Handle material suggestions for custom kukri??

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Jan 3, 2021
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Anybody got any suggestions?

Gonna have a custom kukri made and I'm wondering if anyone can speak from personal experience.

Any advantages/ disadvantages to buffalo horn, rosewood, stacked leather or micarta? I saw a video where a guy compared the buffalo horn to rosewood and he actually preferred the horn, which was a surprise to me...

Let me know!

-T
 

ferider

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As a user, among the 4, I'd pick horn for a stainless (water resistance), and wood for a tool steel (like the feel :) ). Micarta can be very different, I have some that's very water resistant, other's that soak up water ...
 

unwisefool

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Even the micarta I have that absorbs some water still has better traction than other materials.
 
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As a user, among the 4, I'd pick horn for a stainless (water resistance), and wood for a tool steel (like the feel :) ). Micarta can be very different, I have some that's very water resistant, other's that soak up water ...

Super cool! That horn just looks so sweet! Would you have any concern with the wood warping/ cracking?
 
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if it's untreated wood, yes, cracking could be an issue...
but most wood used is stabilized, which will be a great handle that resists water/cracking/fading etc

if it's not, then you must maintain it with a bit of tung oil or linseed or whatever you prefer
 
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if it's untreated wood, yes, cracking could be an issue...
but most wood used is stabilized, which will be a great handle that resists water/cracking/fading etc

if it's not, then you must maintain it with a bit of tung oil or linseed or whatever you prefer

So cool to know! Thank you for informing me!

On that same note -My mother has a bunch of blades with wooden handles that she's sent through the dishwasher a million times. Those handles are now totally trashed and faded and porous and some of them even cracked. What would I do to "restore" them??
 
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I use tung oil, but it takes a while (days) to absorb & get non-oily... and it will darken the wood a bit
 
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I use tung oil, but it takes a while (days) to absorb & get non-oily... and it will darken the wood a bit

Gonna look into it!

Excited!

Thank you!

(There are the types of things I get excited about, now. Haha!)
 

ferider

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Super cool! That horn just looks so sweet! Would you have any concern with the wood warping/ cracking?

Like Dirc said, typically it's stabilized, and if you pick a wood like Ironwood, it's quite resistant to scratches. Still, of course it's more sensitive than, say, G10 or CF. I just love the feel. You might hear the same from somebody who likes Micarta .... it's not very rational, I know.

Roland.
 
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Like Dirc said, typically it's stabilized, and if you pick a wood like Ironwood, it's quite resistant to scratches. Still, of course it's more sensitive than, say, G10 or CF. I just love the feel. You might hear the same from somebody who likes Micarta .... it's not very rational, I know.

Roland.

Wood is beautiful. Been around forever. I agree with you about the feel -I have an old mora with a wood handle and everytime I pick it up, I'm like "Something is very RIGHT here ..." Haha! Why the horn for "water resistance" on STAINLESS? Wouldn't it make more sense to put the more water resistant handle on the high carbon steel blade?
 

ferider

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Why the horn for "water resistance" on STAINLESS? Wouldn't it make more sense to put the more water resistant handle on the high carbon steel blade?

Sure, hard to beat G10 or CF in functionality ...
 

CWL

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Buffalo horn is the traditional material used, but you will need to use cured horn as fresh buffalo horn will shrink and can crack. Horn has a great "feel" and it absorbs impacts to reduce hand fatigue from chopping. It also polishes to a great lustre.

Wood will do the same, as long as it is stabilized, although I prefer horn.

Micarta offers a lot of color options, but I'd stay away from paper micarta and G10 as they will transfer impact shock to the hand.
 
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Buffalo horn is the traditional material used, but you will need to use cured horn as fresh buffalo horn will shrink and can crack. Horn has a great "feel" and it absorbs impacts to reduce hand fatigue from chopping. It also polishes to a great lustre.

Wood will do the same, as long as it is stabilized, although I prefer horn.

Micarta offers a lot of color options, but I'd stay away from paper micarta and G10 as they will transfer impact shock to the hand.

CHAMP!

Thank you!
 

shortwinger

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People think Buffalo horn handles are hard, cold, and slippery but I love them. To me they feel soft, organic, and very comfortable, even with extended use. I keep mine conditioned with hooflex and soak in mineral oil. Both wood and horn handled kukri need to be treated with care, they take a tremendous impact with regular use and without care they will crack, break, or shrink and become loose.

If I were having a “user” kukri custom made I would probably try micarta or G10. If it were a show piece kept in a house I would find a nice piece of horn with some color in it. Beautiful and traditional.
 

FullMetalJackass

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Bicolor grippy G10 would be my choice, you'll be swinging hard that thing and you need a good grip. A nice lanyard is NOT an option.
 
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have a south-asian kukri in buffhorn
that's well over 50 at least.
the leather sheath has some deterioration
and the horn has ahown no signa of fail :)
but maybe its because it hasn't been
carried under wet conditions and
has been free from vemin infestation.
be wary of material which absorbs moisture.
if you're intending hard regular use
i would look at a wood laminate for
robustness or maybe dense tropical woods (like teak/iron wood) for extreme weather.
anything ultra smooth has a tendency to slip. so there should be some aspect in
the handle design to ensure secure grips.

.
 
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