Selecting the Best Wood For Knife Handles

Selecting the Best Wood For Knife Handles

Selecting the Best Wood
For Knife Handles

Have you ever thought that apart from the knife blades, their handles also play an important role in cooking? Well, it is true. How? With their firm hold and sturdiness. The wooden handles offer a comfortable and ergonomic grip, allowing for extended use without causing fatigue or discomfort, giving precision while cutting, chopping, and slicing. When properly cared for, wood handles can withstand the rigors of daily use in the kitchen and maintain their beauty and functionality for years to come. Since there are a variety of wooden knives available, creating confusion. So, let’s know the best wood for knife handles and what these offer!!!
Japanese whetstone

Commonly Used Wood Types in Knives Handles

Damascus Steel Chef Knife


Ebony is a hard, black wood utilized as knife handles for centuries in traditional knife making. Here’s why this wood is a popular choice for knife handles:
  • High levels of moisture and rot resistance make this wood one of the greatest choices in your culinary collection.
  • Fine texture that provides a smooth, comfortable, and stable grip.
  • After polishing, the handle exudes a glossy mirror-like finish.
  • The wood is counted as one of the densest and hardest options.


The Cherrywood is derived from the cherry tree and retains a warm reddish-brown color and fine grain. Compared to other hardwoods like oak, cherrywood falls on the slightly less dense and hard side; it is relatively easy to cut and carve precisely for the knife handles. What exceptionally makes this wood suitable for knife making is its ability to withstand humidity as it resists warping and shrinking when exposed to kitchen humid conditions.


For thousands of years, Oak wood has been used in kitchen knives thanks to its natural ability to fight off bugs and fungi. As the bacterial growth is lower on the handle, the knives withstand exposure to citric foods and demand minimal maintenance. Derived from various types of Oak trees, the wood is available in various shades and patterns.

Interesting Fact: Oak trees take as long as 150 years to mature for construction, contributing to their expensiveness.


Rosewood, derived from the tropical genus Dalbergia, is a naturally beautiful wood used in crafting several things like knife handles, furniture, musical instruments, and many others. Especially focusing on its usage in the culinary industry, its high oil content gives it a strong ability to resist dry-wood termites.

Rosewood is currently enlisted as one of the endangered plant species and requires special licensing for sourcing. Its reserved usage in knives makes it a precious investment that could be passed down as a heirloom to further generations. The wood is derived from countries Brazil, Jamaica, Africa, and India, the tree’s native habitats.


Amboyna Burl is an appealing yet costly choice for manufacturing high-end knife handles, appreciated for its rarity, unique grain patterns, and striking hue.

For knife making, the wood is mostly stabilized to make it highly resistant to cracking and other forms of damage. Its excellent mechanical strength provides a solid and reliable hold for knife handles that features better control when performing cutting tasks.


Sandalwood is a quite popular wood type, known for its medicinal properties, luxurious furniture crafts, and religious associations. Due to its valuable status, this wood is counted as one of the world’s most expensive woods. Its antibacterial properties resist the growth of the germs on the knife handles while also controlling odor.

Moreover, the irresistible appeal of sandalwood handles, for instance, in our Yakushi Damascus Steel Chef Knife and kiritsuke knife, additionally contributes to the wood’s desirability.

Ways to Select the Wood for Knife Handles 

Choosing the Right Material

Some materials demand more frequent care and maintenance to stay in good shape. Choose materials from tough woods and high resistance to rot & mold to ensure the longevity of your knives.

Consider Your Comfort

When you hold the handle, make sure it feels good in your hand. Look for one that's comfortable, not too big or small. It should fit well in your hand. Even if shopping online, you can check the knife’s suitability as Yakushi provides a 15-day test run to check the knife and return it if it does not meet your expectations.
Damascus Steel Chef Knife

Smooth Finishes for Safety

A good handle should be sanded and polished nicely. There shouldn't be any rough or sharp parts that can hurt you. 

The weight

For the knife handle to feel balanced and stable, you need to buy the one that has a righteous weight according to your usage. It shouldn't be too heavy or light; otherwise, it might be hard to use comfortably. Check the weight specifications before purchasing.


Selecting the right wood for knife handles requires a lot of consideration. If the wood’s grip is not firm and moisture-resistant, the cutting or chopping won’t be perfect. That will eventually affect the quality of the food, so before bringing the knife home, ensure you know the wood you want in your knife.

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