Living on the Edge: A Guide to Knife Anatomy with Swetha Sivakumar


A good knife, for someone who likes to cook, is like a really good pair of shoes. You don’t really know what you missed until you find the right person. Don’t you know more than the hilt blade? Learn the anatomy of the knife.

Blade parts

* Edge: The part with which you cut your food. Keep it sharp! The edge can be straight or serrated.

* Back: The back of the blade; the frank side. Use this side or a scraper to scrape chopped food off the board. Do not use the sharp edge or you will dull the blade prematurely.

* Granton: These are the dimples along the edges of some knives. They minimize the amount of food that sticks to the blade when chopping.

* Tip: Use it to mark ingredients or for delicate cuts. Do not use to open cans or wrappers; it will chip more easily over time.

* Heel: The side opposite the toe. Use the heel to cut large vegetables like pumpkin.

Parts of the handle

* Bolster: The bump where the blade and handle meet. It is added to some knives to protect the hand after an accidental slip. Having this part can make it difficult to fully sharpen the blade.

* Tang: This is the part of the blade that crosses the handle. If the metal of the blade extends all the way to the back of the handle, it is a full tang knife. A full tang makes the handle feel heavier in the hand. This counteracts the heaviness of the blade and makes cutting and slicing easier.

* Rivets: These hold the blade and handle together

* Pommel / Butt: The very end of the knife.

In the end, what matters is that you buy a comfortable knife. Don’t break the bank. There are plenty of good brands in the mid-price range. But put some thought into it.


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