Knife Handle Design

For most knife newbies, knives are all about the blades. But folks seem to forget that there’s a whole another side to every knife and it can be more significant than the blade end. A handle is the part of the knife you hold onto in order to operate.

Choosing a right knife handle design depends on a few factors. The hilt design will differ relying on the effect you want to achieve with the knife. A handle should be tailored to match with the function and anatomy of your palm. And of course, the handle image is a crucial factor in picking the right knife handle for any purpose.

For anyone seeking to purchase a new knife, whether a survivor or a kitchen chef, the knife handle is an important feature that shouldn’t be ignored.

How to Choose Right Knife Handles Designs

A great way to start is by handling the knife. It should feel and comfy in a palm. You should promptly figure out if the chosen handle is right for you. In order to find and select a proper knife handle, you need to consider these details.

Hand Size


The size of the hand is key to finding the proper handle for you. Longer hands need a larger handle diameter and thicker hands a smaller diameter. Gloves work best with a thinner and longer grip.

Handle Scales


Preferably the handle scales will swell out and fill up the palm hollow and the natural curving of the fingers in a hand squeeze. The grip should be wide enough so when you handle it tightly, the hand doesn’t strain.

Handle Dimension

Characteristic dimensions of handles include a height that is ¾ to 1 inch at the shortest point and 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch at the tallest point. Original designs will vary, and measurements on a knife may be outside those dimensions.

Round vs. Oval Knife Handle Shapes


Round knife handles don’t provide natural indexing for the blade edge. Oval knife handles are better since they index the edge to the grip and deliver the ability to apply twisting force.

Handle Swell


A handle swell makes a relaxed, comfortable handhold. It keeps palm in the same place on the handle, delivers a natural rotate point and provides better retention.


Contoured and formed handles are great if they fit to hand, but the more form fit the grip, the fewer folks it fits. Finger grooves are nice if they fit fingers, terrible if they don’t. Grips with a single finger groove for the index finger are more versatile and capable of fitting many hand sizes.

Handle Material

Most synthetics and metals are stable, durable, and they don’t need a protective finish. Wood is sturdy, finishes well and tacks beauty. Stag is limited in size and but offers good texture and looks traditionally.


knife handles texturing should be skillful and smooth enough to make handle better for using. If the handle is designed adequately, you won’t lose grip on the knife, even if the sides are polished smooth.

Knife Handle Shapes

An inadequate knife handle isn’t only uncomfortable, since working with poorly designed knife tenses and tires the hand, which augments the risk for accidents. Skip knives with slab-side handles, because their square sharp angled grips don’t match with the naturally curved contours of the palm. A hilt that doesn’t fit the hand leads quickly to tiredness and hand injury risks.

Purpose of Usage

Short handles are very undesirable for knives that will be worked hard. They should be long enough for all fingers to squeeze the handle comfortably and securely.

Handles shouldn’t have pronounced finger grooves. In a natural power grip, the fingers press together, enhancing grip security and stability. Grooves on the hilt that separate the fingers overpower the natural gripping strength of the palm.


Knife Handle Materials

There are numerous types of handles made from different materials. Folks often think that the knife handle is merely an aesthetic choice. But, in realness, the material of the handle is critical for the general ability and features of the knife.


These materials can be natural, metal, synthetic, or hybrid and each with own set of properties. Natural materials are wood, bone, pear, and abalone. Metal materials are stainless steel, titanium, aluminum. Synthetics are micarta, kraton, carbon fiber, and G- 10. Hybrids are laminates and stabilized wood. Which handle material is right for you? Read on to find the 10 most common knife handle types and materials.



A wood handle is durable and attractive since wood is a relatively cheap material for heavy-duty knives. Wood also delivers a lot of beauty to a knife, making wooden knife handled designs favored among people. Numerous types of timber are used in knife handles, so you have to pick logically based on how often and where you’re going to use the knife.

Some of the typical sorts of timber used for handles are ebony, rosewood, and cocobolo. Also, there is a wide variety of pricing among wooden handles depending on the type and lack of the timber used. Wood does have some drawbacks that you should bear in mind when thinking about purchasing a knife with a wood handle. The main factor is the maintenance of wood handle. It’s difficult to clean and harder to maintain as it can be damaged easily.



This is the most common material for pocket knives. The bone that used for knife handles is obtained from naturally deceased animals, including giraffes and elephants. Still, the most common and cost-effective bone used nowadays is the cow bone. Many people favor bone merely handles because of tradition. It’s sloppy for heavy-duty usage, and it’s spongy which affects bone steadiness and makes it an easy target for cracking and deformation.



Stag knife handles are made from deer horns that have naturally fallen off. The stag texture provides fantastic grip, and these handles are great for outdoor wearing. They look unique too. Since it’s so popular today, you can find it on many knives from the less to the very expensive.



Micarta is a mixture of linen, canvas, paper or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic. Its composite makes a tough material able to be used for hard-use activities. It’s a great material that comes in a wide array of colors. Micarta has no surface texture and is very slippery and smooth. This causes it pricey, which converts to a higher priced knife.



G-10 is an extremely durable material, made of fiberglass, which is soaked in resin and compressed before being baked. This makes it very strong, lightweight, and water-resistant. These preferences make it ideal for outdoor use. You’ll often see this knife used for tactical, survival and general outdoor use knives. Usually, G-10 knife handle comes in black color.

Carbon Fiber


Carbon fiber is a lightweight and sturdy material that is also quite expensive. This material is a bunch of straws stuck together. It’s stronger than steel in a single direction but starts to break apart when stressed in other courses. Since it’s brittle carbon fiber can crack if subjected to sharp impacts. Because of the way in which the carbon reflects light you can make some excellent looking results with a carbon fiber knife handle.

Stainless Steel


Stainless steel with a minimum of 12% chromium has excellent durability and resistance to corrosion. Also, stainless steel knife handles can be very slippery, so manufacturers have to incorporate etching or ridges to provide the needed friction. Frequently, you’ll see stainless steel used in combination with rubber or plastic, to improve the handle, but stainless-steel grips are typically avoided heavy-duty knives, in due to the added weight.



Aluminum is a very durable material and perfect for knife handles. It’s a low-density metal that delivers a tight, sturdy feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. Adequately texturized, an aluminum knife handle can provide a reasonably firm squeeze that is also comfy, and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use this handle often during colder months, you might find the handle uncomfortable since cold given its conductive preferences to the aluminum knife handle.



It’s an extremely lightweight metal alloy, and it provides the best rust resistance of any metal. It’s a metal heavier than aluminum but still considered as a lightweight metal and much stronger. It’s is one of those rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make it suffer in the winter time like aluminum. Titanium knife handle can have a unique and attractive color through the anodization process which is particularly common on custom knives. Also, it can be texturized by bead-blasting. It’s typically used in alloy form Titanium 6AlV4.

Stabilized Wood


The benefit of stabilizing wood for use as knife handle materials is to make the wood more persistent and less vulnerable to breaking or moving. The stabilized wood knife handle is more substantial than the original wood handle. It minimizes or eliminates warping, cracking and other issues that can occur with wood when used under extreme circumstances.

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