Wooden handles are finished by either waxing, varnishing or staining them. Wax deepens the glow of the natural variation of shades in a wooden handle while protecting it from dirt and moisture. A waxed handle has a very comfortable feel to the hand. Varnishing highlights and protects the birch's natural color. Staining a handle gives it varying shades of color without covering the grain of the wood. The surface of a stained handle is somewhat rough and allows a firm and safe grip.