▷ Pakkawood VS Micarta for Knife Handle | In-depth Knowledge

By Gias

The handle is the most important feature of a knife. A balanced handle with the knife blade ensures a safe and effortless cutting experience. Hence, it is important to have a knife that is made of the best handle material. Otherwise, it would be a loss project. A knife is not only about its blade, it is more about the handle as well. So, if you are on this site, you are most probably finding an article on Pakkawood vs micarta for knife handle

However, many best knife brands introduce knives with various quality handle materials. Some of them are made of stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, G-10, carbon fiber, FRN, micarta, Pakkawood, and others. Different materials add different values to the knife. 

As today we will be talking about the Pakkawood and Micarta handle only, you will know the differences among them. Hope in the end, it will be easier for you to know which one to choose.

Pakkawood Vs Micarta Explanation in Detail

What is Pakkawood for Knife Handle

pakkawood knife handle reviw

We all know, woods have taken place as the knife handles for years. They are one of the reasons a knife looks aesthetic. A high-quality woody handle can change the whole look and efficiency of a knife by making it more attractive. However, woods are one of the natural materials and surprisingly it comes with a great deal of variety. 

Among all the famous woods including walnut, rosewood, African blackwood, and others, Pakkawood is also one of them. Some of the best knife brands around the world including the brand Shun specifically use Pakkawood to make their signature knife handles. 

This is a stabilized wood composite that is known as plywood and made from birch. However, to add durability and improve the density of the material the Pakkawood is injected with polymer resin. It is then also compressed under high pressure to improve its durability and density. 

In the case of other woods including Staminawood and Dymondwood, this process is done. Nonetheless, this wood composite is engineered in a way that it gets more density and resistant than its

 real counterparts. 

What is Micarta for Knife Handle

what is Micarta knife handle

Micarta is another popular material for manufacturing good quality knife handle. The material is recognized as the steel of the plastic industry. Hence, you can understand the product value. However, Micarta is mainly a resin-based laminate brand. It was made first as the electrical insulation. Later it turned out to be a great material for producing knife handles. 

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The material is produced with layers of paper or linen by soaking them in phenolic resin. After soaking them, they are compressed under high temperatures. This process makes Micarta strong yet very light material. It also adds capacity and stability to the material.

Rather than using glass, to produce Micarta linen, paper, canvas, or burlap is used. Nonetheless, the process makes it stronger almost like plastic. However, after the process, the material results in a smooth and slippery form.

Advantages of Pakkawood

detail explanation on pakkawood and Micarta knife handle

Handles that are woody, made of woods that are very rare in the environment. Nothing is exceptional in the case of Pakkawood. However, there are some advantages of using a Pakkawood handle.

Some Disadvantages of Pakkawood

There are also some cons of having a Pakkawood handle. It comes with the downsides written below,

  • The material is not a hundred percent natural hence if you are looking for a natural wood handle, the Pakkawood handle might not be a good choice.
  • The Pakkawood handle is a bit unstable and porous.

Advantages of Micarta

Micarta is a very useful material especially to make the best knife handles. However, among all of its advantages, some are given below,

  • Micarta is made of following all the tough methods and processes. Thus, the material is tougher and stronger.
  • Micarta handles are not an easy nut to crack. The handles barely get any scratches from any accidents.
  • A micarta handle is lightweight. So, you can effortlessly cut with a micarta handle.
  • Micarta handles come in versatile colors and appearance. Choose your favorite color. 
  • The material is highly stable. Micarta doesn’t tend to contract or expand no matter what. It barely gets affected by the weather and its temperature.
  • Micarta handles are a great choice for hard-use knives.
  • Micarta handles are indestructible and feel good in hands. 
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Disadvantages of Micarta

Like the Pakkawood handles, Micarta also has some disadvantages like,

  • For the toughness, Micarta handles show brittle properties. 
  • For its composition and production process, a micarta handle is a bit expensive.

Pakkawood Vs Micarta by certain Factspakkawood vs Micarta knife handle

Pakkawood and Micarta are two completely different materials for making knife handles. Hence, you will find many differences between them yet, both the materials are high in quality. However, there are some specific points that need to figure out for your convenience. The points are given below.


Pakkawood is made with hardwood that is impregnated with phenolic resins. To make the material way solid, the process requires extreme pressure and heat. Sometimes, dyes are also added for improved quality. 

On the other hand, Micarta is also a material that is made of a type of resin known as Phenol. Phenol is an organic compound. Thin layers of paper or linen cloths are used to make micarta. The cloths are first soaked in the phenolic resin and then it is also processed under different treatments.


Pakkawood handle comes with a natural wood-like finish and look. It also has a glossy finish. It also comes up like other hardwood types of handle. Again, Pakkawood handles are way aesthetic than a micarta handle.

Whereas, micarta handles can take a various appearances. It comes with a smooth, sleek, and sturdy finish. Hence, you will find variety in micarta handles.


Both Pakkawood and Micarta handles are used for heavy-duty knives. Hence, both the materials are used in knives made of reputed knife brands of the world. 

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Pakkawood handles require high maintenance as they are more likely to be contracted or expanded, unlike the micarta ones. Hence, the Pakkawood handles are not stable. On the contrary, micarta handles are low maintenance because they are stable enough.

Which material Knife handle we should choose: Micarta or Pakkawood?

Now that you know, everything about the materials Micarta and Pakkawood, it is all up to you which one to choose. Both the materials are hugely used in the culinary sectors and knife production companies. Both of them have pros and cons. Though the cons can be overlooked because of their performance efficiency and other properties.

  • However, if you want to hold a nice aesthetic-looking handle in your hands, then you can choose a Pakkawood handle. Again, if you want to choose from different color and a lightweight handle, choose a micarta handle.
  • Also, if you are not willing to pay a good amount of money on a knife then you can go for the one with a Pakkawood handle. Then again, if you are willing to pay then going for a micarta handle will be a wise decision.
  • Though a micarta handle is not resistant to slip hence, some knife brands manufacture it with a textured feature. Yet, many brands do not offer this feature. So, to use a slip-resistant handle Pakkawood is a great option. 

Wrap Up

Overall, both Micarta and Pakkawood handles are worth using. It is all up to you and your needs that which one will meet your requirements. Not necessarily an expensive and pricy tool that will meet all your needs. It may play in the opposite way. Hence, before you select anything, better know which one will fulfill all your satisfaction levels. 

So, choose anything but wisely. Though Micarta and Pakkawoods are names that are most popular and famous among the cutlery segments, anything you buy it won’t be a loss project. So, let us know which one made you flattered and why? Also, do not forget to leave your valuable feedback regarding the article.   

About the author

Introducing Gias, an Engineer and Kitchen Knife connoisseur with a specialization in Japanese Knives. With over five years of dedicated testing, reviewing, and research experience, Gias brings a wealth of knowledge to the world of kitchen knives. Passionate and deeply committed, Gias has created this site as personal documentation of their unwavering love for kitchen knives.

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