Pocket Knife Blade Shapes 101

Pocket Knife Blade Shapes 101

Posted by Sam Flaherty on

Did you know that the natural world can inspire the shape of a knife blade? For example, some knife designs mimic birds' beaks, such as the razor-sharp precision of a hawk's beak, which influences specific kitchen and EDC knife designs for enhanced efficiency and control.

Knives are extensions of our hands, and the right blade shape makes tasks easier and more enjoyable. We will cover the basics of blade anatomy, various kitchen and EDC knife shapes, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

The Basics of Blade Anatomy

Edge Types

  • Straight Edge: Smooth and sharp, great for clean cuts.
  • Serrated Edge: Saw-like teeth, perfect for cutting tough or crusty foods.
  • Mixed Edge: Combines straight and serrated, offering versatility.


  • Spine: The top, non-cutting edge of the blade.
  • Belly: The curved part of the blade.
  • Tip: The pointed end of the blade.
  • Bevel: The sloped surface that forms the blade's edge.

Identifying Basic Blade Shapes

1. Drop Point

A drop-point blade has a rounded spine that leads to a lowered point. This shape is very adaptable, making it ideal for hunters and general-purpose use. The drop-point blade has a strong tip and offers excellent control.

2. Clip Point

A clip-point blade features a concave cut-out on the spine near the tip. This design is great for piercing and detail work. The clip-point's sharp and controllable tip makes it a favourite for precise tasks.

3. Tanto

A tanto blade has an angular shape with a flat grind, creating a secondary point. This shape is often used in tactical applications due to its strong piercing ability. The robust point of a tanto blade excels in penetrating tough materials.

4. Serrated Edge

A serrated edge has a saw-like blade with teeth along the cutting edge. It's great for cutting through tough or fibrous materials like bread or rope. This type of edge stays sharp longer than a straight edge, making it perfect for slicing tasks.

5. Razor Point

A razor point blade has an excellent and sharp tip, similar to a straight razor. This blade shape is perfect for precision cuts and shaving tasks. It delivers clean cuts and offers exceptional sharpness for detailed work.

6. Spear Point

A spear point blade is symmetrical, with a central spine running down the middle. It's commonly used in throwing knives and for self-defence. The balanced design makes it practical for piercing and provides reasonable control during use.

7. Wharncliffe

The Wharncliffe blade is straightforward, with a gently curving spine that leads to a straight edge. It's like a reliable worker—no frills, just get the job done. This shape is perfect for everyday tasks, offering controlled slicing for precision work like opening boxes or cutting through ropes. Its main advantage? You guessed it—precision. With its easy-to-control design, the Wharncliffe ensures you make accurate cuts every time.

8. Sheepsfoot

Think of a straight edge with a spine that slopes down to meet it. That's the Sheepsfoot blade. It's designed to protect your fingers by minimising the risk of accidental stabbings while still being excellent for slicing tasks. This blade shape is popular among rescue workers and safety devotees because of its safety features and ability to slice cleanly through different materials.

9. Trailing Point

The Trailing Point blade takes a different approach, with its spine curving upward, creating a pronounced belly. Think of it as the Swiss Army knife of blades, versatile and ready for anything. It's great for skinning game or making precise cuts in intricate patterns. Its long slicing-edge makes it ideal for detailed work, ensuring you can tackle any task with finesse.

Unique Blade Designs Inspired by Australian Birds 

Koi Knives was inspired by nature's beauty and the unique traits of the Magpie, Crow, and Kookaburra birds, which led to the creation of a series of knives that fulfil practical needs and tell a tale of the captivating wonders of the natural world.

Magpie Knife

Like its bird namesake, the Magpie knife carefully combines different materials and colours. Dark ebony wood and white resin represent the Magpie's natural environment and love for shiny things. Symbolically, the blade's drop-point shape mirrors the bird's beak, while six milled holes serve as grip points and nod to the Magpie's nostrils. This knife blends usefulness with beauty, appealing to anyone who loves adventure in their daily life.

Crow Knife

On the other hand, the Crow knife explores the symbolism and characteristics of the bird with a darker look and a larger size. It captures the intelligence and mystery of the Crow, featuring a handle made of deep wood and black resin, reflecting the bird's mysterious charm. The incorporation of resin and wood gives the knife a unique feel, mirroring the Crow's multifaceted nature and ability to thrive in diverse environments.

Kookaburra Knife

Meanwhile, the Kookaburra knife captures Australia's famous laughing bird in style. Its design reflects the bird's cheerful nature, using turquoise resin and light maple wood to mimic its colourful feathers. This honours the bird and adds liveliness to the knife, making it a standout in any collection.


  1. Blade Shapes: How do I choose the right one?
    • Consider what you'll be cutting. Drop points are good all-arounders, while clip points are great for detail work.
  2. Why do some knives have serrated edges?
    • Serrations are like tiny saw teeth, handy for tough stuff like bread or rope.
  3. Are there blades for specific tasks?
    • Absolutely! Trailing points are superb for skinning, while tanto blades excel at piercing rigid materials.
  4. Can I use any blade shape for cooking?
    • Sure, but some, like sheepsfoot, are better suited for slicing veggies than others.
  5. What's the advantage of a razor point?
    • It's super sharp and perfect for precise cuts like slicing tomatoes paper-thin.

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