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Everyone knows that a sharp knife is a chef’s best buddy! On second thoughts, a sharp knife is excellent for hunting purposes as well. It is an indispensable item in a kitchen and even for your safety! Since you are aware of the different uses of knives, you must know that not all knives are created equally.
Here’s a post that explores the different components of a knife. Since there are different types of knives, the components differ too. How about sharpening your existing knowledge? We’ll add some more information and sharpen it further!
The Importance of Knowing Your Knife
The standard kitchen knife is something that we take for granted time and again. We want this tool to do its job efficiently, but we pay little attention to the overall construction of it.
There are many knives to choose from. Some innovative ceramic designs are even patented with rights reserved because they use proprietary knife technology. It all boils down to – what is the purpose? Chef’s knives are different from hunting knives. You cannot chop an onion or tomato with a carving knife. While chef’s knives are quite versatile, there are intricate works such as de-seeding some fruits or bell peppers that require a particular version. You will find different types of knives in a store that range from vegetable cutting knives, cheese cutting knives, carving set, fillet knives, steak knives, and even a separate bread knife.
What sets them apart? It is the construction of the blade.
Before knowing the anatomy of your knife, understand that there are two parts. One is the knife handle, and the other is the blade. As a novice, you might be unaware of any others, but we shall educate you about those in the next section. Let’s dive right into the details about each part of a knife.
The Different Parts of a Knife
Try asking a novice the following question – what are the different parts of a knife? The answer would be – the part of the blade that cuts and the role that you hold! What else?
The blade has many sections, and the majority of people are unaware of this. Only a professional chef or an experienced hunter would know the qualities of a good knife.
1. The Cutting Edge – This part of the knife does the cutting. You will notice that chefs sharpen this part of the blade as the edge is used for slicing and cutting. The role of the blade can be divided into three sections – the tip, belly, and the heel.
- The Tip – this part of the tang is the pointy end of the knife. This is beneficial for cutting more solid foods, and it also makes chopping faster.
- The Belly – This is the portion between the heel and the tip. Please note that a dagger does not have a belly. Different knives have different stomachs. The importance of the abdomen is that it is ideal for precise cuts.
- The Heel – the heel is the portion right before the start of the handle. You can see it directly opposite the tip. If you have harsh ingredients to chop such as bones, nuts, or hard carrots, then the heel plays an important role. This is needed when you need a little extra effort to cut harder or tougher food items.
Take a close look at the part where the handle and the blade meet. This is where the bolster exists. It is an essential part as it adds some weight to the handle and back of the knife. You get more comfort during chopping or cutting food. Overall, the bolster is responsible for creating balance.
This part is thick, and it helps in adding strength to this end of the blade. Additionally, it protects your delicate fingers from getting cut. It protects the hands from the heel of the knife.
3. The Spine
The spine is right opposite the edge of the blade. Heavy-duty knives have a thicker needle. Take a good look at a filet knife. It has a thin needle compared to a knife that has a thicker spine. The heavier the knife, the thicker the spine.
4. The Butt
It is also known as the ‘pommel.’ You can spot it quickly as it is at the end of the handle. When you drive your knife into something thick or sturdy, the butt supports the act. Usually, it is covered with metal to add more balance. It is also a sign of durability and stability. Not all knives have a big butt, as it adds weight.
5. The Tang
The tang is the part that runs into the handle of your knife. If the tang is thick, it means it is more balanced. In case you are planning to cut something robust, opt for knives with a full tang.
6. The Scales
The scales and the tang have a close relation. The tang is between the two sizes. The two ranges form the handle of the knife. The manufacturer drills some holes in the sizes and then tightens them together with the tang to form a handle.
7. The Rivets
The Rivets are also called the fasteners of the handle. These are used for fastening the handle to the tang, and you usually find two or three that go through the tang.
Check this helpful video to know more about knives.
Frequently Asked Questions – Read Before You Purchase a Knife
Now you are equipped with further knowledge. We have replied to some of the most frequently asked questions. Take a quick look at these below!
1. What are the parts of a knife blade?
A blade is not JUST a blade! Each part of the blade has a different name: point, edge, spine, bolster, tip, and heel.
2. What are the components of a hunting knife?
Hunting knives have a blade and a handle. However, just like a kitchen knife, the blade and handle have different parts too. These include the fuller, butt cap, choil, clip, edge, grind, hilt, pins, guard, and ricasso.
3. What are the parts of a dagger called?
A dagger is used for purposes such as stabbing. There are two main parts of a knife – the blade and the hilt. The hilt has the butt, grip, and guard, and the blade has a cutting edge, fuller, ricasso, and point.
The ricasso is unsharpened, and it is located just above the dagger/hunting knife’s handle.
4. What are the nine guidelines for blades?
- Always buy one that serves the purpose. Different knives are used for various purposes. Knives for vegetable cutting have a different blade from those for bread slicing.
- Full tang knives are superior. The tang makes it well-balanced and well-constructed. Also, knives with a full tank will last longer compared to partial tang knives.
- Riveted scales are recommended. Do not invest in glued sizes.
- If you live in wet or humid temperatures, do not invest in a wooden-handled knife.
- Buying knives with a blade that has a curvy belly is better. They chop and slice better!
- The materials used for creating the handle include plastic, wood, composite wood plastic, metal, and rubber. The most preferred one is plastic. It is lighter to hold and is water-proof as well.
- Invest in knives with a bolster. They are well-balanced.
- There are different blade types. These include scalloped, flat ground, hollow edge, serrated, and Granton-edge blade.
- The point or end of the blade serves the purpose of poking holes, not cutting an object.
We believe that our study helped you to understand the parts of a blade. It is essential to understand the pieces as you can choose the best knives as per the job they need to do.
Before we end this post, please check out these common types of kitchen knives:
- There are four types of paring kitchen knives – sharp, curved, spear, and clip point. The clip point is used for seeding, pitting, or peeling. Peeling fruit or veggies is done with a spear knife. A curved or sharp one is used for slicing cherries or bell peppers.
- The utility blade is used for cutting softer food items, such as squash.
- A boning knife is used for carving meat.
- A butcher’s knife or a cleaver is used for cutting or trimming steaks or raw meat. A cleaver is usually used for opening a crab or a lobster.
- Carvers and slicers are used for carving briskets, ham, and boneless roasts.
We hope you make a wise decision when buying a knife! Understand all the parts and then head to a store. Compare different knives and buy one that looks like it will serve the right purpose.
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