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Author Topic: Handle Shapes....  (Read 12346 times)
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B.K. Mains
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« on: January 03, 2012, 06:38:26 PM »

I need opinions about handle shape and design. Should not the butt be the smallest part of the handle so as to secure a sure grip on the knife when using it?

BK.....    

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larnotlars
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 11:19:29 PM »

In my world view, I would want a handle for my knife to have a more narrow butt. It seems like it would cause less fatigue to use. I guess that if you had a knife that was designed to be swung hard, a flaired butt might make it less subject to fly our of your grip, kinda like a Turkish Yatagan... but carrying it would be uncomfortable and that isn't the definition of a multi-purpose knife....
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caknives
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 09:25:25 PM »

There is no one right answer because there is no one perfect knife. If the knife in question has a dedicated purpose then a task specific handle can easily be defended. For me the butt should be the widest point. It keeps the hand from slipping off in a wet, cold or gooey pull cut, or the chance of a hang up, and allows for striking and pounding, for things like splitting a pelvis or pounding into a door or window to pry. It also has mass for pounding or breaking and helps keep the hand in place and protect it during these essential but "abusive" tasks. A properly designed handle will be offset to keep the wider but from being uncomfortable during carry. ie. right or left handled. The only real way to know what works and what doesn't is to try it and see! If you can put a handle on you can take one off. Iv'e put as many as 3 or 4 handles on a knife before i got it right for the user and purpose. ( Just ask David )  Tongue
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 09:31:47 PM by caknives » Logged

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larnotlars
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 10:01:47 AM »

That makes a lot of sense to me.  I was thinking of the old yatagan cavalry swords that had wing like butts to make it less likely for the sword to fly out of the rider's hand on a strike...  I keep forgetting that there is more than 1 size of "Wider". I do also like to have the end of the butt drop down in a kind of "Pistol grip" to make it safer to draw...

Thanks Chris!
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B.K. Mains
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 12:25:25 PM »

How about a Marine K-Bar. How does that design rate as effective and High Performance.....

BK.......
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jared williams
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 02:52:09 PM »

There are as many handle shapes as there are hands on this planet. some of my handles are more narrow at the pommel and others are wider, it all depends on the use of the knife, how it will be carried, how it will be held for the jobs it was intended for. I dont believe there is a right or wrong type of handle, there is just different handles for different people. i like to take different natural materials and hold them in my hands and feel what each has to offer. The shape of an antler or the curve of a branch of scrub oak can give a lot of information on handle shape. just something to consider.
The marine K-Bar style handle has been used for many years and has proven itself as an easy handle to mass produce and has proven itself many times. I personaly dont care for the handle shape as it tends to not sit comfortably in my hand.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 05:35:39 AM »

A comfortable handle is the most important aspect of the knife. During just casual cutting, almost any handle shape will do.
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B.K. Mains
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 11:13:53 AM »

Well, I'm getting a lot of generalizations, but no specific answers about the BEST handle shape. I believe that at the butt of the handle should be the smallest and work it's way up in size. I marvel at most handles that the thickest part is the butt or pommel area. This is not the best design in my opinion.....

BK....
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larnotlars
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 01:22:24 PM »

One True Blade to rule them all?

I think that what the vague generalizations are trying to tell us is that there is no BEST handle conformation. Just as serrations might be good in a bread knife, but bad in a skinner: A wide base has applications that make it better, a narrow base is better for other applications. (Although after reading Chris' post I am starting to lose faith in my statement about the benefit of the narrow base).

There are so many applications that we CAN use knives for, that we cannot make a knife that is best for all of them. We would be wisest if we looked at the blade, decided what it can do well at and then decided on the handle. As "klingon" as I believe D-guards and skull crushers are, some situations make them less absurd (ok, maybe I'll grudgingly upgrade the category to useful... assuming that we live in a video game).

Given our interests in knives being functional, form must follow function as opposed to a crystallized ideal.

<~~ducking now before everyone responds to the D-guard comment...
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caknives
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2012, 06:10:27 PM »

Well said Lar! Since you summed up my thoughts so well i'll let the D guard thing go...for now. Wink
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caknives
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2012, 06:13:25 PM »

I will throw this in though. A handle with a guard is very desirable from a safety point of view as well as blade control but put a guard on a chefs knife and you have a virtually worthless tool. Just a few more cents.
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caknives
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 10:41:00 AM »

Hey B.K. just had a thought, what type of knife are you searching for the perfect handle for? A more specific question would help us come to a conclusion, or at least a more concrete thought. Tactical, hunter, large small short or tall? Undecided
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Harold Locke
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 07:24:38 AM »

B.K.

Have you seen the posting on the forum of the D' Vinci, hand studies. So many times I have studied my hand and thought wow that little finger sure has a smaller grip than the rest of my fingers. Hmm?

I have made a few small deringer type handles that are just short of the little finger my tendancy is to want to choke up on the blade and get that little finger on the wide part of the handle. So hopefully you have made some of what you think is ideal and will play with them in your hands for some time and come up with what will work for what you are thinking in your minds eye.

I'm thinking that the function of the little finger in the butt of the knife functions mostly as lateral strength to keep the knife from flying out the side of your fist while working.

Harold Locke
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B.K. Mains
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 12:46:38 PM »

Quote
Hey B.K. just had a thought, what type of knife are you searching for the perfect handle for? A more specific question would help us come to a conclusion, or at least a more concrete thought. Tactical, hunter, large small short or tall? Undecided
[/color]

The high performance knife must have a high performance handle, so I ask for your opinions on the handle. Steel this and tempering that and quench lines and guards, but never any discussion on the handle.....

Let's take Ed's handles. They seem to be all different as far as thickness and curve and size and shape. The front of it next to the guard is always the same shape, and he makes it easy to choke up on the knife for close work. What about Ed's handles? Do we have a consensus that his are OK? Their basically all the same on his Fawn all the way up to his Camp Knife.

Different handles for different blades? Or one like Ed's that's basically the same on every knife........ Huh

BK....
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davidm
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 01:52:39 PM »

I would not agree, describing Ed's handles as "basically the same on every knife". Not even remotely!  What i have noticed in this time i have admired his work, that each separate knife has a uniqueness in feel associated with it. In over ten years i have never seen a clone. Some will fit your hand better than others, and once in a while one will fit perfectly. They will, each one make a different impression to you, the way it fits and feels in your hand. 

Look through more photos if you havent noticed this.  The proportions and contours of each have distinct properties. The only thing "same" is the materials.  And each horn has variances in shape, contours. His isnt a "broomstick" approach.. Never has been. it is what defines "handmade" and gives it worth and meaning, i think. One thing i think is worth mentioning, Leonardo Da Vinci studied human anatomy and physiology- he used the knowledge of this in his art.
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