Wood has been one of the most common natural materials used for knife handles for decades and it is not uncommon for knife enthusiasts to be drawn to knives with wooden handles. Connoisseurs know how to appreciate the value and beauty of a pretty handle harmoniously associated with a quality steel blade.
What are the advantages of a wooden handle?
- First of all beauty: It is obvious that wood brings a note of character and beauty to a kitchen knife, it gives it more value than if it were made of the same steel as the blade. The wood is also very easy to carve, so beautiful patterns and symbols can make the handle even more attractive. It is therefore a choice that can bring its own identity and character to your kitchen.
- Comfort: It is very pleasant to work with wood, especially if you cook a lot. It is very ergonomic and prevents the knife from slipping out of your hand while you are cutting your food. The wooden handles fit perfectly in the hand, which also allows you to cut with great precision.
- Price: Compared to other materials, wood-handled knives are generally more economical, which is always a plus. But beware, this does not mean that they are of poor quality but simply that the price of wood is lower than that of steel.
- Durability: Finally, if you take good care of it, a wooden handle can last you a lifetime. Let's face it, any kitchen tool will need maintenance, but not all of them can guarantee such great longevity even with careful maintenance. Wood is one of those materials that will only take 5 minutes from time to time to cool off and continue to serve you pleasantly.
How to take care of your wooden handles?
Rest assured, taking care of your wooden handle is a very simple task that requires little time, you will devote a few minutes to it, perhaps once or twice a month. The biggest drawback with wooden handles is that they can dry out no matter how often you use them. But any dry wood can be brought back to life with a little oil applied from time to time. The oil will not only prevent cracks in the handle, but will also make it look cooler and better looking than the day you bought your knife.
However, you must remember that there are certain types of wood that do not absorb oil. These are wooden handles already enhanced with varnish or paint. Also, stabilized wood types, i.e. those that have absorbed stabilizing resin, will not need as much oil as unstabilized wood types.
What oil to use?
There are many different types of oils you can use to polish and strengthen your wooden handles and all react differently.
One of the most common oils is Ballistol . This oil is a multi-purpose oil pioneered in Germany around 1904 by Helmut Klever and originally developed as a gun oil , but today it is recognized for its versatility and many uses have been found for it. It is an oil that can not only revive dry wood but also prevent steel blades from rusting. Ballistol can be used on all types of wood except handles that have been painted.
You can, of course, use olive oil , but be aware that after a while the oil will start to smell.
Danish oil is also highly valued. It is designed for restoring and finishing wood. The advantage of Danish oil is that after applying it, the wood does not dry out so quickly.
Linseed oil can also be used, it will be applied thinly, leaving to soak and rub well to remove excess oil, in the same way as Danish oil.
How to apply oil to your wooden handle?
Apply the oil preferably with a clean cloth. No need to put a lot, a few drops are enough. Then you should let the wood absorb some oil before wiping the neck with another clean, dry cloth. It is important not to let the Danish oil or Linseed oil dry on the blade, otherwise a kind of lacquer layer may form. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the saturation of the wood or you notice that the wood no longer absorbs oil.
The different types of wood
There are many types of wood used in the field of kitchen utensils, but for knives, there are a few classics that you will often find:
- Rosewood or Palisander
- mahogany wood
- Ebony wood
Whether you are an enthusiastic collector or just a cook for fun, it is up to you to know the advantages of wooden handle knives. And if you decide to adopt them, be sure to take good care of them, because a well-oiled handle allows the wood to preserve all its charm.