When it comes to pocket knives, not all blades are equal: you’ll find a wide range of blade designs and profile shapes. Each shape has been designed for a specific use and to get the best knife for the job, make sure that you choose the blade profile and type that fits your requirements.
Knife Blade Types
Here’s our guide to what to look for when assessing a blade.
The Clip Point
One of the blade profiles that is considered to be among the most common in use today is the clip point. The back edge of a clip point, which is not sharpened, has a concave form that is designed to make the tip sharper. This results in an area that has been “carved off,” which can either be straight or curved. The clip-point blade is an excellent choice for day-to-day tasks, as well as for outdoor activities such as hunting. Because clip points have a point that is more narrow, they are more effective for piercing, while the deep belly makes them ideal for slicing.
The Straight Back
Due to the fact that it is such a conventionally styled blade, the shape of a straight-back blade is also sometimes referred to as a regular blade. The edge on the front of the knife is curved, and the rear of the knife has a straight, dull back that enables extra pressure to be applied. This blade is an all-purpose knife that is perfect for chopping and slicing, it is a design that is commonly found on kitchen knives.
The Drop Point
The drop point is yet another excellent blade design for general use. The portion of the drop-point blade that is dull starts in a line that is perpendicular to the handle and ultimately curves gently downward to meet the part of the blade that is sharpened to produce the point.
Drop-point blades are most commonly found on hunting knives and survival knives. As you might expect, they are ideally suited for use in skinning and piercing.
The Hawkbill Blade
The hawkbill is a particularly recognisable blade type that takes its name from the curved appearance that it shares with the bill of a hawk. In most cases, the spine of the blade is dull, and it has a cutting edge that is concave.
The design of the blade is restrictive, so it is not ideal for everyday carry; nonetheless, it performs exceptionally well at the tasks that it is well suited for, such as opening boxes, stripping wires, cutting rope, and other similar tasks.
The Needle Point
A blade with a needle point is symmetrical and narrows to a point by tapering sharply. Nonetheless, because to its fragility and ease of breakage, the narrow point is ideal for piercing objects of many materials. The absence of a belly on a needle-point blade makes it impossible to use it for slicing, despite the fact that it has two sharp edges. Needle points are not nearly as popular on folding knives as they are on other types of knives, such as stilettos, where they are more commonly encountered. Good for piercing and self-defense.
The Sheep’s Foot
If you’re not very good with knives, you should probably invest in one that has a sheepsfoot blade. A sheepsfoot blade has a flat cutting edge, which makes it perfect for slicing and cutting. Nevertheless, the point of the blade is dull, which makes it harder to damage oneself with it, but it is not impossible.
Sheepsfoot knives are popular among first responders because they enable them to cut through seatbelts and other types of restraints without accidentally injuring the victim. The ideal application for these knives is the ideal use. They were originally designed to be used for whittling, but their purpose has since evolved to include the trimming of sheep’s feet.
There’s a version of the Sheepsfoot, called the Wharncliffe Blade, that normally has a thicker blade and curves closer to the handle. These blades can be used for a variety of tasks, including carving wood and general cutting.
The Spear Point
The two edges of a blade with a spear point rise and fall to the same degree, resulting in a tip that is aligned precisely in the middle of the blade. If both of the blade’s edges aren’t sharpened, the point of a spear-point knife won’t be nearly as effective for piercing as it would be otherwise.
Both single and double-sided edges can be found on spear-point blades. They do have a narrow belly, but they are not nearly as well adapted for slicing as drop-point or clip-point blades, despite the fact that they have a narrow belly. The spear point is most effective when used for piercing, but in contrast to the needle point, it’s good for slicing as well.
The Tanto Point
The tanto point, which is also often called the chisel point because of its similarity to a chisel, is a popular point due to its distinctive appearance as well as its high level of durability. A tanto has a low grind and a high point, but it does not have a belly.
The tanto point is not an all-purpose blade, but due to the way it is designed, it excels at making push cuts and piercing stronger materials than other types of blades.
The Trailing Point
A blade with a trailing point has a back that is curved upward, creating a deep belly that is ideal for slicing. The weight of this design isn’t too bad, but the argument it’s trying to make isn’t particularly convincing. Because it has such a big cutting surface, the trailing point is suitable for performing tasks like as skinning and slicing.
The Pen Blade
This little blade can frequently be discovered on Swiss Army knives. Because both the dull and the sharp sides of the blade slope at the same degree, it gives the impression of being pointed like a spear. These blades were originally used to sharpen quills to make ink-pens (hence the name of the blade) and they’re still a handy item to keep in your pocket for a variety of chores.
The Spey Point
The blade known as the “spey-point” got its name because it once held the dubious honour of being employed in the practise of “speying” livestock. The back of the blade is straight, and there is a small flat edge that continues all the way to the tip. The majority of the edge of the blade is straight, and it curves upward.
The blade forms described above are the most typical ones you’ll come across, but there are also a wide variety of altered variations and wholly unique designs that are only seen in a select few knives. As well as all the more common profiles we’ve described, many of the leading brands have their own blade shapes and designs that you can see in individual reviews on this site.