Definitions for Terms in Knife Making

Batoning is the technique of cutting or splitting wood by using a baton-sized stick or mallet to repeatedly strike the spine of a sturdy knife, chisel or blade in order to drive it through wood, similar to how a froe is used.

Blade the flat part of the knife with a cutting edge.

Bolster   a band of metal between the blade and handle used to support (or “bolster”) the transition between blade and handle

Butt  the bottom or rear end of the knife

Choil the indented front of the edge at the start of the blade.

EDC  or “Every Day Carry

Full tang a full tang can be seen around all three sides of a knife, top. Bottom and end. Usually with a scale on both sides.

Fuller  the rounded or beveled groove or slot milled into the flat side of a blade. Maybe referred to as a “blood grooves”. Typically fullers are for decorative purposes, or they can be used to lighten or balance a knife.

Handle the part of the knife you hold onto

Hilt the handle of a weapon or tool, especially a sword, dagger, or knife.

Hidden tang (or partial tang) is hidden inside the handle and can not be seen on the handle.

Jimping  the small notches or file work cut into the back of a blade or put on the choil or other portions of the knife. jimping is used to prevent your fingers from sliding when using the knife.

Pommel a rounded knob on the butt end of the handle of a knife.

Plunge line is the line where the grind begins. It can be transitioned into the blade in a gentle, curved fashion, or it can be ground flat, thus creating a straight or 90° transition.

Quilon  the protrusions that stop your fingers from sliding forward onto the blade. It’s the cross guard and typically extends beyond the handle.

Rat-tail Tang or Stick Tang is signifticantly narrower than the blade, thus giving it the resemblance of a rat. (The blade is the thick body of the rat while the tang looks like the thin tail.) The tang is often secured to the handle with a bolt or threaded pommel.

Ricasso  the unsharpened length of blade just above the guard or handle on a knife

Scale  two pieces of material that you use for the handle when making a knife.

Spline  the top or unsharpened edge of a knife

Sheath a case for carrying the knife, typically leather

Saya  a wooden sheath

Swedge An unsharpened bevel grind along a portion of the spine of a blade.

Tang  the portion of the knife that extends down into the handle


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