Anatomy of a Knife
Each piece of professional cutlery is designed for a specific task, but every knife has the same anatomy.
The tip is the front part of the blade and does most of the cutting and separating. Knives with a pointed tip are used to easily pierce food and cut very small portions. Rounded tips produce better contact between the food and blade, ideal when cutting or slicing into very thin servings.
The edge is the sharp part of the knife blade and extends from heel to tip. Maintaining a sharp edge is crucial for both easy slicing and user safety.
The spine is the top of the blade, directly opposite the edge.
The heel is the rear portion of the blade and is used to cut thick or tough products that require more force.
The bolster is only found on forged knives. It is a thick band of steel between the heel and handle. The bolster helps balance the knife and prevents the user’s hand from slipping across the blade.
The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle and provides balance. Most knives have ½, ¾ or full tang blades. Full tang blades are considered superior because of added knife balance and longevity; the handle on ½ or ¾ tang knives can crack due to increased stress towards the heel.
The handle, also called the scales, provides the knife’s gripping surface. Handles are constructed of wood, plastic or stainless steel.
The butt is the end of the knife handle.