Blades and Knives

Knife Anatomy 101: Blade Types

A sharp pocket knife on a tree stump and rope. Top.

Knives come in all shapes in sizes. Each description of the blade type actually refers to a specific shape design. Here’s a quick visual guide to the various types and styles of a few of the most common folding knife blades.

Clip Blade

The clip blade is a classic shape and very practical. It’s name describes a shape that seems to have a portion of the spine of the blade clipped off. This brings the blade point lower for extra control and enhances the sharpness of the tip. It provides ample “belly” in the blade for slicing or skinning and a good tip for inserting in and under things that need to be cut. You will often find a false edge with the clip point.

Drop Point Blade

The drop point is another classic shape with a spine that tapers downward toward the tip. This lowers the point for extra control and also leaves the strength. This profile is good for almost all cutting chores. This type of blade also has a good-sized belly for better slicing.

Tanto Blade

This knife blade was inspired by the shape of the Japanese sword blades. The point to this style blade is in line with the spine of the blade The tanto has a reinforced point which is thick and strong and is good for heavy duty stabbing cuts.

Spear Point Blade

The classic stabbing blade is the spear point which can have two edges sharpened or only one with a false edge on the spine. The spear point usually has both edges taper equally to a point that is exactly in the center of the blade but sometimes has different profiles for the spine and edge.

Sheepsfoot Blade

The spine of this blade curves downward to meet the edge. This leaves virtually no point. This type of blade typically has little or virtually no belly and is used mainly for slicing applications. It gives the most control, because the dull back edge is made to be held by fingers. Sheepsfoot knives are good for whittling.

Spey Blade

This blade is similar to a spear point but with one side curved and one side cut at a straight angle. With its blunt tip, the spey blade is excellent for skinning, since it offers the maximum safeguard against accidental puncture.

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