The Role of G10 in the Kitchen

Get a Good Grip on Your Kitchen Knives With G10 Handle Material

Get a Good Grip on Your Kitchen Knives With G10 Handle Material

When it comes to knife handles, there are several materials to choose from when picking out a new set of kitchen knives – from natural materials like wood and bone to synthetic materials like fiberglass and epoxy resins. Some deliver more beauty than reliability while others focus on durability and strength.

Micarta and G10 are two of the strongest and most durable materials for knife handles on the market, 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 Exactly is G10 Material?

Closeup of G10 handle on F.N. Sharp Chef's Knife

G10, also known as G-10 or Garolite, is a resin-based composite material that has become a popular choice for knife handles. Rather than incorporating various fabrics like Micarta, G10 is constructed of glass fiber sheets which give the finished product increased strength and a lightweight feel. 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 knife handles and even gun grips due to its moisture-resistant characteristics.

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Is G10 Good for Kitchen Knife Handles?

F.N. Sharp 6-Knife Set on Wooden Cutting Board

Due to its glass-fiber construction, G10 offers a ton of benefits in a lightweight package. It’s a very hard, durable material that has become a popular choice for kitchen knives for its ability to resist scratches, dents and even moisture. As a matter of fact, G10 is damn near waterproof!

This is why here at F.N. Sharp, we 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?

Closeup of G10 Knife Handles

G10 knife handles deliver durability and strength in one package, meaning they will provide years of valuable service. They 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 since there are no gaps where the handle meets the tang, like you would see with wooden knife handles. This means there is no opportunity for corrosion or room for bacterial growth, making water no match for G10 knife handles – the fiberglass weave 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, so the TL;DR version is G10 knife handles are super strong and nearly waterproof.

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Are G10 Knife Handles Better Than Micarta?

Closeup of G10 vs. Micarta Knife Handles

When comparing G10 vs. Micarta, they are both very durable materials, making them both a good choice 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 than G10 due to the potential of moisture and liquid getting through gaps between the glue and fibers. While this is minimal, Micarta is still a 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 with 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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