The Damascus knives are popular for their sharpness, reliability, quality, and improved design. Many people love the wavy pattern and appealing design of these knives, but depending on which Damascus kitchen knife you choose, there are various types of materials used in the handles. So, if you are new to the knife world, we are sharing everything you need to know about the Damascus knife’s handle material.
Understanding The Damascus Knives
As the name suggests, these kitchen knives are designed with Damascus steel blades, and this blade material has a wavy pattern, which adds an aesthetic appeal to the knives. The knives are extremely flexible and have the capacity to maintain a sharp edge for the longest time – it eliminates the need for constant sharpening.
The blade has been native to European and Asian sword smithery since the material is extremely durable. In addition, it has a unique pattern, which adds a unique appearance to the knife. The knives have advanced functionality, which makes them suitable for kitchen use, be it on a personal scale or commercial scale.
For the most part, these knives have a wavy pattern on the blade, which is created by repetitive heating and forging. Many people don’t know this, but these knives have been around since ancient civilization but have undergone multiple modifications. For this reason, the knives are now refolded multiple times with different types of steel, which results in a unique pattern.
Production Of Damascus Knives
The authentic Damascus steel has gone through various changes over the past few years. However, modern steel leverages two methods during production – it entails forge-welding of different types of steel before the metal is twisted, beaten, and manipulated. The second production method is to flatten the steel and fold one type of steel to create various layers.
Both these production methods are likely to create an organic pattern in the Damascus knives, and the current technique is focused on creating aesthetically appealing knives. However, the refolding process helps purify the steel and promises a better outcome. In addition, acid etching is used to create a distinct pattern.
Types Of Materials Used In Handles
At this point, it’s pretty clear that different types of steel are used to produce Damascus knives. In addition, they undergo different steel modification processes that impact appearance and sharpness. However, the handle is an integral part of the knife as it’s essential to keep a firm grip on it. So, with this section, we are sharing different types of materials that are used in the manufacturing of Damascus knife’s handles!
● Wooden Handles
The wooden handles are the most original and oldest types of handles used in the knives. The best thing about wooden handles is that they can be affordable and expensive, creating an appealing look. The wooden handles are usually customized with engravings and carvings, which help accentuate the knife. Different types of woods are used to make the handles.
To begin with, hardwood is the most common choice because they are impact-resistant and durable as compared to softer wood varieties. However, hardwood can be expensive, but the long-term benefits are worth it. The affordable Damascus knives are made from stabilized wood; basically, the wood is made from plywood.
The plywood is infused with polymer resin to create an appealing look. However, the stabilized wood is not very durable because of the treatment. The pros of using wooden handles include engravable design, multiple wood choices, semi-natural and natural design, and a unique appearance. However, you must remember that the wooden handles aren’t water-proof and have a higher chance of splitting, cracking, warping, and rotting. Also, it has a limited grip, but the proper contouring and finish will fix the issue.
● Titanium Handles
The titanium handles are used as an upgrade from the aluminum handles, given their strong characteristics, but they come with a higher cost. This is because titanium has a higher strength level and lower density. These handles are incredibly lightweight and resistant to dents and scratches. In addition, the titanium handles have the highest corrosion resistance.
This material is known for its warm feel, and one can color it during the anodizing process. For the most part, Ti6Al4V is used to make the handles and is the most potent form of titanium. It is incredibly lightweight, which signals better control and low fatigue. Moreover, it is highly durable and robust, which results in long-lasting performance. The titanium handles are prone to dents and scratches and are more expensive than aluminum.
● Aluminum Handles
These are one of the most affordable handles in the market in various colors. The aluminum handles are rust-proof, which makes them suitable for long-term use. In addition, the aluminum handles are corrosion-resistant and look like silver, which gives them a non-metallic and lightweight property.
The aluminum handles can be colored during the anodizing process, which helps improve the style and appearance. However, many people have complained about the limited grip of these handles, but the right texture and contouring can significantly improve the control. In most cases, T6-6061 is used, which promises the highest tensile strength. On the other hand, before choosing a kitchen knife with aluminum handles, you must remember that it is temperature sensitive and can be slippery when wet.
FRN is one of the most recent types of material used for producing the handles for Damascus kitchen knives, which is fiberglass reinforced nylon. Some varieties also have rubberized resins, which results in higher durability and strength. These knife handles are designed to offer higher strength, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that these are extremely tough handles and tend to have an ergonomic design.
These handles are free of maintenance, and you don’t need to be worried about abrasion and scratches. In addition, they can be labeled indestructible, and the scattered fiber design promises higher strength. The best thing about FRN is its lower retail price without compromising its strength and quality.
● Bone Handles
Primarily, the bone handles are used for survival and hunting knives, but they can also be used in Damascus knives. As the name suggests, these handles are made from animal bones, including deer antlers, elephant tusks, cow bones, buffalo horns, and much more. In the majority of cases, cow bone is used.
Irrespective of which one you use for producing handles, they are highly likely to be brittle and prone to deformation and cracking because it is a porous material. These handles can be dyed, and the companies can form them to create appealing designs during the entire manufacturing process. It’s safe to say that bone handles add a nice touch to the kitchens and the contoured design promises higher grip, irrespective of the slippery nature.
The bone handles can be carved to create a grip-promoting and ergonomic shape. In addition, it has an elegant appeal. However, the carvings of these handles make them challenging to maintain and clean. Also, if you don’t focus on maintenance, it will break down as it’s brittle and has a porous nature. So, these handles look amazing, but they aren’t as durable.
● Carbon Fiber Handles
As the name suggests, the carbon fiber handles are made from carbon fiber, which promises the durable and robust construction of the knife. The Damascus kitchen knife with a carbon fiber handle has a higher strength level, while chemical resistance and stiffness are excellent. This material is known for its higher heat tolerance, particularly when integrated with resin.
The fiber material can be woven into different patterns, and one can combine it with plastic resin to create an edgy handle that’s highly durable. However, you need to remember that carbon fiber handles are brittle. Since there is no metal, you don’t have to worry about corrosion and rust. These handles are incredibly lightweight, strong, and durable.
The carbon fiber handles are resistant to heat, so they won’t heat up when you use them in the kitchen. However, these handles can be expensive and break down; they are subjected to heavier objects. As far as the grip is concerned, it’s not exceptional, but the woven and contoured design can help improve the grip.
● Stainless Steel Handles
The stainless steel handles are designed with scratch and dent resistance without increasing the price too much, but you need to remember that it increases the price point. Stainless steel is the steel alloy made from chromium and helps deliver improved resistance to corrosion and rust. In addition, it is sometimes infused with molybdenum, which results in improved strength.
These knife handles are known to have a reflective and lustrous surface, creating a clean and pure appearance. These handles are easy to clean and durable – it is also because the material is corrosion and rust-resistance. The higher chromium level in the handle promises higher protection. However, you must remember that these handles are slippery because of the smoother surface.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that various materials are available in the market for the production of Damascus kitchen knife handles. We have shared the pros and cons of all the most-used handles, so which one will you select for your knives?