G-10 isn’t the latest business jet that all the iced-out rappers are flying in these days. It’s a durable material that’s popular as handle scales for knives. Its use on folders and fixed blades has become more prevalent in recent years — particularly among cops, troops, bushcrafters, and outdoor adventurers who are looking for something that can take a serious beating in the most serious conditions.

Some people assume that the blade is the most (and only) important part of a knife, but the handle is just as important. Without a sturdy grip, you wouldn’t be able to keep the tool in your hand, let alone use it for any vital tasks. So the handle is the yin to the blade’s yang. Both are equally important; that’s why more and more manufacturers are putting G-10 scales on their knives.

However, not every end user of a G-10 handle really knows what he wields in his hand. Is it plastic? Is it fiberglass? Why is it so expensive? Does it really perform when SHTF? In this case, the marketing is true: G-10 is among the best knife handle materials to be in your palm in an emergency situation.

Benefits

G-10 is actually a laminate. It’s made of layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in an epoxy resin binder and then compressed under high pressure before being baked. What does that all mean? It means G-10 has all the strengths of other popular synthetic materials, but fewer weaknesses.

Strength:

It’s incredibly strong, so unlike more traditional knife handle materials such as wood, G-10 won’t crack, break, chip, or scratch easily. It also stabilizes the knife by providing outstanding lateral support, preventing flexing during hardcore use, such as, maybe, cutting through a fuselage.

Lightweight:

As the saying goes, ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain. G-10 provides tremendous benefits in an extremely light package, helping to keep the weight of a knife down. It reportedly has the same tensile strength as aluminum, but is 30 percent lighter. So a G-10 knife is ideal if you have to GTFO, but can carry only a limited load.

Grip:

Slippage is rarely an issue with a G-10 handle, because it can be textured to a variety of patterns and finishes that provide both a badass aesthetic and a sturdy grip. (It also comes in different colors, another reason for its popularity.)

Low Maintenance:

When you’re off-grid, finding knife oils is probably pretty low on your priority list. Thankfully, G-10 is a low-maintenance kind of gal. She doesn’t need any polishing products like a stag handle does, and when she does get dirty she cleans up quickly with dish soap, a toothbrush, and warm water.

Electrical Insulation:

G-10 was developed in the mid-20th century as a base for circuit boards because it doesn’t conduct electricity. Today, it’s used in a variety of applications, from electrical equipment and medical diagnostics to rocket cases and antennae insulators. Unless you plan on stabbing a Decepticon anytime soon, electrical insulation for a knife is probably an unnecessary attribute — but it is kinda cool to have.

Everything-Proof… Almost:

G-10 is resistant to chemicals and doesn’t absorb water or even moisture, which means it won’t rust, shrink, or expand. It also doesn’t conduct heat or cold. So if you accidentally drop your knife in snow or lay it too close to a heat source, you can still handle it immediately without numbing or burning your hand.

Conclusion

There’s no such thing as a perfect handle, and the same holds true for G-10. But, most of the complaints about G-10 stem more from the way a particular handle feels in hand or in your pocket (e.g. it’s too thick, too thin, too smooth, too rough, etc.) as opposed to the properties of the material itself. Some non-believers say that G-10 will crack under a hard impact, but so will pretty much any other knife handle material that’s not rubber or metallic. Besides, if you’ve just been hit with enough force to crack G-10, you have much bigger things to worry about than the condition of your handle.

It’s a tough-as-nails material that gives the end user an assured grip during all manner of duties, from light-duty chores like cutting paracord to hardcore tasks like batoning wood logs. It requires almost zero care, can be used in any environment, and will last like nobody’s business.

With this in mind, we present you with a guide to some of the more recent knives that feature G-10 handles. Though varying in size, shape, and texture, they all have one thing in common: superior quality and functionality. We’re certain you’ll find one that fits your needs.

G-10 Handles Do More Than Just Provide Some Traction

  • benchmade-knife-co-916-triage

    Benchmade Knife Co. 916 Triage

    Make & Model - Benchmade Knife Co. 916 Triage
    Length Open - 8 and 3⁄16 inches
    Length Closed - 4 and 13⁄16 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 3⁄16 inches
    Weight - 5.2 ounces
    Blade Material - N680 (main blade), 440C (safety cutter)
    Blade Edge - Combo (pictured), plain edge
    Colorway - BK1 coated blade/orange handle (pictured), metal blade/black handle, BK1 coated blade/black handle, metal blade/orange handle
    MSRP - $185
    URL - http://www.benchmade.com
    Features - AXIS locking mechanism
    Hook-shaped safety cutter
    Carbide glass breaker


    The Benchmade Knife Co. 916 Triage is a long 8 3/16 inches when extended and has a locking mechanism with a hooked-shaped safety clutter to keep you safe when it's closed.

  • columbia-river-knife-and-tool-inc-liong-mah-design-6

    Columbia River Knife & Tool Inc. Liong Mah Design #6

    Make & Model - Columbia River Knife & Tool Inc. Liong Mah Design #6
    Length Open - 6 and 1⁄2 inches
    Length Closed - 3 and 11⁄16 inches
    Blade Length - 2 and 13⁄16 inches
    Weight - 3.6 ounces
    Blade Material - 8Cr14Mo
    Blade Edge - Combo
    Colorway - Satin blade/black handle
    MSRP - $49.99
    URL - http://www.crkt.com
    Features - Liong Mah's deep, hollow ground blade style provides a stout cutting edge from tip to finger guard
    Slip joint locking mechanism
    Fob/tether


    Check out the Columbia River Knife & Tool Inc. Liong Mah Design #6 that has a deep hollow ground blade style that provides a stout cutting edge.

  • emerson-knives-inc-cqc-7bw

    Emerson Knives Inc. CQC-7BW

    Make & Model - Emerson Knives Inc. CQC-7BW
    Length Open - 7 and 7⁄8 inches
    Length Closed - 4 and 5⁄8 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 3⁄16 inches
    Weight - 5 ounces
    Blade Material - 154CM
    Blade Edge - Serrated (pictured), plain
    Colorway - Black blade/black handle (pictured), stone-washed blade/black handle
    MSRP - $201.95
    URL - http://www.emersonknives.com
    Features - Razor sharp, chisel ground cutting edge
    Patented "wave-shaped opening feature"
    Tanto tip


    The Emerson Knives Inc. CQC-7BW is a pocket knife with the patented "wave-shaped opening feature" and has a razor sharp, chisel ground cutting edge.

  • gerber-mini-swagger-ao

    Gerber Mini Swagger AO

    Make & Model - Gerber Mini Swagger AO
    Length Open - 6 and 5⁄16 inches
    Length Closed - 3 and 9⁄16 inches
    Blade Length - 2 and 3⁄4 inches
    Weight - 1.8 ounces
    Blade Material - 7Cr17MoV
    Blade Edge - Straight
    Colorway - Silver blade/black handle (pictured), black blade/black handle
    MSRP - $38
    URL - http://www.gerbergear.com
    Features - Smooth opening
    Partially serrated drop-point style
    Lighter than a handful of change


    The Gerber Mini Swagger AO is a smooth opening partially serrated knife with a drop-point style and is lighter than a handful of change.

  • gerber-swagger-knife

    Gerber Swagger

    Make & Model - Gerber Swagger
    Length Open - 7 and 7⁄16 inches
    Length Closed - 4 and 1⁄4 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 1⁄4 inches
    Weight - 3.6 ounces
    Blade Material - 7Cr17MoV
    Blade Edge - Drop-point, serrated
    Colorway - Black blade/black handle
    MSRP - $32
    URL - http://www.gerbergear.com
    Features - Frame lock
    Partially serrated drop-point blade
    Machine styling — matching handle and blade


    Check out the Gerber Swagger, a framelock pocket knife with machine styling and a partially serrated drop-point blade.

  • kershaw-knives-rj-i

    Kershaw Knives RJ I

    Make & Model - Kershaw Knives RJ I
    Length Open - 81⁄8 inches
    Length Closed - 4 and 5⁄8 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 1⁄2 inches
    Weight - 4.4 ounces
    Blade Material - 8CR13MOV, titanium carbo-nitride coating
    Blade Edge - Two-step serration
    Colorway - Metal blade/black handle
    MSRP - $49.95
    URL - http://www.kershaw.kaiusaltd.com
    Features - RJ Martin's blade design and grind gives piercing power of a tanto with just enough curve to the belly for slicing aptitude, as well
    Titanium carbo-nitride coating
    SpeedSafe-assisted opening system


    Check out the Kershaw Knives RJ I with a SpeedSafe-assisted opening system for the titanium carbo-nitrate coated blade.

  • sog-specialty-knives-and-tools-alute

    SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Salute

    Make & Model - SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Salute
    Length Open - 8 and 3⁄8 inches
    Length Closed - 4 and 5⁄8 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 5⁄8 inches
    Weight - 4.7 ounces
    Blade Material - 8Cr13MoV
    Blade Edge - Straight
    Colorway - Hardcase black blade/black handle
    MSRP - $51.75
    URL - http://www.sogknives.com
    Features - Straight edge blade with Bowie blade shape
    One-handed blade deployment system with adjustable thumb stud
    Low-carry bayonet clip


    The SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Salute is a straight edge blade, but with a Bowie blade shape with a one-handled deployment system.

  • spyderco-manix2

    Spyderco Manix2

    Make & Model - Spyderco Manix2
    Length Open - 8 inches
    Length Closed - 4 and 5⁄8 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 6⁄16 inches
    Weight - 5.1 ounces
    Blade Material - CPM S30V
    Blade Edge - Combo (pictured), plain
    Colorway - Metal blade/black handle (pictured), metal blade/blue handle, black blade/black handle
    MSRP - $146.95
    URL - http://www.spyderco.com
    Features - Ball bearing lock
    Textured spine jimping
    Left-/right-hand carry


    The Spyderco Manix2 pocket knife, has a ball bearing lock, textured spine kimping, and a lef/rigbht hand carry!

  • spyderco-tenacious-knife

    Spyderco Tenacious

    Make & Model - Spyderco Tenacious
    Length Open - 7 and 3⁄4 inches
    Length Closed - 4 and 6⁄16 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 6⁄16 inches
    Weight - 4.1 ounces
    Blade Material - 8Cr13MoV
    Blade Edge - Combo (pictured), plain, Spyder
    Colorway - Metal blade/black handle
    MSRP - $64.95
    URL - http://www.spyderco.com
    Features - Michael Walker liner lock
    Leaf-shaped blade
    Left-/right-hand carry


    The Spyderco-tenacious-not only is a left/right hand carry knife, but it has a Michael Walker liner lock for the leaf-shaped blade.

  • zero-tolerance-knives-0300s

    Zero Tolerance Knives 0300ST

    Make & Model - Zero Tolerance Knives 0300ST
    Length Open - 8 and 5⁄8 inches
    Length Closed - 5 and 1⁄8 inches
    Blade Length - 3 and 5⁄8 inches
    Weight - 8.2 ounces
    Blade Material - S30V
    Blade Edge - Partially serrated
    Colorway - Tungsten DLC-coating blade/black handle
    MSRP - $340
    URL - http://www.zt.kaiusaltd.com
    Features - SpeedSafe-assisted opening and a multitask ready re-curve
    Quad mounting system
    Titanium frame lock


    Check out the Zero Tolerance Knives 0300ST, a knife with a SpeedSafe-assisted opening and multitask ready re-curve blade.

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