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bandaidman1 01-12-2002 09:51 AM

Most secure handle material

What is the best handle material you have found for a knife that will be used in a wet enviroment? ie fishing. Both grip security and comfort should be considered.

I love the look and feel of linen micarta and G-10 but they tend to be slick when wet unless they are "roughed up". The canvas micarta as on a busse knife is secure but is ugly and not particlularly pleasant to hold.

Recently picked up some carbon fibre handled knives but have not really tested them.

Cord wrapping can be quite secure but I do not find it a very good material for a utility blade (martial blade would be another issue).

Had a nice little stag Bird and trout once. It was really "nubbly" and felt great and was secure even wet. However after a few seasons it did not wear as well as I had hoped.

Any other thoughts?

JHossom 01-12-2002 10:15 AM

My personal favorite is Canvas Micarta. It is very grippy, and stays that way when wet. Linen Micarta gets smooth pretty quickly with handling.

On that subject though, it's my firm belief that a knife should not depend on tactile feel for grip security. I think the handle should be sufficiently ergonomic to provide a secure grip even if it's dipped in oil. That of course is just this knifemaker's opinion.

BTW, I do think cord wrapped handles like on Striders is very grippy, and is easily replaced to restore it if it gets damaged. There's really no reason that handle can't be done well on any knife style besides tacticals; it just isn't.

bandaidman1 01-12-2002 11:07 PM

Great points Jerry

Do you "rough up" your canvas micarta or does it grip well even in a sanded state?

I concur with your post regarding ergonomics. Not a lot of makers or manufacturers seem to emphasize that enough. I have a highly polished linen micarta blade that I can hang onto well secondary to its design (by your bud Tom Mayo). Had another blade (by a different maker) that always made me nervous to use. Needless to say I gave it away....

ERIC ELSON 01-12-2002 11:28 PM

My favourites are G-10 and Carbon fiber.
I like them both because they are stable in most environments. Also I like the Grippy texture G-10 gets when you beadblast it.
I do agree that texture should not be the relied on for proper grip though.



JHossom 01-13-2002 12:09 AM

I sand Canvas Micarta to about 400 grit, and leave it there. When it gets wet, the water seems to get into the fabric, causing it to swell a little. So if anything it is even grippier when wet.

Is "grippier" a word? :)

Rob Simonich 01-13-2002 07:19 PM

I started doing a grip texture back in the mid 80's that I called "Gunner Grip" I was making knives for FBI teams here in Montana and they wanted a grip that was not too harsh but grippy. This particular knife has Grn/Blk G-10 with the Gunner Grip texture. It works very well!

JHossom 01-13-2002 08:23 PM

Nice knife Rob! That grip looks like a LOT of work. Should be a great feel though.

Rob Simonich 01-13-2002 09:11 PM

Takes me 20 minutes to do a knife Jerry!

Don Halter 01-14-2002 08:55 AM

What exactly is G10? Does this have fiberglass or carbon fibers in it? More specifically, when working it, do you get covered with little fibers from anything? I keep seeing it pop up as handles and it really looks nice.

Don Halter

JHossom 01-14-2002 09:04 AM

It's fiberglass. Probably not as bad as what you're thinking for the prickly's, but certainly bad to breathe. Then again, most anything besides air isn't good for you.

jeffj 01-14-2002 06:16 PM


What do you use to get that effect?


WinDancer 01-14-2002 11:28 PM

Agressively Bead Blasted Canvas Micarta.


C L Wilkins 01-15-2002 07:09 AM

Most secure handle material

I bet he uses golf ball skins then dyes them black! :)
Lets see, 287 dimbles per golf ball, I figure about three and a half golf balls ought to do it!

Yeah, I know, I'm a lot of help...


jeffj 01-15-2002 07:37 AM

Thanks Craig! question: Where do you buy G10 golf balls? ;)


Rob Simonich 01-15-2002 05:11 PM

Nope, not blasted Micarta, that is a G-10 handle. It takes a real sharp knife to skin thos camo golf balls, and they are so hard to find! :D I zing it in with a 3/16ths ball in a Dremel tool, not near as hard as it looks.

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