Pocket Knife Handle Materials

The handle material of a pocket knife can affect its usability and comfort, potentially resulting in it being your go-to EDC knife or sitting sad and lonely at the bottom of that junk drawer in your kitchen. We all have that drawer. And we all have those sad knives. But it doesn't have to be that way! Here's a quick guide to knife handle materials to give you a gander at which type you might like best:

all pocket knife materials

STEEL

steel pocket knife

Steel (almost always "stainless steel" in the handle) is a very popular material in pocket knives, and kitchen knives as well. The benefits of it are that it is strong, durable, and easy to clean. The only downside is weight... it can be a chunky monkey. However, it is a great choice for a user knife that you know you will beat on. 

 

 

CARBON FIBER

carbon fiber pocket knife

Carbon fiber (CF or just "carbon") has been used for many years as a luxury material in knives. It is lightweight, durable and makes you look like a high-speed boss. It comes in shred carbon fiber, Fat Carbon with acrylic mixed in, and carbon fiber laminate-- usually G10 with a thin veneer of CF. The WE Banter in Carbon Fiber is a solid example of a great knife with CF handles. 

 

 

TITANIUM

titanium pocket knife

Titanium is 45% lighter than steel, but just as strong. This makes Ti a popular metal for knives and medical implants alike. New knife? Titanium. New knee? Also titanium. Titanium is very hard, so it's more expensive to mill and machine-- resulting in higher market prices.  Bonus: heat up titanium, and it anodizes to be shiny colors. Taste the rainbow! 

 

 

ALUMINUM

aluminum pocket knifeAluminum is a popular knife handle material that can be found in practically every price point. This metal can also be anodized or coated to almost any color, and is even lighter than titanium. Not quite as strong as steel, but at only a third of the weight it makes for a great handle in an everyday carry piece. 

 

 

 

POLYMER

polymer pocket knife

Polymer (read: plastic) is a great entry point to the pocket knife world due to its amazing durability, customizability, and low price point. Some of the most popular pocket knives are made in Polymer, AKA FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon). Polymer scales allow for cool designs like those you'll see in our shop.

 

 

 

G10

G10 pocket knife

You can't go wrong with G10. It's layers of fiberglass glued together with epoxy resin to create a lightweight, durable, and great grip. It's incredibly popular. If you want a knife you know you will use, we recommend this material. Check out the WE Banter, the Civivi Baby Banter, and the Knafs Lander for some great G10 options.

 

 

 

MICARTA

micarta pocket knifeMicarta is fabric layers pressed together with resin. The result is a lightweight and durable material that works well when wet and develops a beautiful patina over time and use. Caution: Micarta is a natural material so it expands and shrinks with the environment it's in. Don't use it structurally. We learned the hard way. We e offer the Big Banter, the Original Banter, Baby Banter, and Lander Micarta.  

 

 

 

NATURAL

natural material pocket knife

Includes: wood, bone, abalone, mother of pearl, leather, pine cones, mammoth molar, etc. Many of these materials are found more in the traditional spectrum of pocket knives, but have become more popular in the form of inlays in the industry. Think of what your grandpa used to carry vs what you carry today! Materials have come a long way, but it is definitely nostalgic to use and carry something with a traditional taste. Check out our wood models! Baby Banter & Original Banter.