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Handle Attachment

There are different ways to connect the handle to a blade:

 

Riveting

This is the most traditional way, with three rivets connecting the handle with the blade.

Two handle scales are added to the tang, with all parts having three holes. The three parts are attached with three female and male metal parts, which are hammered into each other.

Rivets for knife handle
Riveted handle 3 rivets classic scales

PROS

Inexpensive and works with various handle materials.

CONS

Rivets may become loose. If rivets are made of aluminum, they can corrode.

In case of gaps between tang and handle, water can develop rust under the handle.

Injecting

This is a more modern way of attaching handle and blade, which became popular with the advance of injection moulding.

Here the tang is inserted into a mould, and molten plastic injected into the mould around the tang.

Injection moulded knife handle

PROS

Hygienic, inexpensive and gapless way of attaching handle.

CONS

Only possible with plastic handles. Sometimes light handle weight leads to imperfect balance.

High tooling cost for handles.

Friction fitting/glueing

This is the way how many traditional Japanese knives are being produced.

A hole is drilled or sawed into the handle. The hole in the handle is filled with epoxy glue. The (in some cases heated) tang is friction fitted into the handle and firmly attached once the glue has dried.

Japanese knife handle black ferrule friction fitting glueing assembly

PROS

Easy way to attach handle. Allows using different materials and material combinations with elaborate designs.

CONS

Handles may get loose if not properly glued.

Screwing

This is a more recent and inexpensive way of attaching a “modern” Japanese handle with metal end cap to a bolster knife. A round hole is drilled through the handle. A screw is attached to the tang and a nut to the end cap. The end cap is screwed onto the screw and locked by glue.

PROS

Inexpensive way to attach handle for “modern” Japanese knives.

CONS

Handle is hollow and thus light.

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