Having a basic understanding of the different parts of a knife is important for both everyday use and safety considerations. From correct grip techniques to maintenance and cleaning, recognizing the individual components of a knife can provide invaluable information. Knowing the names of each part allows us to better understand how they work together, maximize our efficiency in sharpening or cleaning a blade, and safely handle or store knives. Different knife styles have unique characteristics that may include additional parts not present in other types. Let’s explore some common parts found on most knives:
Blade – The main working edge of the knife which serves multiple purposes from cutting, slicing, and chopping to filleting or carving. Generally divided into two categories: edged blades (serrated/straight-edged) and blunted blades (Mallet blade).
Tang – An extension of the blade which runs inside the handle and provides counterbalance against friction created by handling as well as adds strength to the overall build. There are four common tang configurations–full, partial/stick, rat-tailed, and hidden–each with its own pros and cons.
Handle – The majority of handles are made from either wood or metal but other materials like plastic or rubber may be used depending on the design; some may use removable handles for easy cleaning. Handles should provide comfortable grip regardless of size or shape while allowing enough space between fingers to avoid slipping when wet or greasy.
Guard – Most blades come with a guard which helps keep hands safe by providing physical barrier between them and sharp edges at handle base; guards can also add stability during usage if gripped properly
Pommel – Found at end an opposite of blade handle; pommel is typically flat round solid piece making it useful tool for application involving pressure or hammering.
Bolster – Located at junction where blade meets handle acting as reinforcement; bolster adds weight balance extra strength to overall construction helping protect both user fingers from any accidents with sharp edge..
Types of Knives
There are many types of knives on the market designed for various tasks and purposes. All knives are composed of several parts, including a handle and a blade, as well as other optional components like sheathes and grinders. Here is an overview of popular knife types and their various parts:
Butterfly Knife – This type of knife is also known as a balisong or fan knife. It is composed of two separate handles that cover the blade when it is closed. When opened, the handles pivot around the tang to reveal a sharp butterfly-shaped blade.
Folding Knives – Folding knives are among the most popular type of knives due to their convenience and portability. They include both lockblade folding knives (with secure locking mechanisms) and non-lockblade folding knives (without secure locking mechanisms). The blades in these knifes typically fold back into their handles using one or two metal liners that act as clasps once opened.
Fixed Blade Knife – Fixed blade knives have blades that cannot be folded or removed from their handles. These strong, solid blades make this type of knife perfect for heavy-duty use such as hunting or military applications. Common features include full tangs, serrated edges and forward finger choils for extra control while cutting fragile materials.
Pocket Knives – Pocket knives are smaller versions of folding knives with compact profiles that fit easily into pockets or belts. They come in a variety og sizes, shapes, colors and patterns depending on the purpose they are made for — such as tactical blades for everyday carry, EDC tools for outdoor activities or Swiss Army style multi-tools with multiple attachments suitable for light utility tasks.
Common Knife Parts
Blade: The blade is the main cutting edge of a knife. It usually comprises of steel, although some are made of titanium or other materials. It can be single-edged or double-edged, and some even feature serrated edges.
Handle: The handle is designed to provide a comfortable grip and ease of movement during use. Most handles are composed of a lightweight material such as plastic, wood or rubber, with synthetic materials becoming increasingly popular among modern mass-produced knives.
Bolster: A bolster runs along the length of the handle between the blade and handle to strengthen the construction in these two areas and provide weight for balance. Typical bolsters are made from steel, brass or aluminum, but some may consist of ivory or other materials in custom designs.
Scale: On either side of the handle — attached via rivets — scales provide additional protection against slips and add to overall comfort when gripping the knife by dispersing weight over a larger area. These can either match in terms of pattern and design (symmetrical) or feature different sides that play off each other nicely (asymmetrical).
Tang: This part connects the blade to its handle through an insertion niche cut into the scales. They range from simple partial tangs located at only one end of the handle to full tangs which pass right though it extending to both sides. Different tang shapes also exist including stick tangs; spear point tangs; bird’s beak; diamond; saddle; hidden tangs; encapsulated/rat tail etc.
Guard: The guard prevents your fingers from slipping onto the sharpened edge while keeping objects away from your hands that you don’t intend to cut with your knife – thus providing safety during use. Common types includes Quillon guards which run across perpendicular to a straight back section attaching at both ends on either side just above where it meets with the scales; Saddle guard which curves up at both ends forming a gentle arch like shape; Half circle guard generally followed on folders for extra security over regular models etc..
Point – The point of a knife is the most tactical and important part. It’s used for piercing, cutting, pushing, thrusting, and other applications. Points are categorized as double-edged or non-edged blades.
Edge – The blade edge refers to the sharp side of the blade that lines up with the spine as you look at it head on. This area is usually beveled or angled to produce a better cutting surface.
Spine – The spine or back of the knife is generally thicker than the rest of it and forms an angle when combined with the edge form a bevel from some angles. This part can be left dull or sharpened depending on your preference.
Heel – The tip at the ricasso which can further enhance penetration with its rearward angle. It typically has opposing polishing angles to provide extra grip for cutting with your fingertip—without compromising edge geometry in any way.
Grips – The outermost material that covers the handle, making it comfortable and secure to hold. Common materials for grips include leather, plastic, bone, and exotic woods.
Liners – Thin strips of metal that provide additional support to the handle structure and can also be used for aesthetic effect.
Bolsters – Heavier metal pieces located between the blade and the handle on both sides; usually made from brass or stainless steel. They add structural strength to the knife as well as a more aesthetically pleasing look.
Scales – Pieces of material, such as plastic or wood, that are screwed together to form the sides of the handle. They can also be used for aesthetic purposes.
Other Knife Parts
Pins – Pins are a type of fastener used to hold the parts of a knife together. They can either be solid or hollow, depending on the type and size of the knife. For folding knives, pins are typically opened-ended tubes with a head on one end that can be tapped into place and secured with threaded screws. Fixed blades also use pins in their construction as they designed to strengthen and secure the handle and blade sections together.
Washers – Washers are metal discs that fit between the pin head and handle material of knives. They come in various shapes and sizes, depending on where it is being used, to create the right amount of space for optimal functioning. The washer not only helps stabilize the handle by providing additional surface area but also helps make assembly easier by creating an even gap between each part.
Clips – Clips are components found mainly on pocket knives that serve multiple purposes: holding blade(s) open or closed; attaching it to clothing, or simply adding aesthetic charm. There are many variations when it comes to clip orientation including front side clips, backside clips, and multi-directional clips. Additionally, clips come in different materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, titanium etc., often embellished with special finishing techniques such as engraving or colorization for customization options.
Care & Maintenance
Safety & Hand Positioning – Tips about how to safely handle a knife. This could include advice about positioning your hand correctly on the handle, limiting finger position on the blade, controlling blade direction, and keeping a steady grip.
Cutting Surfaces & Techniques – Guidance about what surfaces to cut on, such as wooden or glass cutting boards, and the best technique to use when cutting with a knife. This could also include information on various knife cuts used to prepare food items such as mincing and dicing.
Understanding the different parts of a knife, and how they all interact to create optimal performance is an important part of choosing the right knife for the job. It’s important to know the names and purpose of each part since understanding their role in knife performance can help ensure your knife will perform as intended. Knowing the right knife part names can help you clarify its intended use, customize it to your preferences, and ultimately get the best possible performance from it.