G10 is quite simply a thermoset plastic laminate. It is built using high pressure on layers of fiberglass mesh cloth that are impregnated with an epoxy resin binder. The resulting material is called G10 or sometimes G-10. Often used in Printed Circuit Boards, it is also used extensively on knife and gun handles.
It is used for knife handles because of a few very specific advantages. First, G10 has amazing dimensional stability. It doesn’t shrink or swell when exposed to high or low temperatures. It has temperature ratings of 180 degrees Celsius. Second, G10 also has very high mechanical strength. It is difficult to break. Third, it is relatively lightweight which allows for less carry weight on knives. And finally, when being manufactured, the G-10 can be layered in a variety of ways to create many different looks and colors.
Because of these specific properties, knife makers love to use G-10. Why, as a knife user, should you love it? For some of the same reasons as well as a couple more. Here is a quick list of why I love G-10
- Shapeable which means more comfortable and grippable handle shapes
- Similar traction whether wet or dry–better grip in rough conditions
- Different texture finishes which allow for higher or lower grip handles–depending on expected use conditions.
- Lower weight — lighter knife
- Colors are infinite which allow for some very custom looks–there is even a glow in the dark G-10
If you haven’t tried G-10, get a knife that has some and let me know what you think. If you already have a knife with a G-10 handle–let me know what else you like about it.