Knife Anatomy 101: What is a Knife’s Tang?

By CTD Blogger published on in 00 Blog Refresh Review, Blades and Knives

You see it in the descriptions of many types of fixed blade knives: full tang, half tang, rat-tail tang,yet 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.

Full Tang

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.
Full Tang

Push Tang
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.
Push Tang

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.
Rat Tail Tang

Encapsulated Tang
This tang is smaller than the handle. The handle is fitted or molded around the tang.
Encapsulated Tang


Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (13)

  • Jonathan Gilbert


    What do you call it if the handle is simply moulded out of the same piece of metal as the blade, with no handle pieces attached? Does that still fall into the category of Full Tang?


Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: