Types of Knife Handles: A Guide to Finding the Perfect Grip

Types of Knife Handles

Knife handles come in a variety of materials, each offering different aesthetics, durability, grip, and maintenance requirements. The handle material can greatly influence the overall look and feel of a knife. Here are some common types of knife handles:

1. Wood Handles

Wood handles are a classic and popular choice for knives. They offer a warm, natural aesthetic and a comfortable grip. Common types of wood used for knife handles include hardwoods like rosewood, walnut, birch, and oak. Wood handles can be finished with oils or varnishes to enhance their durability and moisture resistance.

2. Micarta Handles

Micarta is a composite material made from layers of fabric, such as linen or canvas, that are impregnated with resin. It is then compressed and cured to create a dense and durable material. Micarta handles are known for their strength, stability, and resistance to moisture and chemicals. They often have a textured surface for improved grip.

3. G10 Handles

G10 is a type of fiberglass laminate that is lightweight, strong, and resistant to heat and moisture. It is made by stacking multiple layers of fiberglass cloth soaked in resin, which are then compressed and baked. G10 handles offer excellent durability, grip, and resistance to environmental factors, making them popular for tactical and outdoor knives.

4. Stainless Steel Handles

Stainless steel handles provide a sleek and modern appearance. They are often made from stainless steel that matches the blade material, creating a uniform look. Stainless steel handles are highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and easy to clean. They can have textured patterns or be machined for enhanced grip.

5. Bone Handles

Bone handles offer a unique and traditional look. They are typically made from animal bone, such as cow bone or stag horn. Bone handles can be left natural or dyed for a more decorative appearance. They provide a comfortable grip and can develop a smooth patina over time.

6. Synthetic Handles

Synthetic handles encompass a wide range of materials, including plastics like ABS, Zytel, or polypropylene. These handles are often lightweight, durable, and resistant to moisture and chemicals. Synthetic handles can be molded with textured patterns or ergonomically shaped to provide a comfortable and secure grip.

7. Rubber Handles

Rubber handles offer excellent grip and shock absorption. They are often made from materials like Kraton or Santoprene. Rubber handles provide a secure hold, even in wet conditions, and are comfortable for extended use. They are commonly found on tactical, hunting, and outdoor knives.

8. Carbon Fiber Handles

Carbon fiber handles are lightweight, strong, and have a modern, high-tech appearance. They are constructed from layers of carbon fiber fabric infused with epoxy resin. Carbon fiber handles offer exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal. They are often used in high-end and custom knives.


The choice of knife handle material depends on personal preference, intended use, and desired aesthetics. Each type of handle material offers its own unique characteristics in terms of durability, grip, maintenance, and visual appeal. Consider the factors that are important to you, such as comfort, durability, and style, when selecting a knife with a handle material that best suits your needs.