View Full Version : Evolution of knife handles

07-17-2012, 05:19 PM
Just a thought.

Does anybody know why Japanese knife handles are (for the most part) cylinders, and European handles are a kind of 4 sided jobby with a hook at the base of the heel?

07-17-2012, 06:21 PM
Let's add to this. Why do Western knives have the full length bolster or finger guard or what ever it's called?

07-17-2012, 07:21 PM
A modified cylinder is always going to be the most universal and versatile handle shape. The more you attempt to "evolve" into a curvey, heavily contoured shape, the more you actually limit the variety of grips and the range of hand shapes and sized that it will feel comfortable too.

That said, Michael Rader, Dave Martel, and Adam Marr are 3 guys that are making what I would consider "highly evolved" handles that feel great, support all of the major grips and styles as well as a wide range of hand sizes.
However, if you look carefully at their designs you will see that the genius is all in the small, nuanced details that you can miss if you don't look closely. Evolution is a culmination of many very small steps.

07-18-2012, 09:40 PM
It is odd, that many of the newer styles of handles actually detract from their usefulness. The first time I held an ergonomically designed soft-grip chefs knife in a kitchen, I couldn't help but feel something wasn't right. Especially when I started cutting chicken. And even when I started getting used to it, it almost felt like I was cheating.

Oddly enough, I love my soft-grip serrated offsets, with a very unique handle shape... but I use those more for juggling than I do for cooking these days, so I'm not sure if that should count as an improvement from a purely culinary point of view.

07-18-2012, 10:04 PM
lol Welcome Egoyte.

07-19-2012, 01:09 AM
Easier to make.