A Glossary of Knife Terms A-D
A black amorphous thermoplastic terpolymer with high impact strength.
Any of the metallic elements that are added during the melting of steel or aluminum in order to increase corrosion resistance, hardness, or strength.
Chromium and nickel are two of the more common ones used.
A nonferrous metal, commonly used as handles, that gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight.
The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodization.
The most common form of aluminum is heat treatable T6-6061.
An electrochemical process that is used to add color to aluminum and titanium.
Depending on the voltage used, colors can vary.
High voltage creates dark colors.
Low voltage creates light colors.
Subjecting aluminum to electrolytic action in order to coat it with a protective and decorative film.
A/O - Assisted Opening
A spring-assisted knife is a knife that when you push on the thumb stud to open it a spring takes over and propels the blade open. Spring-assisted knives make a great alternative to automatic knives. A Spring / Torsion assisted knife is a type of knife which uses a spring assisted mechanism behind the blade. They open by the ambidextrous thumb stud on the blade with a slight bit of pressure. They are commonly confused with switchblades, but have one main difference. While a switchblade can be opened usually with the push of a button within the handle, the user of a spring-assisted knife must apply slight pressure to the thumb stud and the spring/torsion assisted mechanism does the rest. Once the knife has been opened about one-quarter of the way (45°), the mechanism will open the knife the rest of the way. A/O knives are Assisted - Opening which are also Spring - Assisted knives. See Bill SB 274 for Legal Information
AUS 8 Steel
A high carbon, low chromium stainless steel that is an excellent compromise of toughness, strength, edge retention, and resistance to corrosion.
Back (of the blade)
The opposite side of the belly.
The unsharpened side of a single-edged blade.
Background for Knives
The ability to produce and use tools is what has enabled humans to rise from a very primitive existence and adapt to almost every climate or situation existing on this earth. Granted, we have superior intellectual and reasoning ability. Wit alone, however, did not enable our long-ago ancestors to overcome the lack of fangs, claws, horns, antlers, size, speed, and/or strength possessed by other members of the animal kingdom whom they either preyed upon or competed with for food. Intelligence enabled them to fashion stones, bones, and other material into increasingly efficient tools. Knives, in the nascent form of naturally occurring sharp-edged stones, were undoubtedly among the first tools they ever used. We should consider that without these tools, the dietary and wardrobe options available to our ancestors would have been quite limited. Our "lifestyle" of today is built on this foundation. Knives are indeed tools. Occasionally, knives are employed as weapons, both defensively and offensively. Unfortunately, knives are also occasionally used to commit crimes. It is the potential that knives can be used criminally and perhaps a misperception as to the frequency of criminal use that has given rise to laws regulating knives in essentially every state. Our Federal government became involved in firearms regulation in the early part of this century and continues to assume an increasing level of control as to firearms. Given the relatively long period of Federal involvement, the doctrine of Federal preemption, and the fact that firearms laws are for the most part based on purely objective factors, such as barrel length or action type, there is a greater degree of consistency among the laws of the various states as to firearms. Such is not the case with knives. Laws regarding knives are a hodgepodge of legislative action, some of which dates back to the 1800's. A handgun "legal" in a given state would in all probability be "legal" in the vast majority of states. The law regarding what a person may or may not do with a legal handgun for example would vary considerably from state to state. The situation is slightly more complex in the case of knives. What constitutes a legal knife varies greatly from state to state and may depend upon objective standards, such as blade length, or more subjective standards, such as the shape or style of the blade or handle. As is the case with firearms, the law of the different states regarding what one may do with a legal knife varies.
Balisong/ Butterfly Knife
A knife that has two separate handle sections that rotate around the blade's pivots in order to create a handle, that then rotate back in order to cover and protect the blade while it's closed.
Believed to have originated in the UK and brought to the Philippines by English sailors. It was adopted and popularized in the Philippines, and is often used in Filipino martial arts.
The Balisong, called a Butterfly knife in the West, and sometimes known as a Batangas knife, is a form of folding pocket knife with two handles that counter-rotate around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought forth quickly using one hand. Manipulations (flipping) are performed for art or amusement and require great skill. Translated from Tagalog, the word "Balisong" means "Broken Horn" (literally, "baling sungay") as the original Balisongs were made from carved animal horns and recycled knife blades. The name butterfly knife is a term coined in the United States much like "drumbox" for the kahon. The history of the butterfly knife is uncertain, though three main ideas persist: * The knife may actually have been invented by the French. The book "Le Perret" shows an obvious sketch of a balisong knife, and is dated 1710 A.D. The book itself suggests the balisong was developed in the late 1600's or early 1700's A.D. * The knife dates back to around 800 A.D. and is a traditional weapon of the Filipino fighting art of Eskrima; however, it is not actually a prominent weapon in the art. * The knife was invented around 1900 A.D. in the Philippines and spread by American soldiers returning from World War II. In many U.S. states, it is illegal to possess and/or carry such a knife in public; indeed, doing so is a felony in some states, such as Nevada.
A process by which steel, aluminum, and titanium are finished, providing a 100% subdued, non-glare finish.
Belly (of the blade)
The curved/ fattest part of the blade's edge.
The belly enhances slicing and may be plain or serrated.
The larger the belly is, the blunter the point of the knife becomes.
Bill SB 274
Bill SB 274, clarifies the definition of a one-hand opening knife so they are not wrongly classified as switchblades. Bill SB 274 clearly states: For the purposes of this section, switchblade knife means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife or any other similar type knife, which can be released automatically by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. Definition of Switchblade knife does not include a knife that is designed to open with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife utilizes a detent or other mechanism that (a) provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or (b) biases the blade back toward its closed position. In order to ensure that only legitimate one-handed opening knives are covered, SB 274 narrows the language to only allow knives to fall under the exemption from the switchblade law if that one-handed opening knife contains a detent or similar mechanism. Such mechanisms ensure there is a measure of resistance that prevents the knife from being easily opened with a flick of the wrist. Moreover, a detent or other mechanism is prudent and a matter of public safety as it will ensure that a blade will not inadvertently come open.
The sloping area that falls from the spine towards the edge and false edge of the blade.
A piece of metal, generally nickel silver or stainless steel, that is located at one or both ends of a folding knife handle.
See "Satin Finish"
A lightweight material made of small, hair-sized graphite fibers, that have been woven together and fused in an epoxy resin. This creates a three-dimensional appearance and is an excellent, yet expensive, handle material.
The unsharpened part where the blade becomes part of the handle.
It is left at full thickness, like the blade's spine.
Sometimes the choil will be shaped to accept the index finger.
A hard, steel-gray metallic alloying element that is resistant to tarnish and corrosion.
It is used in the hardening of steel alloys and the production of stainless steels.
A blade that has a concave or straight cut-out at the tip (which is known as the "clip"). This brings the blade point lower for extra control and enhances the sharpness of the tip.
They usually have a false edge and a larger belly to allow for easier slicing.
A hardwood from the Cocobolo tree, with an appealing grain and fine texture, that ranges in color from bright orange to deep red and dark purple.
Combination Edge (Partially Serrated)
A blade that has a partially serrated, partially plain edge.
Cordura® is a long lasting, certified fabric from INVISTA that is used in many products.
It is resistant to abrasions, tears and scuffs.
The deterioration of a metal, caused by the metal's encironment and it's reaction to that environment
Criminal Consequences For Knives
Criminal prosecutions based exclusively on the simple possession of an "illegal" knife are rare. At least the cases that become reported seem to involve coalescent criminal activity. As a practical matter, the constitutional prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures protects the otherwise law-abiding citizen who happens to be walking down the street with a pocketknife having a blade one-eighth of an inch over the limit. This may give rise to a false sense of security based upon the "it can't happen to me ...I'm not a criminal" mentality. There is also a perception that a violation is generally considered to be a "weapon" violation, which can lead to all sorts of disqualifications, ranging from acquiring or owning firearms to military service, as well as public and/or private sector employment. As an example, in Pennsylvania, it is a misdemeanor to possess a knife or cutting instrument on school property. There is also a law in Pennsylvania which disqualifies persons convicted of any firearms. Persons convicted of any of the listed crimes who own or possess firearms must sell or transfer any and all firearms in his or her possession within a period of sixty (60) days. The list of crimes runs the gamut from murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, robbery that also includes the misdemeanor of possessing a weapon, meaning any knife, on school property. Pennsylvania is not unique in this regard. Similar legislation exists in many other states. Attend a PTA meeting or a high school football game with a small folding knife in your pocket or handbag, or even a tiny knife on your key chain, and you are subject to the same legal disqualifications meted out to murderers and rapists. If there is even a small knife in your pocket or car when you drive your child to school, or perhaps exercise your right to vote (many jurisdictions' plots are located in school buildings), various rights which you may have thought to be "inalienable" may be in jeopardy. By the way, if you read the entire text of the Pennsylvania law regarding weapons on school property, it merely advises that a breach of the law is a misdemeanor and makes no mention of the other law listed somewhere else which sets forth these additional and somewhat harsh disqualifications. It should also be observed that in many instances, several different laws of any given state that might apply to the possession of a knife were enacted decades apart. This would have happened quite likely without a full appreciation by the legislators or their constituents (like American Knife and Tool Institute, aka AKTI) as to the implications. Remember that adage about making laws and making sausages are two activities that should not be observed by the consumers or the electorate.
Created when two types of steel are folded repeatedly during the forging process.
This new durable steel retains the properties of the two parent steels, and is very attractive, yet expensive.
A blade that has been sharpened on both sides, with the point aligned with the spine, going up the middle of the blade.
A blade that is ground flat on both sides of the blade, tapering to an edge that is straight, not rounded.
Drop Point Blade
A blade with a lowered tip due to a convex arc, which provides extra control and leaves the blade's strength intact.
This blade style also has a larger belly, which is better for slicing.