Pocket knives are a highly useful and convenient tool for everyday needs. From opening packages to slicing fruit, the possibilities for pocket knives are endless.
But what are the different blades on a pocket knife for? Some pocket knives come with just one blade, while others offer a variety of blade types that fold or flip out from the handle.
If you are purchasing a new knife or trying to determine the uses for the blades you already own, this article describes some of the most common blade types and their uses.
Almost any pocket knife with multiple blades will include a simple blade. The simple blade is straight until curving at the end to form the point of the knife.
The spine is straight and smooth, so you can touch and apply pressure to it if needed, while the other edge is sharp.
Simple blades are great for cutting small areas, as the ability to apply pressure along the spine allows you to focus force on just part of the blade.
Simple blades are strong and can be used to cut cords or rope. It is the best beginner’s blade but is useful for experts as well.
Trailing Point Blade
Trailing point blades have a curved edge and a spine that curves up to meet the edge to form the point of the blade.
The point usually extends above the handle when viewed from the side, thus the name “trailing point.”
The large curve of trailing point blades allows for making long cuts and is ideal for slicing.
This kind of blade is often used for fillet knives and even slashing weapons.
Trailing point blades are great for use on fish and other small animals in hunting and processing.
Clip Point Blade
Clip point blades resemble simple blades in that they have a (nearly) straight spine; however, clip point blades have a section that looks “clipped” at the end of the blade near the point, as if a small bite has been taken out of the end of the spine.
This clipped end can be straight or crescent-shaped. This clip makes the tip of the blade very fine and needle-like, so it is great for puncturing and piercing holes.
Drop Point Blade
Drop point blades are named for their curve at the spine as they reach the point of the blade. Many chef’s knives have drop point blades.
Like the simple blade, drop point blades are multi-purpose and good for general cutting and simple tasks, with the added benefit of a more precise tip that can be used for puncturing and piercing.
The curved “drop” at the spine of this blade is usually sharp though, so be sure not to apply pressure at the top of the spine on this kind of blade.
Spear Point Blade
Spear point blades have a symmetrical point and a tip that is aligned with the center of the blade. They are usually double-edged.
This sort of blade is ideal for piercing or use as a thrusting weapon and is considered a dagger (although the term dagger applies to other types of blades as well).
It is not practical for everyday use and instead is typically used for fighting.
Needle Point Blade
Needle point blades are similar to spear point blades but taper more to form a needle-like tip. They are usually more narrow than spear point blades, especially at the point.
Spay Point Blade
Spay point blades have a mostly straight edge with a defined and sudden curve at the point of the blade. The spine is also almost straight with a downward curve at the end to meet the upward curve of the sharp side.
The shape is useful in fine work and helps prevent accidental punctures. Named after its use in spaying animals, spay point blades are also used to skin animals.
These are just a few of the many types of blades available. The type of knife you want to purchase or use really depends on your daily activities and your intended use of the knife.
For hunting, you may want to purchase a pocket knife with a spay point blade or trailing point blade.
For puncturing small holes or piercing, you may want a drop point blade or clip point blade.
If you plan to use the knife for self-defense or fighting, a spear point or needle point blade may be what you need.
You can’t go wrong with a simple blade for everyday tasks.
Try out the different blades on your pocket knife on various projects and see which ones work best for you.
Ultimately, pocket knives are a very personal item, and you can only go wrong by choosing a knife that you are uncomfortable using and that doesn’t make the kinds of cuts you want.