19 Types of Knife Blades & [What They Are For]

Knives have come a long way. From man having made blades from flints and bones in the prehistoric age to presently versatile steel blades.

Initially, knives were mainly for hunting and self-defense. Still, humans got into more versatile materials like iron and copper, shaped for specialized cutting needs. Today, there is a knife blade type for every cutting need, from stabbing to trimming animal hooves.

Almost all of us at some time knew knives were for basic cutting, and we jumped to whatever had pleasing aesthetics and could last. If you’re still there, I am about to make you a master of blades. You will understand why and for what a blade has a specific shape. Stick around to know why a carpenter and paratrooper will never wield the same knife blade type.

Most Common Types of Knife Blades

Knives are an essential tool in many tasks and industries, from cooking to construction and everything in between. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a knife is the type of blade it has. In this article, we will explore the different types of knife blades available, their characteristics, and the tasks and industries they are best suited for.

1. Blunt Tip Blade

Blunt Tip Blade

A blunt-tip blade is a type of knife that has a dull, rounded tip, which makes it safer to use than sharp-tipped knives. This type of blade is commonly used in situations where safety is a concern, such as in schools, kitchens, and certain activities. Blunt tip blades are also used in some industrial applications, such as cutting materials that can be damaged by sharp tips.

2. Bowie Blade

Bowie Blade

The Bowie blade is a popular and versatile type of knife blade, famously created by Rezin Bowie in the early 19th century for his brother Jim Bowie. This type of blade is distinguished by its long length, featuring a clip point at the top and a sharp, curved section at the bottom.

It’s ideal for slicing and chopping activities like hunting and bushcraft, and its shape makes it suitable for stabbing as well. Whether you’re looking for a modern hunting knife or an old-school Bowie blade, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.

3. Clip-Point Blade

Clip-Point Blade

This blade gets its name from the seemingly ‘clipped’ section of the spine as it meets the tip. The shape of the clipped area may be straight or concave, with a sharpenable false edge. The end is needle-like and excellent for piercing and is either parallel to the blade’s center or spine.

The profile of clip-point blades makes them ideal for self-defense knives. The big belly is suitable for slashing and trimming works. Clip-point blades are popular in hunting and fighting blades.

4. Dagger Knife

Dagger Knife

The dagger is a unique and iconic blade type, and it is often used for piercing or stabbing. This type of blade is designed with a double-edged top and bottom, creating a similar effect to a sword. This makes them ideal for self-defense or tactical situations where precision and accuracy are key. The dagger is also sometimes known as a ‘Sheepsfoot Blade’ due to its distinctive shape.

5. Drop-Point Blade

Drop-Point Blade

Drop-point blades are easy to direct when using, thanks to their convex curved spine. The blade gets its name from the arc shape of its back. The spine starts to “drop” as it approaches the tip, where it meets the curve of the belly. The profile gives the blade strength and robustness.

This blade fits everyday life’s simple chores, making it very popular in the pocket and fixed-blade knives. Many chef’s knives feature this profile as it offers more control while piercing or cutting. The unsharpened spine allows for a better grip for precise and detailed work.

6. Gut Hook

Gut Hook

These blades feature a slight sharp hook-like curve on the spine between the tip and grip. This blade type is a favorite for hunters and anglers, thanks to the gut hook’s ability in field dressing and cutting fishing lines.

Technically, the gut hook feature can be adapted to other blade types, as it is more of a part than a blade type. A downside of the gut hook blade is the inability to press down with the other hand: a slight mistake and the hook slices your finger.

7. Hawkbill Blade/Talon

Hawkbill Blade

As the name suggests, this blade type has a talon-like concave shape. The shape is adapted to grab materials quickly and slice through while keeping you safe. The profile doesn’t have an essential tip but very ideal for cutting and carving.

The blade has wide application in knives used while installing carpets. Hawkbill blades have a long history in combat and are very popular in fighting swords. A downside of talon blades is the difficulty in usage. It may take years before you can comfortably use them in combat.

You may read also: Common Knife Steel Types

8. Head Knife Blade

The Head Knife Blade is a unique and specialized type of knife blade. It is typically characterized by its small, narrow, curved shape which allows it to be used for delicate tasks such as cutting fabrics and leather.

It is also great for intricate carving and whittling of wood. The Head Knife Blade is made of high-end Alloy Steel with precision double-edged blades that are hardened, tempered, ground, and honed to precise tolerances so they can cut through materials easily and quickly. Its sharp edge makes it an excellent choice for all kinds of delicate work.

9. Leaf Shape Knife

Leaf Shape Knife

The Leaf Shape Knife is a very special blade type, as it is designed to resemble a leaf. Thanks to the claw-like shape of the blade, these knives have stunning cutting abilities. This form of the blade did not appear by chance, some of the most popular models include the Spyderco Assist Blade and Kershaw Leek, both available from Amazon for around $65.23.

10. Needle-Point Blade

Needle-Point Blade

The needlepoint blade features two symmetrical edges that taper sharply from grip to tip. The tip is needle-like, while the blade is long and slender. The design is exclusive to stabbing and piercing and hence is mainly used for fighting. Though technically smaller than daggers, the needlepoint falls under weapons and may be illegal to carry around.

The double-sharpened edges make this blade tough to handle for everyday cutting. Besides, the spine is not thick enough to give the knife tensile strength.

11. Normal Blade/Straight Back Blade

Normal Blade

This blade type is famous for its strength and versatility. It has a straight spine and a curving edge that meet at the tip of the knife. The straight spine allows for use with both hands for more pressure. A famous standard blade knife is the Opinel.

A normal blade is sturdy and has a large cutting surface. Fewer curves and swoops allow it to handle chopping and other ordinary cutting duties easily. Many kitchen knives feature this blade type. An adaptation for wood chopping and thicket clearing would feature a thick and heavy blade.

12. Penknife Blade

Penknife Blade

The Penknife Blade is a very useful pocket knife style and is the most compact of all the blades. It’s great for everyday tasks such as opening packages, small repairs, or trimming fingernails. It has a straight blade that tapers to a point, and it usually folds into the handle for easy storage and portability. The Penknife Blade is perfect for those who prefer a smaller blade with plenty of versatility.

13. Sheepsfoot Blade

Sheepsfoot Blade

This blade has an utterly straight edge and a convex-shaped spine, meeting at a non-piercing tip. The design is safe for use as penetration is highly minimized. The blade is easy to maneuver and agile, and more pressure is applicable by putting a finger on the blunt back.

Initially made for trimming hooves on sheep, the Sheepsfoot blades find use in heavy-duty works with zero penetration needs. It’s the favorite blade type for knives used in rescue operations, woodcarving, and electrical works. This blade’s safe and close usability makes it an ideal edge for teaching newbies and children knife skills.

14. Serrated Blade

Serrated Blade

The 8th type of knife blade is the serrated blade, which has a saw-like cutting edge. This type of blade is often found on pocket knives and combo knives and is ideal for cutting through objects with a tough outer skin or crust, such as breads and certain meats.

Serrated blades are available with pointed teeth or rounded teeth on the cutting edge, also known as scalloped blades. STANLEY® offers a wide selection of serrated blades in various sizes and shapes, such as their 111mm snap-off knife blade, 60mm utility knife blade, and 8” bread knife blade. No matter the task at hand, you can rely on STANLEY® for all your serrated blade needs.

15. Spear-Point Blade

Spear-Point Blade

The spear-point is similar to needlepoint but more symmetrical. The grind and bevel align on the centerline, making the tip lower than the axis. The blade may be single or double-edged—the design results in a more robust and more durable blade than a needlepoint.

Double-edged spear-point blades are mainly for combat, while a single-edge finds application in everyday cutting. A downside of the spear-point is the reduced cutting surface in favor of a slim lethal tip.

16. Tanto Blade

Tanto Blade

The tanto-style blade features a straight spine and a straight edge that angles upwards to meet the spine at the tip. The angle of the border as it approaches the end may be linear or convex, producing a solid tip. The thickness of the tip increases durability but reduces the piercing effectiveness.

This blade is very popular in tactical knives. Despite its sharpening difficulty, the blade has found a home in the western world for self-defense and heavy-duty work with lots of pushing and piercing.

17. Trailing-Point Blade

Trailing-Point Blade

This blade derives its name from the tip’s ‘trailing point’ shape. The blade has ample cutting space given its length, thanks to the ‘trailing.’ The spine curves upward, meeting the edge at the tip.

The tip is very frail for stabbing, but the blade is ideal for slicing and slashing long even cuts. The long cutability of this blade finds wide application in hunting and general-purpose use blades. A downside is the low piercing ability of the tip.

See also: Different Types of Knives and Their Uses

18. Ulu Blade

Ulu Blade

An ulu blade is a type of knife that is traditionally used by the Inuit people of Alaska and Canada. The blade is characterized by its semicircular shape, which makes it great for tasks that require chopping, such as skinning and gutting game or preparing food. The blade is also used for other general purposes, such as carving and scraping.

19. Wharncliffe Blade

Wharncliffe Blade

The Wharncliffe blade features a similar shape to that of a Sheepsfoot, but the spine curve extends gradually from the grip to the tip. The figure is ideal for cutting works with minimal piercing needs.

The Wharncliffe blades find application in close-use knives for warehouses and offices. The tip is almost useless, and you’ll need a lot of effort to hurt yourself with one.


Every knife blade type is specialized for a specific type of cutting. Choosing the best style for your needs may not be easy. Just like selecting your significant other, take your time because getting the right one is crucial. Reread our guide if necessary until you’re an informed blades shopper.

Are you still confused about knife blade types? That’s okay; no one gets it right the first time anyway. Go ahead and buy a few, try them, feel how they perform, and go with what you like. The right blade type makes your life easier and a lot stabbier.

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