Hack-It-Yerself, Make it Sharp

Replacing a Knife Handle


Figure 1 – A beloved old knife with a broken handle. Click any picture to enlarge.

Good morning everyone.

One of our favourite kitchen knives is an old Sabatier 4” paring knife that we bought around 30 years ago. It’s the first knife I reach for (when it happens to be clean) when I need a small knife for food preparation, and over the years it has been used, abused, and run through the dishwasher a zillion times. A couple of years ago, the plastic handle finally cracked badly enough to where a big chunk of it fell off, and we had to set the knife aside until I got around to replacing the handle, a job that I just completed rather successfully, in fact.

I would think that this is a fairly common problem for beloved old knives, so I’m going to take you through the steps that I went through in replacing the handle (scales is the proper term) in case some of you might want to try it. A word of warning though: this was my first time at replacing a full length tang type of handle and I didn’t look up any instructions. I just did what I could see that needed to be done to get what I wanted, and it pretty much came out how I wanted. It would have been nicer if I hadn’t tried to saw off one of my fingers with a hacksaw, but you can’t have everything.

This is going to be a rather long article, so if you’re not interested in the knife repair, now is the time to bail. The handle repair starts after the jump.

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