Custom Handle Materials

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Customize your Handmade Knife With Your Choice of Handle Materials!

Part of the pleasure of purchasing a custom handmade knife is getting to choose the unique handle material for that knife, and honestly most people will see the handle before they look at the blade. Being a custom knife maker in WNC, I try to source my handle materials locally, sometimes as locally as my own woodpile or a neighbor's dead dogwood! Some folks prefer wood, some prefer some other synthetic material, and all are available at Keith Nix Knives. Handle materials come in a variety of forms and colors, from impervious synthetics to natural woods. With all the choices available, it's easy to pick a color scheme for your kitchen set, or select a beautiful stained or dyed wood for your favorite sheath knife. Let's explore some of the available options. Or you can view some of the handles I've created by clicking HERE!


Natural wood-
This category is literally as diverse as the trees in the forest. Maple is a favorite, with all its figure types, from birds eye to flame, Ambrosia to spalted, burl to curly. But there are other woods including fruit woods like apple, mango, and cherry, nut woods such as oak, pecan, and walnut, and exotics like desert ironwood and rosewood. Lighter colored woods can be dyed a rainbow of colors to suit your personal taste while still showing the unique grain pattern of the wood itself.

All the handle woods I use at Keith Nix Knives have been stabilized. That is a process where a polymer resin is forced into the wood using both vacuum and high pressure, then heated to harden the resin. The wood is then stable and resists changes due to humidity and temperature. Dyes can also be incorporated into the stabilizing resin, creating color that isn't on the wood, but IN the wood. 

G-10 is the designation for a glass-based epoxy resin laminate. What that means is that you take a glass-based cloth (fiberglass, in other words), soak it in an epoxy resin, and then using heat and pressure compress it into the shape you want. This material is impervious to liquids, is a great choice for professional kitchens, and comes in a variety of colors and combinations of colors. It can be finished to satin or high gloss, and is quite low maintenance.

Micarta is compressed and laminated too, but it is primarily made from burlap, linen, paper, or canvas rather than glass. The laminate layers are bonded with a phenolic resin, which are then compressed with heat to become a hard material that is commonly found in many types of kitchen knives. Micarta generally offers more subdued colors and slightly better grip than G10. Micarta is not capable of a high gloss finish. 

Please contact me with any questions you might have about the handle materials for your custom knives!

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