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Knife Terminology Glossary

   To be honest I was not going to make this page, but after receiving dozen or so emails requesting glossary or explanation of one term or another, I've decided to make something up ;). Since all the information provided here is readily available on the internet with a lot more details, I only put very brief definitons here, wherever available, a better source of the information is provided.
If you find any errors on this page please feel free to contact me at Contact Me.


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Alligator Clip
- Small clip used on the back of the badges, sometimes used to attach small knives to clothing or belt.

Anodizing
- An electro-chemical coating altering appearance & improving texture.

Belgian Blue
- See Coticule.

Black Oxide
- A coating used mostly on military knives to avoid reflection.

Black-Ti
- A thin, black coating (3 micron) of titanium carbonitride, provides corrosion resistance.

Burr
- Raised and curled lip of the metal that forms on the edge during sharpening. Burr always forms on the opposite side of the sharpened side of the edge. You can see it of feel it with your fingertip.

BT2
- Benchmade proprietary black teflon coating. According to Benchmade it exceeds by 4000% the standard corrosion resistance requirement for stainless steel knives, also teflon, one of the most slippery substances improves knife's cutting ability.

CE
- Combo Edge.

Carbon Fiber
- Graphite woven laminate, made of epoxy-coated carbon fiber. Pros: light weight & high tensile strength.

Carbon V
- Cold Steel's name for Camillus proprietary 0170-6C. Similar to O-1 tool steel. For more info on this & other knife steels check Knife Steel FAQ. Click for Carbon V steel composition.

Chakma
- Burnishing tool for the kukri.

Chisel Grind
- Type of grind, where only one side of blade is ground. For more information on other grind types check Knife Edge Grind Types page with diagrams and explanations.

Choil
- Unsharpened and possibly indented portion of the blade close to the blade and handle juncture.

Cordura
- Popular sheath material. High-tenacity nylon fiber. Advantages: light weight, very durable & wear resistant.

Coticule
- Natural sharpening stone from Europe. Softer than Arkansas natural stones, and less aggressive than Japanese natural waterstones, however, they produce very smooth, fine edge. Very popular amongst straight razor aficionados.

Damascus
- Common term describing two types, pattern damascus, which is modern type, two or more different steels forged into various patterns, and wootz/bulat type, the original damascus steel.

Droppoint
- Blade shape, the top edge of the blade drops slightly. Personally I like this one ;) Good for utility use & has strong point.

EDC
- Every Day Carry.

FRN
- Fiber Reinforced nylon. Very similar to Zytel. Popular material for knife handles.

G10
- This is an epoxy-filled woven "E" glass composite reinforced with glass fiber, provides exceptional strength and resistance. Very popular in high end knives, folders & fixed blades as well.

Granton Edge
- Knife edge type with scalloped depressions along the blade. Mostly scalloping is above the edge, few mm from the bevel, although some variations include scalloping on the edge itself. For details see Henckel Granton Edge Santoku Review.

High Carbon Steel
- See High Carbon Steel in Steel and Metallurgic Terminology.

High Speed Steel
- See High Speed Steel in Steel and Metallurgic Terminology.

High Alloy
- See Alloy Steel in Steel and Metallurgic Terminology.

IWB
- In The Waistband.

Kami
- Kukri maker, or kukri-smith in other words.

Karda
- Small companion knife for the kukri.

Kevlar
- The formed synthetic reinforcing fibers and provides stiffness, high tensile strength, light weight, and high abrasion resistance.

Kraton
- A black thermoplastic rubber polymer used as a flexible inlay to enhance grip. Cold Steel uses it a lot in their fixed blade knives.

Kydex
- Very popular as a sheath material. A combination of acrylic and PVC that can be formed or molded. Advantages are: rigidity, impact strength, light weight & chemical resistance.

Micarta
- Another popular handle material. It's a linen or paper fabric with epoxy resin laminate. Advantages: light weight, durability & looks appealing ;).

PE
- Plain Edge.

Pommel
- A handle butt. It's an old English word.

Ricasso
- Unsharpened and thicker portion of the blade, just before the handle. Allows to choke on the blade for better control.

Rockwell Hardness Scale
- Nondestructive way of measuring steel indentation hardness by depressing a diamond crystal into the steel. Invented by Hugh and Stanley Rockwell. HRC value is measured by penetration depth of the diamond crystal tip (penetrator or indenter) into the steel with large load and comparing it to preload force penetration. Generally good knife blades have Rockwell Hardness at high 50s, low 60s for most of the modern steels. In short, the higher the hardness is the better wear resistance it but the blade becomes more brittle. Non steel alloys, such as Stellite, Talonite, etc. have lower hardness around 40s, resulting in low strength, but still have wear resistance due to their chemical composition, which doesn't necessarily translate into high edge holding, especially on hard materials.

SAK
- Swiss Army Knife.

SE
- Serrated Edge.

SOB
- Small Of The Back.

Stainless Steel
- See Stainless Steel in Steel And Metallurgic Terminology.

Scales
- Slabs that are attached to a Tang to make a handle, such as Zytel, G-10, fiberglass, different sorts of wood, titanium etc.

Stag
- A natural material from deer antler, used as a handle material.

Stellite
- To be more exact it's Stellite 6K or Stellite 6B. Cobalt Alloy, highly wear resistance, non magnetic, quite expensive. Quite controversial too :) Ref - Stellite 6B alloy composition; Stellite 6K Alloy Composition.

Talonite
- Another Cobalt alloy. Cobalt Chromium alloy. Talonite composition is more similar to the Stellite 6k alloy, just different hardening & & rolling. Talonite is easier to grind & more wear resistant than other alloys of Stellite family. As with the Stellite, there are endless discussions ;) Ref - Talonite 6BH composition.

Tang
- The part of the blade between the scales or through a hole in the handle material. Full Tang means that the tang goes through the handle to the Pommel.

Zytel
- Widely used as a handle material. Thermoplastic, containing fiberglass, Kevlar etc. BTW many complain that Zytel tends to deform & stretch over the time.



Last updated - 10/12/11