A great knife handle makes a better knife to use comfortably. People who are passionate about knives spend a lot of time and money while deciding about their handles. You have to look for a lot many factors like; wood density, durability, ease of handling, aesthetics, etc. The best way to find the right wood is to go through expert reviews and guides.
In this segment, I will take you over to the best wood for knife handles that you can get this year. My goal is to lay it out bare to help you choose better. Let’s get into it then!
Table of Contents
What to look for when choosing the best wood for knife handles?
A buyer’s guide helps a lot in elucidating the actual concept. You must know what to look for in a wood that is the best for knife handles. Honestly, this part is dedicated to beginners because they do not have a clear idea about what to look for.
So, if you are a beginner, kindly pay special attention here!
1. Wood Type
First of all, decide if you are going for wood or a composite. Once you have switched on to wood, you have to be clear about certain aspects. The first out of them is the hardness. That only matters in the case of hardwood most of the time. So, you should be clear about the fact that hardwood will go with knife handles.
Once you are clear on this, next, you have to look for the type of hardwood you want. There is a variety of them, and you will find out about that in the reviews. But things should be crystal clear in your head.
2. Texture and Grains
The next thing to notice is the texture and grains because it is very important. Normally, knives are not expensive because they are manufactured in that way. But when you DIY, that means you are putting in an extra effort, and ultimately, you should achieve strength, aesthetics, durability.
The texture is important in the same way to impart beauty, and so is the case with the grains. So, you should keep in mind both of these things before buying the product.
The next thing is to check the feasibility that whether you can obtain the desired results and finish using this product or not. So, the working techniques and the type of wood both should converge into that feasibility criterion. You should achieve a great finish using the material, and that mostly depends on the material, in case you are skilled enough already.
A knife should serve you endlessly, and your interest in that is determined by the durability of the handle you use for it. Here, durability is gained by strength, sustainability, and other relevant features. So, make sure that the product you choose is durable enough to serve for longer.
Because when you make the knife handle yourself, you create a bond with it. It should not be delicate to go bad before time and break your heart.
This is compulsory as well as optional at the same time. I mean, if you are working on knives only, then the wood must be compatible with it. Like, you can not just use softwood for this purpose.
Similarly, if you are interested in multiple options like using it for making gun grips and stuff, then this is compulsory to have a widely compatible material. In other cases, it can be discarded.
When you are doing stuff with your hands, that means the material should be work-friendly for you. Handling is important, especially if you are a beginner. You should be able to handle the material easy to achieve the required shape
7. Strength and Density
When we talk about knife handles that have to go through a variety of stresses and external conditions, strength and density are important. The strength makes it durable and long-lasting, whereas density reduces the pores, and the product becomes great to use for knife handles.
The last thing that I would like to add here is the budget. You keep your budget and cost in mind before buying something. My suggestion is that you should not think typically and find your favorite product at an affordable price.
Comparison table of Top 10 wood for knife handles
|Beautiful patterns||Check Price|
|Payne Bros Wood Scales||Pack of 5 woods||Variety available||Check Price|
|Book matched pattern||Check Price|
|Buddha4all Resin Scales||Custom||Wide compatibility||Check Price|
|Payne Bros Bamboo Wood||Bamboo block||Robust wood||Check Price|
|Buffalo Horn Knife Scales||Buffalo horn||High strength||Check Price|
|Payne Bros Tiger Maple||Tiger Maple||Good hardness factor||Check Price|
|Payne Bros Zebra Wood||Zebrawood||Heavy wood||Check Price|
|Black Walnut Knife Scales||Walnut||Amazing textures & ultra-strong Wood||Check Price|
|Aibote 1 Pair Desert||Desert Ironwood||Easy to handle||Check Price|
Our 10 Picks of best wood for knife handles Review
Now, I will review one-by-one the products I mentioned in the comparison table. I will try to elucidate the aspects of all the products. Also, there are some aspects that I will compare and grade for every product. Keep noted that A+ is for the best while C is for the least. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
1. Texas Knifemakers Supply Knife Handle Scales
Ease of Handling: A+
Let’s turn it on with my first choice; Texas Knifemakers Supply Knife Handle Scales. There are several reasons that I have kept this product on top. Let’s find out!
First off, the wood type is phenomenal, and the reason behind it is the appearance; I mean the unique outlook of snakeskin pattern due to which it is called snakewood. Not only the appearance but also the strength is amazing.
This is hardwood, and when we discuss it in this category, you will experience some great density and hardness in this piece of wood.
Secondly, you get good dimensions in this deal so that you could not only easily get your knife handle but also obtain a great finish with freedom. But keep in mind to use a sealer for bringing out colors and closing the pores.
Trust me; these are exotic knife-handle wood blocks owing to all the mentioned aspects. If we summarize the reasons, here you get some beautiful grain patterns, great strength for higher durability, higher density for low porosity.
Thirdly, you will get surprised by the handling of this wood. Where many kinds of wood get over dry, this wood, due to the wood scales covered in wax on both ends, minimizes shrinkage as well.
One thing that I would like to add here is that this wood is not the same all the time. Rather, the grain pattern varies. But the general kind is the same.
So, all in all, it is a perfect choice for your knife handle. Go try it out!
- Great density and hardness owing to the type
- Snakewood is amazing in density and porosity
- Great to handle due to balanced wax
- Great durability owing to the strength of wood
2. Variety Pack of 5 Wood Scales by Payne Bros
Ease of Handling: A+
On the second spot, you have a variety pack that is also my follow-up product. You should buy it if you need multiple options; I mean if you want to make five handles of different colors and enjoy your work! Let’s discuss them.
Now, if you are looking for the best wood for knife scales, that simply means you want quality and aesthetics at the same time.
Through this product, you have not only great quality but also the proper hardness to make it durable and cherish for a long time.
Keep note that the wood that you will get won’t be 100% the same as of picture because the wood doesn’t have an identical grain pattern throughout. Rather, it varies. But it still would be beautiful.
I would like to highlight another point here owing to the greatness of this product that if you are a beginner and do not know much about knifemaking, then do not worry because this is a great product to handle and you can make a knife using it quite effectively.
Talking about the variety, you get hickory, Bubinga, shedua, maple, and walnut. These hardwoods with great grain density and hardness, along with the perfect grain pattern to enhance the beauty, are just perfect for a knife lover.
Now, if you are someone who is looking for a pack of different kinds of woods to make unmatched knives, then I would highly recommend you this product.
- Pack of 5 to ensure variety
- Great hardness to make sure durability
- The beauty of the product is unbeatable once finished
- It is very handy and easy to make a knife handle for you, even if you are a beginner
3. Bookmatched Zebrawood Knife Scales
Ease of Handling: A+
On the third spot, I present to you the Book-matched product! Maragos Wood offers you this amazing zebrawood that has crosscut type grains. The pattern in this product is phenomenal. Trust me; once you finish it into a knife handle, the beauty is classical and breathtaking.
The wood size is also ideal for you to do the necessary procedure on it to come up with something great.
Now, you know that natural wood is something genuine, and it has its charm and strength. When you get some amazing grain patterns like zebrawood, then it will not be just strength but also beauty as well. This makes it a good wood for knife handles.
Suppose you are passionate about hunting and knives. Then this wood will make a great knife in a product.
So, what is here that is not to like? These scales provide the perfect mirror once finished, provide a high-quality outcome, flat with perfection, dry, and exotic piece of product that you would get for your knife.
Lastly, keep in mind that you will have to perform the sealing first, but once it’s done, you can enjoy the ultimate experience.
- Crosscut grains make it beautiful
- Great for those who are passionate about hunting owing to the wild look
- High-quality product with strength and robustness
- Great to handle as well for knifemakers
Read Also: Top level Dremel for Wood Carving
4. Buddha4all Resin Knife Scales Streaked Scales
Ease of Handling: B+
Next on, we have Buddha4all Resin Knife Scales that is a unique kind and an amazing choice if you love natural resins. You will get different patterns, textures, colors, and shapes. It is a quality product to support your knife.
Also, with the help of this product, you have the option to create your custom knives. So, look for the multiple options on the portal and create your kind of knife.
Resins are amazing as well as they make the best wood for kitchen knife handles. The reasons being; first, they are smooth. Secondly, it helps in keeping your hand from getting tired by providing a comfy grip.
To top it off, the smooth texture and experience make it so satisfying to hold the knife and work with it. The putty filler makes it dense and long-lasting at the same time.
Now, let me tell you about the stuff that you can do with this product. These scales are used to make tiles for inlaid furniture, hidden tang knives, gun grips, and knife handles.
So, the amazing patterns, the robustness of the material, the durability, the texture, and grip, all of the features make this product worth a shot.
Lastly, I would say that wisely choose out of the options in terms of colors and make your custom knife today. Let me show you the highlighted pros as well.
- Natural resin elevates the experience
- You have plenty of options to choose
- Smooth and satisfying texture
- Multiply compatibilities according to your choice
5. Bamboo Wood Knife Scales by Payne Bros
Ease of Handling: A+
Moving on, this is another product by the Payne Bros. People might be wondering if bamboo is good or not when it comes to utensils. But, bamboo due to pores is an issue when it comes to bowls. When you go for knives, this is a robust choice.
This ensures not only strength but also durability at the same time. Overall, it becomes the best kitchen knife handle material.
Not only that, but you can also use it for other purposes like gun grips and stuff. The wood texture is top-notch, and the size is amazing; therefore, you do not have to remove a lot of material while knifemaking.
It also offers a smooth experience alongside to provide you a great grip as well. These amazing pieces provide you the liberty to create customized curves that will help you get some amazing grip and do your work passionately.
The professionalism is especially depicted by the perfection of the product. Now, what is that perfection? Only the strength and texture? Though, I shouldn’t put the word “only” here because these are one of the main aspects.
But the imperfections and deformities make the product a bad choice, especially when you are making handles out of wood; you do not want any deformities to properly work on it.
So, keeping that in mind, Payne Bros offers you this amazing product with no deformities and beautiful grains at the same time. So, make a choice right now and let it be the best.
- Robust experience and outstanding texture
- No deformities to give you a perfect experience
- The custom designing becomes easier with the smart pieces
- Once finished, it is amazing to hold owing to the material.
6. Buffalo Horn Knife Scales
Ease of Handling: B+
Do you want to try something unique? The next product that I have brought on the list is Buffalo Horn Knife Scales. Isn’t it exciting? I mean, for people who are always in the pursuit of something classy, this is an epic choice.
This package consists of 2 knife scales with very good dimensions, and the benefit of that for you is you can customize them according to your desire. If you are wondering about customize handles, then let me give you a notion about that to make things crystal clear.
You might like a straight handle, a contoured style, or anything according to your desire. So, the amazing part is that you can obtain a custom knife handle as you like it.
The next part is to make you believe! Yes, this is a real water buffalo horn-made material. Now, people might sell the wrong things by lying to you. But in this product, the customer feedback and product quality are the evidence of what is offered.
Thus, strength is imparted by the formula that this product comprises of. The next thing with this to discuss is sustainability, both in terms of the product and harvesting.
This product is harvested, keeping in mind the care parameters and standards at the same time. So, all these factors make them exotic wood knife scales.
Now, if you are passionate about keeping knives and working with them ergonomically, then you must try this out.
In another case, if you are a knifemaker, you might have tried a lot of materials for handle making, and this is a must-try thing, trust me! If you haven’t tried it yet, then try your skills on it.
All in all, this is a robust, sustainable, and beautiful choice!
- Good dimensions to achieve good customization
- Unique and robust material
- Enjoy the ultimate experience of this smooth experience
7. Tiger Maple Wood Knife Scales by Payne Bros
Ease of Handling: A+
This is another product by Payne Bros. But this time, we have tiger maple. Now, in this review, I will talk more about the wood and less about the brand because I have already talked about that in the previous article.
Firstly, Payne Bros offer great products, and this one especially has some good demand as well.
Now, the wood and overall features are top-notch, and you also get the best finish for wooden knife handles as well in it.
Secondly, the tiger maple is worth a shot. The aesthetics that it brings to the table are phenomenal but are loved relatively because you know that beauty depends on the eye of the person seeing it and heart as well. But undoubtedly, those grain patterns and natural lines make it classy and beautiful.
Thirdly, maple is a great hardwood. The grain density, strength, hardness, and similar aspects make it very amazing to not only use but also work on.
Now, if you are ordering this product, then surely you would be interested in making the handle as well. So, working with this wood is a great experience as well.
The durability that maple offers wins hearts. When you ask about a knife handle, let me tell you that it should be robust, durable, hard, and easy & firm on the grip.
Maple wood covers all those things by providing the ultimate satisfaction. You can enjoy not only the aesthetics but also the great finishing that is achieved at the end.
No matter if you are experienced or not, because if you are a beginner, even in that case, you can work on it quite effectively.
There are several other uses as well that can be obtained by this product; you can make gun grips as well using it. All that matters is the robustness that you get in the form of this product!
- Tiger maple offers great beauty
- Maple is renowned for its strength
- The high density makes it durable and sustainable
- Easy to work on and handle
Read if you wanna pick the best one of What is the Top 10 Wood for Table Top.
8. Zebra Wood Knife Scales by Payne Bros
Ease of Handling: B+
Next on the list is another one by Payne Bros. But this one is the last from that brand on my list. Payne Bros offer great products, and those that I mentioned here are the most desired ones.
They are not only the desired ones but also are worth giving a shot due to the beauty, strength, and similar features they offer.
We have the zebrawood. Now, why do they call it zebrawood? This is obviously due to the shape and grain texture. But there are a lot of other things as well about this wood and the requirements.
Now, zebrawood is also hardwood. What does a hardwood offer? Definitely, strength in the first place. But there is a lot more.
Zebrawood can have regular or irregular marks on it of dark color, and the widths may vary as well. The color usually is pale brown that is of this product as well.
Woodworkers, to obtain great grain textures, quarter-saw them or accordingly. So, overall, this one is heavy and hardwood with a coarse texture. The grain can be interlocked or wavy.
These characteristics make it the best wood for a machete handle. But it usually depends on your choice as well. But as I said that it is heavy wood, then you should get my point.
All in all, it is a great product for your passionate knife making with not only great aesthetics but also good strength and robustness.
- Great for heavy knives
- Amazing texture for great aesthetics
- Higher-strength makes it robust
- Get some great finishing in result
9. Black Walnut Wood Knife Scales Knife Handles
Ease of Handling: B
Talking about some great woods and not discussing walnut? Especially when you talk about hardwood! In the form of this product, I present to you the Black Walnut Wood Knife Scales by Woodchucks Wood.
Now, imagine making a knife handle using black walnut that has an amazing chocolate black walnut color. I personally think that it will not be easy because only experts can do the perfect things using hardwood. Let’s get into more details!
First off, walnut gives you the ultimate strength that makes it a strong wood for knife handles. There is a lot more here to discuss. For instance, it is hard, heavy, and resilient at the same time.
Now, let’s discuss these terms in the context of our subject. So, hardness is what you need for a knife handle. The other thing that it is heavy, which means your heavy and robust knives from which you expect greater control.
The next thing that is resilience is what you should have when you demand durability. That means this wood gives you that one too.
Moreover, there is a minimum shrinkage in it, and the grains are usually straight and irregular, and their texture is medium.
Considering all the above aspects, I think this is also an ideal choice for knife handles. But I think that you should give it a shot if you have an idea of working with it. Otherwise, you can also practice achieving perfection as it is totally up to you!
- Hard, heavy, and resilient to serve robustness
- Minimum shrinkage adds to its durability
- Amazing outlook once finished
10. Aibote 1 Pair Desert Ironwood Wood Knife Handle
Ease of Handling: B+
Last but not least, I present to you Ironwood Aibote. Have you heard about ironwood before? If not, then it will be an interesting read for you. If yes, then you will find out quality here. This robust wood is an excellent choice, especially when you are up to making your knife or sword.
Now, as I have mentioned sword here, you would have presumed the significance of this material.
So, you can make robust knives using it. The 100% premium quality and high-grade ironwood material takes your experience to another level.
Now, what’s so special about it? Do you think that it is another species in the world of wood? Well, this material not only has good insulation, but there are great acid and alkali-resistant properties as well.
This is quite a knife handle wood that can not only be used in knife handles but also can be engraved, carved, scrimshawed, etc.
The properties of it that I should mention here are that it is easy to cut, drill, buff, and work on. But it is considered as one of the toughest native hardwoods, and it is ornamental at the same time. The interesting part is that it is resistant to many diseases and insects as well.
Now, what stuff can you do with it? You can make handles, handicrafts, slingshot handles, composite bow handles, and similar projects even on your own.
So, overall, it is a considerable choice if you believe in making DIY knife handles. It will not only make the process easier but also impart great features to your knife.
- High-grade ironwood makes the outcome great
- Easy to woodwork on it
- Exotic material for amazing knives
- DIY becomes openly possible with it
Note: All the products were good in their kind, and none of them fell into the C category!
Read Also: What is the Best Oil for Wood Cutting Boards
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Now, I will add some frequently asked questions to further demystify and help you out.
What is the best wood for knife handles?
I would say that my first choice, snakewood is great for knife handles. But there is another one named maple burl that is also a great choice.
How thick should a knife handle wood be?
When you shape the handle, it removes around 1/8” from both sides. So, the good thickness of the finished handle would be around ¾”.
Do wooden knife handles need maintenance?
Everything to sustain for longer needs maintenance, and I would say that same is the case is with wooden knife handles. To cherish their experience for longer, you should properly do the maintenance.
How to protect wooden knife handles?
To protect them, a great move would be doing their proper maintenance. The thing that comes to mind here is the right oil or product (wax) to keep the wood great for a long time.
Is pine good for knife handles?
Though pine will not be a great choice, it will work for the knife handles.
Is maple good for knife handles?
Maple is an amazing hardwood, and you can readily use it for knife handles. Therefore, you can choose and use it freely.
What can I do with ironwood?
You can do a lot of exciting stuff with ironwood along with making knife handles. So, it is completely up to you whether you want to make a gun grip or a knife handle.
Is olive wood good for knife handles?
Yes, why not, because it will give you an amazing experience because it is very much expensive at the same time.
Is cherrywood good for knife handles?
Cherrywood is undoubtedly an amazing choice. So, you can freely and happily use it for knife handles.
What is the best oil to preserve wood?
There is linseed oil, mineral oil, and other options depending on the job. Because sometimes you need a food grade and sometimes not.
I think that I have equipped you with enough information to decide. The products that I have brought on my list are undoubtedly the best ones. You can also check the customer ratings and decide for yourself. Always settle for something that you are comfortable with.
If you loved our products or have any kind of feedback, you should mention that in the comment section below. I wish you very good luck in the purchasing phase. Have a wonderful day!