The handle of the knife handle

8 min

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The handle of the knife handleThe handle of the knife handle is one of the fundamental elements beyond the aesthetic aspect of the handle itself.

In addition to the type of material that characterizes itall forms must respect the ergonomics of the hand to allow safe use.

The forms are not only linked to the imagination of the maker but also to fundamental rules of hand ergonomics.

Even the size of the handle is to be considered based on the size of the knife and its use, these are aspects that I often repeat on the blog and I will continue to do so because if you are on this blog you want to do things well and therefore it makes no sense not to dedicate space and hours of work to the part that you will hold with your hand beyond the blade.

The ergonomics of the handle is a crucial element to ensure safe and efficient use of the knife.

Here are some additional considerations about the knife handle:

  1. Handle Material: The material of the handle can vary from wood to plastic, metal and more. Each material has its own characteristics, such as durability, grip and comfort. It is important to choose a material that allows you a secure grip and that is suitable for your cooking style.
  2. Shape of the Handle: As you mentioned, the shape of the handle must be ergonomically designed. A well-designed handle comfortably adapts to the shape of your hand, reducing fatigue and the risk of injury during prolonged use. The shape of the handle can vary from straight to curved, and the choice also depends on your personal preferences.
  3. Handle size: The size of the handle should be proportionate to the size of the knife and your hand. A handle that is too large or too small can make it difficult to use the knife and can be uncomfortable. Make sure the handle is large enough to allow a firm grip but not so large as to make it difficult to control the knife.
  4. Choice of Knife: Choosing the right knife also depends on the intended use. Chef’s knives, bread knives and cutting knives often have different handles to adapt to the specific needs of each task.
  5. Handle maintenance: The handle of the knife should be properly maintained to ensure its durability. Avoid leaving it in water for prolonged periods, as moisture and excessive heat can damage the handle material. Clean the handle carefully and regularly.

Finally, it is important to note that the choice of the knife and its handle is a personal matter.

Preferences vary from person to person, so it’s essential to try different knives and handles to find the ones that suit you best.

Safety and efficiency in the kitchen largely depend on how comfortable you feel with your tool.

Using knives a lot even for short knife fencing clearly you understand how the handle becomes a fundamental element during the practice and the fencing phase and that is why I am very demanding on this aspect.

Even trying some exercises to the tires, if you do it with your real knife only with the protections and under the supervision of an expert you immediately notice the limits of many knives on the handle, with the risk of injuring yourself, losing the blade, having a blade that is unreliable and efficient in certain contexts.

It is no coincidence that the handles are often customized to use them by replacing the material, or creating textures or wrapping them in the grips used for tennis rackets to increase their grip.

Now tell you how many knives have the shaped handle for purely aesthetic reasons or how many are made considering the ergonomics of the hand becomes a statistical research.

Surely you see many knives already by eye without holding them or measuring them that you already understand that they have no logic, and holding them this perception becomes tactile confirming to hold an uncomfortable handle.

Surely when you hold a knife “thought” the difference is immediately perceived.

To simplify it, let’s say that some makers tend to do something artistic and therefore prefer the shape from an aesthetic point of view, such as the choice of beautiful materials but not really suitable for a tool to be used.

Other makers give more importance to a good grip based on experience and you have models made, or still others, build the handle according to the type of use of the knife respect the ergonomic rules of the hand and clearly always to the experience.

Now in addition to the shape, as I told you also the materials can greatly change the grip and therefore improve the grip of the knife in use but surely what I can tell you is that some dimensions, shapes and shapes greatly improve the grip of the knife because they respect the ergonomics of the hand.

Also in this case the choice of the shape is very tied to the destination of the knife:

  • Artistic
  • Standard
  • Custom

The three categories you mentioned, namely “Artistic”, “Standard” and “Custom”, represent different approaches in the design of knife handles:

  1. Artistic: When it comes to artistic knives, aesthetics is often the top priority. In this case, the handles can be processed, decorated and carved with intricate details. These knives are often designed as works of art, intended more for decorative or ceremonial purposes than for everyday use in the kitchen or other contexts. The shape of the handle can be very creative and unique.
  2. Standard: Standard knives are designed with a more traditional and functional handle shape. Their priority is efficiency in the kitchen or other applications. These knives can have ergonomic handles but without excessive aesthetic processing. They are ideal for everyday and professional use.
  3. Custom: Custom knives are tailor-made for the customer and often represent a combination of artistic and functional aspects. In this case, the shape of the handle is designed to perfectly fit the user’s hand and preferences. Customization can relate to material, shape, balance, and other specific details.

The choice between these categories depends on individual needs and preferences.

For practical use in the kitchen, the standard or custom shape of the handle is often the best choice.

However, for ceremonial, decorative purposes or as pieces of art, the art form can be greatly appreciated.

In any case, it is important to consider functionality, ergonomics and intended use when designing or choosing a knife with a specific handle shape.

The handle of the knife handle





The size of the knife handle

The measures I recommend for the handle of the knife are as follows:

  • 115 mm minimum on small knives from 21-23 cm
  • 125 on larger 30 cm knives

Indicatively you can use these reference dimensions but if you are looking on the internet then find the sizes of the knives you like and make a personal analysis but with these you are not wrong.

Ps. It can also be useful and interesting to measure the hand of the user if you make a custom, the idea of measuring the user’s hand when creating a custom knife is excellent.

This will ensure that the knife fits perfectly in the user’s hand, offering maximum convenience and control during use.

It is important to take into account hand size and personal preferences when choosing a knife, and these measurements can be a useful guide.

Knife customization is an ideal approach for those who want a highly customized kitchen tool or survival knife and even worse if it is a knife fencing knife.

Remember that safety in the kitchen is paramount, and choosing a knife with the right handle size is an important part of this process.

The handle of the knife handle

The three-dimensional shaping of the knife handle

The profiles that I have inserted as an example are clearly in view, but the knife is three-dimensional and therefore must be rounded or shaped appropriately to make it as ergonomic as possible.

It is very common to see especially on valuable or large knives of the reductions of the knife section in certain points to make it more ergonomic and balanced in the hand.

The shape of the knife is not limited to the side view; It is crucial to consider the full shape of the knife to ensure a comfortable grip and proper balance during use.

Here are some additional considerations on the three-dimensional shaping of the knife handle:

  1. Surveys and Grooves: Many three-dimensional shapes include bumps or grooves that improve the grip of the knife. These can be strategically designed to fit the structure of the fingers and improve control.
  2. Balance: The balance of the knife is crucial for its handling. The point at which the knife balances may vary depending on its use. For example, a well-balanced chef’s knife will have its center of gravity near the heel of the blade for better control when cutting.
  3. Mass Reduction: As you mentioned, in some high-quality or large knives, it is common to reduce the section of the knife in certain places. This not only makes the knife lighter but can also improve ergonomics and handling.
  4. Handle materials: The choice of materials for the handle can influence the three-dimensional shaping. Some materials can be shaped more precisely to fit the hand and improve grip.
  5. User Feedback: When designing a knife, it is useful to collect user feedback to ensure that the three-dimensional shaping meets the needs of the people who actually use it.

Ultimately, three-dimensional shaping is a fundamental aspect in the design of ergonomic and functional knives.

Craftsmen and designers of knives devote a lot of attention to this aspect to ensure that the knife is comfortable to use and can perform its functions efficiently.

The handle of the knife handle


The shape of the handle of the knife must be thought of very well, both as a shape and as a choice of material.

Clearly the use of the knife and its intended use better orient the maker in choosing the right material and the best shape of the handle even if this means penalizing the aesthetics of the knife a little.

Today the great variety of materials allows us to “play” really, managing to give both an aesthetic value and knife performance.

A very elaborate handle also means many more hours of processing that go to affect the knife cost.

The choice of material and shape of the handle must be well thought out, taking into account the intended use and individual preferences.

Here are some key conclusions:

  1. Thinking about Functionality: The functionality of the knife should be the main priority in the design of the handle. The shape and material of the handle must be chosen according to the intended use of the knife, ensuring that it is comfortable, safe and efficient for the job it has to do.
  2. Balancing Aesthetics and Performance: Although aesthetics are important, it is essential to find a balance between the appearance of the knife and its performance. An elaborate and expensive handle can improve the overall appearance of the knife, but it can also increase the cost of production.
  3. Variety of Materials: The wide variety of materials available for knife handles provides creative opportunities. You can choose from fine wood, composites, rubber, metal, and more, based on your preferences and intended use.
  4. Personalization: Customization of knives has become increasingly popular. Craftsmen can create bespoke handles to meet the specific needs of customers, further improving ergonomics and functionality.
  5. Consider the Budget: It is important to keep the budget in mind when designing a knife. More elaborate materials and workmanship can significantly increase the cost of the knife. Therefore, it is crucial to balance the quality of the handle with the available budget.

Ultimately, knife handle design is a complex process that requires attention to detail and a balanced assessment of priorities.

A well-designed handle will improve usability and user satisfaction, making the knife an effective and reliable extension of your hand in the kitchen or other applications.

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130 shares, 130 points
Andrea F

Maker and Enthusiast of Knifemaking. Other: Engineer / Professional Blogger / Bass Player / Instructor of Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! State Of Love And Trust!


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