how to make a knife handle

How to Make a Handle for a Knife by Yourself

In most cases, the material for the handle is wood, but this is not necessary. You can use absolutely any material to create an element.

Required Tools

It is the chosen raw material that will be the determining factor for the selection of tools. If you have to work with wood, you will have to stock up on various impregnations to protect the finished product not only from moisture, but also from other negative influences.

Wood is used more often because it is easy to obtain and easy to work with. To manipulate it, you will need cutters, various chisels, perhaps an engraving machine. If you use metal, you cant do without a vice and abrasive stones. If the material is strong enough, then electric tools will do the trick. These are jigsaws, electric drills and more.

How to determine the shape and size of the handle
No one has come up with special standards for the handle of a knife until now. The main thing is that it should lie comfortably in your hand. A good product will have this part larger than the palm, about 3-3.5 centimeters. If we consider the handle of a hunting blade, when you wrap your hand around it, your thumb should only slightly overlap your index finger. At the same time, it will not touch the middle finger or ring finger at all, let alone the little finger.

The shape of the handle is a special parameter. Too heavy is not always convenient. And in the manufacture there are a lot of problems. Experienced craftsmen prefer practicality to beauty. That is why straight or oval handle shapes are more common. But be that as it may, but it is primarily for the master to determine what this part will be. And here we need to follow one but very important rule: the handle must be made so that the tool was pleasant to handle.

Choice of material

Masters use a variety of materials to make knife handles. They use both raw materials of natural origin (wood, leather, metal), and all kinds of products of the chemical industry (rubber, plastic). The choice of one or another material should be based on the experience of working with it, well as personal taste.

Knife handles are most often made of wood. Usually the harder types of wood are used for this purpose. These include walnut, ash, birch, beech, cherry, hornbeam, oak, and maple.

But often there is a desire to have a handle that is not only durable, but also stands out among others. Then you should pay attention to the exotic. You wont find merbau, amaranth, bubinga or zebrano in our area. But this wood is strong and looks very chic. For a knife handle – its the best!

It may also happen that a piece of wood of the right size simply do not appear at hand. In this case, no one prevents you from using a piece of parquet board. It is no secret that all floor coverings are made of hardwood.

Birch birch bark is also used as a material for the handle. It is very accessible and requires few tools to work with it. The advantage of the material is that it contains birch ash. This substance perfectly protects against rot and the action of moisture. Birch birch does not conduct heat well, which makes it possible to use the knife comfortably in any temperature conditions.

The top layer of birch bark is needed. The material is cut into small pieces that are treated with epoxy and turned into a briquette using a vice. Since this material is not difficult to make, you can easily make a handle in just a day. There is, of course, a disadvantage of birch bark – it absorbs odors well. If you cut fish or game with a knife with such a handle all the time, soon it becomes saturated with smells that you cant get rid of.

It is not uncommon to find leather on the handles of knives. And it is found not only on Finnish models, but also on many others. The technology of working with this material practically does not differ from manipulations with birch bark.

Leather has disadvantages just like the previous material. It absorbs all odors with the same force. This imposes some limitations. Usually handles made of this material are found on hiking and camping knives. As a rule, no one cuts fish and game with them. And it is necessary to handle such things properly. Otherwise the rotting process will start and you will have to replace the handle.

Handle attachment to the blade

Once the handle of the knife is made, the question arises how to make it one with the blade. If it is an in-blade, the most basic thing is to use glue or epoxy.

A hole is made in the handle, where the base of the blade should be inserted. The notch is filled with glue, and then the shank is driven inside. The blade is pre-glued with duct tape to protect it from glue contamination. The knife itself is left in this condition for two days, preliminarily clamped in a vise.

Decorating tips

Forging a knife and making a handle for it is only half the battle. A good product should emphasize the style and personality of its owner. This can be achieved by a beautiful design. The handle of the knife is the part where the master can demonstrate all his skills and imagination.

Usually handles are decorated with engraving, braiding or figurative carving. A lanyard looks beautiful on the knife, despite the fact that it is a simple loop or cord that is put through a hole in the handle. Very rich looks the tip made of castings or carved. But it is better to attach such elements if the shank has threads. This should be planned during the development of the entire design.

The easiest way is to paint the handle or burn a pattern on it. Degrease the surface to prevent rubbing. The main thing is that the degreaser should be compatible with the paint base. For example, turpentine works well with oil-based paints.

Leather trim

Many craftsmen braid the handles in leather or leather. The handle of the knife in such a braiding looks natural, and it serves for a long time. In addition to beauty, the material can give the product a more professional look and smooth out some imperfections. A plastic handle wrapped in leather will hold up much better in your hand.

Before this material can be stretched over a wood handle, the surface must be sanded and grease removed. Next, the wood is coated with glue and left to dry. Then the leather is wrapped in a strip on the handle, after the first coil it is glued and dried again. This is repeated until the procedure is complete. All skin scraps are removed with a blade.


Very often the handles of knives are decorated with a braid. This decoration has become popular because of its simplicity. After all, braiding is easy to change if it is already bored or in disrepair.

If you want, you can also braid with a leather strap, but usually paracord is used for this purpose. This material is affordable and lightweight. Prices for it are not high, and it serves for a very long time, as it is not subject to rotting.


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