Aside from being very useful kitchen tools, knives are also handy outdoors. They’re great for hunting, EDC, and self-defense tools, especially for close combat. But, there are so many blade types it’s hard to know which to go with. So, we’re breaking down the pros and cons of the popular knife blade types to help you decide on your next blade.
Knife Blade Types
Normal Blade/Straight Back Blade
A normal blade or straight back blade has a curved edge and a dull, flat spine. This kind of knife is great for chopping or slicing because you can apply pressure to the spine for more leverage. This is a great feature common on tactical knives and applications meant for survival or camping.
- Edge Angles - 20 Degrees
- Overall length 11.875 inches
- The most famous fixed blade knife design in the world
A drop-point knife is usually used for hunting. A drop-point blade slopes on the spine from the handle to the tip with the curve on the top in a convex style. The spine is also stronger and thicker to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating any pitch momentum when stabbing.
This is a good all-purpose shape that excels at stabbing and can still cut and skin well also.
- D2 Steel Pocket Knife: The MOSSY OAK folding knife is made of premium D2 steel for exceptional durability and long-lasting sharpness. The drop point blade is CNC-machined for an even edge and precise...
- Dimensions: Drop Point Blade length: 3-1/2 inch; Blade thickness: 7/64 inch; handle length: 4-1/2 inch; overall length: 8 inch; folded length: 4-1/2 inch; weight: 3.17 oz.
- COMPACT CARRY: A drop point utility knife is excellent for general use. It's a great hunting knife because it has an easily-controlled point and a bigger belly. Even with its large size, this knife...
- SMOOTH ACTION: The Honey Badger is famous for its unbelievably smooth flipper opening action. This drop point folding pocket knife flips open and closes smoothly with its roller bearings. The non-slip...
A clip-point blade has its front part “clipped” off. The clipped part can be straight or concave. A clip-point blade can usually be found on knives used for tasks that require precision but not on tactical knives.
- DIMENSIONS: 4.7 inch (11.9 cm) overall length with a blade length of 2 inches (5.1 cm) and a weight of 1 ounce
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable High Carbon S.S. with a saw cut handle
- Products designed in the USA with quality materials
- High tensile and durability with all Browning gear
A needle-point blade or a dagger blade has a weak point that can break on tough targets and has no cutting edge for slicing. It has an extremely thin and sharp point that pierces soft targets effectively.
A spear-point blade is almost similar to a needle-point blade but with a more defined and sharper edge that’s great for slicing. Both edges of the blade are symmetrical and can both be sharpened. Spear-point blades are often found on throwing knives.
The tanto blade is designed based on the sword used by samurais during Japan’s feudal period. The word “tanto” is a Japanese sword that means “short sword.” A tanto blade has a flat grind and a sharp, reinforced point, resulting in excellent penetrating power. These features make the tanto good for stabbing and therefore effective in combat.
- DEVELOPED AND REFINED: Through our pioneering research, this blade shape has proven the value of the "American Tanto" style reinforced point beyond question
- TRUSTED: Having seen active military application in numerous conflicts, it is on its way to becoming the preferred fixed blade for special military units and SWAT teams
- DIMENSIONS: 9.3 inch (23.62 cm) overall length with a blade length of 4 inches (10.16 cm) and a weight of 3.2 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of 9Cr18MoV Stainless Steel with Titanium Nitride coating and a black, G10 Handle
A sheepsfoot blade comes with a straight, sharp edge and a dull spine. These sides run parallel with then sharply curve down towards the point, creating a 60° to 90° blade tip. Because of its dull spine, a sheepsfoot blade is great for slicing and cutting tasks that require better control of the blade. These blades can be fixed or folded and can be single bevel or double bevel.
These are great for campsite food prep.
- DIMENSIONS: 6.25 inch (15.88 cm) overall length with a blade length of 2.75 inches (7 cm) and a weight of 2.4 ounces
- DURABLE: Sheepsfoot blade is made of reliable high carbon 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel for edge retention and features an African Rosewood handle
- KERSHAW PLATFORM KNIFE: Designed as an approachable, fully functional folding knife, the Platform also boasts extra features. The integrated nail clipper and file means you stay ready for a quick...
- SHEEPSFOOT PLAIN EDGE BLADE: The blade is curved at the tip, helping to prevent risk of piercing or puncturing, making this a great rescue tool. 8Cr13MoV blade steel offers edge-holding capability,...
A hawkbill blade is shaped in a sharp downward curve like a hawk’s bill. The blade’s outer curve is dull while its inner curve is the cutting edge. Hawkbill knives are often used as tactical weapons because their extremely sharp point makes them great for piercing even if the spine isn’t sharpened.
- DIMENSIONS: 7 inches (17.8 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3 inches (7.6 cm) and a weight of 4.1 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable High Carbon Stainless Steel to maintain a sharp edge and to withstand rugged outdoor use
- This folding utility knife features a heavy-duty hawkbill blade that is easily replaceable to eliminate the need for sharpening
- Handle has rubberized grip and release lever for lockback mechanism
A Wharncliffe blade is short but very thick and durable with a highly defined point. It has a straight edge and its spine is convex-shaped and slopes down from its apex halfway along the blade towards the point.
- Superior Quality - The Yojimbo 2 is an evolved expression of its original Spyderco Yojimbo design. The refined Ergonomics of the Yojimbo 2 complement the natural contours of the hand, ensuring maximum...
- Versatile - A unique attribute of the Yojimbo 2 is the thumb forward grip. It allows the 3.2" CPM S30V blade to feel like a natural extension of the hand.
- Blades: Stainless Steel Wharncliffe
- Length Closed: 3 1/2 Inches
A recurve blade has an edge that curves inward like an elongated S. Recurve knives are excellent for cutting objects with rounded surfaces, for cutting sticks or branches, and for cutting rope.
- Precision weight: 125 grain +/- 1 grain
- 100% spin testing to make sure fly straight and hit accurately
- DIMENSIONS: 8 inch (20.32 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) and a weight of 4.8 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 8Cr13MoV Stainless Steel with a black, G10 handle
As the name implies, a reverse tanto is a flipped version of the tanto blade. Its spine meets the edge in a straight, downward manner, while the edge is curved upwards. This design gives it better penetration, making it more effective for stabbing.
As you can see in the picture above, knife designers often mix and blend styles to achieve benefits from multiple types.
Trailing Point Blade
The trailing point blade has a tip that curves upwards and higher than the knife’s spine. The tip is also significantly thinner than the blade’s body so it breaks easily when used on hard objects. Trailing point blades are used for skinning, slicing, and other delicate cutting tasks.
- HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS: Made from premium quality materials. 8CR13 satin finish stainless steel trailing point blade provides an excellent balance of hardness and corrosion resistance.
- OUTDOOR EVOLVED: Where the outdoors meets the gentleman’s carry. Combines traditional and non-traditional materials to create handsome and, unique, combinations that redefine the category.
- RAZOR SHARP BLADE - 5.4” Trailing Point D2 steel blade has excellent toughness, edge retention and wear resistance for lasting durability. The trailing blade is good for peeling, food prep, and...
- COMFORTABLE GRIP - Ergonomic G-10 handle with even finish, for sturdy and non-slip grip. G10 is favored for its high strength, low moisture absorption, excellent shock absorption and chemical...
Spey Point Blade
A spey point blade was originally designed to neuter farm animals. It features a blunt point that prevents the user from accidentally jabbing the surface. This type of blade is great for making clean cuts.
- DIMENSIONS: 6.9 inch (17.5 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3 inches (7.6 cm) and a weight of 2.8 ounces
- DURABLE: Blades are made of High Carbon Stainless Steel with a realistic Staglon handle
- DIMENSIONS: 6.2 inch (15.7 cm) overall length with a blade length of 2.8 inches (7.1 cm) and a weight of 2.1 ounces
- DURABLE: Blades are made of High Carbon Stainless Steel with a realistic Staglon handle
A gut hook blade is usually used by hunters to skin downed game. It has a sharp and curved tip that resembles a hook. This hook is extremely helpful in making long, straight cuts while opening an animal’s body without piercing the lining of the tender belly.
Personally, I do this work with a skinning or caping knife instead of switching to a special blade just for convenience. But for bigger jobs, these can really come in handy.
- VERSATILE CONVENIENCE - This handy 5-inch gut hook knife is designed to run through elk, deer, and hog hides quickly and efficiently. Its ergonomic design allows for a firm, secure grip.
- SHEATH INCLUDED - Our gutting knife for deer comes with a weatherproof sheath made from tough woven nylon for secure storage. It easily attaches to your belt for quick and easy access.
- The Butt Hook Combo includes the Gut Hook and our patented Butt Out 2 field dressing tools.
- With Butt Out 2, you can quickly and easily disconnect the anal alimentary canal from deer and other game.
Consider each blade type carefully especially if you’ll be using it for your EDC because there might be instances when your task or even your life will depend on it. Always keep your blade clean because no matter how sharp it is, it will get dull or rusty if not cared for properly.
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Last update on 2023-09-25 / Images from Amazon Product API