10 Best Wood For Knife Handles: Quality & Budget Friendly (Buying Guide 2022)

10 Best Wood For Knife Handles: Quality & Budget Friendly (Buying Guide 2022)

No matter which type of knife you are using, the handle is the most important part of a blade. A knife can only function well if it has a strong handle and provides a good grip.

Wooden handles are being used since the time the blade was developed. Wood is organic, and it provides a warm touch and a comfortable hold also they are long-lasting.

There are many varieties of wood available in the market but mostly hardwood is preferred over softwood because they work best for knife scales.

However, there are many varieties of hardwood and the common ones are Oak, African Blackwood, Walnut, Desert Ironwood, Rosewood, and many more.

But you don’t have to worry about it, as this article is all about the Best Wood For Knife Handles, and it will help you find the finest ones out.

Before getting into the deep research about the knife handle types, I was confused about which is the best knife handle material? Why use wooden knife scales? Wooden knife handle vs steel?

So many questions came to my mind while shopping for my knife scales. And guess what!!! I have found.

I have to spend over 10 plus hours and a lot of energy researching the topic. Reading reviews, and watching videos about knife handles.

Do you have 10- plus hours and want to spend the same time as me researching the best ones out? Well, now you don’t have to worry about it, I have prepared a detailed guide on it.

Also, I have provided the Amazon link from which you can get your wood. Isn’t it good? 

So, make sure you read this article till the end because I have provided all the valuable information out there, and this will definitely help you solve your problem.

Note: If you are making a knife make you check out the other post on Best Epoxy For knife Handles for finding out the best glue for your handles.

If you are in Hurry, then this is my Best Pick

Oak is one of the finest knife handle materials and is abundantly used on a large scale for kitchen knives, hunting knives, survival knives, and many other types of knives.

The knife-making material is fine grain and offers very high durability, and it can easily last for a thousand years. Also, it’s cheaper and is widely available.

It can easily be crafted to any shape and design offering enough durability and toughness.

For a detailed Review of Natural Oak Wood, you can scroll through this article below:

But before you go more, you must know what are things to consider before buying wood for knife making.

Best Buying Guide You Purchase Knife Handle Wood

Wood has been in use for decades around the globe because it’s the perfect combination of durability and beauty.

But do you know all woods are not good and there are many factors that you have to look at before getting your knife scales.

These are some of the important things that you have to look for before getting your knife wood.

1. Toughness 

Most of the woods available for knife making are remarkably tough, and they can sustain for years. Also, they can withstand regular use and falls.

Toughness matters a lot because a knife will only last for years if it’s tough and durable, sometimes even longer than metals if you take proper care.

There are a few kinds of wood that you must avoid using like black cottonwood, White Cerar, Red Cedar, Subalpine, and a few more kinds of wood that come under the softwood category.

2. Durability 

If a knife is tough, it doesn’t mean it’s durable, as the wood dries out and develops cracks if you don’t maintain it properly.

Most the woods are susceptible to water and they absorb moisture quickly and this can damage the wood in just a few months. So, it’s important to look at durability before you make your scales.

Make sure your scales are of stabilized wood as this will help the wood absorb stabilization resin and increase the life span of your handles.

3. Grip 

So if you have decided to go with the wooden knife, make sure you look for the Grip. As you know how grip plays a very important role because if your blade doesn’t have a good grip it’s of no use.

The Grip is very important because you don’t know you might slip out and cut your fingers, and this is quite dangerous.

Once you start using your knife for a long time, your palm sweats around the corners, and in this case, you don’t want your knife to slip off.

4. Aesthetic Beauty 

The primary reason for choosing a wooden knife handle is just because of the beauty.

There are different types of woodworking projects that can give the handle an Aesthetic look.

Natural wood is attractive, and it’s easy for carving and gives a beautiful shape. You can make any designs, and don’t have to worry about molding.

Knives made of wood are a perfect choice for kitchen knives and also knife collectors love collecting exotic knife handles that have an Aesthetic look.

5. Cost 

The cost is also an important factor when choosing a block of wood for a knife and this depends on the beauty, availability, and type of wood you are using.

Wood scales like Amboyna are one of the most expensive types of wood for knife making, and it’s the best-looking wood in terms of beauty, stability, resist oxidation, and it will definitely be worth the money.

There are many types of woods available in a wide range from cheap to expensive ones. It all depends on how many bugs you can spend.

Great Right!!!!

You have read all the important requirements for the best wood for knife handles.

Now you can read the list of all the best wood for knife scales, that I have based on 10 to 15 different criteria. So if you are interested in finding a pleasant wood for knife handles, check below.

10 Best Wood For Knife Handles: Quality & Budget Friendly 

So these are some of the best knife handle wood types that are easily available in the market & Online and comes within your budget.

If you are looking for a better list that can help you in deciding the knife handle wood then you should read below.

1. Oak Wood Knife Scales

Above I have recommended that Oak is one of the best woods you can find for knife making because it’s been used on a large scale I have also used Oakwood multiple times for making my scales and I found this best.

Because Oakwood is susceptible to water and doesn’t absorb moisture easily, it’s good for knife making.

Also, I like it because being so durable it can be carved into any design by applying less effort. There are about 60 different species of Oaks that are just grown in the United States.

The Oak knife handles are affordable and you can easily find them. It’s not one of the strongest woods for making a knife, but it’s moderately strong and easy to work on it.

Rarely combining strong composition and affordable price, it’s the most popular wood for kitchen and hunting knives

Also, staining and polishing the wood can give an amazing look to the wood. Check out the Best Oil For Wood Knife Handles if you want knife polish.

You can check out the Oakwood for your knife.

Pros
  • Beautiful & Warm tone finish
  • Resistant to wear and tear
  • Durable & long-lasting wood
  • Good water resistance property
Cons
  • The Oakwood is slightly heavy

2. Bolivian Rosewood

Rosewood for knife handles is perfect combines hardness and quality and it’s a sturdy wood that can last for years with no wear and tear.

There are many species of rosewood available all around the world depending on the country, and the color also varies depending on the region from ebony to dark to brown.

Rosewood is available all over the world, but Bolivian Rose and Indian Rosewood are one of the most common varieties of wood that are found in almost all parts of the world.

It has a rich red color and when the wood ages it usually becomes deeper brown. One of the best things that I liked about Rosewood is they are highly durable and resistant to termites.

In addition, Rosewood is one of the best-looking woods available on the market, and it’s also one of my favorite wood for making furniture and exotic knife scales.

The wood gets more beautiful once you apply the knife handle finish.

Pros
  • Hard, tough, and strong
  • Highly resistant to water
  • Beautiful & Warm tone
  • Insect Resistance
Cons
  • Heavy Wood

3. Cocobolo Wood

Cocobolo wood is always in high demand as it resists insects and bugs because of the presence of natural oil. Cocobolo wood even gives resistance even in wet and dry conditions.

There are many shades of cocobolo wood available, but the common ones are the combination shades of yellow & red. Cocobola woods are slightly more expensive than other types of wood.

This is the wood that is highly chosen and recommended after Rosewood. The grains of the wood is straight to interlocked with even fine texture and it gets darkened with age.

Cocobolo woods are highly used in making fine furniture, tunings, musical instruments, chess pieces, and many other forms of objects like cocobolo knife handles.

Wood is famous for its odor, and it can produce a very distinctive odor after years. Also, it’s high resistance to moisture and scratches which makes it fairly good to use for making knife scales.

Pros
  • It has Natural oil in it
  • Rich color scheme
  • It’s a very dense wood
  • Resistance even in wet conditions
Cons
  • Sometimes it might cause irritation and allergic reactions when touched

4. Ebony Wood 

Ebony is a dark type of wood and its color ranges from deep reddish-brown and pure jet black the ebony finish is pretty beautiful. It gets beautiful even with little effort of polishing and oiling.

It’s an evergreen hardwood, and it is one of the hardest types of wood available. There are many varieties of black woods like Gabon ebony, Ceylon ebony, Madagascar ebony, and a few more.

There are many types of black wood available but the Ebony wood is the most common knife scale material.

One of the most durable types of wood and it looks pretty beautiful when you make a knife with the wood.

It’s the favorite type of wood for knife collectors because of its amazing, beautiful color. The wood can easily stay for years and this wood has been found in the Ancient Egyptian tombs.

That’s great ha! I have already used this wood, and it’s amazingly beautiful but the only downside,  it’s slightly tough to carve it.

Pros
  • Extremely fine texture
  • Hard and termite resistance
  • Lustrous & Metallic look
  • Doesn’t absorb moisture easily
Cons
  • Because it’s hardwood, it’s difficult to carve

5. Maple Burl

Maple Burl commonly comes from the maple tree, and the wood is commonly used for knife manufacturing.

The best thing about maple burl is it doesn’t form cracks even after regular use. It can be dyed easily with very few colors and it’s exquisite and long-lasting.

You don’t have to worry about oiling the wood as it produces natural and protects the wood from moisture and dryness damages. It is a hard and attractive wood grain and has high resistance to wear and tear.

There are approximately 150 different varieties of Maple Burl that come from Asia and also they are grown in Europe and North America.

As Maple is a very strong wood it’s widely used for heavy-duty flooring, dance floor, furniture, kitchen cabinets, and many other items.

The best thing about Maple Burl is it has a uniform color and straight wood grain.

Pros
  • Beautiful & Warm tone finish
  • Resistant to wear and tear
  • Durable & long-lasting wood
  • Good water resistance property
Cons
  • The Oakwood is slightly heavy

6. Walnut Wood

Wall-nut wood is practically used in almost all types of furniture, kitchen fixtures, gun handles, and walnut knife handles.

If wall nut is your favorite wood and you are planning of making walnut knife handles, then you are at the right place. You can check out the scales that I have given above.

It’s a gorgeous-looking wood and gives a spotless finish to your knife. When polished with knife handle oil it gives the wood becomes much rich in color and gives a very good look to the knife.

It has got an attractive grain pattern and its strong and dense wood, with always a high demand for expensive furniture and carpentry. Also, it’s widely used in making knife handles around the world.

Black Walnut is very popular for knife making in the United States because it’s a top-quality wood for tool handles as get’s easily resisted moisture and dryness.

Additionally, if you purchase it provides 100% product satisfaction and is ready to answer all your queries for better service.

Great!!!!. We are waiting for you to check out.

Pros
  • Strong and resistant to decay
  • Easy to work with
  • Gives an Aesthetic look
  • It contains oil & smells pretty well

Cons
  • It’s a very heavy wood
  • Can bleach it exposed to sunlight

7. Desert Iron Wood 

Desert Ironwood scales are commonly used and also one of the best wood for kitchen knife handles.

Desert wood is one of the hardest types of wood available on the market. It’s available in a wide range of colors from dark red, brown, and Orange-yellow.

These types of wood are usually preferred for making a sword because they provide a good counterbalance for longer blades and also the stability of desert wood is relatively easy to work with.

It’s a very hard wood and there are no pores in the wood which helps to keep the wood away from moisture and water resistance. So, you used to can easily use it in both wet and dry conditions.

Being so strong, and shock-resistant, we can carve the desert ironwood into any required shape for a tight grip.

The wood is usually grown in the desert region and due to hot temperatures almost all the moisture gets absorbed from the wood and the wood gets completely dried out which is a perfect wood for knife making.

Pros
  • It finishes beautifully
  • Easy to work with
  • The wood is incredibly hard
  • Best wood for weapons
Cons
  • It loses Its quality if not maintained properly

8. Olive Wood 

Olive wood knife scales are great for making knife handles. Olive wood is one of the favorite choices for wood because the color of the wood is just amazing and it gets darker once it gets old.

The wood is yellow, and it has brown shades which give a very attractive look to the wood. Olive wood is not very durable but they are moderately durable for knife handles and sword making.

Being moderate durable the wood is prone to insects and termites and it can easily last for years if proper care is taken.

Wood oils are the best combination with Olivewood because once you apply the oil the wood gives a very rich and shining color that can please everyone.

Pros
  • Moisture and temperature resistance
  • Excellent color
  • It has a fines texture
  • Best for all types of knife

Cons
  • Not so durable
  • Wood becomes darker

9. Indian RoseWood 

Indian Rosewood is also known as Sheesham and it’s widely used in making traditional guitars, furniture, and another type of accessories including the kitchen accessory.

They have moderate strength and are lightweight which is pretty good for making knife handles as it doesn’t add more weight to your blades.

Usually, the color of the wood varies from reddish-brown to golden and this is a royal color. The main reason for choosing Indian wood is the interlocking grains which makes it pretty durable.

Also, it’s pocket-friendly which means it can use in making every piece of furniture. However, we recommended oiling the wood because it isn’t so water-resistant because of its high water content.

Indian Rosewood is a perfect choice for hunting knives and it’s grown all over the world, so you find it easily.

Note: Make sure to use fully dried-out Indian Rosewood for knife making.

Pros
  • Available all around the world
  • It cost less
  • Available in many colors
  • Strong and durable wood
Cons
  • Gets affected by moisture
  • Its weight is more

10. Cherry Wood 

Here comes the cherry wood, one of the most beautiful types of wood for knife making and knife collectors really love collecting cherry wood knives.

The wood is blood red, and it has fine grains Believe me you will just love the texture of the wood.

The wood comes in two different shades the darker one and the lighter one and usually the wood get darker shades once it gets old.

It’s a moderate hardwood and not so water-resistant, so you have to apply oil and maintain it properly for long-lasting.

Cherry wood is usually found in southeast Asian countries and most of them love cherry wood just because the color of the wood is just amazing and you will definitely love it.

Pros
  • Beautiful color
  • The wood is light
  • The texture of the wood is good
  • Very good smell
Cons
  • Not so hard

Wrap On The Best Wood For Knife Handles

Wood is naturally available all over the world and there are many varieties of woods you can choose from.

Woods are the preferred choice for most people because Woodend handles are quite more comfortable than steel ones also they are easy for carving.

It provides a comfortable grip, and it’s strong & durable and hence they are widely preferred. Professional knife makers and chefs usually prefer wooden handles over steel.

Also, wood is available in a wide range of pricing like Amboyna and the cheapest like Curly Maple and you can choose any of them.

Whether you want a hunting knife or a kitchen knife, wooden knife handles are used in all types of knives.

I hope the guide on the best wood for knife handles would have helped you in finding your favorite wood. Now you can check out your favorite one.

FAQ: Best Wood For Knife Scales 

As there are many types of woods available most people ask me a few related questions. So, I have tried to answer them in the FAQ section.

The more quality and look you want the more you need to pay for it. But the average cost of any knife scale lies between $25 to $30 dollars for a pair of scales or even less.

1. Is Rosewood Good For Knife Handles

Rosewood doesn’t get easily affected by moisture because it’s hardwood and it has fewer pores compared to other woods. Well, Rosewood is a perfect wood for wood handles as it gives an aesthetic look also they are cheap and widely available.
 

2. How are knife handles attached?

Usually, knife handles can be attached in many ways but the most common scales are attached by using epoxy resins. I have prepared a detailed article on the Best Epoxy For Knife Handles and you can check out for more details.

3. How thick should a knife handle be?

Well, this depends upon the comfort of the user. A knife must be thick enough so that it fits comfortably in the user’s hand.

4. What kind of wood is good for knife handles?

Not all types of wood are good for knife making. So while getting your would check the weight and the water content of the wood.

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