Finished custom knives should be very personal to person carrying it, taste very and will carry over and will reflect your personality, but there are two questions you must ask yourself prior to proceeding. First is, what are you going use your knife for? That will help us decide what materials are optimum for your needs, what style and what size of knife is best for your personal carry package. The second is equally important although some may not want to admit; aesthetics and respect that. When I pull my knife out I love when someone say's, hold on let me see that knife. So the question is what would you like your knife to look like? To do this take a look at all the knife on my site (not just the custom knives) but all of them and pick out materials that you like the most. Try to pick out handle material that jumps out at you, I carry almost every type material Including: carbon fiber, G 10, buffalo horn, stag, mother of pearl, turquoise, kirinite, spacing material and wood. I have in stock over 55 species of wood, I just love the different woods with there varied grain patterns, colors and hardness characteristics. I also use carbon fiber, G-10, corrion
Knives are a personal tool and only the skill, purpose and likes of the individual can determine what is best for him. My criteria for an outstanding knife is that it have functional form, be aesthetically appealing and be constructed the best available materials
There are dozens of tool steels that would make a satisfactory knife but only a few have proven to be outstanding, I use Alabama Damascus, D2, 0-1 tool steel, 154 CM and 440 C Stainless mostly but I can get and make a knife out most any steel. I also have the ability to Parkerize the carbon blades which is corrosion and scratch resistant. There are large cost differences so to decide which steel is best for your needs, we must consider corrosion resistance, edge retention, stain resistant and the ability to sharpen it to a razor edge.
I mostly make full tang knives (the strongest) knives, hidden tang are used when I would like to revile the entire handle especially when using buffalo horn, stag or even a beautiful piece of wood that I don't want to cut through. I mill/drill all the non-critical steel to reduce the weight and improve the balance.
I like to use the most durable handle material--hard wood, G-10, Carbon Fiber. I use these materials because they are to a greater characterized as resistant ti heat, cold, moisture, oil, impact and corrosion. it takes a high polish and I carry a large variety of hard woods and colors. My preference is to install a handle material that will last indefinitely even under severe use.