Types of Knife Blades

One of the most important things before you buy a knife is to know what are the different types of blades that exist. Every blade design has it’s own advantages and disadvantages and having this information helps you to select the knife that is best suited for your requirements.

Now, to identify the blade type of a knife – the first thing you need to do is to examine the back edge or the unsharpened edge. It’s shape and curvature mostly determines the type of blade. With this small info out of the way let’s begin with our first blade type which is the normal blade.

As already stated let’s examine the back edge – In a normal blade the back edge is straight and the sharpened front edge curves to meet it at the end point. Many people consider this design to be the best for thrusting since after the initial thrust the entire width for the blade is created.

Normal Blade

Normal Blade

Second in our list and one of the popular blade types is the clip point blade type which is characterized by a back edge that runs straight from its origin (near the handle) till the mid of the blade. Thereafter it curves until it reaches the point of the knife. Now, to make this curvature in the back edge some part of the blade is clipped off and this is what gives a Clip point blade it’s name.

Clip Point Blade Type

Clip Point Blade Type

The main advantage of a clip point is that it has a very sharp edge point and hence clip points make a very good piercing tool. Additionally, the curvature of back enables the front sharpened edge to be long enough making it also good for slicing. Finally, since the edge point is generally very narrow , clip points are very good for use in tight spots. However, generally the edge points are weak.

Next comes the drop point blade type – which is characterized by a back that originates near the handle and reaches the edge point in a single curved shape. There are no mid points or change in curvature. The single curved design of the back gives the drop points a highly controllable end point. Again the drop point has a sharp edge point making it good for piercing. Additionally , plenty of sharp bottom edge makes it a good slicing tool as well.

Drop Point Blade

Drop Point Blade

Next in our list is again a popular type which is the tanto blade type. The tanto blade has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point. The front edge of the <a href=”http://www.knife-depot.com/tanto-knives/”>tanto knife</a> meets the back (unsharpened) edge at an angle, rather than a curve. The tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip, so it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, it’s extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is needed.

Tanto Point Blade Type

Tanto Point Blade Type

Fifth on our list is the dagger blade type that is also commonly referred to as the needle blade.This type of blade is characterized by the fact that there is no back edge. The edge point is right at the center of the blade making this type of blade as the best thing for piercing. However, generally the blade being thin – the edge points are weak and only intended to pierce softer materials. Another disadvantage of a needle point is that since it is designed for piercing – these are not good for slicing works. This type of blade has been developed mostly as a piercing weapon in close combat situations.

Dagger Blade Type

Dagger Blade Type

Next is the spear point blade type. Just as in the needle point – the edge point is right at the central axis of the blade. They can have both one or two sharpened edges. As opposed to the needle point however – the blade being thicker provides a tip that is both sharp and strong.

Spear Point Blade Type

Spear Point Blade Type

Seventh in line comes the trailing point blade type. This type is characterized by the back edge that curves upwards after its origin point. The major advantage of this design is that the upward curvature further elongates the front sharpened edge and hence these are a very good for slicing. Because of this they are a natural choice for skinning or filleting knives.

Trailing Point Blade Type

Trailing Point Blade Type

Finally the gut hook blade type. These have a sharpened semi circle on the back edge of the knife. These are especially designed for field dressing operations while hunting. For this purpose a small cut is made in the skin – the sharp semi circle edge placed in it and the knife is then pulled back like a zipper ripping open the skin without cutting the internal organs. This said – gut hooks are a natural choice for field dressing because of its hook and also of the large sharpened under edge for slicing or skinning. However one of the biggest disadvantage of gut hooks is the fact that it is very difficult to sharpen the hook once it becomes dull.

Gut Hook Type Blade

Gut Hook Type Blade

The hawkbill blade type is a hook shaped blade that has a concave belly or the sharpened edge.

This blade design is good for cutting textiles, ropes and other such things. Since this design is one of the best for cutting nylon ropes a lot of marine knives use this blade design. One of the best examples of a hawksbill blade is the karambit knife that originated in the Indonesian region. However, that said these cannot be used for piercing or push cuts as the blade’s curvature disallows this.

Hawkbill Blade Type

Hawkbill Blade Type

Sarthak Gupta