Wood - Knife Handle Material

Wood Knife Handle Info


Wood is a popular knife handle material and seems to have made a bit of a comeback in recent years. Many hardwoods do not need to be stabilized as they are hard and tough and not too porous. The more porous or weaker woods need to be stabilized before they are suitable for knife handle use.

Wood can come in different types of patters such as burl, ribbon or fiddleback and also mainy different types of grain when used on a knife will create a different effect such as a curvy grain or a straight grain. Some popular types of wood used in knife handles are:

  • Ebony
  • Cocobola
  • African Blackwood
  • Purple Heart
  • Bloodwood
  • Bocote
  • Bubinga
  • Rosewood
  • Imbuya
  • Ziricote
  • Snakewood
  • Black Palm
  • Desert Ironwood
  • Lignum Vitae
  • Maccassar Ebony

Stabilized Woods

Stabilized wood is wood that has all it's moisture and gasses pulled out of it, and then had an epoxy resin reabsorbed back into it, creating a stable wood that will not expand and contract with the climate. This is necessary for some woods, especially softer woods with alot of burl patterns such as Box Elder and Maple.

Some woods stabilize more easily than others, with some woods being very difficult to stabilize and much more unpredictable when used on a knife. Some popular types of stabilized wood include:

  • Box Elder Burl
  • Maple Burl, Fiddleback, Tiger, etc
  • Redwood Burl
  • Lacewood
  • Walnut
  • Zebrawood

Wood Examples