Surgeon Tips: How to identify a bad knife handle

What makes a knife handle bad? Knife maker Kyle Ver Steeg pondered this topic much longer than other knives.

To create knives, Kyle uses both his professional knowledge of a plastic surgeon and his long personal experience of living in the wilderness. Kyle experienced a huge number of knives, and then came to the conclusion that even knives with poor ergonomics differ significantly among themselves, this is especially true with intensive use.

Therefore, we will tell you how to avoid buying a knife with a frankly bad handle, even if the handle looks good, and what to look for in the first place.

Consequences of bad knife ergonomics

Wer Steig as a professional surgeon is well aware of the anatomy of the human hand. He claims that the uncomfortable handle of the knife is not just bad. Everything is much worse. The more you use the same knife, the more your hand will get tired. And the more often you start making mistakes. More and more often. If you use such a tool for a long time, the consequences will be unpleasant.

Sharp corners

Kyle recommends refraining from using sharp and right angles on the handles of knives. Such options are poorly combined with the natural curves of the hand.

“Even if you put your hand on a flat table, you will still see a curve.”

The problem will be that your hand will have to compensate for the absence of such natural curves, especially if you have to use the knife for a long time and often. And this will seriously limit your potential.

Short handle

According to research from 2010, most of the grip of the handle of the knife and hand is provided with a ring finger and little finger. And on too short handles, one or both of these fingers cease to play their role, even with the standard grip. Than noticeably increase the load on the thumb and the rest of the fingers, and also noticeably worsen the grip of the knife as a whole.


This problem also applies to full-size knives, in which such notches are often provided by default. According to the surgeon, the fingers are specially designed by nature in such a way as to close into a tight ring. And the hard material of the grooves prevents this, reducing the quality of the grip of the handle and worsening the ergonomics of the knife as a whole.

Good knife handle

We recommend using those knives, the handle of which is thickened in the middle, due to which more complete contact with the palm is achieved. Small arcs in front and behind the handle also prevent the arm from sliding in different directions. However, these parts also should not be large and protruding.

For their knives, Kyle Ver Steig tries to use these techniques very carefully and carefully, because “things should not look stupid or grotesque.” But these small details seriously affect how your knife lies in your hand.

Free Translation of How to Spot Knives with Bad Ergonomics: Surgeon Weighs In

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