There is much to talk about stainless steel knife handles. Stainless steel knife handle is mostly common knife handle on low budget EDC knives. As we all know that stainless steel is excellent in providing resistance to corrosion and that’s why it called durable.

Stainless Steel Knife Handles

Stainless steel is a very common element for both knife blades and handles. Steel itself is an alloy of iron and copper primarily, and its manufacture is relatively cheap.

Stainless steel is the “strongest” metal on this list in that it will not dent or scratch as easily as titanium or aluminum. However, on the other hand, it is heavier that the other two, which can be cumbersome, whether you are using it for EDC (Everyday Carry) or survival.

kershaw Leek with stainless steel knife handle

Stainless steel knife handles are polished to give silvery look which in exchange provides less friction resulting in poor handle grip. To avoid slipperiness, mostly ridges or etching designs have been incorporated on stainless knife handle giving it more tempting look.

Stainless Steel Ad On

To avoid slipperiness, knives manufacturers often come up with designs where Rubber, or some synthetic material is also used with or without stainless steel handles. This is done not only to improve grip to hands but also some custom design and style.

You will also find different textures and etching on stainless steel knife handles which dramatically increases the grip quality of these knives

stainless steel knife handle etching

What material is used on Stainless Steel handles

Well, there are almost 15 plus stainless-steel variation from 420HC to CPM 20CV etc. Varying in their hardness, but the purpose of the handle is to provide grip only. Therefore, less expensive steel is used in handles. Meaning a knife blade with high hardness & high-grade steel (no matter the tang), the handle’s purpose is to provide grip only.

At times we see round stainless-steel handles, they are hollow from inside, if they aren’t hollow, the weight of the knife itself be a problem.

stainless steel knife handle ridges

18-8 Stainless steel

The most common material used on stainless steel handles is 18-8 stainless steel where it has more 18% chromium and 8% nickel in it. This steel is not magnetic meaning just like other steels. It’s hard, corrosion resistant durable but much lighter and magnet does not stick to it. Due to chemical composition of 18-8 stainless steel. There are less chances of forming patina (rust) on stainless steel knife handles.

Suggestion before you buy

Please make sure, if you are going to buy a stainless-steel handle knife, please ask about handle material as 18-8 stainless steel does not stand good with sea waters. Acidic or salty substances have it shows signs of corrosion. Thus, this steel is never used in marine applications or marine tools.

Pros & Cons of Stainless Steel Knife Handles


  • No scratches

  • No dents

  • Very durable and cheap

  • Corrosion-resistant


  • Not rust proof

  • Heavy as compared with Aluminum or Titanium

  • Not Ideal for EDC because of Weight

  • Great Insulators of Heat

  • Slippery if no ridges are added

Conclusion- Stainless Steel Knife Handle Guide

Summing it all up! Stainless steel knife handles are corrosion resistant in normal daily life use. All they have is some extra weight you have to carry, slippery if they are like KERSHAW LEEK. But they are great insulators of heat. Therefore, never buy a survival knife with stainless steel handle.

Similarly, in pocket knives, they seem to add some extra weight in your pocket. Stainless steel knife handle is much more like aluminum knife handle where aluminum knife handle is lighter and similarly in lighter yet expensive range titanium knife handles are used.

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