Blade-to-handle ratio: does it matter?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by DangerZone98, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    This didn’t seem to pop up on the search results, so I thought it’d be nice to start a discussion!

    For me, most of the time it doesn’t matter. While I appreciate efficient blade length to handle ratios, it’s not the first criterion I look for. Things like ease of carry, slimness, and clip placement matter more to me. What about you folks?
    LG&M likes this.
  2. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    It depends on the knife. But usually, I like it somewhat equal. It's one of the things that bothers me about my Heretic Manticore E.


    I can see it might be a good thing if you have larger hands and live somewhere with a stupid bade length limit. I know Pro-Tech makes a CA legal bladed full handle model.
    DocJD, LG&M and DangerZone98 like this.
  3. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Not at all. Many of my favorites have notably bad blade-to-handle ratios as I often want a smallish blade that's still comfortable in my hand.
    AntDog, POCEH KOCEB, jlauffer and 3 others like this.
  4. Blade length means a lot less than cutting edge length. Some Spydercos have decent b:h until you factor in the choil that turns 1/3 of the blade into handle.
  5. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    not really.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  6. rpttrsn

    rpttrsn Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    I believe that the Spyderco Brad Southard has the best handle/blade cutting surface of any knife I own.
  7. Angus McGunnigle

    Angus McGunnigle

    Jan 1, 2013
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  8. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Oh yeah that’s true, lol. In my opinion though, sometimes the ergos afforded by the choil make the decreased cutting edge an acceptable, if not ideal, tradeoff. It’s nice to have the option of choking up to do more careful cuts.
    Lee D likes this.
  9. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Same here. It’s satisfying to have enough real estate to grab on to.
    Insipid Moniker likes this.
  10. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    The Benchmade Rukus 610, which I EDC, has a 4.25 inch blade and a 6 inch handle. I don't pay any attention to handle/blade ratios, but I do like how longer handles can complement a blade.

    For example, I can take a frontal grip for detail work, a middle grip for ordinary use, or a rearward grip for leverage and for chopping to enhance the cutting power of the knife.

    What does concern me is the width of the knife with the blade folded. Some knives are so wide that you lose your pocket to anything else. The Rukus is thick for a good grip, but not wide, so it doesn't take up too much pocket space.
    DangerZone98 and Razor like this.
  11. guy g

    guy g Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 22, 2000
    Yes it does. I don't like a lot of extra handle. Years ago I ordered a knife from a local maker. I wanted a 4" blade and no more than a 4" handle.. he made exactly that and I love it.
    LG&M, DangerZone98 and rpttrsn like this.
  12. el gigantor

    el gigantor Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 5, 2015
    I didn’t think blade-to-handle ratio really affected me, and then I bought a Spyderco Siren. The handle fit me nicely, but I felt the blade was too narrow and slender. It just looked “off”. I fully understand and appreciate the reason the Siren is designed the way it is, but I guess it’s just not for me.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  13. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    You say ratio I say proportion. A good design should have visual and physical balance.
    is difficult to achieve usually because of physical and engineering limits.
    sechip, DangerZone98, guy g and 2 others like this.
  14. Planterz


    Mar 26, 2004
    Yes but no. For example, I like that my Spyderco Kopa has a handle long enough I can grab onto, but I'm not disappointed that the blade length is so short in relation. However, I look at something like the Para Military 3 and think "yuck". Similarly large knives like Striders that use so little of the available handle and blade length for such a short cutting edge. It's really more a matter of the overall design and whether or not there's a reason for having a shorter blade or it's simply badly designed and wasted.
    jux t, LG&M and DangerZone98 like this.
  15. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Yes, the handle determines how well you handle the blade.
  16. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    DangerZone98 and Insipid Moniker like this.
  17. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    I'm more concerned with balance than b/h ratio. I like the balance point at the index finger, or just a touch aft. If it hits that, I don't give it too much more thought.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  18. NorthernSouthpaw

    NorthernSouthpaw Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    @Insipid Moniker said it best.

    Does it feel right in your hand?
    Does it do the job you need it for?
    If the answer is "yes" to both. Then it should be good.
  19. wayben

    wayben Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 1, 2015
    Proper lengths are more important than ratio. I tend to like a good four finger handle on most knives that I can get a useful grip on, no matter the blade length. That being said, I do have some short blades with three finger handles that I like for the ability to pocket carry them. So, as usual, it all depends.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  20. Mannlicher


    Nov 19, 2008
    I have big hands. Virtually all the time, factory knives have handles that are too small. I really hate a small handle.
    GAGL, DangerZone98 and Zulus like this.

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