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Knife Nomenclature

Naming the Parts

A number of what may be unfamiliar terms are used in describing the parts of a kitchen knife.  The following diagram, taken from an article in Wikipedia may help to clarify.

parts of a knife

A  Point: The very end of the knife, which is used for piercing
B Tip: The first third of the blade (approximately), which is used for small or delicate work
C Edge: The cutting surface of the knife, which extends from the point to the heel. The edge may be beveled or symmetric.
D Heel: The rear part of the blade, used for cutting activities that require more force
E Spine: The top, thicker portion of the blade, which adds weight and strength
F Bolster: The thick metal portion joining the handle and the blade, which adds weight and balance and keeps the cook's hand from slipping
G Finger Guard: The portion of the bolster that keeps the cook's hand from slipping onto the blade
H Return: The point where the heel meets the bolster
J Tang: The portion of the metal blade that extends into the handle, giving the knife stability and extra weight
K Scales: The two portions of handle material (wood, plastic, composite, etc) that are attached to either side of the tang
L Rivets: The metal pins (usually 3) that hold the scales to the tang
M Handle Guard:  The lip below the butt of the handle, which gives the knife a better grip and prevents slipping
N Butt: The terminal end of the handle

Please Note - The knife depicted above is what you might more typically find in a standard kitchen.  Not all knives, however, are "standard". Consider the unique design of the Furi Knife (no longer carried by Storeitfoods). This means some of the "typical" components are missing.  To better illustrate, a Rachael Ray Gusto-Grip Furi Knife is shown below.

The Gusto Grip Furi Knife


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Knives, Shears and SharpenersKnives, Shears and SharpenersQuality Kitchen Knives, a Necessity for a Safer, More Efficient Kitchen.  Look to StoreitFoods.com for an affordable selection of such knives. 
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