These beauties look as good to the eye as they feel in the hand.
Synthetics have made great strides in knife handles and rightfully so. They can be tough, ergonomic and attractive. But there’s something about the innate beauty and warm feel of natural handle materials that synthetics, try as they will, probably will never duplicate—not that they won’t keep trying.
Michael Deibert: Curly Maple
A curly maple handle on the steering end of a 6-inch ladder-pattern damascus blade gives ABS journeyman smith Michael Deibert’s hunter a rich natural look. The guard is stainless steel. (Jocelyn Frasier image)
Denis Tyrell: Maple Burl
A maple burl handle fluted and wire wrapped and a 10-inch blade of spectacular Ocean Sunset damascus forged in a collaboration with Rick Hall top off Denis Tyrell’s dagger. Overall length: 16 inches. (SharpByCoop image)
Anthony Stovall: Sambar Stag
Anthony Stovall opts for a Sambar stag handle and a bronze guard and buttcap for his hunter in a blade of Robert Eggerling damascus. Overall length: 9 inches. (Jocelyn Frasier image)
Scott Gallagher: Biggs Jasper
ABS master smith Scott Gallagher goes what for him is a different route with the Escalante, a lockback folder in a mirror-polished frame of 416 stainless steel and inlay of Biggs jasper stone. Blade and closed lengths: 3 and 4.5 inches. (Jocelyn Frasier image)
Frank Edwards: Mother-Of-Pearl
A handle of mother-of-pearl with 24k-gold borders and nitro-blued liners and a 4-inch blade of feather damascus highlight an automatic folding dagger by Frank Edwards. Closed length: 5 inches. (Jocelyn Frasier image)
Jim Perkins: Stabilized Maple
An orange stabilized maple handle and a 9-inch blade of a damascus of 272 layers of 1095 carbon and 15N20 nickel-alloy steels complete a Filipino barong by Jim Perkins based on one his wife used as a child. Overall length: 13.5 inches. Blade grind: convex. (SharpByCoop image)
Casey Vilensky: Koa Wood & Mammoth Tooth
Koa wood and a mammoth tooth bolster complete the handle of Casey Vilensky’s gyuto. The 12.5-inch blade is carbon damascus. Casey’s list price for a similar knife: $4,000. (SharpByCoop image)
More On Knife Handles:
- Best method to stabilize wood handles
- Hall-Of-Frame Handles
- G10 Knife Handles: Are They The Best?
- The Best Knife Handle-to-Blade Ratio
Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.
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