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The Anatomy Of A Knife: Understanding Its Handle And Blade

Are you about to embark on an adventure and looking for the perfect tools to serve you? A survival knife is a vital part of your adventure gear and should be chosen with care. However before you proceed to purchasing a knife, it is important to understand the anatomy of this tool and determine the unique features and functions. Additionally, you should also be aware of the different options you must choose from and make an informed choice.

What are knife handles made of?

While it is common to think that the blade is the most vital part of the knife, the importance of the handle should not be overlooked. Without the handle, the knife would not have functionality and would make it impossible to be used. If you are considering purchasing a survival knife for sporting or other outdoor purposes, consider one of the many handle materials that are suited for different situations.  

  • Wood: One of the perks that makes wood a popular choice for a knife handle is its comfort. Apart from being sturdy and durable, it is also easy and soft on your hands. Holding wooden handles for prolonged duration is very comfortable, making them ideal for kitchen knives. Wood knife handles come in all price ranges depending on the type of wood, decorative work as well as its cultural value. Some types of wood are ideal for carving and other intricate forms of sculpting. In contrast to these positives, wood has a few drawbacks that should be considered when buying a knife. As opposed to other sturdier handle materials, wood needs regular maintenance and is more prone to damage.  
  • Metal: Metal handles are known for their long lasting durability as well as strength, making them the second most popular choice in knife handles. These handles are available in two main metals i.e. stainless steel and titanium. While stainless steel is known to be corrosion resistant, titanium is also lightweight and has a high threshold for impact and tension. While strength is a huge pro for metal handles, they are not always the best choice as they can be cold and uncomfortable to hold. With the exception of fancy decorative knives and in combination with wood, metal handles are not ideal for survival knives. Another reason why metal handles fall short of wood handles is their conduction of heat. When placed near flames, metal handles can be swelteringly hot.   
  • Stag: Stag handles are one of the rarest and most expensive materials for knives of any kind. Crafted from naturally shed deer antlers, stag handles are one of the best choices for a survival knife as their rough texture facilitates a tight grip and their natural curvy design makes the knife comfortable to hold and use.  
  • Micarta: Unlike metal or wood, Micarta is a synthetic material specially manufactured out of paper or linen composite. These knives are known for their strength and durability and are most commonly used for heavy duty types of survival knives. They can withstand extreme temperatures and are resistant to wear and tear. What makes Micarta a choice material for a knife handle is its versatility as they comes in various shapes, sizes and colors like red, black, tan and other ranges of vibrant hues.  

What are knife blades made of?

When choosing a knife, you must be aware of the different materials of blades that are available to you and how you can use them best. Each material has its own unique set of pros and cons that are designed for specific purposes. Before you purchase a knife, consider its potential use as well as the ideal material and then make the decision.

  • Stainless steel: Durable and resistant to corrosion, stainless steel blades are the most popular choice in the market today. This metal alloy containing iron, nickel, carbon, chromium and molybdenum is available in different compositions and grades with different properties. Stainless steel blades are resistant to rust and corrosion but can face damage in certain environments. Stainless steel blades are also not as sharp as materials like ceramic or carbon steel and are most commonly used for kitchen knives, pocket knives and diving knives.
  • Titanium: Known to be one of the strongest metals known to man, titanium blades are very strong and rust resistant. They are also easily distinguished owing to their dark silver shade. However, titanium blades are softer and less sharp than its counterparts and is generally coated with a different sharp material. However in terms of strength, no other material can match titanium, making it the ideal material for survival knives, pocket knives, hunting knives and heavy duty kitchen knives.
  • Carbon steel: Before stainless steel became all the rage in knife blades, carbon steel was the most popular material to work with. These blades are known to be one of the sharpest blades available today. It also makes a big difference that carbon steel blades can be sharpened much easily and faster than stainless steel ones. Owing to the absence of chromium, carbon steel is also vulnerable to corrosion, rusting and discoloration. While it is not a popular choice in the kitchen, carbon steel is an ideal material for pocket knives, hunting knives as well as survival knives.
  • Ceramic: Knife blades made from ceramic are rarely used outside the kitchen and are largely uncommon. Owing to its non-metallic composition, ceramic blades are completely resistant to corrosion and rusting. They are also low on maintenance and very sturdy. However, ceramic blades are known to be brittle and vulnerable to cracking when dropped and can be sharpened only with specific ceramic-friendly tools.   
  • Plastic: Plastic blades are only seen in disposable and are quite rare because the material cannot be easily sharpened when needed and are required to be serrated.

At KnifeIndia, you can find an extensive range of survival knives for camping, hunting and other outdoor sports. Regardless of your needs, you are sure to find one that suits your needs and preferences perfectly.