The Best Knives With Micarta Handle Scales

The Versatility of Micarta Makes It  A Great Option For Most Types of Knives From Fixed Blade Bushcraft to Gentleman’s Carry Pocket Knives

Everyone has a preference, and for a lot of people it’s Micarta. For good reason. It’s a tough material, easy to clean, comfortable, and it usually looks nice. It does have the downside of making a knife more expensive than if it came in G-10 or FRN, but it’s often worth the extra cash for the comfort and durability you get out of it.

Six of our favorite fixed blade and folding knives with Micarta handles.
Six of our favorite fixed blade and folding knives with Micarta handle scales from left to right: Off-Grid Ridgeback, Esee 4, Buck 110 Hunter Sport, Buck Sprint Pro, Benchmade Weekender and Bradford Guardian 3.

I’ve tried to put together a list of knives with all different kinds of Micarta in them, but for the most part it’s canvas and linen Micarta out there. I’m always looking out for other decent knives in denim Micarta though, so I’ll probably be updating this every six months or so.

Our Top Picks For Fixed Blade Knives With Micarta Handles

Buck Compadre Camp
Esee 4
LionSteel T5
Buck 119 Special Pro
Sencut Waxahachie
Off-Grid Ridgeback
White RIver Knives Exodus 4
Bradford Knives Guardian 3
TOPS Mini Scandi Knife
Buck Selkirk
Enzo Trapper

Our Top Picks For Folding Pocket Knives With Micarta Handles

Buck 841 Sprint Pro
Buck 110 Slim Pro
Benchmade Weekender 317-1
Boker Plus Kwaiken
Benchmade Proper 319
Boker Optima
Boker Pipsqueak

Fixed Blade

Micarta has become the darling for a lot of survivalists over the years. As a result there a lot more fixed-blade designs with Micarta scales. It makes sense, though. Micarta is incredibly tough and ages well, and the grippiness and comfort that comes along with it pairs well with heavy tasks like batoning and clearing brush.

Buck Compadre Camp
buck compadre steel and coating
Overall Length:9.5″
Blade Length:4.5″
Steel:5160 w/ Cerakote Coating
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:5.0″
Micarta Type:Canvas Micarta
Grind:Hollow
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Leather sheath
Price Range:$100 – 108

This is one of the most versitile and comfortable fixed blade knives we’ve tried. There’s just enough contouring in the handle to form to the hand without feeling intrusive, and the way the butt angles out does a lot to keep the hand from slipping. The steel is about as soft as you can get on a knife and it still be functional, but it takes a razor edge, and Buck’s heat treat on it is pretty solid. It’s great for skinning, starting fires, and (up to a point) splitting and carving wood. The only potential problems are the thin tip which could pose a snapping risk if you aren’t careful, and 5160 steel is more prone to rust than most other steels in its grade. That shouldn’t be a big issue so long as the coating holds up, though.

If you want to know a little more, check out our full review.

Esee 4
The Esse 4 survival knife with micarta handles sitting on a rock next to a mountain creek.
Overall Length:9.0″
Blade Length:4.5″
Steel:1095
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:4.5″
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Flat
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Molded sheath
Price Range:$100 – 150

I don’t know if ESEE started this Micarta bushcraft trend, but they’ve definitely perfected it. All the ESEE fixed blade knives sport some kind of linen Micarta that handles jungle terrain very well. That’s the kind of place pretty much all Esee knives are designed for, but the ESEE 4 is probably the most popular of their bushcraft knives.

That’s partly because of the designs, but I think major part of it now is the extent to which you can modify ESEE knives. These days they make a huge range of G-10 and Micarta scales in flat and rounded shapes and in a whole mess of colors.

The ESEE 4 is right in that size range that’s easy to carry and well balanced, but still big enough to chop into some logs and heavier brush or branches. They make bigger knives that are probably better for trail blazing, but if I’m only taking one ESEE on a hunting or camping trip, it would be the ESEE 4.

If you to see more of me both praising and complaining about the popularity of this thing, check out our full review of the ESEE 4.

LionSteel T5
The Lionsteel T5 sticking out of a tree limb next to a river.
Overall Length:9.875″
Blade Length:5.0″
Steel:Niolox
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:4.875″
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Sabre
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Leather sheath
Price Range:$165 – 185

The T5 is an extremely tough survival/tactical knife hybrid from Lionsteel which is a well respected Italian knife company known for their durable knives and practical designs. The T5′ handle is made from a single piece of micarta rather than two separate micarta scales like all the other knives in this article. The result of this is an extremely comfortable and grippy handle that is perfect for survival or bushcraft tasks.

If you want to see more pictures of this great looking knife or read a bit more about it, check out our lionSteel T5 review.

Buck 119 Special Pro
The Buck 119 Special Pro with Micarta handle scales and an S35V blade sitting in the bark of a tree in the forest.
Overall Length:10.25″
Blade Length:5.75″
Steel:CPM-S35VN
Blade Style:Clip point
Handle Length:5.125″
Micarta Type:Canvas Micarta
Grind:Hollow
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Leather sheath
Price Range:$189 – 199

The Buck 119 is an American classic. It has be a top knife among hunters, campers and survivalists for many years. It’s popularity is due to it’s excellent design, great balance and versatility. However, the original version it is a bit dated from a steel and handle material standpoint. Fortunately, Buck recently announced the Buck 119 Special Pro upgrade. This version ships with an S35V blade and a Micarta handle.

The upgraded steel means the Special Pro version has better edge retention and improved corrosion resistance The new Micarta handle is more grippy and more durable than the previous polymer handle. These improvements do come with a significant price increase, but it still well priced for an American made Bowie knife with made from premium materials. we ordered one as soon as it was announced, and we will have a full review of this knife posted soon.

Sencut Waxahachie
Sencut Waxahachie
Overall Length:7.88″
Blade Length:3.7″
Steel:9Cr18MoV
Blade Style:Clip point
Handle Length:4.18″
Micarta Type:Canvas Micarta
Grind:Flat
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Kydex sheath
Price Range:$50 – $65

The Sencut Waxahachie is one of the best budget fixed blades we have tested here at Nothing But Knives. It is not made by a well known brand, and its blade is not stamped with the name of some sexy new super steel. However, it sports a practical design, and it ships with a sheath that extremely versatile.

Sencut is Civivi’s new budget brand, but i am hoping the popularity of the Waxahachie may lead Civivi to offer offer a more expensive version under their We Knife brand made from more premium materials. I know it sounds weird to want a more expensive model, but a design this good deserves an option with more premium materials.

Tha Waxahachie is light, the handle is comfortable and the sheath lets the user carry the knife vertically or horizontally. It can also be carried on the straps of most backpacks. You see some more photos and read some more of our observations about the Waxahachie by checking out our Sencut Waxahaxhie Photo Tour & Review.

Off-Grid Ridgeback
The Off-Grid Ridgeback Bushraft knife is a versatile fixed blade that is perfect for camping and survival tasks.
Overall Length:9.7”
Blade Length:5.2”
Steel:Sandvik 14C28N
Blade Style:Spear point
Handle Length:4.5″
Micarta Type:Micarta (various)
Grind:Scandi
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Kydex sheath
Price Range:Around $90

The Ridgeback is one of the best bushcraft knives we have tested under $100. This knife is an excellent chopper, and the comfortable Micarta handle is shaped perfectly for hard work. It is an excellent camping knife especially if you are into building your own shelter or spending days at a time in the wilderness. In short it is a handy knife to have in a campsite, but it is capable of much more intense outdoor excursions if you are feeling adventurous.

The kydex sheath of the Ridgeback holds the knife snugly with no rattle, and it is Tek-Lok compatible if that is your thing. We spent a few weeks testing out the Ridgeback and taking photos for our in-depth review.

White River Knives Exodus 4
The White River
Overall Length:8.5″
Blade Length:3.88″
Steel:S35VN
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:4.5″
Micarta Type:Canvas Micarta
Grind:Flat
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Kydex
Price Range:$175 – $190

At first glance the Exodus 4 almost looks like a small kitchen knife, but this is a mirage that quickly dissipates upon closer inspection. The thick spine, dry Micarta handle scales and the compact kydex sheath are proof that this knife was designed for tough outdoor use.

I was surprised to see that the Exodus 4 ships with a horizontal carry only sheath. That is my personal preferred method of carry for small fixed blades, but it is something to keep in mind if you prefer vertical carry.

The fit and the finish of the Exodus 4 is superb. That is to be expected with a knife at this price point, but White River Knives really went above and beyond when putting the finishing touches on this American made knife.

Bradford Knives Guardian 3
The two versions of the Bradford Guardian 3 have blades made of different steel. The knife on the left features an AEB-L steel blade, and the knife on the right features a MagnaCut steel blade.
Overall Length:6.75″
Blade Length:3.5″
Steel:Nn90/Magnacut/CPM-3V
Blade Style:Spear point
Handle Length:3.25″
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Flat
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Leather sheath
Price Range:$110 – 190

It’s hard to overstate just how good and loved this model has become. Bradford makes knives the way Toyota made trucks in the 90s. They’re solid and tough, but so well designed and sized that they handle like a dream, and there’s almost nothing you can do that will ever break them. The Guardian 3 has been the favorite of the Guardian series for a long time now, and frankly there’s not much sign of something taking its place soon.

It’s probably the most comfortable fixed blade knife in its size range and the leather sheath looks great and sits on the belt you rarely ever notice it after it’s been on for a few minutes. The grind and edge are just about perfect for whittling and carving wood, and it has a lot more chopping power than anyone has a right to expect from a 3.5″ blade. The only complaint I’ve ever had about the Guardian 3 is that it’s hard to strike a spark off a ferro rod with it.

Check out our full review of it here.

TOPS 3 Pointer
TOPS 3 Pointer With Red Micarta
Overall Length:6.5″
Blade Length:3″
Steel:1095
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:3.5″
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Flat
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Kydex sheath
Price Range:$100 – $125

The TOPS 3 Pointer was released to minimal fanfare, but it has grown in popularity in the short time it has been on the market. Designed to be carried around the neck or on a belt, this is a pretty easy blade to pack around, but they’ve also made the handle pretty comfy to hold. This knife’s toughness and versatile sheath make it a good choice for camping, but with the tall blade and grippy handle scales, this is really best for skinning and finer work like feathering.

Buck Selkirk
The Buck Selkirk outdoors in its element.
Overall Length:9.5″
Blade Length:4.625″
Steel:420HC
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:4.875″
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Flat
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Kydex sheath
Price Range:$65 – 80

We’re always looking for an excuse to sneak this knife into our articles. It’s ended up being one of our favorite carries for camping, and anytime we pick up a new bushcraft knife we tend to compare it to the Selkirk. It has a similar range of usefulness to the original BOB knife or the Esee 3 but in a slightly smaller package, and with a much smaller price tag. Plus, you could definitely argue Buck’s BOS 420HC steel is as good if not better in some ways for hunting than 1095.

If you’d like to hear us gush about it more, check out our full review of the Selkirk.

EnZo Trapper
The Enzo Trapper is a high end bushcraft knife with micarta scales.
Overall Length:8.25″
Blade Length:4.0″
Steel:N690
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:4.25″
Micarta Type:Canvas Micarta
Grind:Flat
Build:Full tang
Carry System:Leather sheath
Price Range:$100 – 175

The EnZo Trapper is in a similar size category with the Selkirk, but the price shoots up quite a bit. That has a lot to do with the Bohler N690 steel, which is a lot harder than 420HC. It functions about the same as VG-10 in terms of edge retention and corrosion resistance, so you could think of this as a very tough kitchen knife. That’s partially hindered by the flat grind, but where it loses a little bit of slicing ability for smaller things like cutting food or feathering, it gains a lot of toughness for harder bushcraft tasks.

Folding Pocked Knives

When you see Micarta on a folder, it’s usually some kind of limited edition or update on an older model, which makes this a hard section to fill out. But when you get a good folder in Micarta it really turns into a special thing. Just about all of them are designed as gentleman folders, but the toughness gained from the scale choice adds a lot of usefulness to these things.

Buck 841 Sprint Pro
The versatile Buck Sprint Pro makes a great camping, tactical or hunting knife. The linen Micarta handle makes this knife easy to grip even in wet weather.
Overall Length:7.5″
Blade Length:3.125″
Steel:CPM-S30V
Blade Style:Clip point
Handle Length:4.375″
Micarta Type:Burlap Micarta
Grind:Hollow
Carry System:Tip-up clip
Price Range:$100

This is an update of one of Buck’s more modern designs. They slapped burlap Micarta and S30V steel onto a flipper, then ground in some wild texturing to the spine of the blade.

While I’m not a fan of how the new spine looks compared to the non-Pro version of the Sprint, the update in materials was much needed. It was a snappy workhorse before, but with harder steel and tougher (and better looking) scales the Sprint becomes a much more streamlined EDC knife with good ergonomics.

If you want to learn more about this knife check our our in-depth Buck Sprint Pro review.

Buck 110 Hunter Sport
Buck 110 Sport With OD Green Micarta
Overall Length:8.75″
Blade Length:3.75″
Steel:CPM-S30V
Blade Style:Clip point
Handle Length:5″
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Hollow
Carry System:Tip-up clip
Price Range:$75 – 100

It’s harder to get away from the 110 design these days. Buck has really pushed this design to the edge with all its updates. Some of their new releases had rocky starts, they turned into solid modern EDCs once the wrinkles were ironed out.

The 110 Sport isn’t as tough in the blade as the original, but it’s a lot easier to carry and holds an edge longer. And where the blade carries a slightly higher risk of chipping, the Micarta handles are much better at handling dirt and moisture than the original wood handle. So even though Buck has kind of turned this into a gentleman folder for trendy knife people, it still serves just fine as a camping knife.

We included some more observations and photos in our Buck 110 Hunter Sport Photo Tour and Review if you have some time to kill.

Benchmade Weekender 317-1
Benchmade Weekender With Micarta handle Scales
Overall Length:8.625″
Blade Length:3.0” / 2.0”
Steel:CPM-S30V
Blade Style:Clip point / drop point
Handle Length:4.0”
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Flat
Locking System:Slip Joint
Price Range:$225 – $250

The Weekender surprised us when it was announced in January of 2022. This classic looking slip joint represented a design detour from the typical Benchmade modern looking tactical folding knives that have filled their catalog for the last few years. It was nice to see them pay homage to knife history with a well designed slip joint that deserves to be an American classic.

The dry Micarta scales of the Weekender fill the hand nicely, and the texture makes the knife easy to grip regardless of which blade is open. The Micarta scales are dry enough that the handle will soak up hand sweat and dirt over time, but that is a fun feature of dry Micarta scales that make each knife unique.

The toothy edges of the Weekender’s blades are great for carving or whittling. The included bottle opener is an added bonus that helps to justify the Weekender’s unique name. We liked the weekender so much we spent a few weeks testing it out for an in-depth review.

Boker Plus Kwaiken
The Boker Plus Kwaiken is a folding knife with a comfortable micarta handle
Overall Length:8.375″
Blade Length:3.5″
Steel:AUS-8
Blade Style:Trailing point
Handle Length:4.875″
Micarta Type:Linen Micarta
Grind:Flat
Carry System:Tip-up clip
Price Range:$85 – 127

Boker is really pushing to capitalize off the popularity of this design, but they’re doing a pretty damn good job of it. The Kwaiken is a flipper adaptation from a fixed-blade by designer Lucas Burnely.

The looks of this knife alone have done a lot to make it popular. It has the kind of viciously elegant aesthetic that nerds with gentleman folders like to pack around. But that big curve of the blade from the upswept design this a genuinely great cutting tool. It’s not a rough and tumble knife for smacking into wood, but for an urban EDC you could do a lot worse.

Benchmade Proper 319
The Benchmade Proper 319 is an excellent folding pocket knife with micarta handle scales.
Overall Length:6.69″
Blade Length:2.86″
Steel:CPM-S30V
Blade Style:Sheepsfoot
Handle Length:3.83″
Micarta Type:Canvas Micarta
Grind:Flat
Carry System:Pocket
Price Range:Around $120

Leave it to Benchmade to come in with the slip joint Micarta knife. This is an unusually old school design with a nail nick open and not a pocket clip in sight. You have to carry this thing all the way in your pocket.

If that’s not your style, though, this becomes a very nice key ring knife, which was possibly Benchmade’s intention in the first place. Whatever the original idea was, this is probably the best knife on here from a legal standpoint thanks to the locking system and size.

Boker Optima
The Boker Optima has a classic design with a modern bent.
Overall Length:8.125″
Blade Length:3.375″
Steel:440C
Blade Style:Clip point
Handle Length:4.75″
Micarta Type:Canvas Micarta w/ steel bolsters
Grind:Hollow
Carry System:Pocket
Price Range:$175 – 215

This is another old school design with a bit of a modern bent. Boker took this old style build for general outdoor tasks and gave it an interchangeable blade structure. Once you get the sheath and saw blade for it, the Optima turns into a pretty handy hunting tool. There are a lot of handle options for this knife including bone and wood, but it’s hard to beat out Micarta for the way it handles moisture and age.

The Optima name covers a lot of ground within Boker, so when you’re looking to pick it up, keep an eye on the blade. They make a different modernized version under the Boker Plus branch with G10 scales. So long as you see the tree on the blade though, you’re getting the old school German Optima.

Boker Pipsqueak
The Boker Tree Brand Pipsqueak folding knife is one of the best small pocket knife oprions with a micarta handle.
Overall Length:6.125″
Blade Length:2.5″
Steel:CPM-S35VN
Blade Style:Drop point
Handle Length:3.625″
Micarta Type:Titanium w/ Canvas Micarta scales
Grind:Hollow
Carry System:Tip-up clip
Price Range:$230 – 260

Now this is a skinner. Of all the knives on here, this is only decent Micarta-scaled knife I’ve found so far with a design that really feels like it was just made for skinning. Designed by Neil Blackwood, this gets touted as a tactical folder by a few vendors, but that seems like a stretch. It’s definitely a tough blade considering its compact build, but with the hollow grind and that little bit of recurve, this is a solid folder to take on a big game hunt.


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Andrew has been a commercial writer for about a decade. He escaped from a life of writing mundane product descriptions by running away to the woods and teaching himself how to bake and chop stuff up in the kitchen. He has a background in landscaping, Filipino martial arts, and drinking whiskey.

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