The Complete Guide To Knife Shapes: Blades, Edges, And Points

It is almost impossible to cover every single type of knife blade style out there. In fact, there are hundreds of varieties. But for this article we are going to cover the most popular ones.

There are dozens of knife makers that make absolutely amazing blades and a ton of others that are not creative or amazing at all.

The Complete Guide to Knife Shapes: Blades, Edges, and Points

Regardless of whether a knife is made by hand or in a factory you will notice there they have different blades, edges and points which have different uses.

Because of the vast array of different knives it can be hard to understand what options there are and what they are used for.

So, in this article we are going to go over several knife points, edges and points so that you can get an idea of what you are looking for.

What Types Of Knife Blades And Points Are There?

Different varieties of blades need to have a point. There are many features that can make a big difference to how the blade operates and how easy they will be to use for certain tasks.

So, in this section we are going to go over some of these knife points so that you can get an idea of what they look like and how they work.

So, without further ado, let us get started!

Clip Point

There are three types of knife points that are considered to be one of the ‘Big Three’ and the clip point is one of those.

It is one of the more aggressive variety of knife points and is up there alongside the drop point and spear point knives.

The clip point gets its name because the front part of the blade on top looks as if it has been clipped off.

This feature adds a second cutting edge to the blade which can be straight or concave in its curvature.

But How Is This Type Of Blade Used?

The way that the top of this blade is curved makes it ideal for penetrating. It is these design features that make it ideal for combat.

You may notice that many bowie knives and ka-bar combat knives will have this type of point.

On top of that this variety of blade is ideal for precision cutting. However, the blade is thinner at the top which can add weakness to the blade if you use it for daily tasks.

Drop Point

One of the most common varieties of knife point is the drop point. This variety of blade is strong and precise.

The point curves upward at the point, the spine also has a shallow convex curve which is angled down to the point.

But, How Is This Particular Knife Point Used?

Well, these blades are kind of a jack of all trades. They are ideal for just about anything.

So regardless of whether you are skinning a deer, or getting some tinder ready to start a figure, you will find a use for this amazingly diverse defensive knife.


This blade point commonly goes by three names, the karambit, talon or hawkbill.

This blade is designed with a concave curve which comes down to a very sharp/fine point. This cloves the appearance of a bird’s bill, hence the name.

But, What Is This Particular Style Of Blade Used For?

For the most part, this type of point is used for draw cuts for the simple reason that it is not shaped in a way that is ideal for regular slicing.

The shape of the hawkbill blade has a good curvature that makes it a good blade to pick if you want to cut through materials that are fibrous.

This may include things like the following: rope, carpet, shrubs, fabric. It is because of its ability to cut through these types of this material that this blade was a hit for sailors through the ages.

But the hawkbill is also a good defensive knife, this is because it is quite adept at cutting through muscle.


This variety of blade originated in Japan. The point and edge are designed to be extremely sharp without any added curvatures.

But How Is This Japanese-Style Blade Used?

This blade gets its odd design for various tactical reasons. But it was first developed as a tool to help woodworkers. For this reason it is excellent for wood carving and other similar tasks.


You have probably seen this blade in the movies and wondered what use a knife with a wavy blade could have.

Often this wavy blade’s point will lean off to the side. The kris has been used as a defensive weapon and a spiritual tool over the years.

But, How Does It Work?

This blade has been used as a ceremonial blade in Java for many years. But since then it has come to be known as a weather effective combat blade.

All the extra curves and waves would make any injury inflicted much more devastating after all.

Leaf Blade

This variety of blade has been designed to have a concave curve which is then followed by a convex curve. Both of these curves then come down to create a point.

This design d makes the blade look a little like a leaf, which is where it got its name from.

But, What Is This Blade Used For And How Does It Work?

The curvature of this blade makes it quite good as a hacking and slashing weapon.

The shape of the leaf blade also made it quite easy to make even before there were modern tools and methods at our disposal.

This is not a very common blade type and you will not find it very often in stores. Despite that it is a pretty good tool to use if you need to skin animals. But this will work best if only one side has been sharpened.

Needle Point

Needle point blades are most often found on daggers. This type of blade has two sharp edges and when it comes down to a single thin point.

The way that the blade is designed makes it ideal for piercing through things.

But, How Is This Blade Used?

Essentially this blade is designed for stabbing. It is in fact, a stabby blade and that is the main thing it is designed to do well.

So if you like this variety of blade it might be best to have a display spot sorted out in your home. Stabbing things is generally frowned upon after all.

Normal Or Straightback

When you think of blades you most likely think of the straight back. It has a straight spine and a curved belly which then comes up to create a strong point.

The design and shape of the straight back creates an especially strong point.

But, What Is This Blade Used For?

The normal blade is an excellent utility blade which can be used for a great many different things.

The shape of the blade means that you have a strong point so if you need to apply pressure with the point or make accurate cuts then this is the ideal blade for you.

It also has the added benefit of allowing its wielder to use their thumb on the spine to apply pressure. This blade is often seen in kitchens as cooking knives or as a durable survival knife.


This variety of blade is often described as the opposite of the straightback. You can see this in the design of the sheepsfoot blade which has a straight blade and a curved spine.

But How Is This Blade Used?

You might be thinking that this blade gets its name because of the way that the blade is shaped, and while it does look a bit like a hoof this blade actually gets its strange name for another reason.

This blade is easy to control and has often been used as a means to trim the hooves of sheep.

On top of that they are also ideal as sailing or knives for emergencies. This is because it is actually quite hard to stab yourself with this particular variety of blade.


This blade has a bit of an odd shape which can be described as a mixture between a spear point and a tanto.

The spanto was designed by a man named Rick Hinderer. The blade that Rick created by using curves similar to the spear point while also utilizing the strong tip that the tanto possesses.

But, What Is This Blade Used For?

Despite the hybrid design of this blade it is actually quite versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks.

It is often used for EDC purposes, but this blade is not the best at spicing through things. But the plus point of the spanto is the fact that they can take a beating without taking too much damage.

Spear Point

The spear point blade has a symmetrical design. Both sides of the blade have an identical convex curve which then tapers up into the tip.

The tip of the spear point is the center axis of the blade. This variety of blade is designed to be sharpened on both sides. But when only one side of a spear point is sharpened most people call it a pen knife.

Bit, How Is This Blade Used?

As the name suggests, the shape of this blade originated from speaks. Which means that this blade is pretty good for stabbing. They are quite strong which also makes them ideal for hunting and as combat knives.

Spay Point

This blade was originally designed as a way for people to neuter animals. The spay point is similar to the clip point, with the difference being that it does not have a sharpened back.

On top of that the edge is curved quite sharply to create a kind of obtuse angle of the spine.

But, How Is This Blade Used?

The spay point is often used for skinning animals. It is also ideal for when you need to apply a lot of power to a small portion of whatever you are cutting. It is this ability that made it ideal for castrating animals.


The tanto is another Japanese blade which is an ideal stabbing weapon. It was later on when the Western world took their knife and altered it to become a variety of knife tips.

This blade has a very geometric shape. This is because there are not often curves to this type of blade. However, the spine can be curved in a similar way to a drop point in some tanto blade designs.

But, What Is This Blade Used For?

This blade is pretty good as a survival tool. But the main reason that this variety of blade is popular is because they have such an aesthetically pleasing look.

Trailing Point

This blade is considered to be the opposite of a hawkbill. This is because the curve of the blade goes the opposite way. The belly curved upward to create a blade that looks a bit like a scimitar.

But, How Does This Blade Work?

The trailing point has a very long curved edge which makes them the ideal weapon for slashing.

On top of that they are a very good weapon to be used for skinning because they are quite accurate and have a shape that works well for this task.


This blade is the traditional shape of one of the Inuits’s blades. The ulu is essentially a circular blade that does not have a distinct tip. On top of that, the handle is usually in the center of the knife.

But, How Is This Blade Used?

The ulu is ideal if you are looking for a blade that can be used for scraping and chopping various types of food.


This blade is designed to have a straight edge and a spine that slowly curves downward to create the top of the blade.

But, How Is This Blade Used?

If you are looking for a knife that is ideal for utility work then this might be the perfect blade for you.

What Kinds Of Knife Edges Are There?

The Complete Guide to Knife Shapes

In this section we are going to take a closer look at the various varieties of knife edges. So, without further ado, let us get started!

Compound Bevel

Blades with these features have two bevels instead of one which can make the blade more durable and resilient.

Convex Grind

A convex grind will have a convex curve angled toward the edge of the blade which can create quite an obtuse angle. These blades are tough but not as sharp as other varieties.

Chisel Edge

This edge is ground on only one side of the blade which creates an asymmetrical grind. By doing this you can weaken the edge of the blade.

Flat Grind

Blades with these features will usually have just one bevel which makes these blades sharp but harder to manufacture.

Hollow Grind

With these blades the bevel will be concave which is the opposite to many varieties of blade. This feature means that hollow grind blades will be able to get very sharp.

Sabre Edge

Blades with this feature will have a bevel in the center of the blade. This variety of blade is often used as a tactical blade because it is sharp and strong.

What Kinds Of Features Are There For Knife Edges?

There are a few different features that the edge of the knife can have, and in this section we are going to explore some of them. So, let’s get started!


The curve of a blade adds more potential for cutting.

So, a blade that has a convex curve might be able to concentrate more force on a smaller section of the blade. While a concave blade allows you to spread more force evenly.


The recurve on a blade is essentially when a blade curves in one direction and back in another.

This feature allows the wielder to have the advantage of both concave and a conveyed blade all on one.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you enjoyed this article and learning everything about knife shapes. There is a lot more to learn on this topic so make sure to read up more on this topic if you are looking for more information.

There is literally a ton of information out there in addition to everything we have talked about here.

Tim Roth
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