Get a Good Handle on Your Kitchen Knives With G10
When it comes to knife handles, there are several materials to choose from when choosing that new set of kitchen knives – from aluminum, bone and wood to fiberglass and epoxy resins and other similar materials. Some deliver more beauty than reliability while others focus on durability and strength.
Micarta and G10 are two of the strongest and most durable knife handles on the list, but G10 knife handles have a little bit more strength and durability than Micarta. This is perhaps the reason G10 is becoming the popular choice of many chefs and home cooks, alike.
So, what can G10 knife handles do for your kitchen? Let’s break it down.
What is G10?
G10, also known as G-10 or Garolite, is a resin-based composite material. Rather than incorporating various fabrics like Micarta, G10 is constructed of glass fiber sheets which give the finished product increased strength. The process involves pressing the glass fiber sheets together with epoxy resin and heating until completely dry to create the finished product known as fiberglass.
G10 is a versatile material that was originally used for printed circuit boards due to its high-temperature durability and non-conductive properties. It was later discovered to be a great material for kitchen knife handles and even gun grips due to its moisture-resistant characteristics.
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Is G10 Good for Kitchen Knife Handles?
Due to its glass-fiber construction, G10 is a very hard, durable material that has become a popular choice for kitchen knives for its ability to resist scratches, dents and even moisture, making it damn near waterproof.
This is why we here at F.N. Sharp decided to use G10 to craft all of our knife handles – from the powerhouse chef's knife to the handy little paring knife and even our steak knives – because all impressive blades deserve impressive handles, and our Damascus blades were made to impress.
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How Durable are G10 Knife Handles?
G10 knife handles deliver durability and strength in one package, meaning they will provide “years of valuable service” and can handle constant use and repeated washing, not to mention hot and cold transitions with no trouble.
The lack of expansion and contraction in G10 handles is also an important factor as there aren’t any gaps where the handle meets the tang. This means there is no opportunity for corrosion or room for bacteria growth. Furthermore, water is no match for G10 knife handles – the weave of glass fibers combined with the epoxy resin delivers a water-tight seal. This is why G10 is used quite a bit for underwater equipment such as submarines, sonars, flashlights, marina boats and more.
On a more technical scale, the tensile strength of G10 averages around 40,000+ PSI lengthwise and at 35,000+ PSI crosswise while compression strength is 60,000+ PSI flatwise and 35,000+ PSI edgewise. The bending strength determines how much it can bend before it snaps and that number for G10 material with a .025-inch thickness is ranked at 55,000 PSI lengthwise and 45,000 PSI crosswise. The hardness is gauged by the Rockwell Hardness M scale. You may see that in the specs of some kitchen knives, but most handle materials score below 100 while G10 is rated at 110.
Got it? Yeah, that is a lot of numbers to deal with. In fact, those numbers are actually at the minimum, although they generally don’t go too much higher.
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Is G10 Better Than Micarta?
When comparing G10 vs. Micarta, they are both very durable materials, making them good choices for kitchen knife handles. However, G10’s technical data is just a little higher than Micarta, which means it is technically a better choice when it comes to strength and durability. Plus, the natural fibers in Micarta can discolor over time, which is another reason we decided to go with G10.
Micarta’s water resistance is slightly less due to the potential of moisture and liquid getting through the edges at points where the glue and fibers are gapped. Of course, that is minimal too, however, Micarta is a little bit more prone to scratches and dings, which may open the door to moisture as well.
As for designs, Micarta does have more opportunities since it is made from various fabrics and can have various cross fiber designs. But, if performance and durability is what you’re looking for, then G10 is the way to go!
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