Knife anatomy

It's a knife. You've used them since you were a kid. But, if you're like us you might not know the parts. It cuts, right? Exactly. 

Yet, for the weirdos among us, here are a few different parts of a kitchen knife. We'll start with the part closest to your body and work down the cutting edge and back on the top. 

We'll cover knives in general with this post, not all kitchen knives anywhere. Many knives have these shared features. 

Ready. Set. Go. 

German Knife Parts Anatomy

This part of a knife at the end that's NOT sharp. It's opposite the tip of the knife and what is typically in the palm of your hand on small knives and closest to your elbow on larger knives as you're holding them.

Grab this part. It's the only part of the knife that's for your hand. If it's fancier it's made of some kind of wood from XYZ. If it's entry-level it's made of plastic. If it's in the middle it's likely a composite of some sort. 

This is not the orange astronaut drink. Rather, this is the metal portion of the knife that comes back through the handle. On entry-level knives this part might come just a little into the handle. On fancier knives the tang will run all the way through the handle. This full tang creates stability and balance and a great cutting feel while reducing the likelihood of any twisting action in the knife from side to side. 

Sometimes you can see these. They're rivets and such when you can see 'em. Other times it's a glue or similar bonding component that joins the metal of the knife to the handle. 

Some knives have these. The bolster is a larger portion of the knife near where the metal of the knife and the handle join. They can be designed to add comfort in balance or protection of fingers, etc. 

This is why you buy a knife - the cutting part. It's comprised of various materials, shapes for different functions (fruits vs meat as an example) and made of a number of parts that follow. 

Cutting edge
This is where the magic happens. It's comprised of the heal and tip of the knife. This is where the bulk of cutting and sharpening work is done.

This part is the closest part of the cutting edge of a knife to where the blade joins with the handle. Consider using this part for cuts that require more force.

Out near the point of your knife you'll find your tip. Many use this part for the more precision cuts on onions and such. Can you sense your eyes watering? 

And now we're at the end. The Tip of the blade comes to join the spine of the blade at the point. It's the very furthest part of the knife from the Butt. Careful with these. They can break off if run into metal, marble or an unsuspecting squash with a twist. Not to worry, they can be repaired most of the time.

This edge is opposite the cutting edge and runs the length of the knife. Use this side for scraping off a cutting board. Save the cutting edge for cutting. Typically this is a thick portion of a knife but not always. Entry level knives often have thin spines. Think of using this part on that big squash. The wider the top of the knife the easier it'll be to use for leverage with your other hand.


Now, you'll be prepared to talk knife parts during that next cocktail zoom or HH. We hope we're there! 


Ready to sharpen your knives. Skip our homepage and order your knives sharp right from the sharpening page. We look forward to serving you. 

Thinking about good woods for cutting boards

P.S. Below is a Japanese knife with a similar treatment. This knife does not have The fastener or as pronounced of a bolster or tang of the knife above. Note, this is a western style double bevel Japanese knife, not a single bevel Japanese knife. 

Japanese Knife Parts Anatomy

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