Back Of The Blade - The opposite
side of the cutting edge on a single-edged knife. Also referred
to as the spine.
Bail – A metal half-loop for clipping or tying
the knife for easier carrying.
Balisong / Butterfly
Knife - A balisong, otherwise known as a butterfly knife or
a Batangas knife, is a folding pocket knife with two handles
counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the
blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. When open,
there is a lock on the back of the handle pieces to keep the
Belly Of The Blade - The curved part of the cutting edge
usually closer to the tip of the knife blade. The belly area is
the "sweet spot" for slicing tasks.
Blade Bevel - The tapered area from the spine going down
towards the cutting edge of the blade. Note
that the blade bevel does not include the cutting edge called
the edge bevel.
Blade Spine - On a single-edge knife, the blade spine
would be the back side of the blade where it is the thickest. On
a double-edged blade, the blade spine would be the middle part
of the blade where it is the thickest. Bolster - A knife bolster is the thick junction between
the handle and the knife blade on a fixed blade knife. It
strengthens the knife, adds durability, and provides a
counter-balance which contributes to better balance and improves
control. On folding knives, bolsters are located on one or both
ends of the knife handle and are quite often made of nickel
silver, stainless steel or brass.
Bowie Knife - A long
fixed blade knife with a cross guard and clip point, although
James Bowie's original knife was described as having a straight
back (described by Rezin Bowie, James' elder brother who gave
him the knife, was 9.5 inches (240 mm) long, ¼
inch (6 mm) thick and 1.5 inches (38 mm) wide, single
edged and not curved. It was straight-backed, described by
witnesses as "a large butcher knife", and having no clip point
nor any hand guard, with a simple riveted wood scale handle).
Butt Cap - A metal cap fitted over the pommel is referred
to as a butt cap.
The unsharpened part where the blade becomes part of the handle.
It is left at full thickness, like the blade's spine. Sometimes
the choil will be shaped to accept the index finger. Allows for better grip on the blade for better control.
Clip-Point Blade - A blade that has a concave or straight
cut-out at the tip (which is known as the "clip"). This brings
the blade point lower for extra control and enhances the
sharpness of the tip. They usually have a false edge and a
larger belly to allow for easier slicing.
Cocobolo Wood - A hardwood from the Cocobolo tree, with
an appealing grain and fine texture, that ranges in colour from
bright orange to deep red and dark purple.
Combination Edge (Partially Serrated) - A blade that has
a partially serrated, partially plain edge. Crink - A crink is a bend at the beginning of the tang
that keeps multi-bladed pocket knives from rubbing against each
other. Damascus Steel - Created when two types of steel are
folded repeatedly during the forging process. This new durable
steel retains the properties of the two parent steels, and is
very attractive, yet expensive.
Double-edged Blade - A blade that has been sharpened on
both sides, with the point aligned with the spine, going up the
middle of the blade.
Double Flat-ground - A blade that is ground flat on both
sides of the blade, tapering to an edge that is straight, not
Drop Point Blade - A blade with a lowered tip due to a
convex arc, which provides extra control and leaves the blade's
strength intact. This blade knowledge also has a larger belly,
which is better for slicing.
Edge - The sharpened side of the blade. Blades will
either be single or double-edged.
Edge Bevel - The honed part of the
blade that starts after the blade bevel and continues to the
Escutcheon - this is a small pin or piece of metal
attached to the handle for engraving, branding, or just
decoration. False Edge - An additional bevel on the back of the blade
that enhances the blade's point. This also removes weight from
the blade, which may change the blade's balance, and makes
Fixed Blade - A
knife which has a blade that does not fold.
Flat-Grind (Full) - A blade that is ground flat from the
cutting edge all the way to the blade's spine, tapering to an
edge that is straight, not rounded.
Flat-Saber Grind - A blade that is ground flat from the
cutting edge to a grind line running down the center of the
blade. It is flat ground just to the grind line, unlike a full
flat grind, which tapers from the edge all the way to the
Full Flat-ground - A blade that
is ground flat from the cutting edge all the way to the spine,on
one side of the blade, tapering to an edge that is straight, not
Game Hook - Also known as a gut hook, this knife blade
shape is best utilized for opening the flesh of game. Guard - The guard is a separate piece of metal attached
between the blade and the top of the handle to protect hands
from the edge during cutting. Gut Hook - A sharpened "hook" which lies on the blade's
spine. This was designed to allow a hunter to field dress his
catch without puncturing it's intestine.
Handguard (or Guard) - A protrusion or expansion between
the blade and the top of the handle that protects hands from the
edge during cutting.
Hawkbill Blade - A blade that is in the shape of a
violently curved hook, much like the talon of a bird of prey.
- The entire handle, including the pommel and the guard.
Hollow-ground - Edge that is ground with a radius leaving
a concave shape above the cutting surface.
Hook Blade - A blade who's edge curves in a concave
Inlays – Material inlaid into a knife's handle.
Kick - The unsharpened part of the underside of the knife
blade, on the front edge of the tang. The blade rests here while
in the closed position, which keeps the sharpened part of the
edge from hitting the spring.
Grommets/Jimping - These terms refer to notches that are
designed into the back lower part of the blade for better thumb
control. Liner - The thin sheets of metal that lie between the
blade and the handle material of folding knives.
Liner Lock - A knife that's blade is locked open by a
leaf-like spring that butts up against the tang of the blade.
Mark Side - This is another pocket knife term and is the
side of the blade with the nail mark.
– A material used in handles. Made from wood laminates, linen,
or paper combined with phenolic resin.
Multi-blade - Usually, a
knife with many blades
or tools, such as a "Swiss Army" knife.
Nail Mark/Nail Nick - On a
pocket knife blade the nail mark is a groove cut into the blade
so that it can be opened using your fingernail. Most pocket
knives use this method of opening the blade.
Obverse - The front side of a knife. With the point of
the knife to the left and the edge down, you are looking at the
obverse (front) side of the knife.
Pen Blade - The pen blade is the smallest blade on a
Pen Knife - A knife that
has blades that pivot
from both ends. Pile Side - The reverse side of the blade, opposite of
the obverse side. Pinky Shelf - An angled protrusion at the distal-end of
the knife handle, where the pinky sits. This portion of the
handle provides a leveraging spot for additional control and
coordination over the knife while in the hand.
Plain Edge - A sharpened knife blade with no serrations,
Pocket Blade - This is the largest blade on a
multi-bladed knife. Pocket Clip - A clip used to keep a knife at the top of
the pocket, providing easy access.
Point - The extreme end of the blade where the line of
the back and the line of the edge meet.
Pommel - The knob or expansion found at the of end a
sword or knife. Quillon - The area of the guard that extends past the
section surrounding the tang The most protective part of the
Retention – How well a blade holds an edge.
Reverse "S" Blade - A blade shape resembling a backward "S",
with the point curving downward. The deep belly curves in the
same direction as the point.
Ricasso - The flat
section of the blade that lies between the guard and the start
of the bevel. This is where you will most often find the tang
Rockwell Hardness Test - a standardized test used to
determine the hardness of steel. The procedure involves forcing
a diamond point onto a finished blade at a set pressure. The
depth of penetration is then measured to determine the steels
hardness. Hardness higher than 60 will be hard to sharpen while
hardness below 56 will not hold an edge well. (See “What Is
Rockwell Hardness” in the Knife Blade Steel Types section) Rolling Lock - A lock which uses a bearing that rolls
into the locked position.
Sabre - The Sabre edge is thick and is a great for
chopping and other extreme uses. The flat edge bevel begins in
the middle art of the blade and runs flatly to the edge.
Scales - Pieces that are attached to a full tang in order
to form a handle. Serrated Edge - "Teeth" or notches on the back or front
of the blade that aid in cutting.
Sheepfoot Blade - A blade with a round, blunt tip that
has no point.
Single-edged Blade - A blade that is sharpened on only
one side. Spear Point Blade - A blade shape that has an equal
amount of curve on the spine and the cutting edge. The two
curves meet at the point. Designed for general-purpose cutting.
Spine Of The Blade - On a single-edge knife, the blade
spine would be the back side of the blade where it is the
thickest. On a double-edged blade, the blade spine would be the
middle part of the blade where it is the thickest.
Tang - The portion of the blade where it connects to the
Tang-Stamp - An imprint indicating anything from
knowledge number, collector's number, or the manufacturer's name
that is normally located on the ricasso.
Tanto Blade - A blade knowledge where the point is in
line with the spine of the blade, making for a strong, thick
point. There are quite a few variations of tanto blade, such as
whether the front edge meets the bottom edge at an obtuse angle
or a curve.
Tempering – A process for reheating steel to
increase its toughness.
Tip - See "Point"
Tip-Down - Refers to the direction that the point, or
tip, of a knife's blade is pointing, as when closed and clipped
in a pocket, positioned by it's pocket clip. When the tip is
Tip-Up - Refers to the direction that the point, or tip,
of a knife's blade is pointing, as when closed and clipped in a
pocket, positioned by it's pocket clip. When the tip is pointing
Trailing Point (Upswept) Blade - A blade knowledge where
the point is higher than the spine. They usually have a bigger
belly, which is better for slicing, due to the point being up
and out of the way.
Wharncliffe Blade - A blade knowledge where the point is
dropped to a straight cutting edge.