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Knife Blade Shapes

Knife blades form the most important part of the knife as they define the characteristic and the main attribute of a knife. Knife blade shapes and preference is a subject close to each knife maker or enthusiasts' heart and they defend their choices ardently and vigorously, irrespective of how well the shape is suited for others. Knife blades come in many different shapes and sizes and each have their own best attributes and some less desirable attributes.

Knife blades are made of carbon steel or stainless steel and get their shape either from machine made moulds in case of company knifes or long hours or painstaking forging, grinding and finishing in case of a custom made hand knife.

Among the most popular kinds of blade shapes, a drop point shaped blade is the most versatile of them all. In this design, the dull edge of the knife blade goes straight for about half the length towards the tip starting from the knife handle. Then the edge slopes gently downwards like the hood design of a well designed sports car. At the meeting point of the edges, the sharpened edge curves upward and meets the back edge of the blade, forming a point which will be slightly higher than the center of the blade's width. This drop is the reason for the name 'Drop point'. This kind of lowered tip results in a strong tip and provides good control of the knife during use. This type pf blade is generally good for all kind of cutting activities and is mainly useful for slicing.

Clip point is the other most common blade shape used. In a traditional clip point knife the back or dull edge of the knife starts straight from the handle to about one third or one fourth of the blade length. Then it proceeds down straight to the knife's point, which is generally placed clearly below the middle point of the blade's width. In such deep clip designs, the blade's portion that is clipped often has a concave shape, as if someone has taken a bite out of the blade. In such cases the design leaves the tip narrow and comparatively weaker. As a result the clip point knife tip cannot be abused and it is not as usable compared to drop point design for survival situations. Recent designs of clip point blades come up with relative short and straight clip in a robust blade which ends up similar to a drop point design.

Spear point blade shapes are called thus because in this design the top and the lower portions of the blade curve to meet at an exact midpoint. Both edges are normally sharpened, but sometimes you get a design with a false edge on the back or the spine. The edges of this knife blade taper equally although they can have different profiles for the spine and the edge. This kind of design can be normally stronger than a deep designed clip point knife, but these are not as versatile drop point knives. Smaller designs are also called a pen spear. This is because they are mostly used in pen knives or pocket knives as an all-purpose blade.

A Tanto blade is a knife blade shape inspired by traditional Japanese design. The sharp point of this blade is in the same line as the thick back of the blade, allowing it to have a very strong point. The blade is thus strong though in some designs the front edge might meet the bottom edge at an angle or a curve. They also have reinforced point making them good for heavy duty stabbing cuts, piercing through hard materials or for prying. Many different designs of tanto blades are nowadays available. The front edge might meet the bottom edge at an obtuse angle or a curve. Further some designs have the point clipped and some don't.

Other common blade shapes like skinners, trailing point, straight point, spey, hawkbill blades are available which have distinct blade shapes and are good for different applications. Thus there are a lot of very good choices for someone looking for blade shapes and to pick the one that is best suited for his or her needs. The main thing to consider while selecting blade shapes is to be careful to avoid blades with a point that is comparatively thin and therefore relatively weak. Further the versatility and comfort to use in different situations is also another important point to keep in mind while selecting blades.

Read more...Knife Blade Shapes Part 2

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