Anatomy Of A Knife

Even though there are many different types of knives, almost every knife is built with similar features. A handle and blade are the most common but there are actually many more parts to a knife that might not be as easy to identify. Let's discuss the parts of a knife a little further.  

  • Bolster: this is the balancing point between the blade and the handle, protecting fingers from the blade while adding comfort. Not all knives have bolsters.
  • Handle: the handle can be molded or riveted and made from a variation of materials. 
  • Rivets: rivets are used to secure the handle in place. If the handle is molded no rivets are necessary.  
  • Tang: this is the portion of metal within the handle. A full tang is ideal and will provide strength and balance to the knife. Not all knives have a full tang.
  • Blade: the sharpest edge is achieved using high carbon, stainless steel. The blade shape is designed for different functions.
    • Cutting edge/blade: the center of the blade is the most frequently used part of your knife. Most knife blades become narrower from the heel end to the pointed tip
    • Heel: the heel of the knife is the part of the blade that is furthest away from the tip of the blade. This is the part of the blade you would use for quick, coarse cuts and for any jobs that require more strength or pressure.
    • Spine: the spine or back of the blade is located opposite the cutting edge. It is distinctively thicker than the blade and also dull, making it safe to place your flat hand on top of it for added control and gentle pressure (of course not on double edged knives!)
    • Point: the point of the knife is where the sharp edge and the spine meet
    • Tip: the tip of the knife usually runs along the first third of the cutting edge/blade, including the point of the knife

How well do you know your knives?

Test your knowledge with our fun video below. 

Anatomy of a knife from Knife Aid on Vimeo.

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