Interesting and valid points dmcurtis, franzb69, and panda. And I agree, ultimately handles should be utilitarian. That being said I'm using my knives at home, not in a super intensive work environment, and IMHO the pinch grip minimizes slippery handle issues. I'll see how the handles on my SS Heiji's are when they get here in February, but I definitely have a preference towards the more finished end of the spectrum. If they are very rough, I may consider doing some work on them.