Shopping Cart

Which of the Knife Blade Types Is Best for You?

The verdict is in: more people are carrying knives for hunting, survival, and other vital reasons. This is why the demand for knives is growing. There are various types of knives and blades for all purposes, such as OTF knives. Not only that, but there are varying blade shapes available. Even the smallest pocket knife has different blade types for a variety of different uses.

Are you buying a knife online and are confused about which knife blade you should buy? Here are the different and most common knife blade types and how to choose the best one.

Drop Point

This is one of the most common knife blades you’ll find on the market. A drop point knife has a convex spine that curves downward. It’s an easily-controlled design but also has a powerful blade. The downward design is also safer and results in fewer accidents.

This is the blade type that’s preferred by hunters but these knives can be used for just about any purpose.

Clip Point

This is another common blade type you’ll see lots of people carrying. Both sides of the blade are curved and the blade comes to a sharp point. The convenient design makes them popular self-defense knives.

Clip point knives are one of the oldest knife designs, dating back to the Macedonian times. The earliest clip point knives were formed in the estuary of Drim and date back to the Eneolithic Period.

These knives are commonly mistaken for drop point knives. A clip point stands out because it features a conclave point toward the tip of the blade.

Clip point knives have many benefits. The sharp point is perfect for precision and reaching hard-to-reach places. The curved sides offer more control and precision. 

Are clip points ideal as a beginner’s knife? They don’t offer the most protection — if you’re not careful, you may cut yourself. The curved blade is also not ideal for heavy-duty tasks, such as cutting and chopping thick materials.

Hawkbill/Talon

Both the spine and the edge of these knives curve downward, resulting in a unique design. They’re often called hawkbill knives but are also known as talons. When using these knives, hold the knife back in the direction of the handle to get the best cut.

These blades are often some of the most intimidating and may scare off new users. Users will quickly find this blade has many uses, but specifically in handy tools around the house. Gardeners also love using this knife for its convenient downward design that can cut stems and roots with ease.

Since these have a specific design, they’re not ideal for all tasks. Use a hawkbill knife for pruning vegetation or cutting linoleum or carpet. It can also work as a handy survival tool, slicing through just about any material or item.

Gut Hook

A gut hook is a feature of a knife, but many people separate gut hook knives in their own category. A gut hook is a small hook on the knife’s spine toward the point.

Hunters are usually the ones who use this type of knife. That’s because the hook is great for field dressing wild game. The hook cuts the skin without cutting into the meat, serving as a useful tool when preparing game meat.

Normal Blade/Straight Back

When most people think of a knife or a pocket knife, they’re likely thinking of a straight back. The spine is straight and has an edge that slightly curves upward.

The top of the knife is dull, so you can apply pressure on the top without cutting yourself. Another benefit of this blade style is it doesn’t have to be sharp. You can easily put more pressure on the straight spine for larger and deeper cuts.

These knives are the sturdiest but are also one of the heaviest options. The heaviness comes from the dull and flat top.

That’s why these knives are commonly used to chop and slice, specifically for meat. But the blade is versatile and the spine is sturdy, making this an ideal blade for just about all purposes.

Needle Point

These look more like little swords than knives. A needle point has a symmetrical thin blade that emerges from a handle. This type of knife is best for piercing rather than cutting. Needle point knives are the most fragile of all of these knives, so they’re not recommended unless you need precision.

Spear Point

Spear points have a blade that’s symmetrical with the spine. The blade is straight and emerges from the center of the spine. This knife has a pointed end, which makes it great for piercing and precision.

Spear point knives are perfect for competitive reasons, such as throwing knives and daggers. The shape makes it great for thrusting and the sharp point easily attaches to the target.

Sheepsfoot

These knives have a straight edge but the spine is higher, curving downward to meet at the knife’s point. Hunters commonly use this knife to slice because they’re strong and the shape minimizes error. The user has more control over the knife, preventing accidents.

This knife gets its name because it was historically used to trim the hooves on sheep. Today, hunters use this knife to slice meat and it’s also a handy survival tool.

Tanto

These knives were inspired by the short swords worn by the Samurai in feudal Japan. It was said their broken swords were strong enough to penetrate anything, even armor.

The point of the knife is angular with a chiseled point. This makes the point more prominent and stronger than curved belly blades. These knives are also durable, perfect for piercing.

Reverse Tanto

Unlike the traditional Tanto blade, the angular tip appears at the top of the blade rather than underneath it. This means the knife has more of a belly, great for cutting through tough materials. It’s a durable knife but is also distinctive, featuring clean lines and an attractive design.

Spey Point

These are popular pocketknives, worn by hunters, farmers, and just the average person who needs a handy knife. These knives are flat with a point that curves slightly upward. The point is broad but the blade itself is short, remaining useful while preventing accidents.

Wharncliffe

This is a distinctive-looking knife — the blade is thick with a dull back. While it has a straight blade, it slightly curves downward to meet the tip. The curved tip prevents accidents while the blade is sharp enough for slicing.

These blades have a rich history. A man named Lord Wharncliffe had the idea of an innovative knife and shared the idea with a cutler. He designed the knife a few years later and named it after Lord Wharncliffe.

Wharncliffe knives were commonly used by sailors; you can easily control them, which made them ideal for dangerous conditions on the water.

Today, they’re used for a variety of different reasons. The thick blade is powerful and the user can put pressure on the flat back without getting cut (though applying pressure isn’t as it is with a straight knife).

Unfortunately, the curved point makes piercing difficult with this knife.

Trailing Point

The point on these knives curve upward and the curve is higher than the handle. They’re a lightweight knife, making them easy to hold, carry, and maneuver.

Trailing point knives are favored by hunters. They have multiple uses, including skinning, slicing, and filleting. This is the best knife type for cutting into the belly or any other area that requires great control. Since these knives have a sharp point, they’re ideal for piercing, as well.

The intense sharpness can cause accidents, so these aren’t recommended for beginners. The handle is also small, so you can’t apply pressure without touching the top of the blade. Since it’s a double-edged blade, you’ll likely cut yourself.

Kukri Blade

The Kukri Blade is technically a machete; however, it’s slightly smaller than a classic machete, which is why it’s often listed with other knives. It’s considered the oldest knife in the world; its origins trace back to Nepal during ancient times.

Historically, the Kukri Blade was a symbol of the Gurkha soldier. With its power and menacing shape, it was an excellent combat sword.

Today, it’s one of the most versatile knives and has a variety of different uses. With its smooth cuts, farmers get the most use of this knife. It can easily slice through roots when harvesting vegetables, used in fields when tilling the soil, and clearing brush.

The Different Knife Blade Types: Do You Know Which Type You Will Choose?

Knives are used for a variety of different purposes and there are many knife blade types available. The type you choose depends on your needs and preferences.

Do you have a good idea of the knife you need? Or are you simply looking for the best cheap OTF knife? It’s now time to find the highest quality knife. Fortunately, you don’t need to look far. Shop our knife selection today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The TacKnivesUSA Blog

Actionable advice and the latest industry happenings from the OTFs

Whether you are an enthusiast or a seasoned collector, find out the latest talks, on the latest trends, designs and everything OTFs.