› Kinds of Blades

Today, knives come in many different forms but can be categorized in two broad types: fixed blade knives and folding knives, or pocket knives.

Fixed Knives

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  • the blade and handle are all in one piece
  • have a lot of strength because of their solid, one-piece design
  • require a sheath for storage

Folding Knives

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  • designed to be conveniently stored in pockets or attached to belts
  • typically have a locking mechanism to prevent injury to the user
  • the most common are pocket knives and lockback knives

Various methods are used to form a knife blade, and all will have varying qualities, dependent upon the process that was used to create it.

Forged Knives

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  • metal is treated in various steps to enhance its hardness, density and flexibility
  • usually identified by a prominent bolster between handle and blade, although a few forged knives are made without a bolster
  • have a thicker, often heavier blade
  • stronger and better balanced
  • easier to keep sharp, and, with care, can last for generations
  • usually more expensive than stamped knives

Stamped Knives

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  • cut or stamped out from flat metal stock
  • have a thinner and lighter blade and are usually not as well balanced
  • won't hold their edge as well as forged knives
  • Do not have a bolster between the heel and handle
  • less expensive than forged knives

Sintered Knives

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  • melted separately and mixed together to form a stronger alloy or component
  • good quality at a lower cost than forged knives
  • perform just as well as fully forged blades

Straight Edge

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  • most common; sometimes called flat ground
  • the blade profile tapers from the thicker spine to the thinner edge in a straight or convex line

Granton Edge

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  • feature hollowed out sections running along both sides of the blade which prevents food from sticking when being cut or sliced
  • often preferred when slicing thin portions of poultry, roasts, or ham

Serrated Edge

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  • also referred to as wavy or scalloped edge
  • feature teeth along the blade edge, which easily penetrate the tough outer crust or skin of the product being cut while protecting the soft inner part from tearing
  • ideal for cutting bread and fruit.

Hollow-Ground Edge

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  • created by grinding from just below the midpoint of the blade to form concave sides that come to a very thin cutting edge, which is more brittle and easily dulled
  • not preferable for heavy cutting tasks
  • ideal for fine cutting such as skinning, preparing sushi, or peeling and slicing fruits

The handles of knives can often be made from a number of different materials, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Handles are produced in a wide variety of shapes and styles and are often textured to enhance grip.

Wood Handles

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  • the traditional material for knife handles; used to be very common
  • very attractive and comfortable to use; provides the best grip and aesthetics
  • can become time-consuming to maintain
  • not as durable and can trap bacteria

Stainless Steel Handles

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  • has fast become an attractive and popular choice for handles
  • virtually maintenance-free; extremely durable and easy to clean
  • being the most resilient, they also are the most sanitary
  • are likely to be better balanced than wood or plastic handled knives of similarly size
  • some are made with textures: bumps, ridges or indentations in order to increase grip and comfort in usage

Plastic Handles

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  • are now the most popular type of handle
  • durable, easy-to-clean, and economical
  • lightweight and comfortable to hold
  • types include Nylon, Proflex, Resin, Styrene, White Polypropylene, Riveted POM (Polyoxymethylene) and Fibrox

Rubber Handles

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  • textured rubber handles give a better grip
  • increases comfort
  • absorbs shock

Leather Handles

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  • made by stacking leather washers
  • sometimes wrapped around another handle material.

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Chef's Knife - also known as cook's knife; the most commonly used knife in a commercial kitchen; features a wide blade with symmetrical sides that taper to a point; suitable for a wide range of tasks such as chopping, slicing, and mincing

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Utility Knife - all-purpose knife often having a scalloped edge; very efficient for slicing softer fruits and vegetables

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Cleaver - features a long, wide blade with a thick edge that will not chip easily; used to chop and cut through thick meat and bone

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Slicing Knife - also known as a carving knife; features a long, straight blade designed for slicing and carving cooked meats

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Boning Knife - features a very thin blade; used to separate meat from bone

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Bowie Knives - fixed blade long knives designed for heavy-duty all around use; can refer to any large sheath knife with a clip point

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Gutting Knives and Skinning Knives - designed to help clean out or field dress game; available for multiple tasks and can vary in size and features; typically have a second blade called a gut hook to help with the skinning and gutting

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Butterfly Knives or Balisong Knives - also known as Batangas knife, a Philippine folding pocket knife with two grooved handles counter-rotating around the tang which conceals the blade when closed; severely restricted by law in most states

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Switch Blade Knives or Automatic Knives - open using a spring or other mechanism when the user presses a button, lever or other actuator built into the handle of the knife; can be easily deployed or opened using only one hand; also severely restricted by law in most states

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Rescue Knives - specialized knives designed for emergency/fire/rescue professionals; often include features like blunt tips, seat belt cutters and windows punches

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Multi-tool Knives - come with a variety of tools to choose from such as screwdriver, scissors, large and small blades, can opener, bottle opener, tweezers and corkscrew.

There are many other types of knives with specific features and uses. We hope that this buyers guide helps you decide what type is suited for your needs. You can browse through our store and find the product you are looking for. We are more than happy to serve you. Enjoy shopping at WorldwideKnives.com.