To help you in your understanding as you browse through all the knives, accessories and gift items on eBladeStore.com, we offer this glossary.
If there is a particular word, phrase or anything that you don't understand here, please feel free to e-mail us and we'll try to explain what we can. If you feel that a term is not accurately or fully defined, we welcome you to send us your description of the term.
Back - The back of the blade is the opposite side of the belly, for single edged pocket or bowie knives this would be the unsharpened side. The back can contain lashing grommets, jimping, it's own edge or false edge, and serrations.
Belly - The belly is the curving part of the blade edge. Bellies enhance slicing and may be plain or serrated. One note, the point of the knife becomes less sharp the larger the belly is. When choosing a knife you should decide whether penetration or slicing is the most important, and keep the design of this part of the knife in mind.
Blade - See Blade Steels.
Blade Spine - This is the thickest part of a blade. On a single-edge, flat-ground bowie knife, the blade spine would be at the back of the blade. For double-edged blades, the blade spine would be found right down the middle.
Butt/Pommel - The butt, or the pommel is the very end of the bowie knife. The butt/pommel will be found in different shapes, depending on what features it was designed to implement. Some flat metal butts/pommels are good for hammering. There are pointed metal butts/pommels, known as bonecrusher pommels used on combat fighting knives, combat tactical knives, combat survival knives and large bowie knives. They can be decorative, or contain a lanyard hole. Some butt/pommels are designed to be removed to be able to store items in the handle or may contain an additional smaller blade or tool.
Choil - The choil is the unsharpened part of the blade. It is left at full thickness like the blade spine and is found where the blade becomes part of the handle. Sometimes the choil will be shaped (An indentation) to accept the index finger. It also allows the full edge of the blade to be sharpened.
False Edge - Widely used on military and combat fighting knives, a false edge blade is an additional bevel on the back of the blade enhancing the blade's point. This edge can be sharpened or not. The false edge can also be used for heavier cutting that might be damaging to the cutting edge.
Kick - The kick is found on a pocket knife, usually Boker pocket knives, and is the projection on the front edge of the tang, the blade rests here in the closed position and keep the front part the edge from hitting the spring.
Nail Mark/Nail Nick - On a pocket knife blade the nail mark is a groove cut into the blade so that it can be opened using your fingernail. Most Case pocket knives use this method of opening the blade.
Tang-Stamp - This is an imprinting that can show style number, collector's number, manufacturer's name. This is normally located on the ricasso.
1) AUS-8 (also referred to as 8A) (some text courtesy of Boker Knife Company) - Commonly found in a Kitchen Knife Set, the words "stainless steel" are misleading, because, in fact all steel will stain or show discoloration if left in adverse conditions for a sufficient time. Steel is made "stainless" by adding Chromium and reducing its Carbon content during the smelting process. Some authorities claim that there is a serious performance trade off with stainless steel: As the Chrome increases and the Carbon decreases, the steel becomes more "stainless". But it also becomes more and more difficult to sharpen and, some claim, the edge-holding potential is seriously impaired. We have found that most stainless steel blades are as sharp as other material blades and hold the edge longer. AUS 8A is a high carbon, low chromium stainless steel that has proven, over time, to be a very good compromise between toughness, strength, edge holding and resistance to corrosion.
2) ATS-34 - premium grade of stainless steel used by most custom knife makers and upper echelon factory knives. Also common with the making of quality tactical folding knives or production collectible pocket knives. It is Japanese steel, owned by Hitachi Steels. The American made equivalent of ATS-34 is 154CM, a steel popularized by renowned maker Bob Loveless. Boker pocket knives are usually made of ATS-34.
4) CPM-T440V - currently touted as the "super steel", it outlasts all stainless steels on the market today. It is, however, harder to resharpen (due to its unprecedented edge retention). But the tradeoff is that you do not have to sharpen as frequently. CPM-T440V is widely used by custom knife makers and is slowly finding its way into high-end or gentlemen's folding knives.
5) SAN MAI III - (text courtesy of Boker Knife Company) An expensive, traditional style Japanese laminate. Hard, high carbon stainless forms the core and edge of the blade, while two layers of tough, spring tempered stainless support and strengthen it. The resulting blade possesses the best qualities of both types of steel. This laminate is 25% stronger than the incredibly tough AUS 8A stainless . The telltale sign of genuine San Mai III is a thin line near the edge that runs the entire length of the blade. This line is created in the grinding process as the layers of steel in the blade are exposed. The distance the line is from the edge varies from knife to knife because every piece of San Mai III steel is unique. Like AUS 8A stainless, San Mai III is treated in modern, precise conveyor furnaces and subjected to a sub zero post hardening process. This improves the microstructure of the steel by eliminating retained austenite. The resulting blades are more elastic and have better edge holding characteristics than standard stainless steels.
6) 420J2 - (text courtesy of Boker Knife Company) Due to its low carbon high chromium content this steel is an excellent choice for making tough (bends instead of breaking), shock absorbing knife blades with excel lent resistance to corrosion and moderate edge holding ability. It is an ideal candidate for knife blades that will be subject to a wide variety of environmental conditions including high temperature, humidity, and airborne corrosives such as salt in a marine environment. This extreme resistance to corrosion via its high chrome content also makes it a perfect choice for knife blades which are carried close to the body or in a pocket and blades which will receive little or no care or maintenance.
Carbon V (From Cold Steel) - An exclusive carbon alloy steel, formulated and extensively treated to achieve exceptional properties. Carbon V was developed and refined by using both metallurgical and performance testing. Blades were subjected to the "Cold Steel Challenge" as a practical test, and then they were sectioned, so that their microstructure could be examined. In this way we arrived at the optimum steel AND the optimum heat treatment sequence to bring out the best in the steel. Cold Steel buys large quantities of premium high carbon cutlery steel with small amounts of elemental alloys added in the smelting stage. These elements enhance the blade's performance in edge holding and elasticity. The steel is then rolled to their exact specifications to establish optimum grain refinement and blades are blanked to take full advantage of the grain direction in the steel.
The blanks are heated in molten salt, quenched in premium oil and tempered in controlled ovens. Then they are ground. The new blades are then subjected to expert heat treatment, involving rigidly controlled austenizing temperatures, precisely defined soak times, proper selection of quenching medium and carefully monitored tempering times and temperatures. This heat treatment sequence results in blades which duplicate and often exceed the properties of the most expensive custom forgings.
Premium U.S. High Carbon (from Cold Steel)- Cold Steel's Premium Carbon Steel is used in a variety of our low cost highly functional knives. Chemical content and microstructure from the mill is specified by Cold Steel and each lot is subjected to the same metallurgical examination before being used in production as our world famous Carbon V. The Steel is a very clean,fine grained material with a high carbon content for toughness and response to heat treatment. Cold Steel has designed a special heat treatment for this material which maximizes toughness in combination with more than acceptable edge holding ability, resulting in a blade which will satisfy even the most discriminating user.
S30V - Revolutionary S30V steel blades are harder, more wear resistant and far less brittle than any standard 440C series stainless steel blade. Tests also show 45% better edge retention than 440C stainless.
Titanium - Unlike stainless steel knives, titanium knives are almost completely rustproof and corrosion resistant because they contain no carbon. The result is a knife that will hold an edge for a very long time. Titanium steel knives require almost no sharpening or maintenance.
Clip Point – A clip point blade has a concave or straight cut-out at the tip (The "clip"). This brings the blade point lower for extra control and enhances the sharpness of the tip. You will often find a false edge with the clip point. These types of blades also often have an abundant belly for better slicing capabilities.
Drop Point – The drop-point blade has lowered tip via a convex arc. This lowers the point for extra control and also leaves the strength. This type of blade also has a good-sized belly for better slicing.
Sheepsfoot – The spine of this blade curves downward to meet the edge. This leaves virtually no point. This type of blade typically has little or virtually no belly and is used mainly for slicing applications.
Tanto – The point to this style blade is in line with the spine of the blade. This leaves the point thick and strong. There are quite a few different variations of how tanto blades are designed. The way the front edge meets the bottom edge, whether at an obtuse angle or a curve is one difference. You will also find differences in the point being clipped or not and whether there is a chisel grind.
Axis Lock - The features of the AXIS lock are significant and greatly enhance the function of knives. First and foremost is the strength. This lock is definitely more than adequate for the demands of normal knife use. A close second to strength is the inherent AXIS advantage of being totally ambidextrous without user compromise. The blade can be readily actuated open or closed with either hand- without ever having to place flesh in the blade path. Lastly, and certainly not any less impressive, is the indescribable "smoothness" with which the mechanism and blade function. By design there are no traditional "friction" parts to the AXIS mechanism, making the action the much smoother. And it's all reasonably exposed so you can easily clean away any unwarranted debris. Basically, AXIS gets its function from a spring-loaded bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife; spanning the space between the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped notch cut into the tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang, and as a result the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself. It's a lot of words in an attempt to describe simplicity, but the very best way to truly appreciate the AXIS lock is to experience it for yourself firsthand. There are several models to choose from with more on the way.
Balisong - Also known as Butterfly Knives. The handle to this style knife is in two separate pieces and pinned to the tang. A third pin fixes between both sides to lock the blade into an open position. eBladeStore.com offers a wide selection of Butterfly Knives for sale.
Lockback - This style of lock has a spring-loaded locking bar with a tooth at the end. The tooth falls into the notch cut into the blade tang and is held there under the spring tension. A cut out in the handle spine houses the release for the lock. These locks generally require 2 hands to unlock and close.
Locking Liner - (a.k.a. linerlocks) This particular locking system was refined by knife maker Michael Walker. The actual locking mechanism is incorporated in the liner of the handle, hence the name. If there is a metal sheet inside the handle material, it is called a liner. With a locking liner, opening the blade will allow this metal to flex over and butt against the base of the blade inside the handle, locking it open. Moving this liner aside will release this lock allowing the blade to close. Disengagement of the lock is performed with the thumb, allowing for one handed, hassle free action. Locking liners are commonly found on tactical folding knives, both production and custom.
Wood Lock - This lock was designed by Barry Wood. The handles and blade are attached to a central pin and pivot independently. A second pin is fixed into the inside of one scale and extends into slot in the tang to lock the blade open.