For every hunter, fisherman or avid nature lover, one of the most important tools in gear is the knife. The more a person knows about an instrument, the easier it is for him to choose the most suitable one for him to use to the maximum efficiency, while providing him with high comfort at work. You don't have to be a knife expert to make good choices. But there is a basic knowledge that is particularly useful. This material will be of use to those of you who are just getting into this stuff.
I. Knife Elements
Knife ElementsEvery knife consists of two main parts - a wedge and a handle, each of which has separate elements. In the wedge these are the blade (primary and secondary bevel, as it is also possible to have only one bevel), back, abdomen and tip. Their geometry determines the qualities and functions of the knife and is tailored to the specifics of the work for which it will be used. In turn, the shape of the handle and its elements (guard, heel, material) also largely determines the comfort and functionality of the knife.
In the first figure you can see the knife elements as follows:
1. Primary bevel - blade
2. Cutting edge or secondary bevel
4. Unsharp part or ricasso
5. Sharpening from the back of the wedge - folk edge (false edge)
6. Back of the wedge
10. Heel or plug (in pommel)
Here is their function in brief:
1. The primary bevel defines the qualities of each blade and what it is advisable to use. The higher the angle of a knife, the heavier the load could be subjected to, but this diminishes its cutting properties. On the contrary, if it is finely pointed and with a very small angle, it should not be subjected to shocks and high pressure in order not to break or blunt the cutting edge, but with better cutting properties.
2. The cutting edge is the most important part of the knife. Usually the difference between it and the primary bevel is 5-10 degrees. This makes it easier to maintain and more durable. There are knives without a secondary bevel, that is, a single sharpening angle. These are mostly the tactical knives you will find on our site.
3. The belly is probably the most used part of the blade. There are knives that do not have a belly or it has an unusual shape.
4. The unsharpened part of the blade is sometimes large enough to hold the blade so that the pointer comes over it for greater control when cutting. There are knives that are completely sharpened to the very guard or handle.
5. Folge Edge or Bevel at the Back of the Wedge - Usually, the Folge Edge is placed on the blade to enhance its swaying ability. Unfortunately, the thinning of the tip of the knife makes it even weaker. The Folsom Edge may be sharpened.
6. The back of the wedge is usually used by placing the other arm behind for extra force when cutting with pressure. Knives without back are double-edged knives - daggers, daggers. Some military knife models and tools needed for rescue tools have saws, sharpened sharpeners, or sawtooth sharpeners to carry out specific operations.
7. The grooves on some knives, called blood grooves, actually have a very simple function - lightening longer or heavier knives in order to balance the whole knife. The balance point of the knife should be somewhere around the guard and the point where the pointer stands in straight grip. This uses the least effort when using the knife.
8. The Guard has two main functions. One is to prevent the arm from sliding forward on the blade and preventing it from cutting injuries. The other function is the use of combat knives, namely to protect the hand from the enemy's weapon. There are bilateral and unilateral guards. The unilateral ones have a horn just on the side of the index finger. Many knives do not have a guard or have a so-called integral guard, which is characteristic of full tang knives and represents the modified contour of the plate itself to form a kind of guard.
9. The handle largely determines the functionality of the knife. Form, material, wedge connection - everything must be combined so that it is reliable and as comfortable as possible so that it does not tire at work. There are many ways to make a handle that we will mention in another section of the site.
10. Pomel - sometimes a metal part is mounted at the end of the handle, which serves for greater stability, balance and even to be used as a hammer in some models. Many handles do not have such a heel.
11. The tip of the knife is used for drilling. The second most important feature of the knife after cutting. Depending on the angle between the back and the belly of the knife, the swaying properties of the tip are also determined.
II. Wedge shape
There are several basic indicators that determine the shape of a knife wedge and its cutting properties. These are:
tip position relative to the central axis of the wedge
shape of the central axis
contour shape of the cutting edge
angle of the cutting edge with respect to the central axis of the wedge
wedge angle relative to the handle
The tip of the knife can be located closer to the back line (utilities, curved, traditional tanto). On the other, the tip line is close to, or may directly coincide with, the cutting edge line - straight belly wedge (no belly).
In the most preferred design, the tip is close to or coincides with the central axis of the wedge (clip point, drop point, spirit point). This design is more reliable when swinging and handling the tip, because the axis of the tip coincides with the central axis of the handle, respectively in line with the grip. When there is a misalignment of the axes at the tip and grip, it is very likely that the wrist of the arm will be overloaded or injured with a strong punch.
The central axis plays an important role in the functions of the knife. Straight axle blades and cutting edges are most widely used because of their ease of manufacture and maintenance. Americanized tanto is an example of the most easily maintained blade because of the lack of curves and bellies that are harder to sharpen. At the same time straight bevels are the easiest technologically to make. Knives with a curved central axis back to the back of the wedge involves the use of a cutting belly that is comfortable to tear (a twisted knife to cut). This extends the length of the cutting edge and the curvature of the belly. Knives with a central axis curved forward towards the cutting edge suggest the use of a cutting and steaming tip (carambite).
The knife cuts in two directions - pulling and pushing. When the cutting edge line is parallel to the cutting axis, we have a blade that is equally effective for both pushing and pulling. When the angle is positive (with tip to handle and opening to tip), the knife has better cutting properties. When the angle is negative (the tip is front and opens to the handle), we have a knife that has better cutting properties (pushing). There is another design that combines both properties, reinforcing them. This is an S-shaped blade or recurve that has both a positive and a negative cutting angle. Another way to change the cutting properties of the knife is to change the angle of the handle relative to the wedge. In this way the cutting properties of the knife are changed without changing the geometry of the wedge - the central axis and the shape of the cutting edge.
III. Bevel on the knife
Knife Skew As mentioned earlier, how a knife is cut depends on what loads the blade can be subjected to and what cutting properties it has. There is always an inverse relationship between the large angle of sharpening and the cutting properties of the knife.
In the third figure you can see some of the most common types of bevel. Here are some of their features:
Single bevel or flat bevel without a secondary edge. Common with Finnish knives. It lacks a secondary edge, with the primary bevel forming the cutting edge. In finesse, the bevel usually starts from the middle to one third of the wedge width. For kitchen and fillet knives it starts from the back. This type of sharpening has exceptional cutting properties due to the small angle of the cutting edge, but is more unstable and delicate. It is suitable for small, short blades for light tasks such as the classic finches.
Hollow grind. This is one of the easiest to maintain and sharpen bevel shapes. With continuous sharpening, the width of the angle is preserved because the thickness of the material is almost the same width of the wedge. The bevel itself has the best cutting properties, combining a thin blade and at the same time stability due to the preserved thickness at the back of the wedge. It is not recommended for heavy tasks (cutting, striking) in order not to break or deform the thin and less stable blade. Widely used in hunting knives. Allows for the production of a thick steel knife with good cutting properties.
Convex grind (convex grind). This type of bevel is expressed in a single convex bevel that elegantly passes from the back to the cutting edge. This type of sharpening is characterized by a large angle at the cutting edge, hence a great resistance to cutting and striking. It is used for making large blades designed for heavy duty activities - machetes, kukri, bows and camp knives, as well as axes and axes. This is the most difficult to sharpen a bevel and requires a little more attention and skill. Otherwise you can make a secondary flat bevel or change the angle of the cutting edge.
Flat grind. This is one of the most used and effective bevels. Compromise between concave and convex bevel. The flat bevel combines evenly cutting properties and is load-resistant and strikes the edge. It is used with almost all types of knives.
Saber grind. The bevel is a flat bevel that starts from the middle of the wedge width. It aims to combine the properties of the flat bevel with greater wedge resistance.
Semi-hollow bevel. Bevel is a combination of the qualities of a concave bevel with a more stable wedge. It is usually used for large knives designed for heavier tasks or for very wide wedges.
Chisel grind (chisel grind). This is the bevel on which the axis of the cutting edge coincides with the axis of one wall of the knife - as in a chisel. The bevel is only on one side of the wedge. This produces a finer blade with a half smaller angle than the sharpened blades. It is usually used for very thick wedges or when needed with a blade with excellent cutting properties. With the best cutting properties of all types of bevel.
The sharpening of the cutting edge itself is of four types:
Single or Scandinavian sharpening - the flat bevel of the blade forms the cutting edge. No secondary bevel.
Secondary Bevel Sharpening - The cutting edge is sharpened with a greater angle than the primary bevel.
Convex sharpening or sharpening with cheeks - the convex blade itself may form the cutting edge itself with the convex blade, but the secondary cutting edge with some other types of bevel may also be sharpened with cheeks.
Chisel sharpening - in chisel bevel represents one main bevel that goes into the cutting edge. Sharpened on one side only.