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Kitchen Knife Parts/Anatomy

Quality kitchen knife is a very important tool for a kitchen. It is important to understand the different parts of knife or anatomy of a knife, so that you are able to use the tool correctly.

The names used to identify the knife have fairly obvious origins. At first glance we see the blade and the handle. Each of these can be labeled in greater detail. A knife is made of different parts. Some are essential while the others are not. The parts of knife are Blade, Point, Tip, Edge, Spine, Heel, Bolster, Handle, Tang, Rivets and Butt. Let us discuss each one after another.


The blade consists of the spine a point and the edge. Blade is the most important part of a knife. The blade made of rust proof stainless steel and this is for cleaning and food safety reason. So the along the top of the blade we have the dull spine. This is useful for applying pressure from the top of the blade in case you need to cut something like a big piece of cabbage or if you need to apply a pressure point and you mean something like garlic.

There are two predominant materials that are used to make a kitchen knife. One is stainless steel and the other is high carbon stainless steel. Also the blade is made of plastic or ceramic

High carbon stainless steel is the best of both the high carbon and stainless steel. These blades you are able to sharpen them. The blade and the sharp edge can be longer and they do not rust. Most of the quality knives are made of high carbon stainless steel.


Point is the part of blade where tip and spine joined together. Knife point used to poke a hole to start a cut.


Tip is used for fine cuts while the middle takes care of most of the chopping and slicing.


The edge runs from the tip into the belly and to the heel which flows into the bolster. This is the part of the knife that is used to do the work. The edge of a blade is used to cut. It can either be sharp or serrated. Common edge options include smooth, serrated, smoother serrated and hollow ground or grandson blades.The edge of the blade is maintained by wearing its metal away on stain steel or grinding machine. A good edge is delicate balance between hardness and brittleness. Edge type include the taper ground edge, hollow ground edge, serrated, scalloped grant on edge and single ground edge.


Spine of the knife which is just simply the back of the knife. In other word the back of the blade is referred to as the spine.


A knife handle comes to an end at its heel which helps with safe and control of handling. Many chefs use heel of the knife where it’s still kind sharp to may be pop open a can or to do other tasks within the kitchen. You have to have a very good knife skills as well as knife safety skills if you are going to use the heel of the knife to a task such as opening a can. The heel is good for cutting through bones and joints


Bolster is an integral part of a quality knife and adds weight and balance and can either be full as you see here or half bolster. One the tang begins after the bolster is covered by the handle a tang can either be half or full tang being preferable for quality covering.

The bolster would be the part of the blade where it stops and it meets the handle. I don’t mean stops in terms of the metal stops but it’s just where the handle begins you don’t see the blade any longer. Some knives don’t really have a bolster, some knives are just flat as they come into the handle, and some knives are going to have a small indention there. When you have a knife that has a bolster it also make knife stronger and it more stable to use. The bolster is also a nice place if there’s an indentation where if you are holding the chef knife properly. You can actually rest your hand and a bolster can prevent food debris and bacteria from entering into the handle as well  so it can be a sanitation issue also.


A handle of a quality knife will either be triple riveted or surrounded by space edge poly material for proper hygiene and sanitation. Finally a handle comes to an end at its heel which helps with safe and control of handling. The handle of a knife is used to protect the palm from the impact of the knife.

The handle of a knife typically the handle can made of plastic rubber or wood or steel. And your preference in terms of handle is just the material how do you feel about the feel of it in your hand as well as for comfort. Because some knives are going to have larger handles than others and that should be based on your comfort level and your hand size. If you are doing a large amount of prep work it’s really important to have a knife that feels comfortable in your handle.


The blade traditionally extends into the handle and is called the tang. The tang is the part of the blade that actually extends into the handle of the knife. Tang would be the part of the blade that extends into the handle. Knives that have a full tang and that means that the blade is a single piece of metal that extends all the way through the end. These Knives are of higher quality and they are able to do stronger tasks. Your nicer knives are always going to have a full tang which means the blade is one single piece. Knives are of poor quality sometimes your blade will stop at the handle and the handle will just be attached to the blade in some fashion. If you have a knife that doesn’t have a full tang it’s only meant to be used to be very light kitchen work.


Rivets are the round studs to secure the tag and the handle together. Now all the rivets may not indicate the quality your knife but the quality of the steel. The rivets are simply the screws or the bolts that attached the handle to the blade because if you remember from when we talked to tang. If this is a single piece of metal extending into the handle you’re just going to have two separate pieces of wood on each side and you’re going to have these rivets that connect into the blade. If you have a situation where a rivet is coming loose or it sticks up you need to have it repaired because underneath where the rivet is sticking up. You can get through debris and bacteria and could be a sanitation hazard in the kitchen


The end of the handle of knife is called butt.


We believe that this article is helpful for you to understand the parts of a kitchen or chef/kitchen knife parts. You should have the basic knowledge of knife parts. If you know the different parts of a kitchen knife you will handle and control your knife easily.  

kitchen knife parts

One thought on “What are the Major Parts of a Kitchen/Chef Knife [with infographic]

  • December 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I am looking to get cooking blade.


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