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View Full Version : Your favorite handle(s)?



Don Nguyen
02-22-2012, 11:45 AM
Or eye-opening. Or inspiring. Or just plain drooly.

Pictures please :) I'm looking for ideas and inspiration for handle designs and shapes.

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When I first saw this picture of a Martell knife (I will remove this picture if I'm overstepping boundaries), something clicked in my head. I thought, "Woah, that tapers a lot all along the width from the butt to the front. I like that. Kind of a lot." I was so used to octagon handles and how they didn't have such dramatic tapers.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1459&d=1313350845


A long time ago I saw some Chroma knives. Very interesting, incredibly out-of-the-box, and in my eyes, very good looking. Maybe they don't work that well, but the lines flow and are sleek.

http://www.design-mode.co.uk/workspace/images/backgrounds/type-301-chroma-knife-bgr.jpg


This is a knife I used before I got more serious with knives in general. I take a lot of inspiration from this knife to be honest, because it was my favorite back then. I use it as reference for many of the dimensions of the knives I make, such as heel height, handle size, etc. The part that stuck out most to me was the butt of the handle, how it angles downward, rather than upward.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/417633_10150593196143051_688303050_9106105_5733288 62_n.jpg


Of course, Japanese octagon and d handles struck my fancy practically instantly when I got into cutlery.

http://i02.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/101/805/104/1277886928044_us-myalibaba-web6_290.jpg
http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/7220/dsc1295.jpg
http://japan-blades.com/wp-content/uploads/jec-09-handle.jpg

If I am out-of-line by using any of these pictures, I will remove/replace them. Thanks for your time :)

kalaeb
02-22-2012, 11:53 AM
I like my handles a little more curvy so I prefer western handles. it seems as most here prefer octogon handles.

Andy777
02-22-2012, 12:14 PM
I'm a big fan of a handle that tapers into the blade (for easing into the pinch grip). I pretty much across the board dislike handles with a square 90* drop when the handle meets the blade. Even on my wa-style octagon knives I taper in the last inch and a half. On my western style handle I also do the same. I like a round belly and a taper in to the blade like the Martell handle you posted first. That one is basically like my ideal western handle only with a fatter rounder mid section and a taper again towards the butt.

stevenStefano
02-22-2012, 03:45 PM
I like Western handles, they sort of feel like a part of the knife more than wa handles I find, they just fit into your hand a little easier. I asked Tilman/Rottman to rehandle my 270 Western Konosuke a while ago and he modified the handle slightly to add a downward curve at the end. Fish had a lot of Western handles like this and I always liked them and wanted to sort of recreate the look. I think it fits into you hand a little better than the more usual Western handles, and I also think it looks pretty cool. Great work by Tilman

http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x433/stevenStefano/IMG_0464.jpg
http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x433/stevenStefano/IMG_0441.jpg
http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x433/stevenStefano/IMG_0407.jpg
http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x433/stevenStefano/IMG_0439.jpg

GlassEye
02-22-2012, 11:28 PM
I never liked western handles or much taper in a handle, so finding Japanese knives with wa-handles was life changing. I prefer octagon because the flat sections give me the ability to feel for blade alignment, even when using various grips. Nice wood + horn ferrule + octagon is pretty much the perfect handle in my opinion.

JLH
02-23-2012, 04:30 PM
steven, I was wondering as your in the UK do you know anyone in the UK that does re-handles? sorry to go a little off topic

VoodooMajik
02-23-2012, 04:57 PM
I love the handle on my classic ikon santoku

http://steamykitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/santoku-640x145.png

stevenStefano
02-23-2012, 05:46 PM
steven, I was wondering as your in the UK do you know anyone in the UK that does re-handles? sorry to go a little off topic

Tilman, or Rottman as he is known on the forum rehandled mine and he is in Germany. It ain't that far away, postage isn't that bad to Germany. The price was also pretty good, I'd highly recommend him. Not sure I can think of anyone in the UK, maybe Will but he seems very very busy. Perhaps some of the other UK posters can help me out?

JLH
02-23-2012, 05:56 PM
Thanks, your handle looks pretty good on that kono.

Citizen Snips
02-23-2012, 11:01 PM
octagon wa-handles all the way. i do not care for "D" handles at all

if i absolutely had to use a western handle, the one on that HD looks pretty sweet as far as how i would think it handles, and not the color etc

mr drinky
02-23-2012, 11:27 PM
Or eye-opening. Or inspiring. Or just plain drooly.

Pictures please :) I'm looking for ideas and inspiration for handle designs and shapes.

-----

When I first saw this picture of a Martell knife (I will remove this picture if I'm overstepping boundaries), something clicked in my head. I thought, "Woah, that tapers a lot all along the width from the butt to the front. I like that. Kind of a lot." I was so used to octagon handles and how they didn't have such dramatic tapers.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1459&d=1313350845



Well, Don, that first knife is mine, so I can tell you first hand that it is very comfortable. When I first saw it I was also struck by the taper, but to tell you the truth, I have never really noticed it when cutting. Dave was going to do metal (or mokume) bolsters at first but that didn't work out, so on his first knives he went to a micarta bolster instead. I imagine working with that medium versus metal changed how he made the taper (at least in the beginning). But he could answer that better than I.

As for handles. I like wa in general, but it isn't that simple. I like Devin's squashed octagon handles but also like Del's modified full-tang wa handles. With that said, D-shaped are my real favorite. I'm not sure why. I have two and the way that they fit my hand is perfect. Western handles I love but as far as feel while cutting, they are my least favorite. With that said, I have some amazing rehandled knives and I love them no matter what I think about handle style and feel.

k.

boar_d_laze
02-24-2012, 10:02 AM
It's obviously grip and user dependent; there's no such thing as a best handle. My aesthetic favors beautiful handles in pictures, but not in my kitchen where it prefers more severely conservative styles. I have large hands and an extremely soft grip style; consequently most handles work pretty well for me, but there are a few standouts.


Sabatier, three-rivet style;
Sabatier, Nogent style;
Forschner Rosewood;
MAC Pro;
Konosuke, old style with the half-round bottom; and
Tadatsuna (stock).


On the other hand, some styles are so awkward, they make using the knife difficult and uncomfortable. No matter how accomodating my grip is (or isn't), they're just fit wrong.

Chroma;
Alton Angle (remember that?);
Ken Onion;
Damn near anything "ergo"; and
Glestain, to name a God awful few.


BDL

Sarge
02-24-2012, 10:15 AM
My preference is for wa handles. Octagonal or D shaped doesn't really matter much although I do prefer octagonal of the two. Western handles are fine enough I guess but with the way I grip the knife wa just works and feels better.

heldentenor
02-24-2012, 11:09 AM
I don't find that handles affect my grip since I pinch on the blade just in front of the bolster. I'm therefore much more interested in how the handle balances the knife and how it reflects the quality of the knife as a whole than I am in a particular shape (never could buy into the "great blade--really cheap handle" knives that people sometimes rave about). My favorite handle to date has been the quilted figured maple handle that Dave put on my Hiromoto 240, but I'm eagerly awaiting a Marko 225mm suji/petty with a macassar ebony handle that I'm sure will blow me away!

El Pescador
02-24-2012, 02:11 PM
487148724873

heldentenor
02-24-2012, 02:19 PM
Marr, DT, Ealy?

El Pescador
02-24-2012, 02:28 PM
Close, Martell rehandle with Ealy Mokume Gane pins, with heirloom Koa from Burlsource. Next is a brushed Wenge from DT,this is a great handle medium. Last is an Ealy 240mm gyuto in O1 with a split wa in redwood eyeburl with a maple burl bolster.

Pesky