Making a knife handle without pins is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, it is quite easy to do and only requires a few simple tools and materials.
To start, you’ll need to drill a hole in the center of your knife blank. This will be for the tang. Next, saw off any excess metal from the blank so that the tang is shorter than the wood handle. Start shaping the wood handle. Begin by sanding it down, drilling a hole through the center, and lines up with the hole in the knife blank. Now put the tang through the hole in the handle and secure it with a piece of epoxy or superglue.
Let it dry and then your knife handle is complete! Letter in this article we will learn the process step by step.
But, before that, we must learn about materials…
One of the things that can make or break the quality, style, durability, and longevity of a knife is the material out of which its handle is constructed.
That’s not to say that there is any one material that is better than all the rest, but there are certainly drawbacks and benefits to all the common types- from the way they look to the grip that they offer, to the amount and type of punishment they can take. To get a grip on the most common substances used in the everyday carry world.
The Material Used to Make a Knife Handle
Material plays a big part in how comfortable, functional, and easy to use in the kitchen.
- The most important aspect to look for in a good knife handle is a comfortable grip
- Knife handles are usually either made with natural or synthetic material
- Natural material is more traditional, while synthetic material offers a greater variety of shapes and colors.
The nature of handheld items- pencils, umbrellas, mobile phones is that their primary function lies outside of our hands. The portion in our palm remains concealed and for the most part, ignored. This is also true in the case of kitchen knives, where the focal point is the blade. Countless articles and aficionados debate the best material, shape, length, and make of every knife blade. Knife handles, on the other hand, don’t get as much attention. But when you think of all the time you spend actually holding a knife, the handle becomes an increasingly important feature.
Knife handle material is just as varied as knife blade material- if not more so. For the most part, the many materials can be classified into two categories: natural or synthetic.
Natural materials such as wood, metal, and bone, are considered the most traditional and beautiful in form. However, their organic nature does get affected by changes in heat and humidity and requires more maintenance.
- Wood is one of the oldest, most popular types of knife handle material. Its strong composition and textured grain give the knife handle a good grip, durable composition, and aesthetic appeal. As compared to all other natural materials, wood offers the most variety. Not only it can be easily carved into different shapes, but wood knife handles are also available in many different species. The wood composites used in knife handles have also been specially engineered to include plastic and other synthetic polymers in order for them to withstand wet environments and constant usage. These handles usually have a polished, glossy appearance with a deep, rich coloring.
- Metal is another natural choice for knife handles, due to its durability, strength, and easy maintenance. A metal handle’s smooth surface can make it prone to slipping, especially when wielded by a hand. However, many knives with metal handles feature a textured design or brushed satin finish for a better grip. Similar to the blade, the most frequently used metals in knife handles are stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, etc.
Synthetic handles usually come in the form of acrylic, plastic, resin, and other composites.
- Plastic is perhaps the most common synthetic knife handle material, thanks to its ready availability, affordability, and easy maintenance. Polypropylene and ABS are two polymers with high strength and lightweight construction. They are often used in kitchen knife handles. Polyoxymethylene is another type of plastic that is slightly pricier but protects against discoloration or color fade.
- Carbon fiber is a reinforced polymer that contains tightly woven strands of carbon set in resin. While relatively strong, carbon fiber is not indestructible and may be prone to chips and cracks in cases of high impact. It’s also on the pricier side, as carbon requires a long, laborious protection process. However, the material is very lightweight and comes with an attractive woven texture for kitchen knives.
- Micarta is usually a brand of resin-based laminate that uses linen or paper substrates, with linen being the stronger of the two. Micarta turned out to be great plastic for kitchen knives. The basic Micarta scale material is very smooth and slippery. And because adding surface texture is quite a long and tedious process, the resulting material can be quite expensive.
- G-10 is also a resin-based laminate that uses fiberglass instead. Similar to Micarta, layers of fiberglass cloth are soaked in phenolic resin and compressed at high heat. The resulting material is extremely strong, but lightweight, it is also water and temperature resistant.
Steps to make Knife handles without pins:
There is a certain beauty to handmade knife handles. The process of making custom knife handles may take a while, but it is easy once you know what to do. Best of all, you can have a beautiful custom knife to show off at the end.
The most important thing before making the knife handle is choosing the correct material for it. As we discussed different types of natural and synthetic materials that are suitable for a knife handle, you can easily choose one depending on your preferences and the type of work your knife will be doing.
Crafting a wood knife is much easier as you can give it any shape and design meanwhile a metal handle would require some work and it would be heavier to carry around. So just go with your preferences.
- First, make sure that your tang and blades are straight. If the tang is tapered, it must be evenly tapered on both sides. The centerline of the tang must be straight to the centerline of the blade. If the tang is warped a little to the right or left of the blade, or unevenly tapered, then you are not yet ready to fit either the guard or the handle. Go back to the forge or grinder and make your corrections to get things straight right from the start. A Limited amount of fudging can be done while gluing the handle to compensate for a tang that is not 100 percent straight and center.
- After making sure your tang is not going off to the left or right, go ahead and fit your guard. Take your time, the guard must be at 90 degrees from the center line of the blade and tang, even if you are making a knife with a slanted guard.
- Most often it is good to not cut the handle material in half when making a hidden tang knife. Usually, a solid block of wood or a piece of a stag is used. First drill a couple of starter holes at the end where the tang will be inserted.
Knife handles with pins or without pins?
Now comes the important part; a knife handle without pins or pins? People usually prefer to see at least one pin in a hidden tang handle.
Having asked most people about it, the universal response is that they feel the handle is more secured when there are pins through it. It is not true.
If the tang is built and prepped correctly and the proper adhesive is used, your knife is secure and strong.
There are instances where people prefer to not use pins especially if the knife handle is carved and textured.
The pins or a single pin will often detract from the overall product. In that case, choosing to make a hidden tang is the best option.
- Now when you have decided whether you want to have pins in the handles or without pins, you have to choose to make a hidden tang so that your knife stays secure and strong. Gauging a few grooves in the tang with some diamond bits and making similar grooves in the handle scales and epoxying them together will definitely hold the knife.
- It is more important to fit the handle material properly fitted guard than it is to fit it tightly to the tang. This does not mean that the fit should be sloppy, just that it is not necessary to make it that tight. Besides, you need to leave some room in between the tang and the handle for the glue to be effective and have a strong bond. Wither of these methods if the blade and tang are straight and the guard is at 90 degrees to the centerline of the blade and tang, then the handle with have to follow.
So there you have it, clean methods for making a hidden tang knife handle. The main thing to remember is to make sure the blade and tang are straight and the guard is at 90 degrees to the centerline of the blade and tang. Once you have that, the handle will follow. Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful.