Black Palm durability



Before I did any real research on Palm wood, I purchased three sets of Black Palm Scales from Jantz to build some BBQ knives for my best friend. I noted that palm is prone to cracking, especially while you're working it. They were a whole $7.95 a piece, and the most expensive blade was $13.95 so I'm not out much over $70 if this is a complete bust. Anyway, if my friend drops these on the concrete will they crack, split, or just possibly dent a bit like Walnut would?

I COMMONLY use walnut, maple, and mesquite so this is a bit new. I wouldn't have bought them, but he has two or three of those metal palm trees by the pool like you see at Hooters. I felt he sort of needed some REAL palm...


Norman Oklahoma
Hi Mike!

Various types of exotic woods have their own pros and cons. Palm is one of those woods that should be sealed, otherwise it shrinks and expands significantly with simple changes in humidity. As with all the woods, "toughness" is all relative. Meaning that each has its limits as far as checks, chips, and cracks. Knifemaking is all about "trade-offs"........ in this case you're going to sacrifice some durability to use the wood you want. As you gain more experience with various handle materials, you'll likely find yourself evaluating the handle materials you use based on not just how they look, or what they are, but things like how suitable the material is for the intended use situation.
About the only way you'd be able to promise that a handle would not chip or crack under the circumstances you mentioned, would be to use one of the super tough synthetics such as Micarta or G10.

This whole knifemaking journey is one of learning new things...... I've been doing it for 30 years, and every single day I walk into the shop, I learn something new. For me thats the thing that keeps knifemaking fresh and new! :)