Parts of a Knife

By: Frank Silkin

Like most things that we cannot live without, the knife has become so much a part of our lives that we fail to realize just how complex of a tool it really is. Although many people would have trouble naming more than two distinct parts on a knife (the blade and the handle), the fact remains that there are six separate parts to a knife.

The blade of a knife is the most obvious part. It is the metallic part that extends away from the handle and has a cutting edge ground into it. It is the particular shape of the blade that defines the nature and function of the knife.

For instance, a knife can be used for skinning, filleting, chopping, and a number of other duties, depending on the shape of the blade. The strength and durability of the knife depends on the kind of steel it is made of. It is best to make blades out of stainless steel because it has a long life and is more hygienic. Stainless steel does not rust or corrode and it is germ resistant.

The point of the knife performs the task of piercing and stabbing things. We use the point to help gut and clean game as it can pierce through the membrane around the skin and help us get to the meat of the quarry.

The tip, according to many knife experts, is the top quarter of the knife blade. This is the part of the knife that is most used as it does the cutting and chopping. Some consider the point to be part of the tip, though they are actually separate parts of the knife.

The cutting edge is the part of the knife that is…well, designed to cut things. It is the part of the blade (facing away from you) that has been sharpened and honed so that it cuts through whatever needs cutting. While there are several types of edges available, the straight and serrated edges are most common. A serrated edge is good for cutting things like bread while the straight edge is better for trimming meat.

Now comes the other part that most people are familiar with: the handle. There are plastic handles, steel handles, wooden handles and handles made of various other materials.

The butt of the knife, like the butt of a gun, is located at the far end of the handle or the exact opposite of the tip. Many companies place a compass in the butt of the knife. When it is pulled out it reveals storage space for things like matches and other survival essentials.

Now some knives do come with hand guards that are designed to protect your hands in case they should accidentally slip in the direction of the blade. Many survival knives have this feature. But, whether your knife has a guard on it or not, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basic components of a knife as this will reduce the chances of your being injured using one. The next step is to learn how to sharpen and maintain your knife so that it lasts as long as possible.

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Frank Silkin is the owner of F knife, the #1 source on the internet for information about knife, For more articles on knife visit:

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