belt/money clips, or even a mini flashlight or tool.

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong when it comes to what knife handle you want as they are all unique in their own way. The best path is to first decide what purpose you want a knife for, and the type of functionality you need, after which you can then focus on finding the perfect handle. Sometimes multiple choice is the best way to go as it means you don’t have to limit yourself to only one beautiful blade.