Can you put up the part\s so we can talk the same as we type our answer.
Mirrored parts have always worked this way, because since sketches cannot be mirrored inside the features of a mirrored part is the big issue.
what alot of people do is make the whole handle then split the handle into the bodies needed then save those out as seperate parts, still no features but the part that makes them is where you do the edits, forget the term used for this, Industrial Designers use this all the time to get the main shape then add the details to the individual parts.
At the part level, you probably need to mirror the body, rather than the features. If the knife handle will be assembled from the two parts, then you don't want to merge the two bodies when you dor the mirror. If the knife handle is molded around the tang, then you would want to merge the two bodies.
The term Lenny was trying to remember was "master modeling", where you build a number of parts in a master model and then split them out into separate parts at some point.
That makes sense and I can see the usefulness of doing it this way. What would be the preferred way to do it if I wanted to make, say, a right handed knife where each side of the handle was different. My first line of thought is to have the handle half mirrored with features and then edit the features to create the asymmetry. However, I have a feeling that you are going to tell me to again model the whole thing as one and then split.
Sorry I haven't done anything or replied, 25th anniversary, took wife to San Diego.
But to answer your last question, your master model (thanx Jerry, had a brain Fart) controls all your different versions.
one trick is mirror the shape early on, meaning if the shape at that point is in every version, them mirror, then ad the features to the new parts that only belong to that part, then only use the master to tweek the main shape and it probigates to all the others versions.
I do beleave there are some new ways in SW 2014, will see them on the 16th at the VAR rollout here in Phoenix, that may change this way of modeling.
you can also use configurations to make one part have many different looks to use for the handles or using multiple bodys in a part file to acheave the same results.