Once the sanding is completed, the handle can be finished. I prefer to use traditional finishes. In this case I have used two coats of a Danish Oil stain. I wanted dark, so I used Black Walnut tone. The stain is an optional step, purely cosmetic.
Following the stain, I applied 4 coats of Tung Oil, to seal and waterproof the wood. I find Tung Oil is better than any other varnish or finish, especially on objects that will be handled a lot. It gives the wood a high luster and really brings out the grain. Tung Oil can be applied numerous times, offering greater luster and greater protection with additonal coats. It is also good to re-apply every year or so, to keep the wood protected.