Knife Term Glossary

Glossary - Words About Knives

Bevel - Bevel refers to how many sides have a sloping surface or edge. Western knives typically have a double bevel (two sloping sides) where as original Japanese knives (Deba knives, Usuba knives, Yanigabi knives, etc) have a single bevel. Single bevels are sharper.

Bunka Knife - A general purpose knives for tackling a wide range of common kitchen tasks

Casting - Casting is the process where metal is heated until molten. While in the molten or liquid state the metal is poured into a mold shaped like the desired knife shape.

Cleaver A cleaver is a large knife that varies in its shape but usually resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet. It is largely used as a kitchen or butcher knife intended for hacking through bone

Collectors Knife - collecting is a hobby which includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining knives.

Concave - This is referring to the blade camber. A concave blade means the sides curve inward until they meet.

Deba Knife - Is a traditional Japanese kitchen knife which is used by chefs for fish, or as utility knives on fishing boats.

Fillet - a piece of meat or fish without bones: To fillet is to cut a piece of meat or fish from the bones 

Forging - Shaping steel (the blade) by heating it in a fire or furnace and hammering it.

Gyuto Knife is a true multi-purpose knife that can perform a wide range of tasks

Honing - Honing is the process of knife re-alignment at the tip of the blade. It is performed with a honing rod. Typically it does not remove steel like a stoning process.

Kiritsuke Knife - Literally means "slit open". This blade shape is an all-rounder in Japanese cuisine and is widely used for the preparation of sashimi and the fine slicing of vegetables.

Maker - Someone who creates or invents things - those surfing this page probably knife makers :)

Mecca - A place to which many people are attracted

Micarta - A brand name for composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic. It is used in the handle of high quality knives.

Nakiri"Na" meaning "Vegetable" and Kiri meaning "to cut” the Nakiri knife is a specialist vegetable cutting knife

Paring Knife - to cut away the outer surface or to remove the ends from a fruit or vegetable.

Peeler - A knife or device for removing the skin from fruit and vegetables.

Spine - The unsharpened “back” or “top” of a knife. The spine is the side opposite the sharp edge. Double-edged knives do not have spines.

Strop - A device, typically a strip of leather, for sharpening Knives and razors. This is typically the last step in sharpening a knife. 

Tang - That portion of the knife that extends into or through the handle. Also my wife's last name.

Temper - The process of reheating hardened steel to a desired temperature, below its critical temperature point, primarily to impart toughness.

Tip - The point at the end of the knife

Resin - Resin is a solid or highly viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers

Resin Infused Once inside of the wood, the resin can diffuse into the cell wall and enhance the physical strength of the wood even further

Santoku Knife - A general purpose knife that has a flatter profile blade which makes this knife excellent for dicing and chopping vegetables and herbs

Scales - Knife scales is the term for two pieces of material that you use for the handle when making a "full tang" knife

Sujihiki Knife - A double edge slicing knife with a long narrow blade that smoothly slices through meat or vegetables and preserves the integrity of each.

Usuba Knife - An ideal for cutting vegetables and fruits which are served raw, the thin and sharp blade perfectly slices even ripe tomatoes.

Whetstone - Sharpening stones, water stones or whetstones are used to sharpen the edges of steel (knives for example) tools and implements through grinding and honing.

Yanagiba primarily used to slice boneless fish fillets for Sashimi and Sushi dishes.