Tap handle weight is an often overlooked feature of custom tap handles. "Yeah, lets do a cool wrought iron welded handle!" Sounds great, right? If you care about your taps, your draft accounts, and your bottom line, you might want to rethink that idea. Tap handles that are too heavy can cause serious problems.
First, a heavy handle can cause significant wear on the internal joints in the tap itself. Wear can cause leaks and beer loss as well as having to replace your taps frequently. Second, a heavy tap handle can cause damage to itself. If you have a tall and heavy resin handle, and the person pouring doesn't know to pull the tap handle gently from the bottom. They wrench on it from the top, where the most torque is going to be applied. *SNAP*, you just broke your tap handle. Now, a well made resin handle will be light enough and sturdy enough to withstand this. Lastly, a heavy handle makes a tap easier to open, so if the bartender accidentally knocks it when pouring the tap next to it, boom, you've got beer pouring, and nothing to catch it. Over time, that's gonna cost you.
We've found that you generally want to keep the weight of a tap handle under 1 lb, however, if you can get closer to 1/2 to 3/4 lb, you'll be sitting pretty. The less dense the material you're using, the more flexibility you'll have in terms of design. Here's how different materials measure up in terms of their density: