Best Wood for Knife Handles

5 Best Wood for Knife Handles (Reviews and Buying Guide)

Oh, these wood scales aren’t book-matched, I totally wasted the money.

I am just not happy with the color. It’s not matching with the original product as advertised.

Are those your complaints from your past knife scale ordering experiences? Or, perhaps you’re a beginner and first-time looking for the best wood for knife handles?

Well, whatever it is, we’ve sorted out the difficulties!

In this exclusive content, we’ve reviewed the top 5 types of wood for knife scales you’ll rarely be able to find on the market. Whether you’re making a regular kitchen knife or hunting gear, our list will come in super handy. These are naturally driven, high-quality woods.

They’re perfectly book-matched and easy to use. And, you can quite easily make a tremendous and aesthetic knife handle effortlessly.

Let’s hook up with the reviews –

Reviews of the 5 Best Knife Handle Making Woods

1. Bookmatched Zebrawood Exotic Wood Knife Scales

Bookmatched Zebrawood Knifes Scales

Creating an excellent wood handle for your knife is now an open secret!

And, this pair of exotic scales is our very first concern. These are fantastic pieces of quality wood, provided you’ll get an attractive handle setting. The pieces are book-matched perfectly, and the finished surface will have an aesthetic crosscut zebrawood texture.

It’s cured very sensibly and has low moisture.

Once you get to use them, you won’t switch to others. You couldn’t hope for something better than this perfectly matched scales set! Interestingly, they require minor sanding to level up with one another.

When talking about the size, it is 2X5 inches, thus perfect wood scales for making your ideal knife. They can be a great option even when you’re remodeling hunting blades.

The straight and square edges would make your woodworking smooth and faster.

Remember, the wood grain plays an important role when quality finish is a major concern. Hence, the gorgeous wood grain will never make you disappointed. You can easily avoid knots, cracks, and voids. And, the result is an aesthetic wood handle that’s sturdy and splendid.

However, you might want to stabilize the pieces before using them. Also, make sure you’re clamping carefully to avoid any cracks. After the installation, if you apply some kind of polish oil on the finished handle, you’ll see how charming the grain would pop!

Highlighted Features:

  • Low-moisture.
  • Width 2”, length 5”, thickness 3/8”.
  • Crosscut zebrawood texture.
  • Straight and square edges.
  • Great hunting knife maker.
  • Book-matched perfectly.
  • Requires less sanding.

2. TKS: Exotic Natural Wood Knife Handle Scales

Exotic Natural Wood Knife Handle Scales

These exotic knife handle scales came from natural wood that hails from across different continents, including the Americas.

And, we’ve actually hooked up with this product for a particular reason.

Do you know what?

Well, TEXAS KNIFEMAKERS SUPPLY STORE offers 21 different colors and patterns to match your preference. Among them, this yellowish-brown colored pair is our favorite. It’s textured really nice with dark brown stripes and swirl patterns.

You’ll see excellent results with these elegant scales. They are gorgeous, long-lasting, and more importantly, very easy to work with. People with less woodworking knowledge would also find it very convenient.

The pieces are cut from a single block of wood. They’re flawlessly book-matched to 5” x 1-1/2” x 3/8”. There wouldn’t be any extra work for a snug fit as it leaves no margin for error.

About the surface finish, don’t get it wrong by the picture here. That’s the representative look of how your finished handle would look in real. You’ll need to sand and apply the sealer. This would seal the pores and bring out the elegant appearance you desire.

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, this can the best wood for knife handles you should try! For a quick round-up, below is a list of noteworthy features of this exceptional wood.

Highlighted Features:

  • Exotic texture.
  • Flat and smooth.
  • Best quality natural wood.
  • Length, width, & thickness  5"X1.5"X3/8"
  • Perfect grain cut (Book-matched).

3. PB Best Wood Knife Handle Making Scales

Wood Knife Handle Making Scales

This is yet another Top-Notch knife handle making pair of scales. As the second product on our list, PAYNE BROS also offers various color and texture options. They are neither very thin nor very thick, just the best knife handle materials you’d expect!

Respectively the width, length, and thickness are cut near 1½” X 5½” X 5/16” to 3/8”.

So, the shaping process becomes effortless. Just sand the grips and waves for an utmost snug fit in your hand. With these installed, your knife will turn out very convenient and handy. Consequently, they’re big enough for any knife-making or modeling projects.

Its grains will perfectly match without any deformities. The reason is that they’re book-matched precisely. Note that the product images you see are a representation. Therefore, being natural wood, the actual product might arrive in a bit different appearance.

From that, you can understand that a wide range of grains is available.

Let’s talk about versatility!

Apart from knife making, you can also use them to make gun grips. That clearly indicates how durable the material itself. With that in mind, this can be the best wood for sword handles. However, as it becomes old and consistently faces changing temperature and humidity, you might see splits and cracks.

Considering all, this is one of the best quality knife-making materials suitable for both professional and novices! Just remember that you should stabilize the pieces to achieve a better finish.

Highlighted Features:

  • Perfectly cut size.
  • Size: 1½” X 5½” X 5/16” to 3/8.
  • Top-notch quality wood.
  • Simple shaping process.
  • Perfectly matched grains.
  • Very much durable

4. Black Walnut Knife Handle Wood Scales

Black Walnut Wood Knife Scales

This pair of scales is from sustainably harvested wood by the Amish community in Wisconsin, USA. The black walnut color is so attractive and precise. You’ll see how it turns out the outfit incredibly outstanding. So, making knife handles with it, totally well-worth your money!

Surprisingly, you can use this quality pair to make gun grips. You know that a gun grip needs to be more tempered than a knife handle. So, that’s how strong and long-lasting it would be when used!

The pieces are kiln dried, meaning you’ll see very low humidity.

Also, the sanding and shaping process is quite simple. It’s very much beginner-friendly in that sense. The width, length, and thickness sizes are respectively 1.5 x 5 x 3/8-inch.Like other scales we’ve reviewed so far, this set is also a mirror image (book matched) of each other.

You won’t see any deformities in the inside walnut grains.

Whether it’s a classic working knife or a hunting gear, you can install them without worrying. Once you finish with sanding and oil coat, this will turn out pretty amazing. The sanding is pretty easy, and you might make use of 120-grit sandpaper.

As a whole, this can be your best wood for knife scales, and that is a fair compromise for around seven bucks. You couldn’t have expected any better!

Highlighted Features:

  • Size: 1.5 x 5 x 3/8-inch.
  • Sustainably harvested wood material.
  • Attractive black walnut grain color.
  • Great for knife and gun grip making.
  • Beginner-friendly.
  • Easy to work with.

5. Zebrawood Knife Scales Reviews (3/8 “x1.5” x5”)

Zebrawood Knife Scales

The last one is an excellent pair of beautiful zebrawood scales that come at a great price. Whether you’re a professional or making your first knife, this hard wood pair can be very useful!

This exotic pair of wood scales will provide you a decent-looking knife handle.

From a rough using kitchen essential to occasional hunting gear, just go ahead and make use of this wood. It’s grained beautifully, and you’ll see no specks. Also, the grains’ sharp contrast has made it one of the best knife-handle woods around you.

First, when you unbox the thing, they might seem to be pretty plain. However, it would help to sand the pieces as you work your way up. The sanding shouldn’t be a complex process at all!

You wouldn’t require removing thick layers. Just light sanding around the hot spots and waves, and you’re done. When finished, apply a thin coat of linseed oil and see the result.

The size of this product is the same as the Black Walnut Wood Scales above. And, that’s 1.5” width, 5” length, and 3/8” in thickness.

Your finished wood handle will be durable that’s able to prevent scratches and dents. Things will come out quite impressive as the set is kiln dry and has low moisture. However, our ascending ranking order is logical, and our most recommended products start from the top.

Highlighted Features:

  • Size: 1.5 x 5 x 3/8-inch.
  • Zebrawood texture.
  • Various pocket knife making application.
  • Beautiful grains with no specks.
  • Scratch and dent resistant.
  • Easy to shape.

Wood for Knife Handles Buying Guide

Wood for Knife Handles

This segment will talk about some essential factors to consider before buying your best wood for knife handles. This might work as a quick round-up guide for you to make a wise buying decision. Follow this as a checklist of features you should look for in a specific product before you even order.

So, with that being said, let’s dive in –


This is quite an important thing to consider. If the wood is not durable, it will crack and split within a short time. And, who would like to remodel a small piece of tool quite frequently? Indeed, no one wants to do that!

That’s why you need a durable pair of wood to make a long-lasting knife handle. Besides, it should prevent any unwanted scratches.

Luckily, the five carefully selected products we’ve reviewed above are quite durable. If you’ve already shortlisted something among them, you’re good! Note that we mean the top order products gain more weight in terms of durability and customer satisfaction.

Ease of Use

Probably one of the most critical factors a vast number of customers would check! For beginners, this is the most crucial fact. While professionals might be able to handle hard-to-shape wood scales, novices are prone to mess.

So, the scale pieces should be easy to shape and sand. The grains shouldn’t have any defects, and more importantly, the woods need to be usable on various types of knife-making projects.


The scales should be made from decent quality woods. Hence, natural hardwoods are pretty much suitable. Besides, it could be somehow intentionally harvested for the right purpose.

Mirror Image

It actually means the matched book feature. So a perfectly book-matched wood pair is cut from a single block of wood. Hence, the inside grains would match very close, and you’ll get elegant surface texture matching on both sides of the handle.


While some products may offer only a single style, others may offer various knife handle wood types. So, make sure you select the right one based on your preference.


An important thing to mention is that the advertised product image doesn’t mean “what you see is what you get.” Indeed, that could represent how it would turn out when finished by sanding and oiling.


Manufacturers are pretty much aware of the standard knife scale sizes. You’ll find the most common size is 1.5” x 5” x 3/8” as width, length, and thickness accordingly. They should be cut nice and straight. However, make sure you’re good with the sizes based on your blank blade size.

Texture and Style

We liked the very first book-matched zebrawood textured one. The finished handle would look so elegant with it. However, you’ll find various other textures such as - stripes, swirl patterns, curly waves, snake stripes, burl, and zebra cross.

Besides, some of the gorgeous styles you’ll find are –ziricote, cedar, birds eye, bamboo block, rosewood, shedua, and cherry wood knife handle scales, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best wood to make a knife handle?

Answer: Naturally driven woods like the “Book matched Zebrawood Blank Exotic Scales” are best for making a knife handle. You might also choose something that’s intentionally harvested. Please note that you should stabilize the pieces if it isn’t done already. That will make the handle more strong and splendid.

2. How thick should scales be?

Answer: The most common thickness size you’ll find is 3/8”. That size is suitable for various standard size blanks. But, anything less than that would require setting an extra liner. But, for large choppers, the thickness should be around 7/16” to ½.”

3. How long should a knife handle be?

Answer: The length of a knife handle should be at least the size that perfectly fits in your hand. Hence, keep the blade length around 1 inch. And, as you extend your index finger, you should understand your comfort.

4. Do scales need to be stabilized?

Answer: Stabilizing wood scales will enhance their durability. It’s a good practice to stabilize if the pieces are not done already. They’ll become impervious and tempered.

This is important, especially for those fragile scales with the tenancy to disintegrate. Also, this process would bring out a better finish on the surface. Other than that, you might skip this step.

5. Is Walnut good for wooden knife handles?

Answer: YES, you can use walnut scales. On our list, we’ve reviewed a particular version of wood that’s sustainably harvested. They are quite strong and can also be used for gun grip making. Still, they’re beginner-friendly and pretty easy to work with.

6. Is Oak good for knife handles?

Answer: If it’s raw wood, we wouldn’t advise making an oak knife handle. The reason is that the raw wood in the preliminary stage contains tannin. So, it will retain moisture and might cause rusting on the blade. However, if it’s stabilized and sealed well, you can use it.

Final Word

With all discussed in-depth, the chance of making a wrong choice is an old story! If you’re quite disappointed with your previous scales or first-time looking for a recommendation, this is the blog for you to bookmark.

These perfectly book-matched good woods are best for any knife handle making projects. So, don’t make a wrong choice that wastes your money. Just go through the list above, select the color& texture, and you should be good to go!

And, don’t forget to let us know which one worked better for you.

Till then, stay safe!

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