Parts of a Knife

Handle

The handle of the knife is the part that is actually held. The "butt" of the handle is the end and the "scales" are the parts that create its grip. A knife handle with good grip is critical, normally rubber or textured plastic make the best grips, even when wet.


Tang

The tang is the part of the blade of the knife that extends into the handle. Their are both full tang knives and partial tang knives. In a full tang knife the tang goes to the bottom of the handle. The tang gives the knife balance.

Bolster

The bolster of the knife is the thick band of metal on forged knives that both protects your hand and also balances the knife.

Heel

The heel of the knife is the edge closest to the handle, normally the 1/4 closest. It is easier to put heavy pressure on this part of the knife and is usually used to cut larger foods.

Return

The return is where the heel meets the bolster.

Spine

The spine of the knife is the top of the blade. Normally the spine of the knife is dull, to aid in pressing with your off hand.

Edge

The edge of the knife is the sharp part of the blade that is used to normal cutting.

Tip

This is the top of the knife, normally the top 1/4. On some knives it is used for cutting small, delicate food. Some knife tips are rounded and others are sharp for piercing.

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