G-10 or micarta?

jstn

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It prefer micarta. G10 is more durable and doesnt absorb liquid as much, but micarta is still plenty durable, and actually gets grippier when wet. IMO, it both feels better in hand and looks better than G10. You really can’t go wrong with either though.
 

gazz98

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You really can’t go wrong with either though.
This. My two favorite materials.

I wish more companies offered micarta handles. Thankfully, you can find aftermarket scales in micarta or G10 for many knives nowadays and the prices seem reasonable in many cases. I just bought two sets of micarta handles for the Rat 1 in D2.
 

Dadpool

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It prefer micarta. G10 is more durable and doesnt absorb liquid as much, but micarta is still plenty durable, and actually gets grippier when wet. IMO, it both feels better in hand and looks better than G10. You really can’t go wrong with either though.
Couldn't have said it better myself!

I also like how micarta acquires a patina unique to its user and uses. But some knives feel right in one material or the other, and I rarely mind which option I'm getting. They're both great.
 

Bob Denman

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I'll be getting my first Micarta-equipped knife this weekend; so I'm looking forward to comparing them...
 

sharp_edge

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I like both.

The micarta scale on my skinny Xm-18 is very flexing - I can bend it very easily,
maybe because it's quite thin. Cannot do so with the g10 scale of the same thickness. OTOH I assume micarta does not chip as easily as g10 (granted g10 is quite durable).
 

jbmonkey

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like both depending on the texture. prefer micarta as it has some advantages in feeling nicer and being gripper wet or dry as said, if not a polished finish. I dont shy from either one.
 

Bob Denman

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I like both.

The micarta scale on my skinny Xm-18 is very flexing - I can bend it very easily,
maybe because it's quite thin. Cannot do so with the g10 scale of the same thickness. OTOH I assume micarta does not chip as easily as g10 (granted g10 is quite durable).
Thanks for the heads-up on these traits. 👍
 

Doppler Bob

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It prefer micarta. G10 is more durable and doesnt absorb liquid as much, but micarta is still plenty durable, and actually gets grippier when wet. IMO, it both feels better in hand and looks better than G10. You really can’t go wrong with either though.
Thank you, good explanation!
 

Doppler Bob

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I like both.

The micarta scale on my skinny Xm-18 is very flexing - I can bend it very easily,
maybe because it's quite thin. Cannot do so with the g10 scale of the same thickness. OTOH I assume micarta does not chip as easily as g10 (granted g10 is quite durable).
Hmm, I wonder why? Same liners?
 
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I prefer micarta but in terms of functionality they are very similar. I like the warm textured feeling of micarta, I like that it changes over time, and I like that it gives a personalized weathered look to each knife. There may also be a bit of a burn out effect though as G-10 is by far the most ubiquitous handle material in the knife world.
 

sabre cat

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It prefer micarta. G10 is more durable and doesnt absorb liquid as much, but micarta is still plenty durable, and actually gets grippier when wet. IMO, it both feels better in hand and looks better than G10. You really can’t go wrong with either though.
This.
 

David Mary

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This is a novice question but I don't have much experience with micarta; does it develop an odour over time and use?

Micarta does pick up moisture and oils from whatever it is in contact with and discolors over time. Odors, maybe until the moisture content evaporates, and then when it gets wet again. But it can be easily cleaned back to looking new with soapy water and a brush or scouring pad.
 

David Mary

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From my experience with these materials, it's hard to pick an absolute favorite. The G10 on production folders is often peel ply, which means they put a sticker on its surface when they press it, which imprints the pattern into it. It is then peeled off the finished knife, and voila. I think that is what most people think of when they hear G10. It's also usually pretty thin, between say 1/16" for small knives and 1/4" for your big beefy Cold Steels. I don't mind this style of G10, and I used it a few times on fixed blades I made, but in the end I found it limited my creative capacity and what I could do for grip and ergos, as I was trying to preserve the texture. Now I prefer to contour the scales and apply my own texture with hand tools. G10 is very easy to work and finish. When done as I do it for my knives, I don't think it feels cheap or plasticky as people often say about the G10 on production folders. G10 is nonconductive, and impervious to the elements. If well finished with texture, and to a low grit (say 220), it is in fact quite grippy, and comfortable, and I even have found it to be more grippy when wet. I think that is due to the fact I do not polish my handles to a high glossy finish. I believe it is a fantastic knife handle material.

Micarta is a little bit lighter in weight than G10. It is grippier at the the same finish, with canvas (or burlap) Micarta being the grippiest, linen Micarta next, and paper Micarta not much grippier than G10. Each of these has its own distinct look and feel, and all are gripper when wet. Also nonconductive, and perhaps more so than G10 as far as heat. Impervious to the elements, and easy to clean after it has become dirty. Micarta can feel "soft" in the hand, not because it is soft per say (though it has more flex than G10 at the same thickness), but due more, I think, to the fabric texture of the material. A little harder to work than G10, due to the fabric fibers. But it is also a fantastic material.

SureTouch is G10 with layers of rubber in between. This is pretty amazing stuff. It feels a bit lighter than regular G10, though maybe still a tiny bit heavier than Micarta. But when the handle is contoured and/or textured, exposing some of the rubber layers, you end with a handle that is gripper by far than regulars G10 can ever be, and gripper than Micarta. Also, because you have rubber layers in between, you have some shock absorption, which lends itself to choppers, and it also has a slight give to it; whereas straight G10 is very hard and firm, a suretouch handle feels "soft" in the hand, or "squishy", if you will, but not in a bad way, but so very subtly. It's noticeable enough that a SureTouch handle is, in my opinion, dramatically more comfortable than a G10 or Micarta handle of the same finish and geometry. I have been leaning toward SureTouch as my favorite material lately. In my opinion, it is hands down the best choice for a chopper. It's also a bit more expensive than regular G10.
 
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