Every handle material has it's own personality, and some are better suited for jobs than others. Below I will list some of the handle materials I use with descriptions and the uses they are best suited for.
Smooth Bone- Good material, fairly durable and great for a working man's knife. Available in natural and a wide variety of colors
Jigged Bone- Also available in a variety of colors, this style looks more traditional and gives a better grip than the smooth
Bone stag- cheaper alternative to stag, can be had in amber or natural white highlights, bone jigged and dyed to resemble sambar stag
Buffalo horn- Strong material and polishes to a very high sheen, usually black or honey colored best suited for collector knives but is also good for use.
Jigged buffalo horn- same as above, has better grip, jigged to simulate impala horn
Sambar Stag- Very strong and durable material and is quite beautiful, avalable in a wide variety of natual textures, great for use or collection. can be torched to darken color from light brown to nearly black
Elk Stag- Since the prices are ever rising on sambar stag more people are turning to elk stag for an alternative. While not as handsome as sambar it still polishes well but is usually much lighter in color ranging from white to light brown. can be torched to darken color
reindeer stag: reindeer stag is very smooth and polishes to a high sheen. colors range from white to off white with gray mottling.
mammoth ivory- expensive but beautiful natural material available in many natural colors and surface textures. Very popular among collectors
Pre Ban Elephant ivory- elephant ivory is white to light cream in color and polishes to a very high sheen, popular among collectors
reconstituted stone- popular on buck 110 knives, fairly brittle and good for collector knives, polishes to a high sheen and is available in a wide variety of stone types
Pearl- Usually a beautiful material white in color at first glance but turn it in the light and see a rainbow effect of colors, very beautiful material in the light. very popular among collectors!
Abalone-most paua materials are laminated now, and show a stunning array of colors, very popular among collectors!
canvas micarta- available in green, black, gold and yellow very strong and durable material made from resin impregnated layers of canvas material makes for a great handle for working knives, if left roguh it has good grip even when wet.
paper micarta- available in black and white, strong material made of layers of resin impregnated paper, polishes well
linen micarta- a good fine medium between canvas and paper, avalable in black, white, maroon, and black/red laminate
jeancarta- jeancarta is made by me in my shop out of resin impreganted layers of denim material colors available are blue, dark/light blue laminate, black, black/blue laminate. very strong, nearly indestructible and if the handles are left a little thicker in the middle or end and beveled down towards the bolster ect rings are very visible especially o nthe blue/black laminate.
celluloid-highly corrosive and flamable material usually used in restoration. available in christmas tree, candystripe, mosaic opal, and paua
wood- wood is a very good material, strong and polishes smooth, some woods will polish to a nice sheen especially is stabalized, hundreds of wood types to choose from, burls, curly or straight grained. Excellent for working knife or collector knives alike.