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#5775665 - 06/05/15 04:02 PM Questions re Stabilized handle material
blackcoal Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 9116
Loc: 60 Mi North of DFW
Back in 1978 I became interested in custom knives, bought enough to outfit a store. Met some great fellows who are now grinding in another world such as Jimmy Lile, Ruffin Johnson, Harvey McBurnette, George Herron, Martin Pullen, G.W. Stone and more that are still around. Never met a nicer group or more humble group of people than knife makers...

My question is this, how durable are the stabilized handles? For example, if I drop one five feet on a sharp boulder will it chip crack or scuff. What about heat extremes? Walk out of a 68* cabin into a 5* cold morning? What about leaving the knife in a hot truck in South Texas for a month? If you leave one next to the camp fire will it melt or flame up? Does the material get slippery when wet or soaked with blood? Regarding temperature extremes, will expansion or shrinkage be enough to cause cracking or splitting? Does the material scuff easily? I'm sure there are different types of material just as in steels, so I would appreciate any help? Also, any ideas on longevity?
The Greatest Enemy of knowledge is not ignorance,
it is the illusion of knowledge.--Stephen Hawking

#5775837 - 06/05/15 06:38 PM Re: Questions re Stabilized handle material [Re: blackcoal]
Colt W. Knight Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 2091
Loc: West Virginia
It is more resistant to cracking and swelling/shrinking, but it doesn't make it as tough as polymer products. Stabilized handles should last the lifespan of the blade, but then again, properly selected and cared for wood handles will too.

#5776764 - 06/06/15 04:02 PM Re: Questions re Stabilized handle material [Re: blackcoal]
D.Crawford Offline

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 522
Loc: Plano,Tx & Sulphur Springs, Tx
Cole, I've been really impressed with everything I've sent out for professionally done stabilization. No cases of shrinking or swelling due to humidity changes or temp. Also far less likely to crack around the handle pins. It's still not quite as tough as micarta (phenolics), but what is?! My favorite part is that it prevents the wood from picking up oil and dirt and eventually darkening up and loosing its "pop". It buffs back to new after a scuff.
David Crawford

See more of my work here

#5777405 - 06/07/15 09:11 AM Re: Questions re Stabilized handle material [Re: blackcoal]
bjankowski Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 04/22/10
Posts: 3950
Loc: Burleson, Tex and Possum Kingd...
This is a really good link on stabilized woods that pretty much answers any questions.
God is good always; always, God is good!

"If thou wilst a keen edge win
forge it thick and grind it thin"


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