Pocket Knife Handle Material

When it comes to tactical knives, the blade steals the show. It's where all the focus is - the steel, the shape, the edge, the curve. It's all about the blade on the glossy cover. The handle remains underrated and overlooked. And yet, a knife's performance depends largely on the handle. People tend to let slip the other side to every knife. The blade is useless without the handle, and the bottom part is just as important as the top part, if not more. So, today we're going to shift our focus to the handle so you have a better grip when buying your next pocket knife.


Handle Material

The material of the knife handle often makes or breaks it. Hence it's a good reason to avoid cheap knives with low-quality handles. A good handle should be constructed of quality material, offer style, functionality, and reliability. There is no one material that stands out as the absolute 'best' handle material for pocket knives. As you'll learn every material comes with its pros and cons.


Aluminum is a popular choice for pocket knife handles. It's a low-density durable material that gives the knife a nice hefty feel. The most common type used in the best pocket knives is T6-6061 alloy which offers exceptional tensile strength. When textured well, aluminum handles can offer a fairly secure and comfortable grip for extended use. Since pocket knives do not need to take much pressure, aluminum makes a great choice for sleek, stylish handles.

Stainless Steel

If you're looking for a knife handle that's corrosion-resistant and battle-tank-solid, then stainless steel is an excellent choice. On the flip side, stainless steel handles tend to be rather slippery. To get a grip on the material, knife makers often incorporate etching and ridges for better friction. A lot of knife makers combine rubber and plastic with stainless steel for a better grip.


Titanium is a rare metal that offers a nice warm grip even in icy conditions. Not to mention it's the number choice for anti-corrosion metal. Even though it comes slightly heavier than aluminum, titanium is still a light metal. It's one heck of sturdy material for a knife handle and makes a good choice for the liner material because of its springy behavior.


Wood has been the choice for knife handle since the beginning of knife history. A quality wooden handle can offer it all - looks, durability, firm grip, and functionality. Being fairly inexpensive, wood makes a great choice for heavy-duty knives. There are many kinds of woods used to make knife handles. Broadly, these are categorized as hardwood and softwood. The best wood depends on the conditions the knife will be used in.


Like wood, bone handles have been used in knives since the dawn of civilization. And even today it remains one of the most popular choices for pocket knife handles. These bones come from dead animals like cows, elephants, giraffes, etc. Tusks are also used to make handles.

Mother Of Pearl

This is the stuff that's found inside oysters and mollusks that eventually turn into pearls - hence the name. This is used for top-end, stylish knives for a dressy, elegant finish. It's easy to work with and can be sculpted into as many shapes as the human mind can think of. For the ultimate in luxury, you have the black Mother Of Pearl - a rare type from Tahiti.