What Is Pakkawood?

If you are interested in quality knives, you will probably have come across the term ‘Pakkawood’ – and you are probably wondering what pakkawood is, and whether it is a good option for your knives and cutlery.

Read on as we guide you through what pakkawood is and much more!

What Is Pakkawood

What Is Pakkawood? 

In short, pakkawood (also known as pakka wood) is an alternative to traditional hardwoods such as maple or oak, which can be expensive and difficult to source. It is also much more environmentally friendly than these woods, being made from recycled waste products.

The word ‘pakkawood’ comes from the Malay language, and means ‘waste wood’. This is because pakkawood has been used as a substitute for hardwood in many countries around the world, including Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and is manufactured out of wood that typically would go to landfill, rather than being used. 

The process of taking these waste materials and turning them into high-quality wooden items, that can accurately act as a substitute for hardwood, is a little labor intensive.

Essentially, engineered wood (similar to impregnated wood veneers) and composite resin are combined, to make something  that resembles hardwood. The process is similar to making plywood, but with a few key differences:

  1. The waste material is not treated with chemicals before processing, so there is no need to apply any finishes to the final product.
  2. There is no need to use formaldehyde during the manufacturing process, since the waste material does not contain any preservatives.
  3. The waste material is often mixed with other types of wood, to create a stronger composite than you would get with a typical plywood.

The waste material is usually processed on a large scale, using machinery to speed up production. The resulting product is generally cheaper than solid hardwood, although this varies depending on the type of waste material used.

Even if it is cheaper than hardwood, it is still strong and durable, making it a favorite for knife and cutlery handles. The finished product is naturally resistant to moisture, insects, mold, and fungi, and is more sustainable than using a solid hardwood. 

Where Is Pakkawood Used? 

Pakkawood is used all over the world, in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the Middle East.

Most commonly, however, it is used in Asia, where it is popular for its strength and durability. In fact, most of the world’s supply of pakkawood originates from China, where it is used to make furniture, flooring, and even musical instruments. 

We are most interested in its use in knives and cutlery. Some of its most popular uses include kitchen utensils, tableware, and cutlery, such as steak knives, cleavers, bread knives, and carving knives.

It is popular as a handle because it has water repellent properties, and is resistant to cracking, discoloring, or degrading like a natural wood will.

If you are into making your own knife handles, you should be able to find pakkawood at your local hardware store, so that you can build your own custom knives. 

Due to its durable nature, pakkawood is also used for oft used implements, such as spatulas or wooden cooking spoons.

Again, its water resistance, and scratch resistance makes it a popular choice, as well as the fact that it won’t scrape at non-stick coating on your pans. 

Benefits Of Pakkawood Over Regular Wood 

There are many benefits to using pakkawood instead of regular wood when building your next knife handle. For starters, it is much easier to work with, due to its lightweight nature. This means that you don’t have to worry about breaking anything while working with it.

Also, it doesn’t require any finishing treatments, which saves time and money.

Finally, it is very easy to customize, meaning that you can choose exactly what kind of wood you want to incorporate into your design, whether it is a specific color, grain pattern, or texture. You can even add different kinds of designs, such as engraving or laser etching. 

You can color pakkawood in a whole variety of different colors, so you can easily make it suit your tastes, or appeal to the rest of the aesthetic of your knife drawer. Furthermore, you can even get pakkawood in a rainbow pattern!

Which Knife Manufacturers Use Pakkawood?

Which Knife Manufacturers Use Pakkawood

Many manufacturers use pakkawood as their primary material for making knife handles. Here are some of the best:

Wusthof Knives 

Wusthof is one of the oldest knife makers in existence, dating back to 1814. They are known for producing high quality German made products. Their line of chef knives includes several models, including the classic “German Chef” model.

These knives feature an ergonomic handle made of pakkawork, along with a blade made of stainless steel. The blades are sharpened by hand, and come with a lifetime warranty.

Victorinox Swiss Army 

Victorinox was founded in 1889, and they are still going strong today. They produce a wide range of tools, including knives. One of their most famous lines is the Swiss Army Knife, which features a folding pocket knife, scissors, a saw, tweezers, and other useful items.

Their knives are designed to last, and are built to withstand heavy use. They are available in both forged and stamped steel versions.

Swiss Army Knife

Another name synonymous with high quality knives, Swiss Army Knife produces a wide array of different types of knives. Their line of chef’s knives features a pakkawood handle, along with a blade of stainless steel.

They also offer a full line of kitchen knives, including utility knives, paring knives, and bread knives. Their knives are designed with durability in mind, and are built to last.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you learn more about pakkawood. I know that there are many options out there, but these knives are one of my favorite, as they are so durable, environmentally friendly, and usually cost effective.

Tom Bower