Pocket Knives With Wooden Handles

Knives With Wooden Handles. Wooden handled knife.

Pocket Knives With Wooden Handles.

There is a classic feel to pocket knives with wooden handles.  there are many new types of handle materials available today but many people still like the traditional feel of a wooden handled pocket knife.

Wooden Handle Knife With Leather Sheath.

The perfect compliment to your wooden handles knife is a traditional leather sheath.  Although many people usually think of a leather sheath as befitting a fixed blade knife they can also be used for pocket knives.

Many pocket knives or folding knives can come with a small leather pouch that can be strapped on your belt or carried in your pocket to help protect your knife.

Pocket Knives With Wooden Handles.  Wood Handles for Knife.

Best wood for pocket knife handle.

There are many different types of wood used for pocket knife handles.  Some of the more popular ones are; Birch, Black Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Cocobolo, Ebony,  Jatoba, Lauan, Maple, Pecan, red oak and many more.  Pretty much any solid hardwood can be used for wooden handles for your knife.

Since there is such a small amount of wood needed to make a set of handle scales many times more exotic and expensive woods are used and can add a real touch of class to your knives.  Other specialties such as burl wood, spalted wood, and figured woods such as quilted and birdseye can also add a ton of character to your wooden knife handles.

What are knife scales?

Knife handles usually have two parts that sandwich the main metal parts of the knife.  The handle pieces are called scales.   These scales can be made of various different materials such as wood, fiberglass products, plastic, metal and others.  

The traditional handles scale material and that is one reason why many people still like pocket knives with wooden handles.  The wood scales give a great traditional look and feel to the knife.  There is something about wood scales that just feel good in your hand.

Benefits of pocket knives with wooden handles.

Other than the aesthetic reasons for choosing a knife with wooden handles there are many other reasons why wood handles may be right for you.  

Wood handles provide a nice non slip grip that also feels warm in your hand when in the cold.   As long as you don't have a high gloss lacquer type finish on your handle the wood grain itself provides a nice solid grip for your blade.

Wood also has a low thermal conductivity and this can make a knife with wooden handles a good choice for colder climates.  Knives with metal handles tend to transfer cold very quickly and as well as feeling cold they tend to get slippery when used in cold and or snowy conditions.  Wooden handles knives do not suffer from this condition.

On the other end of the scale, knives with wooden handles are also a great choice in warmer weather.  The opposite problem of using a knife in the cold is that when you use a knife in very warm climates your hands can often get sweaty which can make you knife handle very slippery.

Wooden handled knives help to mitigate this problem by absorbing and providing a nice grippy surface when your hands are wet.  While you want to take care that your wood does not stay wet for long periods of time a small amount of moisture from your hands should not be a problem.

Pocket Knives With Wooden Handles.  Folding Knife With Wooden Handles/

Beauty Of Knives With Wooden Handles.

One of the other main benefits of wood handles for knives is the natural beauty.  There is an undeniable beautiful look to a classic styled knife with wooden handles.  The many choices of wood that can be used can give your knife a unique look while still maintaining a somewhat traditional style.

Many times the beauty of the wood actually increases over time as it gets worn with use and gains a nice patina.  Wooden handles knives can get scratches, nicks, and dents int he handles over time and heavy use but these beauty marks and war wounds just add to the overall look and show that the knife has had a good life and has been well used.

Downfalls Of A Wooden Handled Knife.

It is not all roses and sunshine with a wooden handled knife though.  There are some precautions you need to take to make sure your handles last well and continue to function properly.

One of the main things that can harm wooden handles is excessive water.  Most wood handles will be well oiled and protected with a light varnish, stain, or protective coating.  However, these coating do not make the wood waterproof and if they are subjected to prolonged moisture such as being submerged or left out in the rain for a long time the wood can soak in the water and swell, discolor, or even crack and break.

The best way to protect your wooden handles knives is to keep them away from excessive moisture. With that being said, if your knife does get saturated, than make sure to dry it out thoroughly as soon as you can.  Once your knife is well dried be sure to re-oil the wood, blade, and pivot points to ensure your knife returns to its previous beauty.

How To Care For your Knife With A Wooden Handle. 

As mentioned above, you need to be careful with excessive water and your wooden handled knife.  Barring issues with water, your wooden handle scales should provide you with a lifetime of service with a little bit of care.

One of my favorite ways to care for the wood on a knifes handle is to just make sure it gets used often.  The natural oils from your hands will help condition the wood and over a long period of time the wood will develop a great natural patina and a natural darker tone.  

The other nice thing about well used wooden handles is that they can get a nice hand polish along with the small nicks and dings that give character to your knife.


There is something beautiful about a knife with wooden handles.  No matter what types of new handle materials come out there will always be a group of knife aficionados that prefer the traditional look and feel of wooden handles.

Many knife makers are not making as many models with wood for their handles but some brands such as Case, Buck, CRKT, Ontario Knives, Morakniv, and Benchmade still continue to make classic models with wooden handles.

If you want to see some of the other brands that have knives with wooden handles you can check out our  post on what are the best pocket knife brands.

Check out all of these Knives with Wooden Handles from Amazon if you want to see some of the current brands and models to choose from.

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