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Home / Sharpening Articles / Kitchen Cutlery / Identify the Parts of Your Knife

Know Your Knife

Part of a Knife DescribedKnives are a commonly used tool that we often take for granted. We expect them to perform and cut with ease, but we rarely pay any more attention to our knives than that. To understand your knife, it is important to learn about its construction and be able to identify the various knife parts.

First, it is easy to divide the knife into two main parts, the handle and the blade. But each of those two parts can also be subdivided into its own parts. With the help of the photo at right and the descriptions below, you will better understand what components make up your knife.

Point – The point is the part of the knife where the edge and spine come together. The point is often used for piercing.

Tip – The tip is the forward part of the knife and includes the knife point. The tip is used detailed or delicate cutting.

Edge – The edge is the cutting part of the blade. It extends from the point to the heel of the knife.

Heel - The heel is the rear part of the edge, opposite the point.

Spine - The spine is the top of the knife blade, opposite the knife edge.

Bolster - The bolster is the band that joins the blade of the knife to its handle. The bolster provides balance for the knife and also helps to protect the hand from getting in the way of the knife edge.

Tang - The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle of the knife. It is the surface to which the handle attaches to the blade.

Scales – The scales are the part of the knife that creates the handle. Scales are often made of synthetic material or wood. Two scales are typically attached to the tang with rivets.

Rivets – The rivets are metal pins used to join the scales to the tang to form the handle.

Butt – The butt is the end of the handle of the knife.

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