What Are the 3 Blades on a Pocket Knife For? (Answered)

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Last updated on July 14th, 2023 at 03:01 pm

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Pocket knives have been a versatile and essential tool for centuries, dating back to ancient times with iron or bronze blades and bone or wood handles. Today, modern pocket knives often feature multiple blade types, each specifically designed for different tasks and user preferences. Having multiple blades not only increases the knife’s overall usefulness but also allows for the customization of each blade to suit a variety of purposes.

One common configuration found on pocket knives is the three-blade setup, which usually includes a simple blade, a utility edge, and either a chisel grind or convex edge.

The simple blade is a straight-edged design that curves at the end to form the knife’s point, suitable for general cutting tasks. The utility edge has a toothy design perfect for cutting through twine and strapping materials, while the chisel grind and convex edges focus on shaving leather and wood, respectively.

By understanding the function of each blade type, pocket knife users can maximize their tool’s versatility and equip themselves for various situations they might encounter in everyday life and outdoor adventures.

Understanding Pocket Knives

A Brief History

Pocket knives have been around for centuries, dating back to the early roman empire. They were originally designed as a compact and portable tool for various tasks, from cutting wood and rope to hunting. Over time, pocket knives have evolved in design and functionality, with various types and blade styles emerging to meet the needs of users.

Types of Pocket Knives

There are several types of pocket knives available, each with its own unique features and uses. Some common types include:

  • Swiss Army Knives: These versatile knives typically feature multiple blades and tools for various tasks, making them an all-in-one solution for everyday carry (EDC) and outdoor activities.
  • Single-Blade Knives: As the name suggests, these knives have one primary blade designed for general cutting tasks. Examples include the Opinel No. 10 and the CRKT Pilar.
  • Multi-Blade Knives: These knives contain two or more blades, each designed for specific tasks or cutting needs. They often include a combination of normal and specialized blades.

Selecting the Right Pocket Knife

When selecting a pocket knife, consider the following factors:

  • Intended Use: Determine the primary tasks you’ll be using the knife for, such as hunting, cutting rope, wood carving, or EDC.
  • Blade Type: Choose a knife design that best suits your needs, taking into consideration the different blade styles and their specific functions.
  • Size and Weight: Opt for a pocket knife that is comfortable to carry and easy to handle for extended periods.
  • Durability: Look for a well-built knife made from high-quality materials to ensure it will last and perform well over time.

EDC and Tactical Use

Pocket knives are popular choices for everyday carry, providing users with a versatile tool for a variety of tasks. Additionally, tactical pocket knives are designed with features such as a sturdy build, secure locking mechanisms, and ergonomic handles, making them ideal for use in demanding environments and self-defense situations.

By understanding the history, types, and uses of pocket knives, along with the various factors to consider when selecting one, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect knife to add to your collection or to carry every day.

Three Essential Blade Types

In the world of pocket knives, there are numerous blade types designed for various tasks and purposes. This section will focus on three essential blade types: Clip Point Blade, Drop Point Blade, and Spear Point Blade.

Clip Point Blade

Cold Steel 49LCK Srk SK-5, Boxed, One Size

The clip point blade is a popular choice, characterized by a straight or crescent-shaped clipped section near the end of the blade’s spine. This design results in a fine, sharp, and narrow tip that enhances the knife’s piercing and slicing capabilities.

Clip-point blades can be found on many types of pocket knives and are suitable for a wide range of tasks, including opening boxes, whittling, and skinning. With its fine tip and versatile cutting surface, the clip-point blade is a valuable addition to any pocket knife collection. However, the delicate tip may sacrifice some durability, so it’s important to keep this in mind when considering the tasks you’ll use it for.

Drop Point Blade

Ontario Knife Co. 8668 Rat-7 Fixed Blade Knife 7" Drop Point 1095 Black Carbon Steel Blade 5" Tan Micarta Handle for Outdoor, Tactical, Survival, Bushcraft, and EDC

Another essential blade type is the drop point blade, characterized by its straight back that gradually slopes down to the point. This creates a longer cutting surface, making it ideal for slicing tasks. The drop point blade is commonly found on outdoor knives, such as bushcraft knives, fillet knives used by fishermen, and caping knives used by hunters.

The drop point blade design offers more durability than the clip point blade, with a stronger tip that can withstand more demanding tasks. Furthermore, it is suitable for various applications, like skinning, chopping, and slicing. The drop point blade’s combination of strength and cutting power make it an excellent choice for the outdoorsman.

Spear Point Blade

CRKT Minimalist Spear Point Compact Fixed Blade Knife: Everyday Carry Fixed Blade Knife, 2X Blade Thickness, Resin Infused Fiber Handle and Nylon Sheath 2396,Green & Black

The spear point blade features a symmetrical design, with both sides of the blade curving upward and meeting at the point. This central alignment produces a balanced blade that excels in thrusting tasks, often found on tactical daggers and pen knives.

Spear point blades provide a strong, well-balanced cutting surface suitable for slicing and piercing. While their fine tip is advantageous for detailed work, it may lack some durability compared to the drop point blade. Despite this, the spear point blade remains a popular choice for its versatility and ability to handle various tasks with ease.

In summary, each of these essential pocket knife blade types – clip point, drop point, and spear point – offer distinct advantages depending on the tasks they are designed for. By understanding their distinct characteristics, users can make informed decisions when selecting their next pocket knife or expanding their existing collection.

Specialty Blade Types

In this section, we will explore four specialty blade types found on pocket knives: Tanto Blade, Wharncliffe Blade, Hawkbill Blade, and Sheepsfoot Blade. Each blade type serves a specific purpose and offers unique advantages in certain tasks.

Tanto Blade

Cold Steel Recon Tanto Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath, SK-5 Steel, 7.0" (49LRT)

The Tanto Blade is known for its strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for tactical and self-defense applications. These blades feature a straight edge that transitions into an upward curve, creating a sharp, angular point. The Tanto point allows for better piercing capabilities, while its straight cutting edge excels at tasks like chopping and slicing.

Wharncliffe Blade

CRKT S.P.E.W. EDC Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath: Compact Utility Neck Knife, Bead Blast Blade, Textured G10 Handle, Nylon Sheath, Belt Loop 2388

Wharncliffe Blade is characterized by its straight back and straight cutting edge, which gently slopes towards the tip of the knife. This blade shape is excellent for precise cutting tasks, such as whittling or opening boxes, due to its fine tip and control. In addition, the Wharncliffe blade’s design makes it easier to sharpen, increasing its versatility and attractiveness for everyday carry (EDC) use.

Hawkbill Blade

Rough Ryder Hawkbill Red Bone

The Hawkbill Blade is easily recognizable by its hooked, downward-curving edge. This unique shape makes it ideal for tasks that require cutting on a curved or rounded surface, like slicing rope or trimming shrubs. Often used by sailors and fishermen, the Hawkbill blade provides a strong grip and ensures controlled, precise cutting.

Sheepsfoot Blade

MKM Maniago Knife Makers MIKRO 2 Sheepsfoot Fixed Blade Neck Knife and EDC Tool - M390 Super Steel, Full Tang, Designed by Jesper Voxnaes, Made in Italy (Green Micarta)

Finally, the Sheepsfoot Blade is a versatile blade shape known for its straight cutting edge and blunt, rounded tip. This design is focused on achieving precise cuts without the risk of accidentally piercing or stabbing. The Sheepsfoot blade is often a popular choice among chefs, as it excels at slicing tasks and offers increased safety.

Each of these specialty blade types offers unique advantages and applications depending on the user’s needs. By understanding the distinct characteristics and uses of the Tanto, Wharncliffe, Hawkbill, and Sheepsfoot blades, pocket knife enthusiasts can make more informed decisions when selecting the perfect knife for their collection or everyday carry.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining and caring for your pocket knife is essential to ensure its longevity and performance. In this section, we’ll discuss different aspects of maintenance, including sharpening techniques, blade material considerations, and general maintenance tips.

Sharpening Techniques

Sharpening your pocket knife is an essential aspect of its maintenance, as it helps maintain its cutting efficiency and versatility. Different blade types and shapes, such as a simple straight edge, tanto point, or skinning blade, require specific sharpening techniques. You can use a knife sharpening system (like the Edge Pro Apex or Spyderco Sharpmaker) or a simple whetstone to sharpen your blades. Here are a few tips for sharpening:

  • Maintain a consistent angle while sharpening to ensure uniform sharpening across the entire blade.
  • For a straight edge blade, follow a straight motion across the stone, while a curved blade like a skinning blade will require a sweeping motion.
  • Use light pressure and move the blade across the stone in a controlled manner, avoiding abrupt movements.
  • Alternate sides frequently to maintain an even edge.

Blade Material Considerations

The blade material of your pocket knife plays a significant role in its durability, cutting prowess, and maintenance. Some common materials used in making knife blades include stainless steel, carbon steel, and high-end materials like VG-10 or S30V. Each material has its pros and cons:

  • Stainless steel: This is a popular choice for pocket knives due to its rust and corrosion resistance. However, it may require more frequent sharpening compared to other materials.
  • Carbon steel: Known for better edge retention than stainless steel, carbon steel requires less frequent sharpening. It may, however, be prone to rust, making it essential to apply a corrosion inhibitor and store it in a dry place.
  • High-end materials: Blades made of materials like VG-10 or S30V offer excellent durability and edge retention, but they can be more challenging to sharpen and costlier.

General Maintenance Tips

Besides sharpening and considering the blade material, regular maintenance ensures your pocket knife remains functional for various tasks, such as cutting, slicing, whittling, or even fishing. Here are some general maintenance tips:

  • Regularly clean your knife using a lint-free cloth, paper towel, or microfiber cloth to remove dirt and debris and prevent corrosion.
  • Use a compressed air canister to remove any dust or grit from the pivot area and hinges.
  • If needed, disassemble the knife and clean the individual components with warm soapy water and a brush, followed by thorough drying.
  • Apply a lubricant or mineral oil to the pivot area and hinges to ensure smooth opening and closing.
  • For Swiss Army knives or multi-tool pocket knives, ensure all tools are cleaned and lubricated to prevent damage and ensure their longevity.

By following these maintenance and care tips, you can ensure your pocket knife remains a reliable and efficient tool for a wide range of tasks and situations.

When you visit a merchant by clicking a link on this site we may make a commission on anything you buy (at no additional cost to you).   Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to Amazon Associates and the eBay Partner Network.”