Overmolded Handles

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Sep 23, 2021
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I’ve been trying for a while to make “low maintenance” kitchen knives, primarily as gifts (most people don’t take great care of knives). One of the roads that led me down was casting epoxy handles over my own stainless blades.


All of the knives shown are AEB-L with an epoxy following FDA criteria for ingredients and migration for food safety, with a high heat deflection temperature, for the handles. I know you shouldn’t run a nice knife through a dishwasher, but it doesn’t kill these ones. I currently have made molds for chef and paring knives (which with a slightly thicker blade became my main trout fishing knife, the one in green and black). If you’re careful, you can overmold a second material, like silicone for grip. Below are a few shots of the mold making/casting process. Thanks fie looking, questions and feedback on the designs certainly welcomed!

Something you don't see every day. Very cool. What does the tang inside the handles look like? Is this easier/cheaper than a full tang construction?
Thanks! It's been an interesting journey to acquire all of the skills and equipment to be able to actually make these.


Here is a picture of a bunch of blades before grinding. The tangs get some notches like the last one but I leave the to the end so they are more comfortable to hold onto.

As for cost, I would say they are a fair bit cheaper to make in time and materials than a knife with a "typical" handle for me if you consider one with the same heat/moisture resistance (such as resin scales + corby fasteners):

For materials ~$18 less:
-4 Oz of the resin I use is $3.67, typical cast scales are ~$15
-3 stainless Corby fasteners $6.75, $0 for the cast handle

For time ~ 1 15 minutes hour less:
- 30 minutes to degas and pour resin vs 1 hour to drill, fit up, and glue a hidden tang
- 30 minutes to clean up vs 1 hour to shape and finish a hidden tang
- Grinding takes ~ 15 mins less with easier transition to tang

Consumables ~$5 less:
- No sanding belts used for handle shaping

Pain and suffering, priceless:
- Grinding is much easier with no cross section change from blade to tang
- You can have a beer while waiting for the resin to degas
- No worrying about ruining the knife while shaping the handle with power tools

For a chef knife like this, you can shave off 1/3 -1/2 the cost of the knife, depending on other factors. As for easier, I would say that making molds has a steep learning curve and is always time consuming, but using them is pretty straight forward.