Glossary of Knife Terms

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Dr. Snubnose
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Glossary of Knife Terms

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat May 28, 2011 12:13 am

So often I see posted where a new forum member or someone new to knives in general is not aware or familiar with what certain Knife terms mean or actually are. So I decided to post a glossary of Knife terms that might be useful for some in their readings on this forum:....Doc :D

Automatic Knife:- A folding knife using a spring to launch the blade out of the closed position. used by pressing a button located on the handle of the knife.

ABS:-A black amorphous thermoplastic terpolymer with high impact strength.

Alloy Steel:-Steel mixed with other elements for the purpose of creating a product with certain properties. For example steel may have boron added to increase hardness and wear resistance, or it may have chromium added to increase rust resistance.

Annealing:-A heat treatment used on steel to alter its properties, such as strength and hardness. It is accomplished through heating and slow cooling and will result in a softer steel.

Assisted Open:-A knife is one which employs a spring, tension bar or some other device to propel the blade fully open after it has been manually opened partway (typically around 30%).

Almite:-A coating used on aluminum handles similar to anodizing. Resistant to scratching and marring, it can also be tinted to any color for visual appeal.

Alumina Ceramic:-The compound used for Spyderco sharpening stones. It is a ceramic-bonding agent mixed with alumina particles (synthetic sapphires), shaped, then kiln fired at temperatures in excess of 3000 degrees F.

Ambidextrous:-Using both hands with equal ease. Pertaining to knives, it is a knife that is not solely designed for a left-or right-handed person but can be used with equal ease by both hands.

Anodized Aluminum:-Subjecting aluminum to electrolytic action which coats the aluminum with a protective and decorative film.

Back - The back of the blade is the opposite side of the belly, for single edged pocket or bowie knives this would be the unsharpened side. The back can contain lashing grommets, jimping, it's own edge or false edge, and serrations.

Belly - The belly is the curving part of the blade edge. Bellies enhance slicing and may be plain or serrated. One note, the point of the knife becomes less sharp the larger the belly is. When choosing a knife you should decide whether penetration or slicing is the most important, and keep the design of this part of the knife in mind.

Bevel - The bevel is the sloping area(s) that fall from the spine towards the edge and false edge of the blade.

Blade Spine - This is the thickest part of a blade. On a single-edge, flat-ground bowie knife, the blade spine would be at the back of the blade. For double-edged blades, the blade spine would be found right down the middle.

Butt/Pommel - The butt, or the pommel is the very end of the bowie knife. The butt/pommel will be found in different shapes, depending on what features it was designed to implement. Some flat metal butts/pommels are good for hammering. There are pointed metal butts/pommels, known as bonecrusher pommels used on combat fighting knives, combat tactical knives, combat survival knives and large bowie knives. They can be decorative, or contain a lanyard hole. Some butt/pommels are designed to be removed to be able to store items in the handle or may contain an additional smaller blade or tool.

Butt Cap - A metal cap fitted over the pommel is referred to as a butt cap.

Black Ti Coating:-Black Titanium coating is used for protection of the blade from corrosion as well as elimination of reflection.

Back Lock:-Locking system positioned on the spine of the handle that uses a rocker arm, which pivots in the center. A notch on one end of the arm connects with a notch on the blade's tang, locking the blade open.

Balisong/Butterfly:-A knife design believed to have originated in the UK, brought to the Philippines by English sailors, and was adopted and popularized in the Philippines. Often used in Filipino martial arts. The knife has two separate handle sections that rotate round the blade's pivots to create a handle and then rotate back covering and protecting the blade when closed.

Ball Bearing Lock:-A compressive lock wedging a stainless steel ball bearing between a fixed anvil and the blade tang. The ball is also utilized to detent the blade into the closed position.

Batch:-Refers to a knife model that is made in small numbers. A Spyderco batch is 1500 pieces and if the model is received well another batch or more may be produced.

Bi-Directional Texturing:-A texture molded into an FRN handle, which is a series of graduating, sized forward and backward steps that radiate outward from the center of the handle. This texture provides resistance to slipping and sliding when gripped in the hand.

Bolster:-A piece of metal, generally nickel silver or stainless steel, that is located at one or both ends of a folding knife handle.

Boltaron:-A recycled ABS/acrylic PVS extruded alloy sheet material used for making sheaths. It has excellent impact strength and abrasion, chemical, and fire resistance properties.

Bowie-Shape:-A blade with an upswept, curving tip that is double-edged near the point. It is named for Colonel James Bowie who made this shape famous in the 19th century American west.

Caping:-A term to describe the careful and detailed cutting and removing of the hide from a game animal for the purpose of taxidermy. More precisely it refers to removing the skin from the head, shoulders and neck.

Ceramic Hone:-A synthetic sharpening stone as opposed to natural stone such as Arkansas wet stone.

Carbide:-A hard, sharp carbon/iron material used where a very hard material is needed such as in machining or drilling steel. Spyderco uses carbide to make the glass breaking tip found on the C79 Assist model.

Carbon Fiber:-Graphite fibers (the size of a human hair) are woven together and fused in epoxy resin. It's lightweight, three-dimensional in appearance and is a superior (and expensive) handle material.

Cryogenic Quench (Cryo):-During blade production, while still hot, the blade is quenched to a very cold temperature which improves the durability and wear resistance of the steel.

Chamfered:-Grinding a secondary flat surface on a corner, creating a beveled edge. Commonly done to the edges of a knife's handle or the inside radius of a hole making a smoother contact spot for hand/fingers.

Choil:-A choil is a round cut out seperating the cutting edge from the ricasso. It is also used to describe a cut out, molded or formed area where the handle and blade meet which positions/guards the index finger while gripping the opened knife.

Chris Reeve Style Integral Liner Lock:-Custom knifemaker Chris Reeve developed upon, then popularized the Walker Liner Lock in an integral form. An integral liner lock functions as a traditional liner lock with the exception that the liner is actually comprised of part of the handle scale.

Clip-Point Blade:-A blade, ground on the top (spine) in an angled or sweeping line downward. The underside (where the sharpened edge is) is ground upward. The two angles meet at the tip and where the angles meet determines the depth of the blade's belly.

CLIPIT:-Spyderco's trademarked term for their line of folding knives which feature a pocket clip. A CLIPIT fan is often called a CLIPITEER.

Cobra Hood™-A machined flange of steel positioned over the Spyderco round opening hole on the spine of the blade which directs/positions your thumb over the hole for quickly opening the knife blade. See Spyderco C71 Salsa.

Cocobolo:-Hardwood from the Cocobolo tree, ranging in color from bright orange to deep red and dark purple. Its grain and fine texture are relatively easy to work, polishes to a high sheen and is popular as an inlay or embellishment on knife handles.

CombinationEdge:-Blade that is partially serrated, partially plainedge.

Compression Lock:-A Compression Lock uses a small piece of metal that is inserted, from the side, in between the blade tang and the stop pin (or anvil pin).

Cordura:- Cordura® is a certified fabric from INVISTA. It is used in a wide range of products from luggage and backpacks to boots, to military wear and performance apparel. It is long lasting, resistant to abrasions, tears and scuffs. Spyderco utilizes this product on our SpyderPacs.

Crink - A crink is a bend at the beginning of the tang that keeps multi-bladed pocket knives from rubbing against each other.

Dagger:-A grind down the center of a blade equally dividing it into halves. On the SpyderFly only the bottom edge is sharpened and the top of the dagger grind is left unsharpened creating a false edge.

Damascus:-Two types of steel that are folded repeatedly during the forging process to produce very attractive and expensive steel. This new steel retains the properties of the two parent steels.

David Boye Dent:-Custom knifemaker David Boye removed a small arc or dent of metal from the lock bar lever of his knives. This removed piece lessened the possibility of gripping the handle hard enough to depress the lock and accidentally unlock the blade while using the knife.

Detent:-A minute divot or dimple machined into the blade tang. A ball bearing drops into the detent hole when the knife is in the closed position, holding the knife blade closed inside the handle.

Diamond Coating:-The mechanical entrapment of diamond crystals into a metal substrate. This process operates by depositing metal, layer by layer, from a plating solution until enough metal is built up around the diamond crystals to hold them in place.

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Glossary of Knife Terms Part II

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat May 28, 2011 12:18 am

Drop Point:-A blade design made popular in hunting knives originally by Bob Loveless and Bo Randall. Simply, the tip of the blade is lowered through a convex arc from the spine.

Dagger- a short blade with two sharp sides that is used as a tactical knife.

Dirk- A short dagger.

Double Flat-ground:-A blade that is ground flat on both sides of the blade, tapering to an edge with no radius.

Dr. Snubnose- Someone who carries more than ten knives on their person at one time.

Ductility:-This is a measure of the extent to which the steel can be deformed without fracturing.

Detent-A notch point at which tension is exerted and must be overcome by manual pressure. Used on some knives to keep the blade from unfolding when not needed, most notably on liner locks.

EDC:-An acronym for Everyday Carry meaning a knife that is carried and used daily.

ELU:-Acronym for "end-line user", the consumer who uses knives and sharpeners.

Embellishment:-Term used to describe personalized engraving or additional ornamentation added to a knife after it is manufactured.

EMT:-Acronym for Emergency Medical Technician.

Edge - This is the sharpened side of the blade. Blades will have a single or double edge (or dagger style) depending on the design.

Escutcheon - this is a small pin or piece of metal attached to the handle for engraving.

Ergonomics:-The applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue, safety and discomfort. Knives which are designed to be comfortable and less fatiguing to use are labeled "ergonomic."

False Edge - Widely used on military and combat fighting knives, a false edge blade is an additional bevel on the back of the blade enhancing the blade's point. This edge can be sharpened or not. The false edge can also be used for heavier cutting that might be damaging to the cutting edge.

File Work:-Decorative removal of material along the backspring or blade spine.

Finger Groove:-A scalloping cut into the handle of a knife to enhance grip. The first finger groove on a handle, cut deep enough, can also serve double duty as a guard.

Frame Lock:-A knife without liners whose lock utilizes a cut away portion of the frame to form a leaf spring and function in the same way as a liner lock.

Fuller:-Sometimes called a blood groove, this is a groove like section cut out of the blade which creates stiffening lines and reduces weight. The notion of its purpose being to break a suction is not supported.

Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN):-A nylon polymer mixed with glass fiber that is then injected into a mold for making lightweight knife handles.

Finger Choil:-A purposeful and specific area/curve cut out between the blade and handle. It creates a grip position point closer to the cutting edge for better control while cutting.

Flat-Grind (Full):-A knife's edge that tapers from the cutting edge all the way to the blade's spine that is ground completely flat without a radius.

Flat-Saber Grind:-A knife's edge, ground completely flat without a radius that tapers from the cutting edge to a grind line down the center of the blade. Unlike a Full Flat Grind, which tapers from the cutting edge all the way to the blade's spine the Flat Saber only is flat ground just to the grind line.

Full Flat-ground:-A flat grind leaves a flat surface, that flat surface if ground from edge to spine is considered a full-flat grind. If that flat surface goes from the edge to somewhere in the middle of the blade it would be considered a flat saber grind. Spyderco uses both types of flat-grinds. Full-flat is found on our C36 Military Model, flat-saber-grind can be found on our C11 Delica and C10 Enduras.

Guard - The guard is a separate piece of metal attached between the blade and the top of the handle to protect hands from the edge during cutting.

G-10-Handle material made of epoxy filled with woven glass fiber that is impervious to changes in temperature and can be tinted into many colors.

Gut Hook:-A sharpened "hook" which lies on the spine of a hunting knife blade. This design allows the hunter to field dress the animal without puncturing the animal's intestine.

Hilt - The entire handle, including the butt/pommel and the guard

Hamaguri Grind:-(Also called Appleseed Grind or Moran Grind): is a convex grind. Handguard:
Protrusion/expansion on the knife's handle proximal to the blade keeping the hand safely positioned on the handle inhibiting sliding forward.

Hawkbill Blade:-Blade shaped in a sharply curved hook like the talon of a raptor. The inside edge of the blade is sharpened and works particularly well for commercial fishermen who reach out and pull toward them while cutting line, webbing and netting.

High Alumina Ceramic:-The compound used for Spyderco sharpening stones. It's a ceramic-bonding agent mixed with alumina particles (synthetic sapphires), shaped then kiln fired at temperatures in excess of 3000 degrees F.

Hollow-ground:-Edge that is ground with a radius leaving a concave shape above the cutting surface.

Indexing:-"Locating" mark, also used for controlled rotation of the open knife, while gripped in the palm, from one hand-hold to another, e.g., rotating from a forward grip to a reverse grip.

Integral Pocket Clip:-Pocket clip that is molded as part of (integral to) the handle rather than a separate component attached with screws. Found on Spyderco model C17 the Catcherman

Inertia Opening:- Called "flicking" which is defined as impelling the knife blade open by a forceful application of initial velocity

Jigged Bone:- Derived from deceased animals, generally the chin bone of a cow. The bone is generally dyed and surface texture is obtained by cutting grooves into the bone.

Kick:-The unsharpened portion along the underside of the knife blade where the edge begins. Keeps the blade "kicked out" so the edge does not hit the back spacer.

Kinetic Opener:-A horn or protuberance on the top portion of a knife blade by which the blade may be opened when leveraged against something solid, i.e. an opponent's body. Similar to the opening devices found on straight razors.

Kraton:-A rubbery thermoplastic polymer used as a flexible inlay on knife handles for enhanced grip.

Kydex:-A thin thermoplastic commonly used for firearm holsters and knife sheaths. It is flexible, resistant to sweat, chemicals, oils and solvents. It is shaped by heat and retains its' set form.

Kris Blade:-A blade with a serpentine shape made so for improved cutting upon insertion.

Kukri:-A machete type knife with a down curved blade that enhances the chopping stroke and is excellent in combat. Most famously used by the Nepalese Ghurka troops.

Lanyard Hole:-A hole placed in the end of a knife handle opposite the blade. Originally used by sailors who would place a cord through such a hole in their knife to keep from losing it overboard. MBC: An acronym for Martial Blade Craft.

Left/Right-Hand Carry:-Knife clip that is manufactured to affix to either side the knife positioning the folder for use by left- and right-handed people.

Lashing Grommets/Jimping - These terms refer to notches that are designed into the back lower part of the blade for better thumb control.

Laser cutting- Large blades and “hard steel” blades are cut from sheets of steel using a state-of-the-art computer-controlled laser that can cut out blades to a specified shape.

LEO:-Acronym for Law Enforcement Officer.

Laminated Steel:-Combined steels with varying degrees of hardness in a single blade. Typically a very hard core and edge for excellent sharpness and edge retention, wrapped by a softer steel to prevent chipping and breaking.

Liner:-Made from steel, brass or other materials, the liner constitutes the skeleton or frame of the knife and provides strength and rigidity.

LinerLock:-Locking system developed by custom knifemaker Michael Walker. The blade of a knife is locked open by a leaf-like spring that butts up against the tang of the blade.

Little Big Guy Knife:-Term coined by Spyderco to describe a small bladed knife (generally under three inches) that is manufactured using features and materials that allow the knife to be used for strenuous or hard cutting normally done with larger, heavier tools.

Martial Blade Craft (MBC):-MBC is the practice of combative arts for self-protection, physical conditioning and control and coordination of the body. MBC's ultimate goal is to train professionals to "stop the bad guy from hurting innocents."

Micarta:-A composite of linen or paper fabric in an epoxy resin used as a handle material. It is incredibly lightweight, durable and visually appealing. It can be bead blasted or polished, changing its appearance.

Manual:- A folding knife that does not use a spring or gravity to open.

Modified Leaf Pattern:-Unlike a traditionally leaf-shaped blades, Spyderco offers several models in this basic blade shape but with variations such a distinctly pointed tips, spine cusps and swedge grinds.

Mark Side - This is another pocket knife term and is the side of the blade with the nail mark.

Marlin Spike:-A tool used by seafarers to assist in untying knots that, through water and tension, had become ultra tight and impossible to untie by hand.

Matte Finish:-Similar to satin finish, this is a non-reflective finish with no sheen.

Nail Mark/Nail Nick - On a pocket knife blade the nail mark is a groove cut into the blade so that it can be opened using your fingernail. Most Case pocket knives use this method of opening the blade.

Nesting:-Hollowing out a section in G-10 or other handle material on the inside of the handle where the lock and or liner is then inset/inlayed and fitted into the hollow section. Nesting increases strength and creates a thinner overall profile to the knife.
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Glossary of Terms PartIII

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat May 28, 2011 12:35 am

Obverse Side - The obverse side is the front or display section of a knife.

OTF- A knife with a blade that opens out of the front. instead of out of the side. These are usually automatic, but a few are spring assisted.

Para Cord® Sleeve:-The outer nylon sleeve of Para Cord. Spyderco uses the sleeve to cover the ball chain attached to our neck sheaths thus reducing noise during carry as well as possible pinching from the chain.

Phantom Lock:-A pressure release locking system used on the Spyderco MeerKat, model C64. The lock is released by positioning your thumb on the butt end of the handle over the Spyderco bug, and two fingers on the back side of the handle then scissoring the two sides in opposite directions.

Pakal Knife:- A knife that is held in reverse grip where the edge faces inwards or outwards for fighting in a point driven methodology.

Photon II:-Quarter-sized flashlight that uses photon technology, an LED bulb emitting incredibly bright full spectrum light with a Lithium long-life battery.

Pinky Shelf:-An angled protrusion at the distal-end of the knife handle where the pinky sits. This angled portion of the handle offers a leveraging spot for additional control and coordination over the knife while in the hand.

Plain Edge:-A sharpened knife blade with no serrations or teeth. Sometimes called a smooth blade

Paracord:-Originally developed as parachute cord, this nylon rope is strong, lightweight and useful for many applications.

Phenolic Resin:-A synthetic material similar to thermoplastic used in knife handles, most notably by Buck Knives.

Pivot:-The point at which the blade rotates in the knife handle
Point - The tip of the blade. For more information see Blade Shapes.

Pile Side - The reverse side of the blade, opposite of the obverse side.

Pocket Blade - This is the largest blade on a multi-bladed knife.

Pen Blade - The pen blade is the smallest blade on a multi-bladed knife.

Pommel:-The knob or expansion found on the of end a sword or knife.

Palm Swell:-A subtle widening in the handle for better fit in the hand.

Powder Steel:-Steel manufactured from finely ground bits of selected alloys combined under heat and pressure to make a single steel with a consistent grain and structure.

Quillion:-A handguard protruding from both sides of the handle (where the handle and blade meet), which stops the hand from slipping up onto the blade.

Ricasso - The ricasso is the flat section of the blade between the guard and the start of the bevel. This is where you will most often find the tang stamp.

Reverse "S" Blade:-Blade shape resembling a backward S with the tip curving downward. The deep belly (thickest part of the blade) curves in the same direction as the tip. See C12 Civilian.

Rockwell Hardness:-A hardness scale which knife blades are measured against. Mid 50's is soft while mid 60's is very hard.

Save and Serve:-Blanket term used to describe knife users who are EMTs, LEOs, Military Personnel -- anyone who saves and serves.

Spacer:-Material used between the scales and liners or scales and tang of a knife to add color and slightly increase handle thickness.

Sub Hilt:-A secondary hilt lower on the handle which enhances grip.
Scale:-A knife handle made of scales or slabs of material that are riveted, screwed or bonded together.

Sermollan:-A rubberized plastic used on kitchen knife handles that offers a secure grip and resistance to bacteria.

Scrimshaw - Scrimshaw is the art of etching decorative designs into ivory or simulated ivory handles

Sheepfoot Blade:-A blade with a round, blunt tip that has no point. The design inhibits accidental stabbing while working in emergency situations, around livestock and inflatable boats.

Slip Joint:-Non Locking Blade -- a blade having a spring acting against it, which provides some resistance to its opening and closing as it pivots within the handle.

Spear Point:-Blade shape that has an equal amount of curve on the spine and the cutting edge. The two curves meet, coming together at the point. Designed for general-purpose cutting.

Spine Cusp:-A point or crest above The Spyderco Round Hole that creates a spot where the thumb is placed and offers leverage while holding the knife and cutting.

Sprint Run:-A limited, one time only, production of a knife design/model. Production numbers are less than 1500 pieces.

Spyderco Trademark Round Hole™:-Round hole located in the knife blade used for one-hand opening and closing of a knife blade.

SpyderEdge:-Spyderco's two-step serration pattern of one large and two small serrations. This pattern increases the cutting edge by 24%.

Spyderdrop:- Opening a Spyderco by pinching the Hole between the index finger and thumb and forcefully dropping the knife handle downwards to open the blade.

Stainless Steel-Steel that contains a minimum of 12-1/2-13% chromium, making it resistant (not stain-proof) to corrosion. The chromium oxide "CrO" creates a barrier to oxygen and moisture, preventing rust formation.

Swedge (non-sharpened):-Also called a false edge, it is a ground edge on the back of the blade's spine, that is chamfered, or non-sharpened. It removes weight from the blade and can change the blade's balance and penetration performance and appearance.

Tang:-The portion of the blade where it connects to the handle.

Tek-Lok:-Detachable polymer clip mounted onto some of Spyderco's sheaths which can be situated to carry the knife in five different carry positions: vertical, inverted, cross-draw, small of back or horizontal position.

Tip-Up/Tip-Down:-Refers to which direction the folded knife if positioned by its pocket clip. When closed and clipped in a pocket, whichever direction (up or down) the blade's tip sits defines if it is termed tip-up or tip-down.

Tactical:- tactical meaning fighting or combat, a tactical knife is a fighting knife.

Titanium:-A non-ferrous metal with high tensile strength is light-weight and resistant to corrosion. Often used for handle material or knife liners.
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Part III

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat May 28, 2011 12:37 am

Tempering:-A heat treatment in the production of steel used to release trapped carbon.

Tensile Strength:-The amount of stress a steel can withstand before it either breaks or permanently deforms.

Thumb Hole:-A one-handed deployment system in which a hole is made in the knife blade whereby the user may open the knife with the thumb.

Thumb stud:-A one-handed deployment system in which a post or peg is attached to the side of a knife blade and may be used to open the blade with the thumb.

Tang-Stamp - This is an imprinting that can show style number, collector's number, manufacturer's name. This is normally located on the ricasso.

Trainer:-A red-handled non-sharpened knife used for training and practice purposes.

Volcano Grip:-Spyderco's trademarked name for the waffle texture found in their FRN handled lightweight knives. The continuous pattern of small squares offer better hand grip while cutting.

Wave:-A design by Custom Knife maker Emerson, where a metal protrusion on the top of the spine sticks up, when placed inside a pocket the wave will catch the lip of the pants pocket thereby opening the knife on the draw action.

Wharncliffe:-A blade design in which the point of the knife is dropped to a straight cutting edge.

Walk and Talk:-The feel and sound of a pocket knife as it opens and closes.

Wetstone:-A sharpening stone made from natural materials

Wood Epoxy Laminate-This is an impregnated wood laminate, which is extremely hard and machines similar to Corian, aluminum and Micarta.

Zirconia:-Zirconium Dioxide: a material from which ceramic knife blades can be made.

Additional Terms:
Handle Materials

STAG-Derived from naturally shed deer antlers. When exposed to open flame, stag takes on that slightly burnt look. Very elegant material for pocket knives and gentlemens folding knvies.

BONE-Derived from naturally deceased animals. Bone is usually given a surface texture, most commonly in the forms of pickbone and jigged bone. Bone can be dyed to achieve bright colors (e.g. green, blue, and black). This is the most common handle material for pocket knives.

G-10-A fiberglass based laminate. Layers of fiberglass cloth are soaked in resin and are compressed and baked. The resulting material is very hard, lightweight, and strong. Surface texture is added in the form of checkering. G-10 is an ideal material for tactical folding knives or fighting knives because of its ruggedness and lightweight. It is usually available in black.

MICARTA-The most common form is linen micarta. Similar construction as G-10. The layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phoenolic resin. The end product is a material that is lightweight, strong, as well as having a touch of class (thus dressier than G-10). Micarta has no surface texture, it is extremely smooth to the touch. It is a material that requires hand labor, which translates into a higher priced knife. Micarta is a relatively soft material that can be scratched if not treated properly.

CARBON FIBER-Composed of thin strands of carbon, tightly woven in a weave pattern, that are set in resin. It is a highly futuristic looking material with a definite "ahhhh" factor. Of all the lightweight synthetic handle materials, carbon fiber is perhaps the strongest. The main visual attraction of this material is the ability of the carbon strands to reflect light, making the weave pattern highly visible. Carbon fiber is also a labor-intensive material that results in a rather pricey knife such as case collectible knives.

ZYTEL®-Du Pont developed this thermoplastic material. Of all synthetic materials, ZYTEL® is the least expensive to produce, which explains the abundance of work or utility knives that have this material. It is unbreakable: resists impact and abrasions. ZYTEL® has a slight surface texture, but knife companies using this material will add additional, more aggressive surface texture to augment this slight texture. Sog Specialty Knives is common for using zytel.

TITANIUM-A nonferrous metal alloy, the most common form of titanium is 6AL/4V: 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, and 90% pure titanium. This is a lightweight metal alloy that offers unsurpassed corrosion resistance of any metal. It has a warm "grip you back" feel and can be finished either by anodizing or bead blasting. Aside from handles, titanium is also used as liner materials for linerlock knives for it is a rather "springy" metal. Titanium is used usually on collectible pocket knives and chef knives.

ALUMINUM-Just like titanium, aluminum is also a nonferrous metal. Commonly used as handles, aluminum gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight. The most common form of aluminum is T6-6061, a heat treatable grade. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing.

ANODIZATION-An electrochemical process which adds color to titanium, which is especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on the voltage used, colors can vary (high voltage = dark color, low voltage = light color)

PAKKAWOOD- Multiple layers of maple or birch veneers that have been impregnated with resin and color and then bonded under high heat and pressure to from one piece.

BEAD BLASTING-A process by which steel, aluminum, and titanium are finished. Bead blasting is commonly found on tactical folding knives and fixed or bowie knife blades, for it provides a 100% subdued, non-glare finish.

Blade Shapes
Clip Point – A clip point blade has a concave or straight cut-out at the tip (The "clip"). This brings the blade point lower for extra control and enhances the sharpness of the tip. You will often find a false edge with the clip point. These types of blades also often have an abundant belly for better slicing capabilities.

Dagger/Double Edge - A double edge blade is sharpened on both sides ending with the point aligned with the spine, in the middle of the blade.

Drop Point – The drop-point blade has lowered tip via a convex arc. This lowers the point for extra control and also leaves the strength. This type of blade also has a good-sized belly for better slicing.

Hook Blade – The edge of a hook blade curves in a concave manner.

Santuko – Is a Japanese chef's knife. The spine curves downward to meet the edge and the belly curves slightly.

Scimitar – This is a curved blade with the edge on the convex side.

Sheepsfoot – The spine of this blade curves downward to meet the edge. This leaves virtually no point. This type of blade typically has little or virtually no belly and is used mainly for slicing applications.

Spear Point – The point of this blade is exactly in the center of the blade and both edges are sharpened. The point drops all the way down the center of the blade.

Tanto – The point to this style blade is in line with the spine of the blade. This leaves the point thick and strong. There are quite a few different variations of how tanto blades are designed. The way the front edge meets the bottom edge, whether at an obtuse angle or a curve is one difference. You will also find differences in the point being clipped or not and whether there is a chisel grind.

Trailing Point – The trailing point blade's point is higher than the spine. This is typically engineered with an extended belly for slicing, with the point up and out of the way.
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Postby Ted » Sat May 28, 2011 12:43 am

great work!

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Part IV

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat May 28, 2011 1:07 am

Locking Mechanisms & Types

Axis Lock - The features of the AXIS lock are significant and greatly enhance the function of knives. First and foremost is the strength. This lock is definitely more than adequate for the demands of normal knife use. A close second to strength is the inherent AXIS advantage of being totally ambidextrous without user compromise. The blade can be readily actuated open or closed with either hand- without ever having to place flesh in the blade path. Lastly, and certainly not any less impressive, is the indescribable "smoothness" with which the mechanism and blade function. By design there are no traditional "friction" parts to the AXIS mechanism, making the action the much smoother. And it's all reasonably exposed so you can easily clean away any unwarranted debris. Basically, AXIS gets its function from a spring-loaded bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife; spanning the space between the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped notch cut into the tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang, and as a result the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself. It's a lot of words in an attempt to describe simplicity, but the very best way to truly appreciate the AXIS lock is to experience it for yourself firsthand. There are several models to choose from with more on the way.

Balisong - Also known as Butterfly Knives. The handle to this style knife is in two separate pieces and pinned to the tang. A third pin fixes between both sides to lock the blade into an open position.

Block Lock - This folder lock has a spring loaded block located on the center pin. The block extends into a hole in the tang to lock the blade open.

Clasp - This style folding knife has no lock or backspring.

Lockback - This style of lock has a spring-loaded locking bar with a tooth at the end. The tooth falls into the notch cut into the blade tang and is held there under the spring tension. A cut out in the handle spine houses the release for the lock. These locks generally require 2 hands to unlock and close.

Locking Liner - (a.k.a. linerlocks) This particular locking system was refined by knife maker Michael Walker. The actual locking mechanism is incorporated in the liner of the handle, hence the name. If there is a metal sheet inside the handle material, it is called a liner. With a locking liner, opening the blade will allow this metal to flex over and butt against the base of the blade inside the handle, locking it open. Moving this liner aside will release this lock allowing the blade to close. Disengagement of the lock is performed with the thumb, allowing for one handed, hassle free action. Locking liners are commonly found on tactical folding knives, both production and custom.

Ringlock - This design has been around since the 1890's. The Ringlock is similar to the Slipjoint, but it has a rotating slipring instead of a backspring.

Rolling Lock - This design uses a sort of bearing that rolls into the locked position.

Sebenza Lock - The concept of this lock is comparable to the Liner Lock. A hollowed out section of the scale is fixed into the handle cavity to lock the blade open.

Slipjoint - The slipjoint is one of the more common designs for folding and pocket knives. Instead of a lock, the slipjoint utilizes a backspring to create resistance to hold the blade open.

Swinglock - There is one pivot pin and one locking pin used to design this style lock.

Wood Lock - This lock was designed by Barry Wood. The handles and blade are attached to a central pin and pivot independently. A second pin is fixed into the inside of one scale and extends into slot in the tang to lock the blade open.

Blade Grinds

Hollow Grind-The most common grind, found on the majority of custom and production pieces. Hollow ground blades have a thin edge that continues upwards, and is the grind is produced on both sides of the blade. Since the cutting edge is relatively thin, there is very little drag when cutting. Examples of knives with hollow ground blades: Spyderco Howard Viele C42 and Kershaw Ti-ATS-34.

Flat Grind-Flat grinds are characterized by the tapering of the blade from the spine down to the cutting edge. This style of grind is also referred to as a "V" grind, since the cross section of this grind resembles that letter. The chisel grind, a popular style for tactical blades, is a variation of the flat grind. On a chisel round blade, it is ground on one side, and on the other it is not. These blades are easier to sharpen, because you sharpen one side only. Example of a knife with a chisel ground blade would be the Benchmade 970 Ernest Emerson CQC7. Examples of knives with a flat grind are the Benchmade Mel Pardue 850 and Spyderco's C36 Military model.

Concave Grind-Similar to the flat grind in that the blade tapers from the spine to the cutting edge, except the taper lines are arcs instead of straight lines.

Convex Grind-Similar to the flat grind in that the blade tapers from the spine to the cutting edge, except the taper lines are arcs extending outward instead of inward as in the concave grind above or straight lines. If you picture a pumpkin seed, you will get a good idea of what the cross sectional view of this grind is like. Noted custom knife maker Bill Moran is credited for bringing the convex grind into the focus of knife making.

Chisel-The chisel grind is ground on only one side of the blade. It's easy to produce and easy to sharpen. It is often ground at around 30 degrees which contributes to a thin and sharp edge.

Sabre -The sabre grind has flat edge bevels that typically begin about the middle part of the blade and runs flatly to the edge. The edge is often left thick and thickens quickly past the edge. This is a great grind for chopping and other hard uses.

Scandinavian Single-Bevel-the Scandinavian single-bevel grind looks similar to a sabre grind. The difference between the two grinds is that the Scandinavian single-bevel grind has no secondary edge bevels. This grind has an extremely thin and incredibly sharp edge.

Doc :)
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Postby razorsharp » Sat May 28, 2011 2:15 am

I was going to read it all, then figured I could read a novel faster :p

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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat May 28, 2011 2:26 am

razorsharp wrote:I was going to read it all, then figured I could read a novel faster :p
Think of this as the Knife Glossary Novel :p ..."Knife Terms for Dummies" it will go into print and you can pick up your copy in Barnes and Nobel by the end of the month :p Doc :D
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Postby SQSAR » Sat May 28, 2011 5:07 am

Doc: Great work, , , you must have had a lot of time on your hands. I especially like how the definition of someone who carries 10 or more knives on their person has been added.

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Postby Donut » Sat May 28, 2011 5:27 am

Nice thread doc. I didn't make it too far through, but learned what almite is. I always thought it was plastic.
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Postby rosconey » Sat May 28, 2011 9:20 am

at the rate i type thats about 10 years :eek: ;) :p

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Postby skatenut » Sat May 28, 2011 11:50 am

excellent work, Doc, thank you!

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Postby pmbspyder » Sat May 28, 2011 12:17 pm

this thread should be a sticky! great work!
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Postby Zendemic » Tue May 31, 2011 9:36 pm

Makes for some great reading whilst waiting for something exciting to happen at the station. Thanks Doc!
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Postby bh49 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:44 am

Do. Thank you. great job. A lot of good info.
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Postby defenestrate » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:36 pm

No zero grind?
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:23 am

My Bad...There are a few others I left out as well....Think of this glossary as a Beginning Primer for the Novice....if you wish to add to it on your own...please feel free....Doc :D
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