Different Types of Knives, Blades and Shapes

Different Types of Knives, Blades and Shapes

Posted by Clayton on Nov 13th 2012

A knife is a tool used for cutting or slicing and is considered man's very first tool. It features a sharp blade or edge of varying lengths and consists of a handle to hold onto. Some forms of a knife existed more than a 2 million years ago. Back then, cutting tools were in the form of rock, flint, bone and even obsidian ( a naturally occurring volcanic glass).

Today the knife has evolved into a much more technological piece of art consisting of blades made from advanced materials such as iron, steel, copper, bronze and titanium. Knives of the modern era are fixed blade or folding with as many options as there are knife makers.

Knife Anatomy


Knife blades are often manufactured from a variety of steels and metals and there are pros and cons to all of them.

  • Carbon Steel - is a relatively maintenance free blade comprised of carbon and iron.  Is vulnerable to rust and staining.
  • Stainless Steel - is very popular alloy comprised of chromium, iron, nickel and molybdenum with minute amounts of carbon.
  • High Carbon Stainless Steel - A stainless steel with higher amounts of carbon which do not stain or discolor while keeping a sharp edge.
  • Laminate - Create a layered sandwich effect using a tougher outer layer to resist corrosion. Still leaves the edge of a blade susceptible to corrosion
  • Titanium - A more flexible alternative to steel with a stronger strength to weight ratio and more resistant to the elements. Unable to get as sharp an edge compared to steel.
  • Ceramic - A lightweight option with no maintenance and sharp edges. However is brittle and has glass like properties which allow it to break easily when dropped.
  • Plastic - Not very sharp and almost always are serrated blades

Blade Shapes

  • Straight Back/Normal - has a flat back and curved edge or belly good for cutting, slicing or chopping. The straight back is more dense and dull for pressing down with the thumb to get leverage.
  • Clip Point - has a a normal belly with a "clipped" tip which allows for a much thinner yet sharper edge. It is good for cutting in small tight areas. The backside edge of the clip can also be sharpened to reveal a second blade. (Bowie knives)
  • Drop-Point - is the similar to a clip point but the back of the blade curves downward rather than having the clip removed. (Swiss Army knives)
  • Tanto Point - is similar to the katana style swords with a straight edge and a second edge at the end where the point rests with a sweeping 70 degree forward angle.
  • Spear Point - double edged with a central spine like a dagger or spear head.
  • Trailing Point - curving backward/upward edge that is good for slicing and skinning. It has a longer belly (cutting area).

 Types of Knives

A knife is referred to as a essential and necessary weapon and tool for every human according to Wikipedia.com. There are many types of knives on the market today, here is a look at some that styles we feature @ eKnivesStore.

  • Fighting / Combat Knife - A knife with an aggressive blade design used to inflict pain to another individual in a confrontational environment. (eg. Bowie Knife)
  • Dagger - A combat fighting weapon with a full length double edge used for stabbing or thrusting. The spine and edges are sharpened the full length of the knife.
  • Throwing Knife - A weapon that has a perfect weight and balance used for throwing at objects.
  • Tactical / Military Knife - A knife used in extreme situations by the Military and is often referred to as a "fighting knife" or "Military knife".
  • Hunting Knife - A knife used for hunting and cutting, skinning and preparing wild animals (game)
  • Pocket Knife - a folding, locking single or multi-blade knife used to carry in the pocket of your clothing. Sizes vary and styles can include a multi-tool or Swiss Army knife which contain a blade as well as other accessories such as scissors, screwdriver and pliers.
  • Survival Knife - A sturdy usually fixed blade knife with a sometimes hollow handle that contains survival essentials. eg. Rambo Knives
  • Machete - A large heavy duty knife that resembles a small thick sword. Machete's are used to swing at and cut vegetation growth such as weeds thicker grass. It is also used as a deadly weapon and has been featured on the Big screen as a killing tool in many movies.
  • Switchblade - Often referred to as an automatic knife which is banned in many states and countries because of it's deadly intent. The blade is housed inside the handle flips or slides out automatically  and quickly with the push of a button or switch.
  • Assisted Opening Knife - Often confused with the switchblade, the Spring assist knife is manually operated and contains an internal mechanism that opens the knife quickly when the blade is manually opened a quarter of the way.
  • Butterfly Knife or Balisong- a double edged blade with two handles that counter rotate around the tang to hide the blade in between the handles when closed.
  • Utility Knife - A short blade knife with a triangular blade used for cutting fiberboard, carpet and manmade materials.


The handle of a knife can be made from a variety of sources and is often textured or grooved for a better grip. Some of the most commonly used materials for a knife handle include:

  • Wood - has been used forever on knives but always ended up with issued from water damage and cracking. Newer handles use a laminated wood that is much longer lasting and water/weather resistant. Exotic woods are often used in custom knives.
  • Rubber - Kraton (synthetic rubber replacement made by Kraton Polymers) is more often used because of its soft nature and durability in place of rubber.
  • Leather - Often used to wrap the handle of some fixed blade (military and hunting) knives for such brands as Ka-Bar.
  • Injection Molding - Made from higher grade plastics and often reinforced with fiberglass or kevlar.
  • Stainless Steel - A very durable yet sanitary handle often comprised of aluminum and very appealing to the eye. Steel is however slippery especially when wet but to tackle this issue knifemakers often groove or hole the handle for a better grip.
  • Micarta - Is an extremely popular option that is composed of canvas, paper, linen, carbon fiber, fiber glass and other thermosetting plastics for "use knives" due to its durability and stability. It is a great insulator, water resistant and is also tacky when wet for gripping.

Resources: Wikipedia.com, Barkriverknifetool.com, campingatv.net,