The Deacon wrote:I'm the opposite. If I'm thinking of a knife strictly as a tool, then FRN, especially when paired with steel liners, is fine. But most of the time I look at knives as functional jewelry that need to look good as well as perform and, for that, I strongly prefer natural materials. Ivory and some species of wood work well on any size folder and I think they're the best choices for larger knives. Rams horn also works well on large and medium folders. Jigged bone and stag look great on medium and small folders, as do most other natural materials.
As for wood, ironwood and lignum vitae are about the toughest, strongest woods on earth. They're also both quite oily, to the point that they can be used without any finish. Someone would really have to go out of their way to dry them out and crack them. Treated decently any hardwood will last hundreds of years. Think Stradivarius violins, colonial era furniture, and the stocks on Kentucky flintlocks.
I suppose that's a pretty good point about the Stradivarius violins and Kentucky flintlocks. I have never seen either in person but the ones I have seen on "Pawn Stars" from the 1800's (and even earlier) look to be is great condition.
I like the phrase "functional jewelry". And I definitely like my knives to be pleasing to the eye as well as solid and tough. Some G10 that really appeals to me is the medium textured G10 on the Manix 2 and even the gripper G10 on some of the Manix 2 Sprint Runs (almost a prismatic effect). And the digital camo on the Para 2 is very attractive too IMO.
Also , after thinking much about this , I don't think that Spyderco would dare make a knife with a wood handle that would be anywhere near prone to cracking or warping or be anything less than extremely durable. Not to mention that the Ironwood on the Sage 4 is one the most attractive handles I have ever laid eyes on.