What is Pakkawood? Why is It Used to Make the Knife Handle?

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The making of knives requires fantastic expertise from the most qualified persons. However, despite the manufacturer’s experience, without the correct materials, the whole process means nothing. Aside from the blade of a knife, the handle is equally essential. Therefore, utilizing the wrong materials to make the handle would not be comfortable enough for users.

Hence, the use of pakkawood to produce the best knives has been embraced widely by top knife brands. So, what is Pakkawood? In this article, we’ll be answering that question. We would also be looking at why it is a necessary material for knife handles.

What is Pakkawood?

Often when people hear the word Pakkawood, the first thing that comes to their mind is wood from a particular tree. However, that’s not the case in this scenario because pakka wood is not gotten from any particular tree. It is instead a man-made product (synthetic).

It refers to wood products comprised of a wooden core that is inexpensive and covered using thin layers of wood of great quality (wood veneers). The entire process ensures it is more precious than other wood products. These wood layers are obtained from the lumber of wood either by peeling, sawing, or slicing it. From these methods, you can either get a peeled veneer sawed veneer or a sliced veneer. The process of obtaining these veneers begins with pressing the layers, followed next by impregnation, sanding, before they are polished to finish it.

Consequently, Pakkawood which is also called colorwood, staminawood, dymonwood, etc., comes in various colors and even looks like natural wood, which is why people often confuse it. They are majorly used in making handle scales for knives. This is because it is much more durable and denser than natural wood, offering greater resilience when it is being used.

Characteristic Features of Pakkawood

1. The Composition

As stated earlier, Pakkawood is man-made; it is therefore not 100% wood. Rather it has a hardwood veneer as the base component. This is further infused using a resin (phenolic thermoset resin) added via a procedure involving high pressure, and further dyed using bright colors (this is done via vacuuming). After these processes, the wood is stacked and properly compressed; this creates a solid and dense result that appears similar to natural wood.

2. The Appearance

The dyes that are added are so the finished process seems like other popular hardwoods such as walnut, oak, etc. If done carefully, it can turn out looking like a different wood species with amazing colors and patterns. These multi-colors sometimes look like the camouflage of exotic wood types. So generally, the end product looks a lot like natural wood. The variety of colors it comes in is what differentiates it and allows you to identify it easily apart from natural wood.

3. Physical and Chemical Properties

One of the reasons Pakkawood is highly sorted for by manufacturers of a knife is due to its durability. This is a characteristic that is rarely seen in natural woods; however, pakkawood has been carefully prepared to be able to withstand pressure and weather forces over the years. This way they remain as good as new for many years; your favorite knife is, therefore, safe for a long time if this is their handle type.

Furthermore, pakkawood is waterproof, making it a perfect kitchen tool use irrespective of how moist your hands are while you’re working or how you wash it. You can rest assured that it won’t get worse from water. The density of the wood is also another factor that has stamped it in the hearts of knife producers. This quality ensures yours is not likely to warp or split as it gets older, unlike natural wood.

Uses Of Pakkawood

The design of Pakkawood is such that it best meets the demands of everyday use. As a result, they are best for objects that are meant for regular use and where pressure needs to be exerted (in difficult situations). They are, therefore, used for the following:

  • Kitchen knives, this material is the perfect choice for manufacturing the handles attached to your kitchen knives.
  • Military and all forms of tactical knives because of their durability and ability to last long.
  • Handles of knitting needles and brushes.
  • Spoons and cooking spatulas can also be made using this material due to their waterproof nature and their ability to resist warping and splitting over time.
  • Picture frames, musical instruments, etc., are not left out of the mix. They can be used to manufacture these items and even more due to the characteristics discussed above.

Why is pakkawood used to make the knife handle?

Pakkawood is a favorite choice amongst manufacturers of knives for several reasons. The most essential reason is their ability to resist water penetration. They have a waterproof capability which ensures they are do not absorb water while you wash them. This way, they do not get weakened overnight, and as a result, after a long time, they still retain their optimum capacity.

They are also durable as a result of this, and offer great flexibility, making them easy to adjust while the manufacturing process is ongoing. This feature also allows consumers to buy the wood and craft their hand-made knives themselves, shaping them into the desired structure you want.

Furthermore, as a result of their level of durability, your knives are guaranteed to last for a long time. Consequently, pakkawood is for manufacturing steak knives and even kitchen knives. They do not discolor, crack or split easily after several years of usage. Hence, they provide you with the best quality knives, allowing you to cook without worries.

Care and Maintenance of Pakkawood

Having looked at the several uses of pakkawood, it is essential we also look at best practices when it comes to care and maintenance of your Pakkawood. What do you do, and what should you avoid doing to ensure your knives remain useful for a long time?

  • Ensure you don’t leave your pakkawood knives soaked in water for a long period. This is because, although the wood is safe and resistant to water penetration, prolonged exposure to water can still cause it to get damaged since natural wood is still a part of its component.
  • Now and then, you should endeavor to sandpaper your knives to give them a nice and glossy finish. You can use 120 grit sandpaper for this purpose.
  • Polish using mineral oil, Tru-oil, or tung oil (same with those for natural wood). Afterward, use a soft cloth to buff it up.
  • Do not wash with a dishwasher because that would destroy the base hardwood veneer that supports the entire process. Therefore, we recommend hand washing to keep your knife safe for a long time to come.

Related: Shun pakkawood handle knife


It is an established belief that knives generally lose their appeal when they lose their handles, and this is very true; a knife without the handle is incomplete. As a result of this great care is taken to manufacture handles that last for a long-time frame. And what better material to use than a pakkawood?

Hence, we are positive that this article answers the question; What is Pakkawood? The uses, as well as its care and maintenance. Generally, although the pakkawood looks like natural wood, they still differ from it in terms of color and properties. As a result of these properties, we can summarise that if anyone desires to own a top-quality knife with a wooden handle, then knives with pakkawood handles are the best choice for you.


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