Knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, designed for different uses. Knowing the anatomy of a knife can help you determine which type is best suited for your project. Here are the basic parts of a knife and their purpose.

Blade: The blade is the portion of the knife that does most of the work. It’s usually made from high carbon steel or stainless steel and comes with both straight and serrated edges for different cutting needs. It’s important to maintain its sharpness for optimal performance.

Handle: The handle is where you grip the knife and gives you control over its cutting motions. This handle should fit comfortably in your hand and provide good balance when it’s being used .It can be made from many materials such as wood, plastic or metal; making sure you have a secure hold on it is also paramount for safe usage.

Butt: The butt is the end portion of the handle that serves as a counterweight to the blade side of the knife so that it remains balanced .This helps with precision cuts as it ensures that it won’t move while being used.

Tang: The tang, or shank, extends from the blade all way through until end of handle ,giving stability to your grip by evenly distributing pressure when using with force, thus minimizing wear and tear to both parts.

Pommel/Guard/Bolster: The pommel (or guard) refers to metal part located at base of handle which offers extra protection during use – generally seen near finger grip area. Bolster – this part juts out just below handle to provide support while being held preventing slipping off safety guards fingers while cutting .

Anatomy of a Knife

There are many different parts to a knife, each with its own name! Understanding the names of these components is essential for learning about the various types of knives and how they work.

The blade is the cutting portion of a knife, typically sharpened on both sides and ending in a point. Blades come in various sizes, shapes, materials and styles, such as straight-edge or serrated.

Next is the bolster which is a thick band of metal that connects the handle to the blade in order to reinforce it. This helps to protect your hands from slipping onto the blade while also providing additional weight which makes it easier to use during chopping tasks.

The handle (or grip) refers to the part you hold onto when using a knife. It can be made out of any solid material, including bone, wood, plastic, horn or steel.

Another piece found on most knives is the tang; this is an extension of the blade that continues into and runs through the handle. There are two main types: full tang which extends all the way around, or partial tang which does not extend all around but still serves an important purpose in balancing weight within handles because it centers it better than if there was no tang at all.

Lastly there is a bolster guard (also called butt cap or pommel) at one end of some knives which helps protect your fingers from hitting against any sharp edges when using them with force and precision.

The Blade

The blade is the most important and versatile part of a knife and each knife is designed different. There are various dimensions, materials and design types found in blades. The traditional anatomy includes a point, edge, heel or ricasso, spine, fuller (sometimes referred to as the blood groove), choil and shoulder.
The point – this describes the very end of the blade. It’s primary purpose is for piercing though some knives have extremely sharp points that can be used to whittle or carve as well.
The edge – this will determine how effective your knife will be at performing various tasks as it describes the actual cutting surface of the blade. Depending on angle and quality of steel used, edges can be sharpened to various heights such as standard, hollow or even flat-top grinds.
The heel or ricasso –this is the transition from blade to handle . Generally it acts a sort of aid by providing additional leverage when preforming a task requiring more force further down on the knife.
The spine –this is typically a thicker section at the top of the blade which tapers off until evenly meeting up with the edge near he heel/ricasso area.
The fuller (blood groove) -this can either be single or double sided on some blades but its primary purpose is to reduce weight while still keeping strength in tact within the hand held portion of a Knife.
The choil – this refers to an unsharpened part near either just before or after from what would generally be considered due hilt . This usually provides some extra comfort as it takes away any unnecessary cutting surfaces in contact with hands during use .
The shoulder -the shoulder describes where some knifes are angled towards handle for ergonomic purposes allowing for an easier grip for those using it regularly .


The point is one of the most important parts of a knife and can have a variety of uses. It is the very tip of the blade, and is typically used to puncture or cut materials. Depending on its shape, a knife’s point can make piercing more difficult or easier, with some points being better suited for certain types of tasks than others. For example, a drop point is not as sharp as other types and has curved sides that make it useful for applying gentle pressure when slicing food such as vegetables without risking accidental cuts. By contrast, a clip-point blade has two angles that meet in a very sharp point which is great for controlling delicate movements and precision cutting such as skinning game or whittling wood.


The handle of a knife is one of the most important parts. This is what the user holds onto and interacts with, so comfort and durability are major considerations. Different materials offer different advantages, such as non-slip rubber handles for superior grip or titanium handles for extreme durability. Additionally, there are many ergonomic designs to choose from that can help reduce fatigue in the hand. Some handles may even come with decorative options like unique shapes, colorful finishes or custom engravings that look great while still offering enough cushioning and control when using the blade.


The tang of a knife is the portion, typically made of metal, which extends back into the handle. It’s an integral component to a knife’s structure and strength. Depending on the type of knife, there are advantages with each different kind of tang.

Full Tang: Full tang knives have a single piece of metal running through the entire length and width of the handle. They are extremely durable, making them suitable for tough tasks like hunting or camping and they also provide improved balance to the user when using heavier blades.

Half-Tang: Half-tang knives are similar in shape to full tang but take up less space within the handle and are slightly lighter than full tang blades overall. These types tend to be more cost-effective for cheaper knives as metal costs less when used in smaller amounts. However, their shorter scales don’t usually provide as much durability or balance as full-tang blades do.

Rat Tail: Rat tail tangs extend from both ends at thin points that taper outward, giving it its name because it resembles a rat’s tail from certain angles. This form does not reach all sides of the handle, instead anchoring itself around only a few edges. As this limits contact between blade and handle, rat tail tangs might be best used on more delicate cutting tools since none of these settings will overly strain under pressure or heavy use.

Fastening Parts

Fastening parts are an essential component of a knife. They provide security, stability, and support to the mechanism and overall construction of the knife. Bolts and screws are two examples of fastening parts used in knife making, as they can be tightened or loosened to secure things together while holding them firmly in place. Other common fastening parts are rivets and pins which can join two layers of material together. The right choice of fastener is determined by the type of material being used for the handle and blade, such as plastic, wood, metal, or rubber. Fastening parts should also match the size and weight of the components they will be securing to prevent overloads on any one part from compromising the strength and safety of the entire structure. When correctly applied with precision, these pieces lead to a well-crafted and properly functioning knife.

Care and Maintenance

Cleaning – It is important to properly clean your knife and its parts to prevent damage and wear. A soft cloth should be used to wipe down the blade and handle, while steel wool can remove any rust that forms. If a thorough cleaning is needed, warm water with mild detergent will do the trick. Be sure to rinse off any excess soap or debris afterwards.

Sharpening – Keeping a sharp cutting edge on your knife is important for safety as well as performance. Depending on the type of blade you have, different sharpening techniques may apply. For instance, straight-edged blades require use of a whetstone or honing rod; whereas serrated blades should only be sharpened using a round diamond file since use of another tool could ruin it’s shape.

Storage – In order to ensure proper maintenance of and longevity for your knife, you must store it properly. Avoid leaving knives in areas where they might corrode or become damaged by other objects. If possible, keep them in an enclosed drawer or sheath that fits specifically to the knife when not in use. Additionally, never place two knives too close together as this can cause scratches or other damage if they contact one another when moved around.


Knowing the different parts of a knife makes your kitchen experiences smoother, more efficient, and enjoyable. Not only can you keep your tools in top condition for a long-lasting use, but also identify any replacements should one become necessary. As a result, you’ll experience an improved accuracy when cutting food items with precision and speed. Furthermore, keeping your knives sharp is easier as you will be able to distinguish the blade from the handle—allowing for better control when honing and sharpening. Being aware of these individual components means that you’ll have access to transforming safe cooking into enjoyable meals with enhanced culinary creativity. Ultimately, understanding knife part names keeps knives reliable, efficient and safe.