Knife Blade Types

If you’re confused by all the different knife blade types, welcome to the club. When we first got obsessed with knives, we found it crazy that they come in so many blade shapes. After a lot of education and research, we can teach other people why the type of blade matters.

If you want to learn more about the knife blade types and uses, check out these 11 common shapes below.

Why Is The Blade Shape Important?

Although this sounds like an insignificant factor when buying knives, the blade shape matters a lot. There is a reason why they are available in numerous versions, and it’s safe to say that the blade determines the purpose.

Actually, the shape of the blade is the most important thing you need to decide when choosing a new knife. If you already know what you’ll be using the knife for, you need to find the perfect blade. That’s why recognizing the category, and the purpose will save you time and money.

Some of the most common shapes include straight back, trailing-point, and spey-point blades. Now, let’s get more into detail about the 11 types you’ll often see when knife shopping.

  1. Straight Back Blade

Straight Back BladeThe standard or normal blade, also known as straight back blade, is a shape you’ll often see. This blade has a straight back or spine that starts from the handle and goes to the tip. You won’t notice any curves or cut-outs. The belly of the knife follows the spine and has a slight curve before it reaches the tip.

This is a versatile blade that can be used for a variety of tasks. It’s best for tasks such as chopping because the cook can add extra pressure on top of the spine.

  1. Tanto Blade

Tanto BladeThis blade has a very sharp point created by a belly with a sharp curve in the front. The spine is straight, with a slight curve in the front part. Knives with this blade are extremely durable and powerful.

The tanto blade is not as great for everyday use because its primary purpose is piercing. Although you might not need it in the kitchen, you’ll definitely find it ideal as a self-defense tool. These are knives that are used in combat and can pierce almost through everything.

  1. Spear-Point Blade

Spear-Point BladeThe spear-point blade, also known as double edge, is another blade great for stabbing. It’s also characterized by an edge that is powerful and sharp. The belly and spine are symmetrical and parallel up to one point in the front, where both lines start to curve and join in the pointed tip.

Although the main purpose of this blade is stabbing, it can also be used in the kitchen for slicing; you just need to be careful with the tip.

  1. Drop-Point Blade

Drop-Point BladeDrop-point is one of the most common and popular blade types. It’s recognizable by the curve that starts at the spine of the blade and goes to the tip. In other words, there is a convex curve that starts from the spine and drops towards the point of the tip. The belly of this blade is big and great for slicing.

Knives with this kind of blade are used commonly during everyday life and are suitable for all sorts of purposes. You’ll find this blade in kitchen knives, pocket knives, and other knives with a fixed blade.

  1. Sheepsfoot Blade

Sheepsfoot BladeSheepsfoot blades are easy to use without the risk of hurting yourself. This blade features a straight spine that creates a sharp convex curve to meet the tip of the blade. The edge of these knives is entirely straight.

Back in the day, these knife blade types were used to trim the hooves of sheep, but today they find various uses, including woodworking. As we mentioned before, this is a safe blade because the tip is not too sharp, so the chances of hurting yourself are low.

  1. Wharncliffe Blade

Wharncliffe BladeThis is a similar blade shape to the sheepsfoot, but there is a slight difference that will help you identify them. The Wharncliffe blade has a straight edge and a spine with a curve. The difference is that this curve is not as prominent and happens gradually from the spine to the tip.

These blades have been around for hundreds of years. You can use them for many purposes, but they are best for detailed and precise jobs.

  1. Clip-Point Blade

Clip-Point BladeThe clip-point blade is another common one that’s been used in combat knives for many years. The blade has a curve on the spine, but in this case it’s a concave one located in the front part. In some cases it can also be a straight cut-out section in the front part of the spine. This curve goes to the tip of the knife creating a sharp, pointed tip.

Because of the sharp tip, this blade is great for detailed work. If you ever need a knife that you’ll use for stabbing strikes, or whittling, this one is it.

  1. Hawkbill Blade

Hawkbill bladeThis is probably one of the weirdest knife blade types that you’ll see on this list. The Hawkbill blade is also known as a talon. It’s recognizable for the unique concave shape of the belly and the spine. Both lines create curves facing downwards and meet in a tip that is sharp.

This is not the best knife for the kitchen, but it’s a great choice for the garden and around the house. You can use it to cut trees and plants, open boxes, cut stubborn zip ties, cut carpets, piercing, and more.

  1. Spey-Point Blade

Spey-Point BladeThe spey-point blade has a straight edge that features a slight curve near the tip. This blade’s spine is also flat until the front part where it takes a downward direction, creating an angle and a tip with the curved edge.

If you need a knife to use for cutting meat, you should opt for this kind of blade. It’s also great for peeling fruits.

  1. Trailing-Point Blade

Trailing-Point BladeThe trailing-point blade is characterized with a unique spine that creates a curve facing upwards. The edge is also curved in the front. These two surfaces create a point that is located higher than the knife handle.

The main purpose of this knife in the kitchen is slicing. Since it has a large belly it can be great for cooks to slice food. Some people use it for skinning too.

  1. Needle-Point Blade

This blade is not frequently used in the kitchen and is referred to as stiletto blade. The edge and spine create a tip that looks like a needle and is mostly utilized in combat. It’s a good blade for piercing and  self-defense.


Choosing the right blade types can be confusing. The 11 blades that we listed are quite common, but they’re not always used in the kitchen. Nevertheless, when learning about types of blades, it’s important to see the variety, and also see which ones you’ll often use for cooking.

Knives with straight back blades are everywhere because they can perform a variety of tasks. Another common blade in the kitchen is the spey-point knife, used for cutting meat. The trailing point-knife is perfect for slicing and skinning.

Now that you’re familiar with different blades, it’s time to start shopping and choose which knife will best suit your needs.

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