Knives


Terms

Back - The back of the blade is the opposite side of the belly, for single edged pocket or bowie knives this would be the unsharpened side. The back can contain lashing grommets, jimping, it's own edge or false edge, and serrations.


Belly - The belly is the curving part of the blade edge. Bellies enhance slicing and may be plain or serrated. One note, the point of the knife becomes less sharp the larger the belly is. When choosing a knife you should decide whether penetration or slicing is the most important, and keep the design of this part of the knife in mind.


Bevel - The bevel is the sloping area(s) that fall from the spine towards the edge and false edge of the blade.


Blade - See Blade Steels.


Blade Spine - This is the thickest part of a blade. On a single-edge, flat-ground bowie knife, the blade spine would be at the back of the blade. For double-edged blades, the blade spine would be found right down the middle.


Butt/Pommel - The butt, or the pommel is the very end of the bowie knife. The butt/pommel will be found in different shapes, depending on what features it was designed to implement. Some flat metal butts/pommels are good for hammering. There are pointed metal butts/pommels, known as bonecrusher pommels used on combat fighting knives, combat tactical knives, combat survival knives and large bowie knives. They can be decorative, or contain a lanyard hole. Some butt/pommels are designed to be removed to be able to store items in the handle or may contain an additional smaller blade or tool.


Butt Cap - A metal cap fitted over the pommel is referred to as a butt cap.


Choil - The choil is the unsharpened part of the blade. It is left at full thickness like the blade spine and is found where the blade becomes part of the handle. Sometimes the choil will be shaped (An indentation) to accept the index finger. It also allows the full edge of the blade to be sharpened.


Crink - A crink is a bend at the beginning of the tang that keeps multi-bladed pocket knives from rubbing against each other.


Edge - This is the sharpened side of the blade. Blades will have a single or double edge (or dagger style) depending on the design.


Escutcheon - this is a small pin or piece of metal attached to the handle for engraving, branding, or just decoration.


False Edge - Widely used on military and combat fighting knives, a false edge blade is an additional bevel on the back of the blade enhancing the blade's point. This edge can be sharpened or not. The false edge can also be used for heavier cutting that might be damaging to the cutting edge.


Guard - The guard is a separate piece of metal attached between the blade and the top of the handle to protect hands from the edge during cutting.


Hilt - The entire handle, including the butt/pommel and the guard.


Kick - The kick is found on a pocket knife, usually Boker pocket knives, and is the projection on the front edge of the tang, the blade rests here in the closed position and keep the front part the edge from hitting the spring.


Lanyard Hole - This is a hole to fit a lanyard, rope or carrying implement through.


Lashing Grommets/Jimping - These terms refer to notches that are designed into the back lower part of the blade for better thumb control.


Mark Side - This is another pocket knife term and is the side of the blade with the nail mark.


Nail Mark/Nail Nick - On a pocket knife blade the nail mark is a groove cut into the blade so that it can be opened using your fingernail. Most Case pocket knives use this method of opening the blade.


Obverse Side - The obverse side is the front or display section of a knife.


Point - The tip of the blade. For more information see Blade Shapes.


Pile Side - The reverse side of the blade, opposite of the obverse side.


Pocket Blade - This is the largest blade on a multi-bladed knife.


Pen Blade - The pen blade is the smallest blade on a multi-bladed knife.


Quillon - The quillon is the area of the guard that extends past the section surrounding the tang and is the most protective part of the guard.


Ricasso - The ricasso is the flat section of the blade between the guard and the start of the bevel. This is where you will most often find the tang stamp.


Scales - The scales are pieces that are attached to a full tang to form the handle.


Scrimshaw - Scrimshaw is the art of etching decorative designs into ivory or simulated ivory handles.


Serrated Edge - Serrations are a set of "teeth" or notches on the back or front of the blade to aid in cutting.


Swedge - A swedge is a bevel on the back of the blades.


Tang-Stamp - This is an imprinting that can show style number, collector's number, manufacturer's name. This is normally located on the ricasso.


Handle Materials

STAG
Derived from naturally shed deer antlers. When exposed to open flame, stag takes on that slightly burnt look. Very elegant material for pocket knives and gentlemens folding knvies.

BONE
Derived from naturally deceased animals. Bone is usually given a surface texture, most commonly in the forms of pickbone and jigged bone. Bone can be dyed to achieve bright colors (e.g. green, blue, and black). This is the most common handle material for pocket knives.

G-10
A fiberglass based laminate. Layers of fiberglass cloth are soaked in resin and are compressed and baked. The resulting material is very hard, lightweight, and strong. Surface texture is added in the form of checkering. G-10 is an ideal material for tactical folding knives or fighting knives because of its ruggedness and lightweight. It is usually available in black.

MICARTA
The most common form is linen micarta. Similar construction as G-10. The layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phoenolic resin. The end product is a material that is lightweight, strong, as well as having a touch of class (thus dressier than G-10). Micarta has no surface texture, it is extremely smooth to the touch. It is a material that requires hand labor, which translates into a higher priced knife. Micarta is a relatively soft material that can be scratched if not treated properly.

CARBON FIBER
Composed of thin strands of carbon, tightly woven in a weave pattern, that are set in resin. It is a highly futuristic looking material with a definite "ahhhh" factor. Of all the lightweight synthetic handle materials, carbon fiber is perhaps the strongest. The main visual attraction of this material is the ability of the carbon strands to reflect light, making the weave pattern highly visible. Carbon fiber is also a labor-intensive material that results in a rather pricey knife such as case collectible knives.

ZYTEL
Du Pont developed this thermoplastic material. Of all synthetic materials, ZYTEL is the least expensive to produce, which explains the abundance of work or utility knives that have this material. It is unbreakable: resists impact and abrasions. ZYTEL has a slight surface texture, but knife companies using this material will add additional, more aggressive surface texture to augment this slight texture. Sog Specialty Knives is common for using zytel.

TITANIUM
A nonferrous metal alloy, the most common form of titanium is 6AL/4V: 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, and 90% pure titanium. This is a lightweight metal alloy that offers unsurpassed corrosion resistance of any metal. It has a warm "grip you back" feel and can be finished either by anodizing or bead blasting. Aside from handles, titanium is also used as liner materials for linerlock knives for it is a rather "springy" metal. Titanium is used usually on collectible pocket knives and chef knives.

ALUMINUM
Just like titanium, aluminum is also a nonferrous metal. Commonly used as handles, aluminum gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight. The most common form of aluminum is T6-6061, a heat treatable grade. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing.

ANODIZATION
An electrochemical process which adds color to titanium, which is especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on the voltage used, colors can vary (high voltage = dark color, low voltage = light color).

BEAD BLASTING
A process by which steel, aluminum, and titanium are finished. Bead blasting is commonly found on tactical folding knives and fixed or bowie knife blades, for it provides a 100% subdued, non-glare finish.

More Terms about knives

 


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