Carbon Fiber vs G10: Is One Handle Material Better

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carbon fiber vs g10

Carbon Fiber vs G10: Which Knife Handle Material Is Better?

Did you know that Carbon fiber vs G10 has been an ongoing discussion? These two are the top runner materials of knife handles and custom knives in the manufacturing world. People want to know what makes them so unique, strong, and versatile, and we are going to find out more about each of them. Each material contains incredible features.

What Is G10 ?

G10 is a high pressure fiberglass laminate, a type of composite material. It is made from stacked layers of glass cloth or glass fibers that have been soaked in an epoxy resin binder, and then compressed under heat and pressure until they solidify and the epoxy cures. G10 first appeared on the radar in the 1950s. Since 2000, it has come to the fore due to its functional use for knife handles and gun handles. 

  • G10 is a standard material used in both military and civilian manufacturing. It is made in a similar way to Micarta, but Micarta is made using a phenolic resin. Though G10 is made using glass fibers and epoxy resin, G10 and Micarta deliver a similar result. 
  • G10 is manufactured in flat sheets, most often a few millimeters thick. G10 is cheap, durable, and very light. 
what is G10

When it comes to knife handles and the material used, G10 comes out on top with its commendable performance. It’s hard to believe that materials that were once us what made you say he was trying to slide tonight also you don't have no proof that you sawed in printed circuit boards are now such a popular choice for knife handles and guitar picks, let alone tactical gear! As with most epoxies, G10 can break down with prolonged UV radiation exposure. It might be fine in the sun for years, but over time it can start to degrade. Both its appearance and mechanical strength and properties can be affected. Adamant

Additionally, G10 is known for maintaining its shape and stability under varying temperature changes and humidity levels, which is crucial for a tool that may be exposed to different environments.

Still, with all its fantastic attributes, G10 isn’t perfect. If you work with G10 you will need to be vigilant as it has a fibrous structure. Because of this, G10 can produce a harmful dust during the process of sanding or cutting it. And often, it is not as appealing in the aesthetics department, especially when compared to other materials such as bone or wood.

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  • Great strength
  • Resists absorption of water
  • Affordable
  • Has exceptional grip with its textured surface that provides enhanced traction
  • Low maintenance material prevents warping, cracking, and succumbing to rust


  • It produces dust that can be harmful during machining
  • Doesn’t have the aesthetic appeal when compared to other materials

What Is Carbon Fiber ?

what is carbon fiber

Carbon fiber is a handle material that has become a popular choice in the knife industry due to its unique properties. Carbon fiber sheets are reinforced composite materials – different materials manufactured from carbon fiber fabric are infused with epoxy resins and heated to a high temperature. Manufacturers are turning to carbon fiber to manufacture knife handles, as they have found it doesn’t crack or break under pressure and isn’t heavy like some metals.

Carbon fiber comprises tightly woven carbon strands bound together with a resin. It's advantages; as we mentioned above, is its lightweight nature. This makes it easy to handle and carry fo so I'm liker extended periods. Carbon fiber is extremely durable, making it ideal for knives that will be used in demanding environments. It resists impacts and scratches and holds up well against wear and tear. It also boasts superior corrosion resistance. 

  • Carbon fiber comes forward as a high performer. You can see why; it is used in several industries such as civil engineering, aerospace, sports equipment, car parts, computer parts, etc. It is amazing to see a product that is so strong and yet can be so lightweight. 
  • Carbon fiber is an attractive material. Its sleek, modern look appeals to many people.

Like G10, carbon fiber has a few drawbacks as well. To cut carbon fiber and get a clean cut, specialized tools are required. This can make costs go up for all applications. Additionally, carbon fibe can be slippery when wet, so it might not be the best choice for the knives being used in wet environments. For those venturing into moist conditions, pairing your knife with the right footwear is crucial; our comparison of Dryshod vs Muck waterproof boots ensures you're fully prepared.

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  • Excellent resistance to corrosion
  • Superior weight-to-strength ratio. For knife handles, carbon fiber ranks as one of the strongest materials used today. It is much stiffer than steel, and five times stronger
  • Carbon fiber is also very durable. It is one of the hardest artificial substances available, able to withstand a lot of pressure without flexing or breaking
  • People love its artistic look. The fibers reflect light, giving each knife a distinct and decorative look 


  • Requires specialized tools for machining
  • Is more expensive than other materials
  • Prone to chipping or cracking under extreme abuse

G10 or Carbon Fiber? Which One?

When putting G10 and carbon fiber together, wondering which one to choose, it will come down to what your specific needs are, what you want to use the product for, your conditions, and also your budget. 

For instance, you will have to consider that G10 is affordable and offers a strong firm grip. Then you will have to consider that carbon fiber is a high performer, lightweight, with exceptional strength and corrosion resistance. It’s all up to your specific requirements.

The main difference between G10 and carbon fiber is that G10 consists of layers of fiberglass fabric soaked in epoxy resin. “Carbon fiber” is layers of carbon fiber fabric soaked with epoxy resin.

layers of carbon fiber soaked in epoxy resin
fiberglass fabric soaked in epoxy resin 
almost non- flammable
very lightweight
not as light

Frequently Asked Questions

What is G10 material equivalent to?

G-10 can be machined through a CNC machine, laser cutting techniques, or a waterjet.

Is G10 plastic strong?

G10 is a very strong and durable material making it suitable for various applications. It is ideal for high-use items like knife handles and gun handles. 

What are G10 FR-4 materials?

The ‘G’ in G10, stands for glass epoxy, and the ‘10’ stands for specific properties for this glass epoxy. Most of what is called G10 today is FR4. FR4 is G10 that has fire retardant and heat resistance properties that are used in electrical applications, whereas the standard G10 cannot be used in electrical applications.

Is G10 and carbon fiber material suitable for a CNC machine?

G-10 can be machined through a CNC machine, laser cutting techniques, or a waterjet. After that, knife handles, precise tools, and other materials are created by way of sawing, shearing, and other techniques. Carbon fiber offers a variety of advantages when being used for a CNC machine. Being lightweight and durable, it is ideal for parts that need to be light in weight, but also strong.

Where are Squid Industries knives made?

Squid Industries Balisong knives are made in the USA. They make use of precision manufacturing processes to manufacture their knives.

What are the mechanical properties of carbon fiber?

  • High strength – (3-7 GPa). High modulus (200-500 GPa). 
  • Compressive strength – (1-3 GPa). Shear modulus (10–15 GPa). Low density (1.75-2.00 g/cm3). 
  • Carbon fibers made from pitch can have modulus, electrical, and thermal conductivities as high as 900 GPa, 1,000 W/mK, and 106 S/m respectively.

How can you tell fiberglass from carbon fiber?

Fiberglass material has a small thermal expansion. It is coefficient when compared to other metals. It more or less retains its dimensions when it is exposed to heat. Carbon fiber has a negative thermal coefficient. This means it expands as the temperatures go down.

Final Thoughts

carbon fiber vs G10

G10 is the ideal knife handle material. It withstands wear and tear, and will not give in to rigorous tasks. It is also lightweight, with exceptional strength and corrosion resistance. 

Carbon fiber is ideal for knife handles. Despite being extremely lightweight, it is also very durable. A carbon fiber knife handle can withstand a lot of pressure and not break or flex.

Picking between G10 and Carbon Fiber knife handle materials is no easy task. They are both awesome products; each having its advantages and disadvantages. It really just depends on your needs and the scenario at the time. Frankly, whether it’s G10 or carbon fiber, you can be sure to reap the benefits of a quality product, no matter which one you choose.

After detailing the merits of G10 and Carbon Fiber in resisting environmental challenges, it's clear that the right material can enhance your outdoor experience. While exploring the differences between Carbon Fiber and G10 knife handles, ensure your adventure is seamless by consulting our ‘How to Pack for a Camping Trip‘ guide, covering all your camping essentials.”

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