I am often asked about the different types of knife blades. Here it is the shape of the blade.
There are dozens of different types of blades, but for this article I wanted to focus on the most popular types that you will find on most knives today.
Many of them present modified variants as knife makers today try to add something new to the market and propose their own designs.
Yet, in one way or another, all are derived from these types of standard blade. As always, when choosing the best knives (best spyderco knives for example) to suit your needs, you should consider the type of blade and be sure that this choice best fits the intended uses. Let’s look at the different types of blades …
Normal or flat blade
It is quite simple – it has a straight blunt back and a curved edge. Since the back is not sharp it allows you to use your hand or fingers to apply extra pressure to increase the cutting force. It is often the type of blade that is used on a multifunction clamp / knife. Overall, it’s good for chopping or choping. Yet the blunt back adds some weight to the blade so this knife tends to be a little heavier.
It is formed when you take a normal blade and “clip” (cut) back which results in a finer tip. This fine tip allows you to cut hard-to-reach places and provides additional control. A Bowie knife is a classic example of a knife with a clip-point type blade. Usually, the clip is concave but it can also be straight.
Trailing-point blade (raised point)
It has a distinctive trailing edge which curves upwards and thus improves the slicing capacity. The large curve is often referred to as “belly” and a big belly is particularly useful for skinning. The curve results in a lighter knife compared to the normal blade. This style of blade is also popular on net knives.
Drop-point blade (falling point)
It uses a convex curve on the back of the knife near the tip that opposes the clip-point which uses a concave curve. The convex curve is less suited to drilling but offers more force than a clip-point type blade. You will find many modern pocket knives today having drop-type blades as this blade is effective in most applications.
Spear-point blade (spear point)
It is symmetrical, that is to say, it presents the curved back and blade. They can be pointed on both edges (edge and back) or only on one edge, such as penknives. Generally, you will find a spear point in daggers and other knives designed to be pushed or thrown.
Needle-point type blade
It is also symmetrical but thins much more so is not particularly strong. However, it can be used effectively to pierce or penetrate. The strong point of the needle-point type blade is great and you will tend to see this blade in most daggers intended for close combat just like the spear-point blade.
It got its name to be used to “spey” (animals). It has a straight edge that curves up at the end with a relatively small clip on the back. This type of blade does not really offer a tip, so it is not good for penetration but is very effective at removing the skin from animals.
Teno type blade
It has a sharp edge inspired by Japanese swords that provide excellent resistance. The tanto name originally referred to the broken tip of a samurai sword that was very effective in piercing armor. The tanto knives have no belly, so they will not be able to slice, but to compensate for this gap, they possess a great force in the tip that can penetrate anything. You will find some different varieties of tanto blades. They become very popular in some tactical knives.
It is almost the opposite of the normal blade by offering a straight edge and a blunt back that is largely straight and then bends at the end. These knives can be tightly controlled by the fingers being placed on the blunt back and were initially used to cut the sheep’s hooves. Ideal for chopping but missing a sharpened tip (which can be an addition in many situations because it prevents accidental stabbing).
It is a thicker blade but very similar to the sheep’s foot blade, but the curve of the rear edge begins to curve towards the end much earlier and therefore at a minimal angle. These blades were generally used by sailors because the shape of the tip was designed to prevent the sailor from stabbing himself because of being shaken by the waves.
It is usually found on smaller folding pocket knives and similar in shape to the spear-point blade but with a more gradual curve. One side is sharp and the other blunt as you will find on a Swiss Victorinox knife and other similar pocket knives.
As always, you should choose a knife with a blade that best suits your needs. Naturally, there is no single type of blade suitable for all applications, we recommend you to think about the use of the knife and after determining the type of blade to choose.
Here are some examples of some forms of knife blades today. Note that on some popular knives there are often two types of blades to choose from, so it is not necessary for each knife to have a unique blade type