Gun Shop

Get to know your knife blade

April 3, 2015

When choosing a knife for your outdoors adventures, two things to take into consideration are the hardness and the shape of the steel blade.

One of the most important components in the makeup of a quality knife is the hardness of the steel. That is, the strength of the steel and how well it holds its edge. There are many factors that affect that hardness, including the other metals and additives in the composition and how the blade is heat-treated.


So these small differences at a molecular level play a part in determining whether your knife will stay sharp for a few cuts or for a few thousand. And it also plays a part in how and where you might use your knife. For example, a good dive knife will have some nitrogen content in the makeup of the steel blade. The nitrogen helps deter rust.

The shape of the knife blade is also an important. For example, that dive knife likely will have a blunted, or rounded, tip so it is less likely to puncture equipment.

But generally blade edges fall into three categories.


A straight edge blade.

Straight edge blades cut clean and sharpen quickly. They can be found on most knives and cutlery. Hunting knives usually fall into this category.

Fully serrated blades have jagged edges that cut through rope and other fibrous materials. These blades tend to stay sharp for a longer period of time, but they are more difficult to sharpen when it comes time.


A partially serrated knife blade.

Partially serrated blades have the best of both blades on one edge, so they are found on a great number of general purpose knives.

The Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure carries more than 75 styles of Benchmade knives, which are known for their superior hardness and quality.