What Is PakkaWood? Why Is It Used In Knife-Making?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 03/17/21 •  6 min read

Pakkawood is a wood and plastic composite often used for knife handles. In layman’s terms, this means that the material is really constructed from wood but it has been processed with dyes to alter or sharpen its color and then treated with resin so that it becomes more durable and long-lasting. Other companies may have different names for this: Colorwood, Staminawood, Dymondwood, and Compreg.

Unknown to most people, the handle of the knife is just as important as the blade. This is the reason why a lot of top cutlery companies try to find the best material for their knife handles.

Aside from toughness and endurance, it would be great if the material is also aesthetically pleasing and sanitary.

Messermeister, Shun, and Dalstrong are just a few of these world-renowned cutlers that think Pakkawood is one of the best.

To know much more about this wonderful handle material, go ahead and read on.


What Is Pakkawood?

Pakkawood is a synthetic material made by combining real wood and resin.

It is also called dynawood, staminawood, and colorwood.

While it does have the word in its name, this actually isn’t real wood, but it’s a wood/resin composite.

This is made by using a hardwood veneer as the base material, before adding phenolic thermoplastic resin.

Once those two materials are combined, a dye is then added to it to give it a bright color and its signature appearance.

The material is dyed through a vacuum process.

As for the resin, this is combined with the hardwood by using high-pressure, there many layers of the veneer used in its construction, so a normal Pakkawood handle can have up to 29 different layers.

What Are The Properties Of Pakkawood?

One of the most prominent properties of Pakkawood is its durability, which is the reason it’s used in a whole lot of kitchen knives.

It’s a material that can stand years upon years of use without deteriorating in quality.

The combination of wood and resin makes this material much denser than wood, so you don’t have to deal with warping and splitting, which is something that tends to happen with genuine wood.

Another one of its popular properties is that it’s water-resistant.

This means that water-damage isn’t something you have to worry about, and it also makes this material very sanitary, even if used in a busy kitchen.

So this will instantly make it easier to clean, and chefs won’t have to worry about the handle getting wet and damaged.

The Appearance Of Pakkawood

Pakkawood is known for being a very beautiful material.

This is because of how well it emulates the texture and colors of real wood.

The colors come from artificial dyes, which means that the material is available in a multitude of colors.

Most knife companies will dye their handles in bright wooden tones that are reminiscent of oak, walnut, chestnut, and in some cases, even zebrawood.

But on top of all the wooden tones, you can also get Pakkawood that is dyed in a very bright color such as Fuschia.

This might not be the ideal pick for a lot of chefs out there, but it is a very nice option to have available for you.

What Are The Uses Of Pakkawood?

The most common use for this material is in cutlery and knives.

Aside from being used as a material for kitchen knife handles, they are also seen on tactical knives because of their durability.

They are also used for cooking spoons and spatulas and would make for a very durable material in the kitchen.

How Do You Care For Pakkawood?

Even if it’s a very durable material, proper maintenance and care are still required for Pakkawood.

Since it’s water-resistant, you won’t have to worry at all about leaving it under running water to rinse or wash the material, which needs to be done after every use to keep things sanitary.

That being said, since it’s not fully waterproof, it is best to avoid leaving the handle soaked in water for a long period of time.

This has the potential to cause heavy and irreversible damage to the wood, which could greatly reduce the lifespan of your knife.

So to avoid damaging it, it’s best to only give it a quick rinse and wash after use.

You can use light soap on the material, but don’t use heavy soaps as that can tarnish the finish.

Another thing you’ll have to do with this material is season it, or oil the wood.

You can use a variety of oils that are low in unsaturated fats, but it’s best to use either mineral oil or tung oil.

To do this, simply put some oil on a cloth and apply some onto the handle.

This is great for restoring it to its original state, which can be further augmented by giving it good sand with sandpaper.

Also, make sure to remember that this isn’t a dishwasher-safe material and should only be hand-washed.

Is Pakkawood Good For Knife Handles?

To answer this question quickly, yes, this is a great choice for knife handles.

This is because it has great durability, so you can put it on a knife and expect it to last many years in the kitchen.

And since it’s water-resistant, it also makes for a great pick for any kitchen tool, whether it be a handle or a cooking spoon, or spatula.

On top of that, since it’s composite wood, it also comes with a very rustic aesthetic.

This is ideal for chefs who are looking for a rustic set of blades that come with durable handles.

And since it can be dyed multiple colors, you might even be able to find a handle in your favorite hue!


And that concludes our crash-course on Pakkawood.

It’s a very modern material that has a bunch of practical uses, especially in the world of kitchen cutlery.

It’s used on a whole lot of different knives in this day and age and is one of the most sought-after handle materials in the culinary world.

It has a rustic and flexible aesthetic and is very durable.

So if you stumble upon a blade with a Pakkawood handle, then you can rest assured that it will stand the test of time and could last you a very long while in the kitchen.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.