Knife handles have many qualities that are important to how they function under the conditions in which they are used. Every variety of handle material has its high points and disadvantages. It is imperative for safety and ease of use that the handle of a knife is easy to grip without it slipping, and strong enough to withstand the punishment necessary to get the job done. For this reason G-10 is used in the making of many types and brands of knife handles.
G-10 is a highly durable material commonly used in the making of top quality knife handles. It is especially popular in the making of tactical folding knives, hunting knives, and survival knives. G-10 is used because it is strong, lightweight, virtually moisture and climate resistant, and doesn’t shrink. It has high impact strength, and resists cracking even when exposed to the most extreme temperatures and conditions.
G-10 is a heat retardant, electrical grade laminate created by layering fiberglass cloth and industrial grade resin. The material is then heated and compressed to bind the layers. First introduced in the mid 1950’s the scientifically manufactured substance has also been used in aerospace and underwater applications. Because it is so versatile G-10, and variations of it, serve well in making insulation for extremely high and low temperature electrical and medical equipment.
There are two other forms of G-10 that I would like to mention. The first of which is FR4, a fire retardant version of the original fiberglass and resin version of G-10. This is commonly known as Garolite. FR4 can be used in place of G-10 adding more protection to the components made with it, and has applications in a wide variety of mechanical insulation and electrical manufacturing processes.
The other variation of G-10 is a material called Micarta which is made just like G-10, except linen cloth is used in place of fiberglass. Micarta is light, durable, and does not have a surface texture of its own. It is smooth to the touch and it has a more elegant look than G-10, but can be scratched if not properly taken care of. This material is also very common in knife handle manufacturing. Unlike regular G-10 or FR4, Micarta requires some work be done by hand, and for that reason can sometimes increase the price of a better quality knife.
The original G-10 material most often comes in black but is also available in different colors; such as blue, green, orange, and tiger stripped to name a few. There is also a process where knife makers laminate mother of pearl, or other decorative materials to G-10 to create ornamental scales on the surface of the knife handle. Waterproof and chemical resistant the layering process used to make G-10 gives it a unique look when ground and polished. G-10 is most often textured with a checking pattern that really adds to its aesthetic appeal, but there are other gripping surfaces to choose from. The checking pattern seems to be a knife enthusiast favorite because of its gripping strength, and comfort.
So if you are looking for a top quality handle on the knives you use for work and recreation, available in many different colors and brand names, then G-10 may be the right fit for you. You will find G-10 used to make almost every style of knife you need including tactical folders, folding knives, fixed blade knives, hunting knives, survival knives, and utility knives. All the benefits of the G-10 handle make it a sound decision every time you shop for a knife.