Micarta Question

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Lord vader
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Micarta Question

Postby Lord vader » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:33 pm

I was thinking of changing out some scales on a couple of knives and using Micarta, and before I do,I need to know how well micarta holds up to moisture,perspiration,etc.And how tuff is this stuff is in general?I have never used this material before and just need some personal reviews from more experienced users.

2cha
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Postby 2cha » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:48 pm

Incredibly tough. Here's a link to a knifemaker's attempt to make his own natural fiber and resin (i.e., micarta) handle material and how his held up to everything from sledgehammers to .38s. It didn't hold up to .44 mags ;(

http://www.fendleyknives.com/LM105_tough.htm

When canvas micarta gets wet, I've found I actually get a BETTER grip because the exposed fibers soak up just a bit of moisture and swell taking the micarta from a smooth finish to a textured finish, exactly when you need it.

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The Deacon
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Postby The Deacon » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:50 pm

I've carried a burgundy micarta Jester on my key ring since 2003. It has been dropped numerous times to the pavement, banged around in my pocket, and generally been treated less than kindly. It has one small chip from one of the falls but, aside from that, would be hard to tell from one of my BNIB spares. Micarta has been used on kitchen knives for over 70 years, so I don't think moisture, regardless of source, would ever be an issue. I have noticed that white micarta tends to develop brownish stains around the pins. Have a hunch it's from lubricant. And, as with CF and G-10, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause it to fade. Beyond that, the stuff is pretty much bulletproof.
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Enkidude
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Postby Enkidude » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:10 pm

I agree with everything above. I hard use a knife with micarta scales frequently (esee 6), and it can take a beating. You can't beat the grip you get with micarta, especially when your hands get sweaty or wet.

On another note, I noticed how the Des Horn has micarta scales and a wharncliffe blade and couldn't help but think how nice of a gentlemanly self defense knife that would be.
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Postby JLS » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:17 pm

It's held up very well on my Mules. It's been scratched, but only when I was carrying an 8" vise and it was rubbing up against it.

I also have never had any complaints on Calypso Jr's or any other folders.

It's a great material overall and isn't nearly as tough on files and tooling as G-10. This becomes important when you're doing all your own Mules. :)
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Lord vader
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Postby Lord vader » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:38 am

Thanks guys for your help and now I`m convinced to use the micarta.Thank you Deacon for that history and background,I didn`t realize this material had been used to make kitchen knives,that proves how versatile the Micarta really is.

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Postby The Deacon » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:10 am

YVW, glad to have been of help.

Truth is, the claims that G-10 and CF are stronger than micarta are somewhat misleading. CF is stronger than G-10 and G-10, in turn, is stronger than micarta in structural applications. I'd hesitate to ride a bicycle with a micarta frame or fly in an aircraft with micarta wing spars and ribs. But knife scales, and even unlined knife handles, are not really structural applications, they are primarily cosmetic applications. CF may look "cooler", and G-10 more "tactical", but all three are more than up to the task.
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