Knife Handle Materials – Which One Should You Choose

Sharp Pebble Knife Care

Although, the blade is the primary element of a knife or any cutting tool; the handle also plays a key role in making it perfect for long-term use. Apart from the aesthetic feel of the knife of the knife, a quality handle plays a crucial role both ergonomically and functionally.  It makes the knife safe, easy to use and forgiving on your wrist.

There are plenty of materials that are used to make knife handles; some are better than the others. Today, we’ll discuss some of these and which ones should you choose.

  • Bone: Bones have been used for knife handles from the dawn of civilization. When people hunted, bones were used for several purposes, one of which was making handles for their tools. In the modern day, however, bones for handles come from expired animals. Not only are they sturdy but a well-crafted bone handle lends a distinct character to a knife.     

  • Wood: From custom Japanese knives to hunting knives, wooden handles can be seen on a wide variety of knives. Mainly because of ease of availability, wood has been in use for quite a while for knife handles. With good care, it will last for quite a while plus it looks great!

  • Aluminum: A knife handle made out of aluminum keeps the knife lightweight and makes it easy for the knife to be used for longer periods. Moreover, it won’t catch rust that easily. However, there’s a slight trade-off; it’s not ideal for outdoor use, especially in cold weather as aluminum can get pretty cold, making it uncomfortable to use. Also, aluminum is slippery; so it’s a good idea to choose a textured aluminum handle to prevent slipping.  


  • Stainless steel: A handle made out of stainless is strong and rust-resistant like aluminum. However, it will make the knife a bit heavy. Most knives with a stainless handle would have additional rubber to prevent slipping. 

  • Stag: If you happen to live near or around deer country, then you most likely would have used knives with handles crafted out of deer antlers. The material usually comes from antlers that deer shed naturally. They will last and are known for their striking patterns.

  • FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon): Most factory-produced knives have a handle made out of this material, mainly because it is cost effective, easy to work with and does the intended job well. Also, it needs the bare minimum of maintenance so you can literally abuse it.

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Here’s to sharp knives and great food!

Team Sharp Pebble           


  • Hi, Thanks for another Knife Tip

  • I like Kraton as knife handles. It makes it more comfortable to hold, is not slippery, has a cushioned feeling and doesn’t get very cold. Plus it looks good. I also like mastodon. It’s beautifully colored, but it does tend to shrink a little. And it’s very expensive. I was told dyed giraffe bone looks a lot like mastodon and is cheaper, and it doesn’t shrink like mastodon. 1 of my custom knives has a handle made out of mokume. It’s heavy but beautifully colored, when it’s 3-color and not polished. I also love pearl as handle material.

    Lester Levinson
  • Hi Salma, l have tried to download both of your sharpening books that you are sharing with us but neither will download for me ( iPad Pro) is it just me, or are others not able to either.
    Appreciate any help you can give
    Robbie Kennaugh

    Robert J Kennaugh
  • But witch one is the best handle to use

    James Albright

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