Here’s some of the knives I chip carved the handles. The wood is (from left to right) olive, oak, oak, olive, beechwood. Olive is very hard, much harder than oak, but very nice to carve too! Beechwood is a little tricky because it splinters quickly (hope my english is reasonable …). The same with oak. The latter has this long grain, which unfixes itself from the others when cutted.
@ Michael Disher : Yes, the Opinels are quite sharp from the getgo. And after a very deep cut in the finger pad carving my very first knife-handle, i started to wrap cardboard and some Duck Tape around the blade before chip-carving and after sketching out the pattern.