Designing your knife ...
There are quite a few variables to consider when designing a knife, aspects to consider include:
What is the main purpose of the knife, will it be used or will it be mainly for display. A hard working knife does not have to be ugly, but a display piece may require different materials and finishes. The purpose of the knife will have an influence on the shape of the blade, the thickness as well as the materials that can be used for the handle.
Carbon steel is hard wearing and retains a sharp edge, but is prone to rust. Stainless steel is a better choice for items subject to moisture. Hybrid steels is great quality but is signicantly more expensive. Damascus steels are the ultimate in looks but are extremely expensive. http://bestpocketknifetoday.com/discovering-the-best-knife-steel/ .
The knife must be big enough to get the job done, but size is penalised by weight. A big, heavy knife may be difficult to carry around and to work with. Handles must be big enough to comfortably fit the user's hand and not tire out the hand.
Natural wood, bone and horn are always favourites, but a large selection of great quality synthetic materials that are more stable and less prone to moisture fluctuations and extreme temperatures are available to choose from.
BOLSTERS, POMMELS AND GUARDS
Bolsters were fitted to knives in the past to protect the end grain of wooden handles. They do however casue 4 additional holes to be drilled into the blade steel at the point where the most stresses occur during use. For that reason we do not recommend bolsters to be fitted to knives that will be subjected to extreme use.
Handcrafted knives with properly fitted bolsters are objects of beauty and a please to behold. Options include stainless steel, brass and copper which have been widely used over the ages, but giraffe bone and just about any other material can also be used.
Pins are used to prevent the handle from slipping from the blade and can be from stainless steel, brass or mosaic pins. Mosaic pins are a selection of profiles set inside a tube with epoxy resin and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The number of pins and where they are placed are influenced by the handle material and the look of the knife.
Liners are used to accentuate the handle of the knife and to bind various handle elements into a sinlge unit. These could be made from brass, aluminium, pvc or vulcanized fibers.