- Updated May 26, 2020
- Written by Editorial Staff
- Table of Contents
Learn the Different Parts Of A Kitchen Knife
- Updated May 26, 2020
- Written by Editorial Staff
- Table of Contents
Culinary students and the one who are excited about learning all about knives will need to understand its anatomy thoroughly.
A knife is an essential tool in kitchen. No cooking task can be achieved successfully, without having a perfect knife in hand.
While it is not crucial to be aware of all the different parts of a knife, but if you do, it can enhance your chopping and cutting tasks to a whole new level.
So, here we describe all parts of a knife and tell you about their strengths in individual.
Parts of a Knife
Mainly, you see two parts of a knife naming a blade and a handle. However, both these parts are a couple of details in their kitty. Let’s take a look:
The blade part of a knife does all the cutting. It is the sharpened and metal part that helps in cutting the food.
Since there are different attributes to a knife, here is everything you should know about this portion.
Unlike how some people who don’t know about the anatomy of knife would recognize, tip and point arre two different parts of a blade.
A point is where the forward part of the blade begins. A tip comes next to the point on the blade as it runs towards its mid-section. This part is used for delicate cutting of vegetables.
The next section followed by the tip is the belly of a blade. It has a curved profile and runs on the side of cutting edge or the sharper side of the blade. This is the most under-noticed part of a knife.
Since this portion is far away from the handle, you should not do any harsh or pressured cutting with it. Rather, if you are seeking for precision cuts that require light pressure on the area then it will be perfect to use.
The edge is the main working part of knife that handles most cutting tasks. The edges can be of different profiles, depending on the knife in use.
Some of the commonly found edges in knives are Chisel, hollow-ground, V, convex compound, serrated, etc. Also, there could be edges with multiple bevels like half serrated or half hollow ground.
Basically, tip, belly and heel, all these are parts of the edge. All kinds of cutting is done from this part only.
First thing that you should know is that not all the knives have heel. But the ones that have refers to the part exactly opposite to the point where the blade ends. It is the part of blade next to where the handle begins.
This part bear maximum force from the user. That is why, for knives used for boning or heavy-duty applications, it is essential to have heel as they require more vigorous cutting.
The thick metal part that is sandwiched between the blade ending and opening of the handle is called the bolster. It mainly adds weight and makes the knife more well-balanced. Also, if gives a protective guard and prevent fingers from running into the blade accidentally.
However, there is a downside of this part. It causes restriction in sharpening the knife as there is certain hindrance for the blade to run seamlessly throughout.
Spine is basically opposite to where the edge is. It is unsharpened area of the blade and not as harmful to touch as the edge.
Spine of a knife also tells a lot about its strength. As the width of spine increases the strength increases too.
The other half of the knife is the handle. It is essential for a handle to be firm and comfortable. Chopping requires detailing and it takes time. You wouldn’t want to have a handle that probably tires your hand.
There is so much more to handles. Let’s take a look:
Tang: Full and Partial
The metal used in making the blade when runs all the way to the handle is what we call tang. It is unsharpened metal and is covered by the handle material.
Practically, there are two types of tangs available in knives.
Full Tang: It is when a single piece of metal is used that forms the blade and runs all the way till the bottom of handle. These knives are very strong and gives you more room to apply force for vigorous cutting. Also, since there is a single metal running through, you have less durability or breakability concerns.
Partial Tang: The other form of tang is partial tank. Like its name suggest, the metal in this case partially goes inside the scales. In the folding knives, you get partial tang because it is not possible with such knives to be compatible with full tang.
Mostly, full tang is purchased because of the obvious durability reasons. Plus, you can go for tougher cutting jobs with such knives.
The butt is basically the rear-most part of the knife where the handle ends. The bigger knives are constructed with metal butts to add more weight, durability, and balance to the knife.
To attach the handle material to the scales and tang, the rivets are used for fastening purpose. A high-quality full tang knife has a minimum of 3 rivets for the handle to stay firm and bounded.
Materials Used to Create Kitchen Knife
In this aspect as well, we will discuss the blade material and the handle material separately. Let’s take a look:
There is a large variety of materials in which you can find a kitchen knife. The material will establish the cost of knife.
High Carbon Steel
The high carbon steel is made with a combination and iron and carbon material. The price of these knives is usually on the lower side and they have excellent performance. They hold their edge really well and pretty easy to sharpen as well. The only drawback is that they tend to oxidize.
In the past few years, ceramic material has seen a lot of popularity in knife market. The material is pretty hand and has the potential to hold the edge for a long time.
The core material used in ceramic is zirconium dioxide so the weight is light. On the downside, the material is brittle and prone to breakage. Also, you will find it difficult to sharpen.
The stainless-steel material is made of composite materials like chromium, iron, and some portion of carbon. These blades don’t corrode so you won’t have to maintain them a lot. But you might have to sharpen them frequently.
The Damascus steel, alternate to what its name says is not exactly a form of steel. It is crafted by folding layers of metal such as high carbon and stainless steel.
Damascus steel was used in 300 BC to make superior-quality swords. The strength is super amazing and the knives hold their edge for the longest time. However, they take too long to sharpen and you might not want to handle the task yourself. The best will be leave it up to the professionals.
Titanium is another material in which you can find knives on the market. It is relatively lighter and more flexible than steel.
But the downside is that the blade is not too strong or hard and won’t be able to hold the edge as brilliantly as steel.
There are a large number of options in handle materials as well.
In all knife types, the most popular handle material is wood. It is really comfortable and easy on hands. The popular types in wood that are used for making handles are cocobolo, rosewood, and ebony.
The downside is that these handles are delicate, high in maintenance, difficult to clean, and expensive.
G10 material is very lightweight and extremely durable as well. The core material of G10 is fiberglass material in compressed and baked form. It is comfortable and help for prolonged holdings.
The carbon fiber material demand intense labor in construction. It is crafted from thin strands of carbon that are tightly woven in a weave set in resin.
It is one of the strongest materials compared to the synthetic handles. Plus, another amazing thing is that these handles are very attractive. The only drawback is the expensive cost.
The material is lightweight and the best is that it is deeply corrosion-resistant compared to other metals. The grip is also warm and comfortable.
The best thing about aluminum is that it feels really firm in hand, without adding extra heft in weight. Plus, the material is completely nonferrous and won’t react to water and air.
A part of your cooking game goes up when you identify your tools completely. This way, you can use the tools to the best of its potential.
Knife being the most important kitchen tool should be learned carefully. We hope that now you know all about the knife in your kitchen and will be able to use in the best way.