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Ranger Camping Online - Australia's Family Camping Equipment Specialists
Ranger Camping Online - Australia's Family Camping Equipment Specialists
Handbook of Knife Knowledge and Terms
Schrade: American made pocket and hunting knives since 1904
  1. Schrade Knives - The Quality Knives - In depth look at the materials of construction of Schrade knives.
  2. Common Knife Blades - Illustrations of the most commonly used Knife blades
  3. Sketches of a Cutaway Knife - Illustrations showing various springs, blade positions and multiblade knife 'crink'.
  4. Various Tang Varieties Used - Illustrations of blades sporting different 'tangs'.
  5. Schematic of the components of a Schrade 'Old Timer' Knife - A full dismantled drawing of the components of Schrade's 'Old Timer' or 'Uncle Henry' knives. It illustrates many of the parts of knives described under 'Blade Terminology' and 'Hunting Knives Terminology'
Blade Terminology

Over the years the cutlery industry has developed a nomenclature to describe the various parts of a pocket knife. The following vocabulary of words and phrases pertaining to blades is generally accepted within the industry:

Edge The sharpened side of the blade.
Back The side opposite the edge.
Tang The portion of the blade below the shoulder and the part covered by the handle which contains piercing for the hinge pin on which the blade pivots. (Varieties of Tangs)
Point The tip of the blade. (Sketches)
Nail Mark(nail nick) A thumb nail groove cut into the blade so it can be opened easily. (Sketch of Nail Mark)
Choil The angle at which the edge flares away to the tang, which allows the full length of the cut edge to be sharpened.
Kick A projection on the front edge of the tang, on which the blade rests in the closed position, which keeps the front part of the edge from hitting the spring.
Swedge A bevel on the back of the blades.
False Edge A section on the back of the blade is sharpened a short distance from the point.
Full Tang Bevel A bevel running to the entire length of the blade, full to the tang.
Mark Side The side of the blade with the nail mark. (Sketch of Mark Side)
Pile Side The reverse side of the blade
Tang Stamp The imprinting of the manufacturer's name and style number of the knife on the tang usually found on the pocket blade in a multibladed knife
Pocket Blade The largest blade on a multibladed knife. (Sketches)
Pen Blade The smallest blade on a multibladed knife. (Sketches)
Crink A slight bend at the tang in a multibladed knife which permits the blades to miss one another when closed, and all close properly. (Sketches)


Hunting Knives Terminology

Like pocket cutlery, hunting knife terminology has developed over the years and is used in the Cutlery industry when discussing knives. The following is a basic vocabulary pertaining to hunting knives:


Balance The proper weight in a knife, correctly distributed between the blade and the handle. Proper balance simply means that the knife feels and handles well for its intended use.
Bevel The sloping areas which fall from the spine or thickest section of the blade toward the edge.
Choil The area immediately in front of the guard at the bottom of the blade, occasionally shaped to accept the index finger to facilitate a more secure hold on certain types of knives.) The choil allows the full length of the edge to be properly sharpened.
Escutcheon (or shield) A small metal on the handle which can be used for engraving the name or initials of the owner, or merely for decoration.
False Edge A swaged or ground area on the back of the blade, running to the point, which gives the appearance of a true edge when viewed from the side. Sometimes used for heavy work like chopping or hacking or other cutting that might be damaging to the cutting edge.
Guard A separate piece of metal affixed to the blade in front of the handle to keep the hand away from the sharp edge while cutting.
Hilt The handle section including the guard and pommel.
Pommel (or Butt) The end of the handle and usually a separate piece of material shaped and blended into the handle.
Hollow-Ground Blade bevels that have been ground concave in cross section.
Obverse Side The front or display section of a knife. (To be properly displayed, the knife should be pointing to the observer's right, edge down.)
Quillon That area of the guard which extends out from the section surrounding the tang and forms the protective shield for the hand.
Ricasso The flat parallel-sided section of the blade between the guard and the beginnings of the bevels. It is the area commonly preferred for the maker's mark.
Scales The slabs of handle material which are attached to the sides of the tang to form the handle.
Tang The section of the blade shaped to facilitate the fitting of the handle. A Square Tang is the full width of the handle and is designed to accept the scales which are pinned or riveted in place. A Round Tang is shaped to pass through the guard and through a hole drilled lengthwise in the handle. (Varieties of Tangs)


Springs Theory

On the back of a knife will be found the spring, which holds the blade in the open or closed position. It is essential that this spring be properly heat-treated so it will be neither too stiff, too soft, nor too brittle. The portion of the spring on which the end of the blade (tang) rubs when being opened is called the "walk." The walk must be smooth, otherwise the blade will grind when being opened or closed, and the knife will have poor or rough action. (Open the blade on any Schrade knife and you'll notice how well smoothed and clean the spring is.)

Springs are made either single-end or double-end, depending on whether they're for a Jackknife or a double-end knife (Sketches). A knife that opens smoothly and whose blade snaps into open position with a lively click is said to "walk". When the blade snaps shut similarly it is said to "talk": All properly adjusted knives are said to "walk" and "talk".


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