Handle material - What do you prefer
Ive tried a lot of handles over the past years, from plastic, wood, micarta and horn.
What are your favorite handle material and why?
I really like wood, as long as its not too slick i feel it offers a great feel, looks good, and has grip when its whet. Some micarta is ok to but overall tend to not like it quite as much.
Ebony. Looks good, feels good.
Dymondwood...easy to get, easy to work, STABLE, lots of variety, can take anyone's abuse, looks good, polishes beautifully, very economical, etc. One thing I really like about this stuff is the visual effects of the layers that you can't get with anything else.
Stabilized wood...same as above, except looks GREAT, seems that the stabilizing enhances chatoyance in a lot of woods (most times) but is also significantly more costly. STABILIZING MUST BE DONE BY EXPERIENCE, QUALITY PEOPLE....if not it will be gummy, soft, spotty, etc. especially on spalted (rotted) woods...a real PITA!!!
Natural wood...easy to get, not so easy to work, desert ironwood, bubinga, and other really oily woods clog belts (I will not use cocobolo), Ebony...LOVE IT. Not so stable or durable...again depending on species. Usually looks great and relatively economical....depending on species.
Horn, antler, ivory, etc....SMELLY!!!!! but absolutely gorgeous!!!! Quality stuff is always EXPENSIVE!!!!! Somewhat stable if aged.
Micarta, G-10, carbon fiber, corian, other composites.....SAA Dymondwood just more expensive and working with it is a challenge. Fiberous composites cover you with fine dust due to inherant static. Can also be very itchy...wear a long sleeve shirt w/a button up collar. Is also toxic if heated to melting or burning point. The other composites that are not fiber reinforced are more like working Dymonwood/stabilized wood.
I use and like all of them for different reasons and applications. I also always were a respirator no matter what I'm working with.
Hope this helps.
I prefer figured woods. Generally I only like horn, antlers, etc in accent, ferrule, buttcap...
I do not like the appearance of micarta or dymondwood. But that is just me.
Woods for me. I like the wide variety of looks that are available, and I like the feel of a wood handle.
Horn, teeth, etc. are generally more for accent if the knife will be an 'everyday knife', although I have seen pics of some full handles, like Bill Burke's, that look really nice. I got to see the knife with the tooth handle SpikeC made for Son; it is really cool, but to me it is more of an art piece/ sentimental piece then an everyday tool.
I've seen some micarta I liked, and a lot I did not. Since I am a home cook, I do not have to deal with health department prohibitions against wood, which often drives some of the pros to go with micarta.
I prefer a wood handle, highly figured wood if possible. I even prefer wood for the accents. I am not against other things in the handle but if I have the ability to choose, I choose wood.
I definitely prefer woods or horn.
The feel and the looks works well for me.
Simple, clean and elegant when done right.
That said, I do prefer a more subtle look for my handles, so burl is a total turn-off for me.
Way too noisy, and imho, quite tacky looking.
I like a nice handle carefully crafted by someone else. Natural materials are best, but the "someone else" is key. Not everyone has the skill to make a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing knife handle, no matter how fine the material. It's more difficult than it might appear . . my last attempt looks like it was made by a Cub Scout.