A camping knife is an essential tool for camping. These knives come in handy and perform different functions. It can be used in chopping foods, cutting rope, starting a fire, opening canned goods, or scaling a fish. It can be used as a defensive weapon for survival when attacked by an aggressive animal.
On a knife, it is important to choose something with a comfortable grip and a material that can be used for a long time. These knife handles differ from what you are expecting from a knife. Tons of material options are available, but which one is best suited for survival?
Some people look at the attractive appearance of a knife handle. For expert campers, considering this as the main factor in choosing a handle, is very wrong. It has the same importance as the knife’s blade since it is in contact with the hands.
These handles support the blade and contribute to the performance of the knife. It also determines the amount of grip and level of control. An excellent knife handle should have thermal stability, water and chemical resistance, and excellent grip. A knife handle that is not suitable for a specific work can increase a person’s level of fatigue.
This article will help you determine which things are needed to consider, the materials that can be used, their characteristics, and pros and cons.
What are the Criteria for Choosing a Knife Handle?
On choosing a knife handle, the most important thing to consider is durability, especially for a survival knife. An ideal knife handle should have thermal stability and water and chemical resistance. It should withstand extreme outdoor conditions.
The grip of the handle should be made from a material that will give you ease. The need for a grippy and easy to hold handle should be considered in choosing a survival knife. A survival knife is intended to be used in the wilderness where the environment is most likely unpleasant.
When you are in a difficult situation in the middle of the woods, the knife should be comfortable to handle. The comfortability of the handle could improve techniques that can be used with the survival knife.
What are the 3 Types of Knife Handle Materials?
The most common handle of a survival knife is metal. A titanium handle is a lightweight material and offers a very good grip and high resistance to corrosion. However, it can be quite expensive and is proven to have scratches.
Stainless steel can also be used as a handle. It is resistant to rust, scratches, and dents. Unlike titanium, this weighs more and can be unpleasant to hold on in cold temperatures but can be coated with a different material for the grip.
When considering the appearance of the handle, using an aluminum can be chosen. These are highly customizable and can be finished with color. Like the other metal handles, this is a lightweight and strong material and also resistant to corrosion.
Micarta is made from linen, paper, or canvas that is soaked in phenolic resin. The material has been proven durable since it has been used for over a century. This is because Micarta is known to be more grippy once it’s wet.
A type of synthetic rubber is called Kraton. It is a durable material and can provide a good grip. This material is soft and comfortable and provides pure traction. However, water can soak up on the rubber handle which can be uncomfortable to use.
Almost similar to carbon fiber, the G-10 is made from fiberglass. The material is extremely tough, strong, and lightweight which makes it good for the outdoors. Checkered patterns on the handle add texture and comfortability to grip on. G-10 is one of the strongest materials for knife handles since it does not rust, but it can be brittle when exposed to different temperatures over time.
Carbon fiber is a non-metallic material, which assures you that this is corrosion-proof. It is chemical resistant and is stronger than metals. Production of carbon fiber requires an intensive process, which makes it expensive and is only available on higher-end knives.
The leather material is often found on survival knives. This is cheaper than other materials and gives a traditional look to knives. But it lacks strength and durability which makes it rare on knife handles in this modern time. The material is porous which makes it prone to rotting.
Bones are one of the earliest materials that are used in knife handles. It comes from a variety of naturally deceased animals such as elephants and giraffes. It can give a pleasing appearance to the handle but it can be very slippery and is prone to cracking and chipping. The material has to be kept dry since it absorbs moisture which may affect its stability.
The use of wood as a knife handle provides warmth to the touch and can be used for a longer time if maintained properly. Hardwoods such as beech, oak, and walnut are the most commonly used in making handles since these are more resistant to penetration. Its waterproof finishes protect the material against moisture and water which causes decaying.
What are the Designs of Knife Handles?
Like the materials used, the design of the handle also contributes to its comfortable grip. Some knives have finger guards that add extra safety when using the knife. This is not necessary but you can consider getting a knife with grooves to make sure that the knife fits the hands well.
Certain coatings and treatments are done to the handle to improve durability and aesthetics. Bead blasting provides a rougher surface but is more prone to rusting. In the process of anodizing, the material is coated with an oxide layer to make it waterproof and more durable.
Before choosing a knife handle, it is important to determine the use and weigh the performance of every material. It is better to choose something resistant to humidity. It should be suitable for camping and survival and is not prone to cracking.
Here is our recommendation for the best knife handle materials:
Last update on 2023-09-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API