The Best Wood for a Knife Handle

The Best Wood for a Knife Handle

Whether you are looking to repair your knife’s damaged handle, or just want to create a custom knife handle that suits your preferences, wood will always top the list of your preferred knife handle materials.

However, with lots of options to choose from, the prospect of finding the perfect wood for your custom-made knife handle can sometimes prove to be an overwhelming task.

Wood is arguably the most common natural material that has been used for ages as a knife handle. It is not surprising that most established chefs are usually attracted to kitchen knives with wooden handles.

They always appreciate the value of a durable, beautiful, comfortable handle paired with an equally long-lasting, heavy-duty steel blade.

As a DIY enthusiast, wood not only allows you to easily carve out beautiful designs and make the handle fairly more attractive, but is also very easy to work with.

What’s more, wood is extremely comfortable for the handgrip and equally prevents the knife from slipping out of your hand during use.

Wooden handles are highly ergonomic and will always fit your hand perfectly for a precise, hitch-free cutting experience.

So, what’s the best wood for a knife handle?

There are numerous wood types out there, but all fall into two major categories.

Most wood you will find out there either fall under softwood or hardwood. And a significant number of wooden knife handles are made of hardwood.

Hardwood is fairly denser, and highly durable, just as the name suggests. Softwood, on the other hand, is rarely ever used for making knife handles.

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Stabilized wood refers to a wood that has been dried and somehow infused with chemicals to help reinforce it against inherent weaknesses.

Below are some of the most common woods that are good woods for knife handles.


Oak is a fantastic choice, not only because it is beautiful and highly durable, but because it is also very easy to carve.

Simply put, it boasts nearly everything you are looking for in a great knife handle.

What’s more, it is relatively cheaper and rot-resistance.

Oakwood is usually light to medium brown with an olive cast.

If you have ever spotted an amazing knife with some sort of design or inscription on its handle, the chances are high that its handle was made of oak wood.


This is arguably the most popular wood for gun grips and knife handles. It is a highly dense, oily, and extremely resinous hardwood.

When first cut, cocobolo usually exhibits striking color patterns. However, after a few years of regular use, it darkens considerably, but will always retain its visual appeal.

It is a very durable wood that is often used for handles, turnery, sculpture, scientific instruments, carving, boat wheels, wooden jewelry, among other things.

This special wood is naturally resistant to a number of things, including insects.

What’s more, it is highly versatile hence suitable for both wet and dry weather.

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It only implies that a knife handle that features cocobolo will serve you for an extended period, regardless of how regularly you use it.


Ebony’s black, beautiful complexion makes it extremely elegant, and this means it is highly sought after.

It is one of the most expensive types of wood thanks to its eye-catching appearance.

Ebony is also highly robust, strong, and durable and perfect for a custom-made knife handle. The only major drawback of ebony is perhaps its price tag!


Rosewood looks strikingly similar to ebony. It makes an incredible knife handle and is strong, durable, and equally holds pins and details fairly well.

It is a relatively cheaper alternative and is readily available all over the globe and in different species.

If you are looking for the best rosewood for your knife’s handle, you should go for the Indian rosewood. It is not only very durable, gorgeous, but also resistant to termites.


Though fairly heavy, bocote carves beautifully, and its weight adds a great feel to your custom knife handles.

With its fine texture, high oil content, and gorgeous luster, bocote makes a fantastic knife blank to complement your best kitchen knife.

It has a striking grain; a yellowish-brown backdrop interspersed with bold, black stripes. However, it is imperative to note that bocote is somewhat susceptible to insect attack, and will require proper regular maintenance to prevent issues.

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Because of its durable, stylish design and rarity, this particular wood comes with a hefty price tag!


Traditionally referred to as Satine, bloodwood comes from a tree that is native to the Caribbean and Central America.

It is a relatively common hardwood and is brightly colored. It takes a good polish, highly durable, and is also attractive.

Thanks to its impressive qualities, it is often used in fine cabinets, ornamental woodwork, turnery, and fine cabinets.

What’s The Best Wood for a Kitchen Knife Handle?

Any of the above woods would work great for kitchen knives. Particularly cocobolo as it doesn’t need to be sealed, is very durable, and can be purchased relatively inexpensively.

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