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We use the knife so often that we take it for granted, and would likely raise our eyebrows if we were told that it is actually quite a complex tool. It does not become simple just because we handle it so casually. Generally, people think a knife has two parts, the handle and the blade, but in reality there are six separate parts to a knife.

The blade of a knife is the part that comes to mind anytime you imagine one in your head. The blade is officially the metallic part that extends away from the handle and it has a cutting edge ground into it. The particular shape of any blade is what essentially determines the tasks it is suited for.

Depending on the shape of the blade, a knife can be used for skinning, filleting, chopping, and a number of other duties. The steel used to make the blade will determine its overall strength and durability. For both hygienic reasons and to ensure the long life of your knife, get blades made out of stainless steel as they are more germ resistant and will not rust or corrode like other steel products.

The part of the knife that is used to stab and pierce things is known as the point. It helps pierce the membrane around the skin of the quarry and is used for gutting and cleaning and getting to the meat of the game.

The tip, according to many knife experts, is the top quarter of the knife blade. This is the part of the knife that is most used as it does the cutting and chopping. Some consider the point to be part of the tip, though they are actually separate parts of the knife.

Next comes the cutting edge. This is the honed and sharpened edge of the blade which you normally hold facing away from you. As obvious from its name, it is designed to cut through things that need cutting. There are many types of cutting edges in knives, the serrated and the straight edge being the most common. One uses a straight edged knife for trimming meat while the serrated edge is better for cutting things like bread.

The handle is probably the other part of a knife, besides the blade, that people are most familiar with. Handles can be made using a variety of materials including wood, steel, plastic…basically, the sky is the limit.

The butt of the knife, like the butt of a gun, is located at the far end of the handle or the exact opposite of the tip. Many companies place a compass in the butt of the knife. When it is pulled out it reveals storage space for things like matches and other survival essentials.

These days, there are hand guards that come with some knives, especially survival knives, which essentially protect your hands from accidentally slipping towards the blade. Hand guard or no hand guard, you should be familiar with the basic parts of a knife to reduce your chances of being injured while using one. You should also learn how to maintain and sharpen your knife to make it last as long as possible.

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Frank Silkin is the webmaster for F knife, the #1 source on the internet for information about knife. For questions or comments about this article visit:

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