You see it in the descriptions of many types of fixed blade knives: full tang, half tang, rat-tail tang, but what is a knife’s tang? The tang of a knife is the projecting shank, prong, fang, or tongue that connects the blade with the handle. There are many different types of tang, depending on the style of the knife and the construction of the handle.
The term full tang means that the knife/sword is one solid piece and the 2 handle pieces are pinned on to the blade, one on each side. This is the strongest of the tang types. Half tang knives go the length of the knife handle, but only half the width of it.
This is a partial tang that is pushed into and secured to the handle with glue or epoxy. They usually come in full and half push- half only going into half of the handle, while full being pushed in the full length of the handle.
Rat Tail Tang
In a rat tail tang, the tang narrows as it goes through the handle and is either threaded at the end or is welded to a piece of threaded rod. A bolt or threaded pommel secures the blade to the handle.
This tang is smaller than the handle. The handle is fitted or molded around the tang.