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Popular Knife Blade Shapes

There are many options available, and this is not meant to cover every knife blade design configu-ration, but it will serve as a handy reference to some of the most common, with an indication of their intended purpose.

The three most commonly used blade shapes

clip blade Clip - The length and angle of the concave curve on the non-cutting portion of the point determines whether a clip blade is just a "clip" (short, pronounced curve), a "California" clip (longer, gentler curve) or a so-called "Turkish" clip (very elongated). The sharp point is effective for detail work, but is not as strong as a thicker blade.
modified clip blade Modified Clip - A recent design development that has proved popular on high-tech, one-hand opener knives. Exact shapes vary.
drop point blade Drop-Point - This blade has a gentle, sloping convex curve to the point without the concave curve of the clip blade. Its thicker point is stronger for heavier tasks. The thicker tip is a positive for abuse but a negative for easy penetration.

Other Blade Shapes

sheepsfoot blade Sheepsfoot - Got its name from the shape of the point resembling the hoof of a sheep. With its distinctive flat, straight-line cutting edge and rounded point, it's well suited to giving you a clean cut, especially on a flat cutting surface.
spey blade Spey - As the name indicates, this blade was originally developed to neuter farm animals. Rather blunt point avoids poking through a surface by accident, and the overall blade configuration makes the spey function well suited for skinning and sweeping knife strokes.
pen blade or spear blade Pen or Spear - This is a smaller version of the larger "spear point" blade. Spear points are more popular in Europe, while in America, the clip blade is the preferred option. Pen blades are usually on pocket knives as a handy, all purpose blade. It was originally developed to trim quill pens, and that name has stuck through the years.
coping blade Coping - A narrow blade with a sharp, angular point, almost like a miniature sheepsfoot blade, designed to be used for cutting in tight spots or curved patterns, much as you would with a coping saw, only without the teeth.
tanto blade Tanto - The tanto is a traditional Japanese design dating back to feudal Japan. The angled grind from the edge to the tip is much heavier and stronger than other blade styles. It is used for piercing hard/tough materials and for prying or scraping.

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