Several months ago I did a post on different knife handle materials. The post wasn’t super extensive though, so we’re going to talk a little bit more about them today. Blade HQ made a pretty sweet infographic that goes over the different types of materials used in knives, specifically the ones you’re most likely to find in butterfly knives. The infographic includes materials I didn’t mention in my post, and they’re broken up into material categories, which I think is pretty useful. Before I get into all the different materials, take a moment to look over the infographic:
I’m not going to hit on every single handle material in the infographic, but as I said before, I’ll touch on the materials you’re likely to see in butterfly knives, especially the ones you’ll find on the Blade HQ website.
Different Knife Handle Materials
I mentioned that the materials are broken up into categories, the first of which is “synthetics.”
What are synthetics? From what I’ve gathered, synthetics are materials that are produced through chemical processes (in other words, they are man-made materials). Basically, you’re not just going to find these materials in nature.
Here are a few synthetics you can expect to find in butterfly knives:
G-10 : As stated in the infographic, G-10 is “glass-reinforced epoxy laminate made of woven fiberglass cloth with epoxy resin.” The benefits of G-10 are that it doesn’t really absorb water and it’s strong. Another thing I really like about G-10 is that often, it provides good gripping, which comes in handy.
Micarta: You probably won’t see Micarta super often in balisongs. I, for one, have mostly seen it in custom butterfly knives. It’s very durable and light, and it is “thermoset composite material with layers of fibers transfused with resin.”
Carbon Fiber: This is my (and probably every other person on the planet’s) favorite handle material of all time. It’s just so sleek and classy… what’s not to like? What the material actually is, is “fiber-reinforced polymner with carbon fibers.” It is very strong for how light it is, and it is often found on higher-end models of butterfly knives (and knives in general).
Next, there are a few different types of metal handles you might see in butterfly knives. Since we’ve already touched on them briefly in the Butterfly Knives blog, I’ll just quickly hit on their main points.
Aluminum: Aluminum is very light, which can be beneficial if you favor flipping with a lightweight knife. However, because aluminum is light, it’s also not as strong as many other materials. Additionally, aluminum typically doesn’t have great corrosion resistance unless it has been anodized.
Titanium: Who doesn’t love Titanium? I mean, really? It’s really lightweight and really strong (it has a high strength-to-weight ratio).
Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is a super common material in knives, butterfly or not. The benefits of the material are it is resistant to corrosion (obviously), and it is relatively strong. You’ll probably see it in knife blades more often than in knife handles.
The last type of handle material I’m going to hit on is natural materials. These are pretty self-explanatory, but they include materials like wood, bone, and pearl—materials you can find in nature that don’t have to be made by man. These materials are beautiful and add a lot to the aesthetics of a knife, thought they might not be the strongest or easiest to maintain.
So these are knife handle materials in a nutshell! What balisong handle material is your favorite?