There are many great knives out there for camping or survival. When you’re looking for a new knife, other than price, what things do you take into consideration?
Perhaps weight, quality of the steel, and folding or fixed. But do you ever think about the blade style?
The design of the knife blade determines what the knife is designed specifically for. Meaning it will be better at certain functions rather than others. The descriptions below will help you decide which is right for you.
Blade Design Styles
Common Knife Blade Styles
• Normal/Simple Blade: This is a knife blade with a straight spine and a curving edge meeting to make the knife’s tip. The tip is on the same plane and is parallel to the knife’s spine. The spine straightens allows the user to safely apply pressure with both hands on the knife thus concentrate more force on what they are cutting. It is best suited for cutting heavy roots or rope and batoning wood.
• Trailing Point Blade: This knife has a large curved edge with the spine curving upwards as well to meet up with the edge to make the tip of the knife. The tip conventionally is higher compared to the handle in profile thus giving in the name “trailing point”. The curved shape of this knife makes the edge have a great surface area which makes it easy to slice, slash and it’s quite effective in making long and even cuts. It is commonly used as fillet knife, ideal for processing fish and small wild animals.
• Clip Point Blade: This is somewhat similar to the normal/simple blade since it has a straight spine except near the tip of the blade where the spine is clipped to form the blade’s tip. The clipped part of the blade can either be in concave or straight shape and in some instances it has a false edge on its spine. This blade is ideal for piercing then slicing tight spots. A classic example of this blade is the American Bowie, and they are mostly used for hunting or used as fighting knife.
• Drop Point Blades: This blade has a convex curve in reference to its spine near its tip. It is quite a strong blade with a robust tip which is easy to direct while piercing or cutting. It is ideal for daily chopping tasks and other simple works. Many chefs’ knives and Swiss Army Knife are mostly made with this type of blade.
• Tanto Blade: It is sometimes known as chisel point blade, and it mainly follows the tradition of Japanese daggers and swords. It’s a single edge blade having a straight spine with a straight edge for the most part except near the tip: the edge curves upwards near the tip to meet the spine. Some use a modified tanto design which creates a pointier tip better suited to penetrating material. They are popular in carry folders, tactical knives and fixed knives.
• Spear Point Blade: This is a symmetrically pointing blade, with its tip being in line with the centerline of the blade. It usually has sharpened double edges, it is mainly used for piercing and for this reason it is the main blade used in making a dagger. It is primarily used for tactical or fighting applications.
• Needle Point Blade: It may be considered as a variation of the spear point blade with the noticeable difference being a symmetrical blade that tapers towards the tip making it needle-like. The shape of these blades is like those of Arkansas Toothpick or the stilettos.
• Spey Point Blade: This is a straight edge blade with a sudden and defined curving near the blade’s tip. The spine is usually straight, but angles downwards near the tip to meet with the edge thus forming the tip. This makes the tip somewhat obtuse and would not pierce easily on accident especially when you intend to do fine work. It’s common for dressing and skinning animals.
• Sheepsfoot Blade: This blade has a very straight edge and it’s the spine which curves downwards to meet the edge to form the tip of the blade. It is quite safe for using since it actually has no tip for piercing. It is suitable for doing fine works like as electrical work and woodcarving. It was traditionally used for trimming sheep’s hooves hence the style’s name.
• Hawkbill Blade: This blade’s edge is concave in shape with the spine as well curving concave to meet up with the edge to make the tip. It looks like a claw in shape, and it is suited for carving and cutting. Most often, this type of blade is used for home improvement – like cutting linoleum or carpet. However, they are also used in slashing weapons.