The following lexicon has been sourced from many references and our own vast experience. It is our intent to be as accurate as possible with the content. We have tried to exclude the myth and mystery, dispel the misnomers and false hoods reported elsewhere, and thereby create a factual reference. If you cannot find a term, want to contribute further information, or ask a question, please contact us.
A traditional European alloy preferred by German kitchen cutlery manufacturers like Wüsthof. 1.4116 is a high carbon, martensitic stainless steel with moderate corrosion resistance, good strength and the ability to obtain and keep excellent hardness.
A plain, low alloy, high carbon steel steel. The carbon content allows it not only to reach maximum hardness in martensite, it has excess carbon to form a significant volume of cementite. This gives it a significant advantage in abrasive wear resistance over the medium carbon steels in which all of the carbon typically is utilized in hardening the martensite.
An improved proprietary alloy used in Ka-Bar knives.
Sandvik 12C27 is a well-rounded knife steel with excellent edge performance allowing razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness and good corrosion resistance. Sandvik’s main knife steel for hand-held knives and high-end ice skate. Continuous improvement over the last 45 years has evolved Sandvik 12C27 into the high performing steel grade. The composition is highly refined and has fine carbide microstructure. Like most of Sandvik’s knife steels this grade is fine-blankable enabling efficient production. With a hardness range of 54-61 HRC, high toughness, scary sharpness and good corrosion resistance, Sandvik 12C27 is the recommended grade for hunting knives, pocket knives, camping knives, high-end chef’s knives and tactical knives.
Sandvik 12C27M knife steel was developed for highest possible edge performance while still having good enough corrosion resistance for daily use in a dishwasher. It is a step up in corrosion resistance from Sandvik 12C27 and the number one choice for edge applications where increased corrosion resistance is important together with high demands on edge performance and toughness. With a hardness range of 53-59 HRC, excellent toughness and great corrosion resistance this knife steel grade is the recommended choice for kitchen knives, high-end scissors, gardening tools, professional butcher knives and fishing knives for fresh water environments. Like most of Sandvik’s knife steels this grade is fine-blankable enabling efficient production.
Sandvik 13C26 knife steel was developed for razor blade applications which means a strong focus on hardness, sharpness and edge stability. It has the highest achievable hardness of Sandvik’s knife steels, it still maintaining the fine carbide structure which is characteristic for Sandvik’s knife steels. With exceptional edge performance and good toughness this grade is an excellent choice for demanding cutting applications where the moderate corrosion resistance of Sandvik 13C26 knife steel is not a key issue, or if the blade is coated for corrosion protection. With a recommended hardness range of 55-62 HRC, exceptional edge performance with scary sharpness and good toughness, Sandvik 13C26 knife steel is recommended for surgical blades, razor applications, or as a surface coated EDC (Every Day Carry) knife. Like most of Sandvik’s knife steels this grade is fine-blankable enabling efficient production.
A wear resistant, martensitic stainless tool steel that exhibits better corrosion resistance than 440C. The combination of the high carbon and molybdenum contents results in the formation of hard, wear-resistant molybdenum carbides in the microstructure of the steel. The molybdenum carbides provide superior wear resistance and edge retention for cutting tools and knives.
The ultimate combination of hardness and corrosion resistance Sandvik 14C28N is the latest development in Sandvik’s range of knife steels. Optimized chemistry provides a top grade knife steel with a unique combination of excellent edge performance, high hardness and good corrosion resistance. This new grade matches the previous highest achievable hardness without affecting the microstructure. Blade re-sharpening is therefore easy. At the same time, edge stability in terms of microchipping and edge folding or rolling is also good. With a recommended hardness range of 55-62 HRC, Sandvik 14C28N is ideal for knife applications which place very high demands on edge sharpness, edge stability and corrosion resistance such as chef’s knives, pocket knives, hunting and fishing knives. Like most of Sandvik’s knife steel grades, Sandvik 14C28N is fine-blankable enabling efficient production.
Crucible 154 CM is a modification of 440C martensitic stainless steel to which molybdenum has been added. Known for its best all-around qualities, it offers great corrosion resistance with good toughness and edge quality. A high-carbon, high-alloy, space-age, stainless steel first used for knives by R. W. Loveless about 1972. After a few years the quality declined and makers followed Loveless to the Japanese (Hitachi) ATS-34, using the same formula. The quality was restored some time later. In 1990 Benchmade and other knife companies started using it as their top of the line stainless steel. 154CM was considered the best stainless steel for cutlery for more than a decade after that and is still considered a premium steels. (See: CPM 154)
Sandvik 19C27 is Sandvik’s most wear resistant knife steel grade and developed for abrasive applications. Sandvik 19C27 is the odd grade in the Sandvik knife steel portfolio because it’s a coarse carbide grade, unlike the other Sandvik knife steel grades. The coarse carbide grades excel at wear resistance but do not allow keen edge angles and have limited edge stability, due to the sacrifice of toughness related to the coarse microstructure. Sandvik 19C27 was developed for industrial blades for cutting cardboard and tough fiber materials. The world class wear resistance is the main reason why this grade should be selected. Sandvik 19C27 is limited in corrosion resistance and we recommend surface coating on Sandvik 19C27 for knife applications to avoid corrosion issues. With a recommended hardness range of 55-63 HRC, excellent wear resistance and a coarse carbide structure Sandvik 19C27 is suitable for industrial blades for cutting tough or/and abrasive materials.
A Chinese grade of stainless steel similar to the 420J2 and is one of the most popular steels on the market when creating affordable and durable knives.
A mild stainless, the knife makers choice for bolsters and guards—not suitable for blades, but will take just enough hardening to make it suitable for engraving. Grade 416 steel is a free-machining stainless steel with a machinability of 85%, highest of all stainless steels. With most of the free-machining stainless steels, the machinability is improved by adding sulphur, which leads to the formation of manganese sulphide inclusions.
A modification of 410 that has a higher carbon content to increase hardness, improved strength, and give better wear resistance. This type maintains its best corrosion resistance in the heat treated condition.
An improved form of 420 that works well with high production tooling; much used by Buck and Gerber.
A grade of stainless steel that is popular grade used in the commercial knife making industry. 420HC can be sharpened to a very fine cutting edge and a mirror finish. 420HC has fair toughness and good corrosion resistance, and can be hardened to RC 56-59.
A common high-carbon stainless steel used in most American production cutlery before being displaced by 420HC, due to higher cost.
A high carbon high chromium type combining stainless steel properties with excellent hardness after heat treatment. 440B is very similar to the 440C grade, but with a slightly lower carbon content, it attains a lower hardness than 440C, and has slightly better corrosion properties. An uncommon grade that was mainly specified for some military knife contracts in the past.
A high-chromium stainless steel with an excellent balance of good hardness and corrosion resistance. This alloy was most popular high-carbon stainless used by custom and higher-end production (Gerber & Buck) knifemakers for many years.
An air hardening, high carbon, high chromium, corrosion resistant alloy which can be described as either a high hardness Type 440C stainless steel or a corrosion resistant D2 tool steel. Possesses corrosion resistance equivalent to Type 440C stainless, but can attain a maximum hardness of 64 HRC, approaching that of D2 tool steel.
A high carbon and chromium spring steel. It offers outstanding toughness, a high level of ductility, and excellent fatigue resistance. In use in the automotive industry in a number of different heavy spring applications, especially for leaf springs. 5160 makes a very durable tough knife, sword, and axe steel when of edge retention and impact resistance is required.
52100 is a high carbon steel used primarily for ball bearings. It has a good amount of carbon and very few other alloys. Ball bearing steels usually have to withstand a great deal of force in a very small area. Traditionally, ball bearing steels make good edge steels because an edge also has to withstand much force in a small area. 52100 serves that function well. Oil quenched and drawn to Rc 62, it is a difficult steel to heat treat. A very fine molecular structure permits very sharp edges, even at thin angles.
6061 T-6 ALUMINUM
A precipitation-hardened aluminum alloy, containing magnesium and silicon as its major alloying elements. Used in the manufacture of heavy-duty structures requiring good corrosion resistance, in general structural and high pressure applications. Originally developed as a premium aircraft grade aluminum, it offers a solid handle form and function at a nominal weight. Most typically color anodized.
Known as the ‘workhorse’ of the titanium alloys, 6Al4V, or Grade 5 titanium, is the most commonly used of all titanium alloys. It accounts for 50 percent of total titanium usage the world over. Its usability lies in its many benefits. Ti 6Al-4V may be heat treated to increase its strength. This alloy (Titanium + 6% Aluminum + 4% Vanadium) offers its high strength at a light weight, useful formability and high corrosion resistance. With an excellent strength to weight ratio, which offers exceptional performance in a knife. Titanium is corrosion resistant to natural elements as well as many industrial chemicals.
A Chinese steel with similar performance characteristics to AUS-8. An excellent value priced steel for its performance.
A premium ingot high-carbon steel. In our experience it’s the best knife steel being produced in China today. The name is derived from its component elements: .9% carbon, 18% chromium and 1% molybdenum. With controlled heat treat and tempering it reaches a HRc of 58-62. Before its entry into the knife industry it was widely used for high-end Chinese barbering scissors, roller bearings and surgical tools due to its corrosion resistance and high processing quality.
A versatile, air-hardening tool steel that is characterized by good toughness and excellent dimensional stability in heat treatment. A2 is intermediate in wear resistance between O1 oil-hardening tool steel and D2 high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel. A2 provides an effective combination of strength and toughness, tool performance, price, and a wide variety of product forms.
Carpenter Technology Corporation’s Micro-Melt A11 is a particle metallurgy version of A11 tool steel. Also known as AISI A11, K294 (Böhler Uddeholm), CPM 10V (Crucible). Due to its advanced alloy composition, the large volume of hard vanadium carbides provides substantially better wear resistance than typical high-carbon, high-chromium die steels such as D2 and D7. The particle metallurgy process further enhances these properties by greatly minimizing alloy segregation and ensuring a fine, homogenous microstructure. In knife blades, these qualities translate to outstanding edge retention and good toughness, especially in shorter knives. Note that A11 is a tool steel and must be maintained properly to safeguard it against corrosion.
Abalone (from Spanish Abulón) is a rare shell found along the pacific coast of North America. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre (mother-of-pearl), which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong, changeable colors, which make the shells attractive to use for knife handles and as a source of colorful mother-of-pearl.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a common thermoplastic. It is light weight with high impact strength, and ability to be injection molded and extruded.
A traditional method of highlighting the patterns forged into damascus steel using an acid bath to etch each blade to a depth and color that creates the most visual interest.
A giveaway knife embellished with advertising.
AEB-L was originally developed by Uddeholm as the first patented stainless razor blade steel in 1928. Sandvik version is 13C26. These steels are formulated with just enough carbon for the steel to get very hard, but not make any chromium carbides. The extreme fine grain makes them easy to sharpen, have good edge holding and excellent edge stability. Also used by several makers of high-carbon, high-contrast damascus steel. Although AEB-L is not a powder metallurgy steel, it contains very tiny carbides, its average carbide size is six-tenths of one micron, powder metallurgy steels have a carbide size of 2-4 microns. This gives AEB-L excellent toughness, great ease of sharpening, ease in grinding and polishing, great wear resistance, and a very keen edge to a knife.
Also called Mozambique Ebony, it is a rich black with dark brown graining. Used to make fine clarinets, this is one of the very best woods for knife handles.
Air Hardening Steel
A steel containing sufficient carbon and other alloying elements to harden fully during cooling in air or other gaseous mediums from a temperature above its transformation range.
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) is an association of North American steel producers. Its predecessor organizations date back to 1855 making it one of the oldest trade associations in the United States.
A material that is dissolved in another metal in a solid solution; a material that results when two or more elements combine in a solid solution.
A steel that has had small amounts of one or more alloying elements (other than carbon) such as such as manganese, silicon, nickel, titanium, copper, chromium and aluminum added.
Metallic or non-metallic elements such as aluminum, boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, silicon, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, zirconium, added in specified or standard amounts to a base-metal to make an alloy.
A coating used on aluminum handles, similar to anodizing. It resists scratching and marring and can be tinted to any color.
Alternate Carry Knife
A term coined to describe knives that are not typically carried in the pocket or on the belt, i.e. knives carried in the boot, hanging from the neck, or other concealed places.
Developed by Coors Porcelain (now CoorsTek) of Golden, Colorado in the 1960s. More commonly known as High Alumina Ceramic, it is obtained when aluminum oxide crystals are heated until it forms a glassy texture. It is then bonded together with a nonporous body such as ceramic. Once sintered, it is a ceramic-bonding agent mixed with alumina particles (synthetic sapphires), shaped, then kiln fired at temperatures in excess of 3000 degrees F. First used in rod form by W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company which lead to the invention of the Crock Stick by Louis Graves, and the subsequent re-invention of the Sharpmaker by Spyderco’s founder, Sal Glesser.
A silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic, ductile metal. By mass, aluminum makes up about 8% of the Earth’s crust; it is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon. Known to the ancients, aluminum cost more than gold in the 19th century, and it was not commercially viable until the electrolytic aluminum process was independently discovered in 1886, by Paul Héroult (France) and Charles Martin Hall (US). Because of this, the process was called the Hall-Heroult process. That facilitated large-scale production of metallic aluminum. (See: 6061 T6 Aluminum, Anodized Aluminum, and Duralumin)
A chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen with the chemical formula Al2O3. It is the most commonly occurring of several aluminum oxides and is commonly called alumina. It occurs naturally as the mineral corundum, varieties of which form the precious gemstones ruby and sapphire. It is widely used as an abrasive due to its hardness and strength. Many types of sandpaper use aluminum oxide crystals, in addition to sharpening stones and grinding wheels.
Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects.
Using both hands with equal ease. Pertaining to knives, it is a knife that is not solely designed for a left-or right-handed person but can be used with equal ease by both hands.
Amboyna Wood (also spelled Amboina)
A luxurious burl wood from Southeast Asia. Amboyna varies in colors from yellow to brown to red, with tight wavy figure and ‘eyes’ with occasional black highlights. Amboyna is technically not a distinct species, but is the name of the burl wood from any of the Pterocarpus species. Most commonly this is Narra (Pterocarpus indicus), but burl sections of Burma Padauk (Pterocarpus macrocarpus) are also sold under the name Amboyna. The name is derived from Ambon Island in Indonesia, where much of the figured wood is believed to have been initially exported.
American Bladesmith Society (ABS)
The American Bladesmith Society is a non-profit organization composed of knifemakers whose primary function is to promote the techniques of forging steel blades. The ABS was founded by knifemaker William F. Moran in 1972.
A generic term denoting a heat treatment consisting of heating to and holding at a suitable temperature followed by cooling at a suitable rate, used primarily to soften, but also to simultaneously produce desired changes in other properties or microstructure.
Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts creating a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. (See: Anodized Aluminum, Anodized Titanium)
Aluminum alloys are anodized to increase corrosion resistance and to allow dyeing (coloring). Anodizing is a method of increasing the corrosion resistance of a metal part by forming a layer of oxide on its surface. The process of creating this protective oxide coating is achieved electrolytically. The aluminum is submerged in an electrolytic solution bath along with a cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution an oxide layer is formed. Dyeing is the most common anodizing processes, electrolytic acid solution produces a porous surface which can accept dyes easily. The number of dye colors is almost endless; however, the colors produced tend to vary according to the base alloy. Dyed anodizing is usually sealed to reduce or eliminate dye bleed out.
Anodizing titanium generates an array of different colors without dyes. The color formed is dependent on the thickness of the oxide (which is determined by the anodizing voltage); it is caused by the interference of light reflecting off the oxide surface with light traveling through it and reflecting off the underlying metal surface. The same anodizing process can be achieved by the application of heat.
Aogami Super Blue
Aogami Super Blue steel is produced exclusively by Hitachi Metals for tools and knives. In Hitachi’s plant in the Shimane Prefecture, Japan, they use high quality iron-sand found only in this region. Shimane Prefecture sand has been used and preferred for making Japanese cutlery since ancient times. Hitachi creates and offers different grades of steels including white steels and blue steels. The steel is not blue or white, but the designation refers to the color of the paper the raw steel is wrapped in when delivered to Hitachi. It is common practice for Japanese steels to be named and referred to; based on what colored packaging the raw steel arrives to the maker. Super Blue is the highest grade blue steel and contains up to 1-1/2% carbon for wear resistance and chrome to elevate hardness and improve edge holding and corrosion resistance. Steel smiths agree Super Blue is easier to heat-treat and work with than some steels but is more wear resistant and harder to hand grind. Classified as exotic steel by cutlery standards, it has a loyal following with custom kitchen knifemakers looking for superior cutting performance for cutting materials that are soft and sticky to rock hard or fibrous.
A type of scissors that feature double pointed ends for trimming sharp angles, while the wide outer edge of the duckbill lifts cut fabric away without harming your base fabric. The double curve of the handles ensures your hand will not be in the way while fluidly trimming even the most complex designs.
Technically called Novaculite this sedimentary rock is composed of microcrystalline quartz, it is also recognized as a re-crystallized variety of chert. It is a high-purity silica, composed of more than 99 percent pure silica. The name is applied mainly to formations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and is derived from the Latin word novacula, meaning razor stone. Novaculite is the rarest and finest abrasive stone in existence. Outcrops of the Arkansas Novaculite Formation are prominent landscape features of the Ouachita Mountains where prehistoric Native Americans discovered and mined the stone to make projectile points, scrapers, and cutting tools. European settlers in the Ouachita region found that novaculite could be used to sharpen metal tools and weapons. They soon began producing sharpening tools and trading them with distant partners. Arkansas “whetstones,” “oil stones,” and “sharpening stones” became world-famous for their ability to produce a sharp edge on a metal blade.
Early name for Bowie knives, as the first was believed to have been made in Arkansas and the natives of that state were thought to be so tough that they picked their teeth with knives of that size. After the movie, The Iron Mistress, about 1955, it began to mean a large dagger with a needle pointed blade, creating a common misnomer.
Small knives carried near the shoulder on the left arm by many tribe of the Sudanese. Double edge blade about six inches long.
Portuguese word for spear, often applied to the Zulu stabbing spear. The word was never used by the natives.
A term coined by Spyderco for a hollow ground blade with a blunt tip designed to prevent accidental puncturing or poking. Designed for cutting webbing, rope, seatbelts or clothing.
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
A non-profit organization, founded in 1898, that provides a forum for producers, users, ultimate consumers, and those having a general interest (representatives of government and academia) to meet on common ground and write standards for materials, products, systems, and services.
The dispersion of a molten material into particles by a rapidly moving gas or liquid stream or by mechanical dispersion.
Not a widely known Japanese alloy, ATS-55 is similar to ATS-34. Originally developed as a proprietary steel used by Spyderco, but came onto the market at the same time as VG-10 which proved to be a superior alloy and was subsequently dropped when initial supply was depleted.
A high-carbon, high-alloy, stainless steel that is Hitachi’s version of the Crucible’s 154CM steel. It became popular in the late 1970s as a replacement for 154CM after Crucible ceased production and was preferred because it is vacuum melted, and 154 was not. Crucible has since resumed production of 154CM and also produces this alloy in a CPM version..
Developed by Aichi, the AUS-6, AUS-8 and AUS-10 alloys have increasing carbon content respectively with added vanadium and molybdenum to improve hardness and wear resistance. The Japanese version of improved 440 series high carbon stainless steels. Sometimes noted as AUS-6A, AUS-8A and AUS-10A, the ‘A’ denotes the steel grade purchased in its annealed form.
Developed by Aichi, AUS-4 is an enhanced form of 420J2 with more carbon to improve quenching hardness, but without any vanadium that is in the other AUS series. Sometimes noted as AUS-4A, the ‘A’ denotes the steel grade purchased in its annealed form.
Developed by Aichi, the AUS-6, AUS-8 and AUS-10 alloys have increasing carbon content respectively with added vanadium and molybdenum to improve hardness and wear resistance. The Japanese version of improved 440 series high carbon stainless steels. Sometimes noted as AUS-6A, AUS-8A and AUS-10A, the ‘A’ denotes the steel grade purchased in its annealed form.
Developed by Aichi, the AUS-6, AUS-8 and AUS-10 alloys have increasing carbon content respectively with added vanadium and molybdenum to improve hardness and wear resistance. The Japanese version of improved 440 series high carbon stainless steels. Sometimes noted as AUS-6A, AUS-8A and AUS-10A, the ‘A’ denotes the steel grade purchased in its annealed form.
A technique used to form pure bainite, a transitional microstructure found between pearlite and martensite. In normalizing, both upper and lower bainite are usually found mixed with pearlite. To avoid the formation of pearlite or martensite, the steel is quenched in a bath of molten metals or salts. This quickly cools the steel past the point where pearlite can form, and into the bainite-forming range. The steel is then held at the bainite-forming temperature, beyond the point where the temperature reaches an equilibrium, until the bainite fully forms. The steel is then removed from the bath and allowed to air-cool, without the formation of either pearlite or martensite.
The basic steel structure state in which an alloy is uniformly dissolved into iron.
A phase structure in certain steels, characterized as a solid solution, usually off carbon or iron carbide, in the gamma form of iron. Such steels are known as “austenitic.” Austenite is stable only above 1333°F in a plain carbon steel, but the presence of certain alloying elements, such as nickel and manganese, stabilizes the austenitic form, even at normal temperatures.
Any steel containing sufficient alloy to produce a stable austenitic (gamma iron) crystalline structure at ambient temperatures.
The name given to the face-centered cubic crystal structure (FCC) of ferrous metals.
Austenitic Grain Size
The size attained by the grains of steel when heated to the austenitic region.
An alloy which, because of the presence of alloying elements such as manganese, nickel and chromium, shows stability of austenite at normal temperatures.
Forming austenite by heating a ferrous alloy into the transformation range (partial austenitizing) or above the transformation range (complete austenitizing). When used without qualification, the term implies complete austenitizing.
This is the temperature that must be attained to obtain the proper microstructure and full hardness of steel in heat treating. Austenitizing temperature varies with different grades of carbon, alloy and tool steels.
The modern term for a switchblade. Any pocket knife that its blade opens by means of a release mechanism, i.e., by pressing a button, slide, or dual-action, that is either hinged from a pivot pin or out the front.
A small pointed tool or pocket knife blade used for piercing holes, especially in leather.
Another patented Benchmade exclusive. All of the advantages of an AXIS lock combined with the power of coil spring assisted opening. The blade is started open with the thumb lug, then the coil spring engages and maintains torque to the fully open position. A safety can be engaged in either the open or closed position for added security.
Axis Deer (Chital)
Also known as spotted deer or chital, this deer found in the Indian subcontinent. Their shed antlers have been traditionally collected and exported to Europe and the US to be used for knife handles. (See: Stag, Sambar Stag, Red Stag)
A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. An ambidextrous design, AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.
The top of the blade when the knife is viewed properly, point to the left, handle to the right. (See: Spine)
A spring in the back of folding knife that applies pressure to the end of one or more blades.
A metal loop attached to one end of a knife that allows the knife to be secured with a cord or chain. (See: Shackle)
A plate-like crystalline microstructure that can be found in steel. Bainite forms when a steel is cooled slower than the rate required to form martensite but faster than the rate that would be required to form pearlite or other slower cooling rate crystalline microstructure.
A shoulder belt or sling for carrying a sword.
A knife design believed to have originated in the UK, brought to the Philippines by English sailors, and was adopted and popularized in the Philippines. Often used in Filipino martial arts. The knife has two separate handle sections that rotate round the blades pivots to create a handle and then rotate back covering and protecting the blade when closed. As much an art form as it is the ultimate example of form following function. The Bali-Song or butterfly knife is of Filipino ancestry dating back to nearly 800 A.D. Its basic form consists of a pin-hinged, two piece handle, which when closed encases the blade for carry. And when opened, come together to form the knife handle for blade use. This can all be accomplished with a single hand -making the tool that much more utility capable. Benchmade is recognized as the leader when it comes to making Bali-Song knives.
Ball Bearing Lock
A patented compressive lock, wedging a stainless steel ball bearing between a fixed anvil and the blade tang. The ball is also utilized to detent the blade into the closed position.
A minute divot or dimple machined into the tang of a folding knife blade. A ball bearing, seated in the surface of the LinerLock, drops into the detent hole when the knife is in the closed position to hold the knife blade closed inside the handle. Invented and patented by Michael Walker (US Patent 4,896,424).
Ball Joint Non-Locking System
Designed by Bob Terzuola. A restraining device keeping a knife blade from closing by having the blade overcome a small ball bearing to close. The Ball Joint also half-stops the blade when closing for additional safety.
Semi-finished or finished piece of metal in a straight length.
This term refers to a knife that does not have a rear bolster.
A design that is not less than 150 years old. This was an inexpensive knife usually made with iron bolster and liners, always a one or two blade jack knife with longer than normal bolsters; today barlow knives are usually made in keeping with each firms standard quality and are much sought after by collectors. A type of jack knife.
The combined tool and weapon of the Moros of the southern Philippines. The Barong has a leaf shaped blade of about 15 inches by three inches wide that curves to the point and to the handle on both the edge and the back.
A sword hilt that entirely covers the hand with connecting bars from guard to pommel, best known of these is the Scot’s Broadsword, less well known is the Venetian Schiavonia.
Refers to a knife model that is made in small numbers. A Spyderco batch is 1500 pieces and if the model is received well another batch or more may be produced.
A knife, sword or spike intended to be fastened to the end of the barrel of a rifle or musket. The first bayonets were called plug bayonets because the handle was plugged into the barrel. Bayonets were very important when the firearm was single shot, much less important with fully automatic weapons. The earliest bayonet was the so-called Plug Bayonette which was a large dagger with a small pommel that “Plugged into the barrel of the musket changing it into a spike.
BEAD BLAST FINISH
can be defined as any non-reflective finish applied to the metal surface by bead blasting or sand blasting the blade with any of a variety of media. The intent is to roughen the surface for anti-glare. The trade off is it tends to be more susceptible to corrosion due to the increased surface area exposed. This finish is also commonly referred to as a “military finish”. Bead Blast is a process of texturing material with sand and air pressure. It is a non-reflective textured finish that is silver/gray in color.
An axe with the lower part of the edge hanging below the principle part of the head as does a goose wing ax. Many of the northern Germanic peoples used axes of this type both for felling trees and for fighting.
The curved part of the blades edge.
BENCH / DOUGH KNIFE
A steelmaking process in which air is blown through the molten iron so that the impurities are thus removed by oxidation. Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) was an English inventor who patented the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron.
Developed by Latrobe steel for critical aerospace structural components and high performance bearings. The steel is vacuum induction melted (VIM) and vacuum arc remelted (VAR) to provide the extremely high cleanliness level required for these fatigue-critical applications. Its excellent wear resistance and corrosion resistance makes it a superior choice for use in cutlery applications exhibiting excellent edge retention and long life. The molybdenum in the steel enhances the corrosion resistance provided by the high chromium content. In addition, the chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium contents provide approximately high carbide volume in the steel. This high carbide volume and the presence of very hard vanadium carbides enhance the wear resistance and edge retention of knife blades.
A Spyderco patented texture pattern molded into an polymer handle, which is a series of graduating, sized forward and backward steps that radiate outward from the center of the handle. This texture provides resistance to slipping and sliding when gripped in the hand.
The second-stage product of steel production. An ingot or bloom that has been reduced by hot-rolling and are taken out directly during casting process of steel. They are highly ductile and soft and produced in a square cross-section of area less than 36 sq. Inches.
(VENTING) [ENTRAILS, EVISCERATE]
BIRD & TROUT KNIFE
BIRDÕS BEAK PARING
FOR PEELING ROUND FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. BECAUSE OF ITS SHAPE IT CAN ACCOMPLISH THESE TASKS WITH MINIMAL EFFORT (TOURNE?) GARNISHING.
Benchmade’s designation for a matte black Cerakote coating that provides excellent corrosion protection, which exceeds the ASTM-117 spec for saltwater while possessing higher scratch resistance. (See: BT, BK2)
Benchmade’s designation for a proprietary blade coating that is Xylan based to provide excellent corrosion resistance which exceeds the ASTM-117 spec for saltwater and increases overall surface lubricity. (See: BT, BK1)
Black Electric Plating
A non-reflective coating adhered to steel using an electrostatic process. It eliminates the steelÕs reflective quality.
A coating put on military knife blades to kill all reflection. A black finish on a metal produced by immersing it in hot oxidizing salts or salt solutions
A beautiful and distinctive wood that is brown/black in color with a toothpick-like series of brown, black and white streaks running along the grain. On end, the grain is solid ‘eyes’ in a very compressed pattern. Mostly from Southeast Asia, but available from other parts of the world as well. We resin-stabilize our black palm for durability over time.
Blacklip Mother of Pearl
One of the most exclusive pearls in the world. It comes from small shells found in French Polynesia around Tahiti and its Archipelagos. Just under the exterior bark of the shell is where the real beauty of the Blacklip shell lies. A nice pair of Blacklip will have every color of the rainbow in its iridescent black background. (Manganese!)
The business end of a knife, usually made of steel.
The ground-away portion of the knife blade that tapers from the spine to the edge. Note that the blade bevel does not include the cutting edge called the edge bevel.
The mechanical part of a knife that engages or disengages the blade of a folding knife. A back Lock is the most common. Others have a liner lock or some other mechanism.
One who forges a blade to shape.
BLANKED (or FLAT STOCK) BLADE
A blade that was die stamped or sawn from a flat sheet or strip of steel. Compare forged blade.
A vertical shaft-type smelting furnace in which an air blast is used, usually hot, for producing pig iron. The furnace is continuous in operation using iron ore, coke, and limestone as raw materials that are charged at the top while the molten iron and slag are collected at the bottom and are tapped out at intervals.
I hate to tell you this, because this term really sells knives, there is no such thing as a blood groove and there is no sucking action that will hang up a knife in a victims body. The term is “Fuller”; this is a groove that lightens and stiffens the blade.
A semi-finished form of steel that will be further processed into mill products. A bloom generally has a cross section greater than 36 square inches.
A hot rolling mill that takes continuously cast slabs or ingots and processes them into blooms.
Blue Steel #1
Often referred to as Yasuki #1 Blue Steel this is a great knife makers steel. It is hard, extremely easy to maintain, rust resistant (for carbon steel), capable of an outstanding mirror finish and long lived edge. What more can you want? This is high performance steel.
Blue Steel #2
Blue #2 is the another great knife maker’s steel. Just as hard as #1, but tougher and more durable. Basically it is less likely to chip.
Blue Steel (Ao-ko)
Blue steel is basically Shiro-ko with the addition of chromium and tungsten. These additions increase the durability of the blade, reduce the reactivity of the steel and give the potential for longer edge retention. Ao-ko steel is not stainless, but tarnishes slower than Shiro-ko.
Subjecting the scale-free surface of a ferrous alloy to the action of air, steam, or other agents at a suitable temperature, thus forming a thin blue film of oxide and improving the appearance and resistance to corrosion. Note: This term is ordinarily applied to sheet, strip, or finished parts. It is used also to denote the heating of springs after fabrication to improve their properties.
The word is Spanish but has come to mean a large jungle knife used in the Philippines. A heavy bladed brush chopping knife, usually with a curved cutting edge.
1) The metal end or ends on a folding knife handle that protects the handle cover and that also usually reinforces the joint. 2) A swelling of or a metal attachment to the blade of a non-folding knife just in front of the handle; it stiffens the blade and protects the front end of the handle.
A proprietary ABS/Acrylic PVC extruded alloy sheet material used for making sheaths. A moldable thermoplastic, it has excellent impact strength and is resistant to chemicals and abrasion. Similar to Kydex, but with better heat resistance after molding.
As used on knife handles, usually cattle shin bone.
A butcher knife with a short narrow blade used for removing bones and trimming meat. Blades are usually 5″ or 6″ in length and come in a variety of flexes from stiff to super-flexible. Many cooks simplify carving and get extra servings by boning out a roast when it is partially cooked. For boning roasts, whole hams, lamb legs, veal legs, and filleting fish, a narrow flexible blade is best. The wider stiff blade is used for cutting raw meat and many other trimming operations on less thick cuts of meat.
A knife small enough to be concealed in a boot, generally considered a defensive knife.
Usually added in trace amounts between .0005-.003% to significantly increase the hardenability, especially for low carbon alloys.
Boron Carbide (DiamondBlack)
Bodycote’s Boron Carbide Coatings applied with state-of-the-art Physical Vapour Deposition Technology is also commonly known as DiamondBlack. Bodycote hold’s many patents for this unique coating. Boron Carbide is the hardest man made material available that features the ultimate strength to density ratio, exceptional high hardness, very high melting and oxidation temperatures, and a low coefficient of friction. Since the material is ceramic, it is chemically inert and suitable for harsh chemical environments. The extreme thinness of the coatings means no modification of original part dimensions is necessary. B4C
There is no single historical shape, but today it is thought to be a blade shaped very much like the Buck 110 blade. Blade with an upswept curving tip that can be (or not) double-edged near the point. Named after Colonel James Bowie who made the shape famous in the 19th century American West.
The man who made the Bowie knife famous, The knife was actually designed by his brother Rezin.
A large knife with a blade that might range from 6 to 14 inches; the original had a blade that was probably 9 inches long with a sturdy guard projecting from both the top and bottom of the knife between blade and handle. Invented by Rezin Bowie and made famous by his brother James, who died at the Alamo. A relatively large knife, either folding or fixed blade, intended primarily for use as a weapon.
Black Pearl (BP) is a PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating made up of Titanium Carbo-Nitride (TiCN for short). It is a darker, near black, scratch resistant coating with nice decorative qualities.
An alloy of copper and zinc.
A metal-joining process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal. Brazing differs from welding in that it does not involve melting the work pieces and from soldering in using higher temperatures for a similar process, while also requiring much more closely fitted parts than when soldering.
Bread Knives are a type of serrated knife. Serrations are primarily used for cutting items which are hard on the outside and soft on the inside. An offset bread knife has a serrated blade which is offset from the handle so the chef’s knuckles do not touch the cutting surface when the blade has completed its cut.
A process of annealing usually carried out in a controlled atmosphere so that the surface oxidation is reduced to a minimum and the surface remains relatively bright.
Brinell Hardness Test
A common standard method of measuring the hardness of certain metals. The smooth surface of the metal is subjected to indentation by a hardened steel ball under pressure or load. The diameter of the resultant indentation in the metal surface is measured by a special microscope and the Brinell hardness value read from a chart or calculated formula.
Silvery-white alloy similar to pewter but harder and stronger. Composed of approximately 92% tin, 6% antimony and 2% copper. Often used for making utensils, drinking vessels and decorative tableware. Britannia is not silver. It is a tin alloy, sometimes silverplated. It is similar to pewter, but contains more antimony so it won’t shrink as it cools, allowing very precise and detailed casting. “Britannia metal” is an industrial era pewter (tin based) alloy which has just enough antimony added so that a cast item will not shrink in the mold the way traditional pewter does (antimony, in certain combinations, expands as it solidifies, the only metal that does so). Britannia metal was used to mold precisely detailed decorative and souvenir items, which were usually silverplated. It is not “low grade,” quite the contrary. The low grade substitute for it is zinc-based “pot metal.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannia_silver Practical silver electroplating was pioneered by Christofle of Paris in the 1830s. It was first used in England in the 1840s. It was not invented there. The EPNS marking (Electro Plated Nickel Silver) is much later.
Is in fact silver with a higher percentage content than say Sterling silver. Britannia is assayed at 95.8% minimum silver content whereas Sterling is 92.5% minimum. Britannia silver is rare but the English assay offices still retain marks for this silver. Sterling and Britannia can be also stamped 925 or 958 respectively.
Describes a material’s tendency to break before bending or deforming either elastically or plastically. Brittleness increases with decreased toughness, but is greatly affected by internal stresses as well.
An alloy of copper and tin.
Benchmade’s designation for a black industrial Teflon coating on their blades. (See: BK1, BK2)
A knife made by the Buck Knives company, especially their Model 110 folding hunter.
Usually applied using non-abrasive media, whether by hand or in vibratory equipment. This finish refines the blade surface without much of a discernable graining or scratch pattern.
Any utilitarian fixed blade knife intended for cutting up raw meat, often specifically a clip point butcher knife.
A metal, stag or plastic fixture at the pommel (the end away from the blade) end of a knife handle.
1) (also BALISONG) A springless pivot handle folding knife. 2) One of a pair of mirror image Chinese fighting knives with triangular blades and heavy knuckle bows carried together in a single sheath.
Constant Quality Improvement. A process Spyderco applies to product design and manufacture in which changes and refinements are continually made to existing models, improving ergonomics, materials or manufacturing techniques.
California Clip Blade
A pocket knife blade with the clip beginning far back from the point perhaps one half inch from the handle.
CALIFORNIA STYLE CUTLERY
Styles of knives made in 19th century San Francisco.
CALLOUS RASP & CORN PLANE
A large hunting knife strong enough for chopping.
Canel or Cannell grind
A pocket knife with the handle ends curve up and make a canoe.
The metal reinforcement at the non-blade end of a folding knife handle.
A knife designed to do the delicate work of skinning around the eyes and lips of trophy animals; this work is called caping because you are removing the cape of the animal.
A term to describe the careful and detailed cutting and removing of the hide from a game animal for the purpose of taxidermy. More precisely it refers to removing the skin from the head, shoulders and neck.
Simple explanation: Hard particles formed in steel when carbon forms with iron or transition metals. In depth: Carbides control greatly the level of wear resistance and toughness in a steel. Because carbides are extremely hard, a great volume of them will make a steel very brittle, especially if the carbides are large and unevenly distributed. Steels vary from nearly 0% all the way to 30% carbide volume.
A hard sharp carbon/iron bonded material found in machining or drilling steel. Spyderco uses carbide for the replaceable and retractable glass breaking tip found on the C79 Assist model.
Increases edge retention and raises tensile strength. Increases hardness and improves resistance to wear and abrasion.
A contemporary premium composite of thin strands of carbon tightly woven into various weave patterns, then impregnated with resin which is most commonly clear but can be color tinted.<br><br>More specifically, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic or Carbon Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP or often simply carbon fiber), is an extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced plastic which contains carbon fibers. Commonly used wherever high strength-to-weight ratio and rigidity are required, such as aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, sports goods and an increasing number of other consumer and technical applications.<br><br>Carbon fibers are about 5–10 micrometers (a micrometer is one millionth of a meter (0.001 mm, or about 0.000039 inch) in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. To produce a carbon fiber, the carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber as the crystal alignment gives the fiber high strength-to-volume ratio (making it strong for its size). Several thousand carbon fibers are bundled together to form a tow, which may be used by itself or woven into a fabric. Carbon fibers are usually combined with other materials to form a composite. When combined with a plastic resin (epoxy) forming a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (which has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, and is extremely rigid although somewhat brittle.
Common or ordinary steel as contrasted with special or alloy steels, which contain other alloying metals in addition to the usual constituents of steel in their common percentages. There are 3 types of Carbon Steels, Low (.3% or less), Medium (.4-.7%) and High (.8% and up). High carbon is commonly used for knives, but not exclusively.
Cold Steel’s name for Camillus proprietary 0170-6C. Similar to O-1 tool steel. An exclusive carbon alloy steel, formulated and extensively treated to achieve exceptional properties. Carbon V was developed and refined by using both metallurgical and performance testing. Blades were subjected to the “Cold Steel Challenge” as a practical test, and then they were sectioned, so that their microstructure could be examined. In this way we arrived at the optimum steel AND the optimum heat treatment sequence to bring out the best in the steel. Cold Steel buys large quantities of premium high carbon cutlery steel with small amounts of elemental alloys added in the smelting stage. These elements enhance the blade’s performance in edge holding and elasticity. The steel is then rolled to their exact specifications to establish optimum grain refinement and blades are blanked to take full advantage of the grain direction in the steel. The blanks are heated in molten salt, quenched in premium oil and tempered in controlled ovens. Then they are ground. The new blades are then subjected to expert heat treatment, involving rigidly controlled austenizing temperatures, precisely defined soak times, proper selection of quenching medium and carefully monitored tempering times and temperatures. This heat treatment sequence results in blades which duplicate and often exceed the properties of the most expensive custom forgings. Premium U.S. High Carbon (from Cold Steel)- Cold Steel’s Premium Carbon Steel is used in a variety of our low cost highly functional knives. Chemical content and microstructure from the mill is specified by Cold Steel and each lot is subjected to the same metallurgical examination before being used in production as our world famous Carbon V. The Steel is a very clean,fine grained material with a high carbon content for toughness and response to heat treatment. Cold Steel has designed a special heat treatment for this material which maximizes toughness in combination with more than acceptable edge holding ability, resulting in a blade which will satisfy even the most discriminating user.
The oldest method of case hardening in which carbon is added to the surface of iron-base alloys by absorption through heating the metal at a temperature below its melting point, in contact with carbonaceous solids, liquids or gases. (See: Shear Steel, Double Shear Steel)
A carving knife (or slicing knife) is a large, knife that is used to cut thin slices of meat, including poultry, roasts, hams and other large cooked meats. A carving knife or slicer is much thinner than a chef’s knife enabling it to carve thinner, precise slices. The most important carving knife is the roast beef slicer. The roast beef slicer is used to carve rounds, boneless roasts, boiled briskets, pot roasts, butt roasts and standing rib roasts. The narrow cold meat slicer or ham slicer is used to slice ham or left-over roasts of all kinds. The wide, stiff blade does a better job on hot meats, whereas the narrow, more flexible blade cuts cold meat more efficiently. Although there are many patterns to select from, a carver or slicer should have adequate length to allow smooth slicing action.
Hardening a ferrous alloy to make the outside (case) much harder than the inside (core). This can be done by carburizing, cyaniding, nitriding, carbon nitriding, induction hardening or flame hardening. Their application to stainless steel is limited wherever they decrease corrosion resistance.
A generic term for a large family of cast ferrous alloys in which the carbon content exceeds solubility of carbon in austenite at the eutectic temperature. Most cast irons contain at least 2% carbon, plus silicon and sulfur, and may or may not contain other alloying elements. For the various forms gray cast iron, white cast iron, malleable cast iron and ductile cast iron, the word “cast” is often left out, resulting in “gray iron,” “white iron,” “malleable iron,” and “ductile iron,” respectively.
A term originally applied to crucible steel and sometimes today used to describe tool steels. The term is misleading and is falling into misuse. It can also be applied to steel castings made by pouring molten steel into a mould but which are not subject to further forging or rolling.
In 1926, several chemists embarked on experiments with phenol-formaldehyde compounds and by 1928 had refined the resin to a clear mixture. The material still had some minor problems, so chemists around the world tried for many years to find dyes that would keep their color during the process needed to set the material. Eventually, a group of German chemists found a way to make dyes directly from coal tar. Combined with varying amounts of water, the dyes could be added to the clear resin to create a wide variety of colors. Although one problem was solved, the new resin still could not hold up to the molding process, so they did more experimenting and found they could use a technique called casting. In casting, the molten material is poured into a lead mold that is then put into an oven to cure for three to eight days. Each mold is then flipped onto its side and air hammers are used to tap the molded item out of its lead mold. Because this great new material could now be more easily utilized, the American Catalin Corporation bought the rights to import the new German dyes to the United States in 1928. Their company name is where we get the word “Catalin”. http://catalinradio.com/p-2817-history.html
A knife with a clip or spear master blade, a spey blade and a leather punch. Made with many handle shapes.
A crystalline microstructure that can be found in steel consisting of iron and carbon compounds combined chemically, having the chemical symbol Fe3C. It is composed of 93% iron and 7% carbon. Cementite is also known as iron carbide. In some cases, cementite combines with ferrite, a byproduct of austenite, in order to build bainite and pearlite or lamellar structures.
Cerakote is a Polymer-Ceramic Composite coating that can be applied to metals, plastics, polymers and wood. The unique formulation used for Cerakote ceramic coating enhances a number of physical performance properties including abrasion and wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness.
ÊSee Alumina Ceramic, and Zirconia)
A unique range of thermochemically formed ceramic coatings for the prevention of wear and corrosion in a wide variety of industrial applications and for every type of surface.
Burnishing tool for the kukri.
Grinding a secondary flat surface on a corner, creating a beveled edge. Commonly done to the edges of a knifes handle or the inside radius of a hole making a smoother contact spot for hand/fingers. (Define Bevel v/s chamfer)
The material that is loaded into an electric furnace that will melt into a composition that will produce a molten steel alloy. Normally recycled scrap, pure iron, and alloying elements.
Charpy Impact Test
Also known as the Charpy V-notch test, this test is a standardized high strain-rate test which determines the amount of energy absorbed by a material during fracture. This absorbed energy is a measure of a given material’s notch toughness and acts as a tool to study the qualitative results of the impact test can be used to determine the ductility of a material.
Also known as a Chef’s knife, the Cook’s knife available in lengths from 6″ to 12″, this knife has more uses than any other one knife in the kitchen. The blade is wide at the handle and tapers to a point. Deep choil protects knuckles when dicing or mincing celery, onions, nut meats, parsley, peppers, etc. When properly used, the chef positions the point of the knife on the cutting board beyond the food to be diced or sliced and, without lifting the point, works the knife in a rocking motion to cut evenly and rapidly. Used for carving hot roasts also. The blade may be forged or not forged.
CHEF'S KNIFE or FRENCH CHEF'S KNIFE
A large lightweight kitchen knife with a nearly triangular blade, used for chopping and mincing food.
A report of the chemical composition of the elements and their percentage that form a metal alloy.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
A coating deposition process that is characterized by a chemical reaction producing the desired film material. CVD processes are usually performed in vacuum, but not always. Vacuum CVD processes generally are not performed in high vacuum conditions (as used in PVD processes). Many CVD processes are performed at elevated temperatures. Hard coatings such as TiC, TiN, and TiCN are CVD- coated above the tempering temperature of steels and require a re-heat treat step after coating. BryCoat provides CVD deposition of TiC for bearing balls.
CHICKEN / POULTRY FILLET
CHINESE CHEF'S / CLEAVERS
The Chinese cleaver or Chinese chef’s knife is a form of the general purpose cleaver, but thinner in cross-section. The Chinese cleaver is used for slicing and preparing a wide variety of meats, fish, or vegetables. A Chinese style chef’s knife with a square blade shaped like a cleaver.
The first knives were probably broken pieces of flint or some other form or chert (jasper, agate, novaculite, quartz or other stone with a conchoidal fracture) exposing sharp edges. Many people are knapping flint in the old ways and some are fastening these blades into stag or wood handles.
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.
The smaller of the two Indian and SE Asian deer that furnish antler for the knife industry; these are all shed horn harvested in the jungle by natives. See: Axis – India Stag.
1) A notch at the junction of the blade’s cutting edge and the ricasso that allows the edge to be sharpened all the way to the shoulder of the ricasso. 2) The unsharpened section of the ricasso linear to the cutting edge. (See: Ricasso, Finger Choil)
Chris Reeve Style Integral Lock
Developed by custom knifemaker Chris Reeve using the original Walker LinerLock in an integral form. An integral liner lock functions as a traditional liner lock with the exception that the liner is actually comprised of part of the handle scale.
Increases hardness, tensile strength, and toughness. Provides resistance to wear and corrosion. Essentially, it is the element that makes stainless steel stainless.
Chromium Nickel Steel
Steel usually made by the electric furnace process in which chromium and nickel participate as alloying elements. The stainless steel of 18% chromium and 8% nickel are the better known of the chromium-nickel types.
Metallic colored ceramic, often applied as a thin coating by PVD. Very hard (3500Hv). Used on cutting tools and other surfaces needing wear resistance.
Cimiter (Steak Knife)
A long, wide, curved, sharp-pointed butcher’s knife. Primarily used for cutting steaks and roasts from primal cuts.
A 15th Century Italian dagger, very wide at the hilt; usually used as a left hand dagger. Name means five fingers wide.
This is a term that you may hear mentioned when someone is describing the date of a knife. It simply means around or approximately. For instance, circa 1930 means approximately 1930.
CITRUS / MELON / SAUSAGE TESTING
A composite metal containing two or more layers that have been bonded together. The bonding may have been accomplished by co-rolling, co-extrusion, welding, diffusion bonding, casting, heavy chemical deposition, or heavy electroplating.
A style of jack knife that curves upward at the end.
A large single-bladed jack knife with an upwardly curving handle that tapers to a point, traditionally made from the solid end of an animal’s horn.
The two handed sword of the Scots.
A meat cleaver is a large, rectangular knife that is used for cutting large prices of meat. The blade is heavy and thick for chopping through bone and joints. Many cleavers have a hole in the end to allow them to be easily stored on a rack for accessibility. Cleavers are an essential tool for any kitchen that prepares its own meat. A heavy bladed knife for chopping through meat and bones.
CLIP (POINT) BLADE
A blade with a concave cutout in the back at the point. A blade, ground on the top (spine) in an angled or sweeping line downward. The underside (where the sharpened edge is) is ground upward. The two angles meet at the tip and where the angles meet determines the depth of the blades belly.
Spyderco’s trademarked term for their line of folding knives which feature a pocket clip and their trademarked and patented Round Hole.
Increases strength and hardness, and permits quenching in higher temperatures. Intensifies the individual effects of other elements in more complex steels.
A machined flange of steel positioned over the Spyderco round opening hole on the spine of the blade which directs/positions your thumb over the hole for quickly opening the knife blade.
One of the true tropical rosewoods, Cocobolo is a very beautiful wood, ranging from a beautiful rich dark brick red, to reddish or dark brown, with a figuring of darker irregular traces weaving through the wood. It is fine textured and oily in look and feel. Comes from Mexico and Central America.
Exposing to suitable subzero temperatures for the purpose of obtaining desired conditions or properties such as dimensional or microstructural stability. When the treatment involves the transformation of retained austenite, it is usually followed by tempering.
Cold forming is the process of forging metals at near room temperatures. In cold forming metal is formed at high speed and high pressure into tool steel or carbide dies. The cold working of the metal increases the hardness, yield, and tensile strengths.
The Ka-Bar of WWII shows what a combat knife should be; it can open cans of food, it can dig a foxhole or it can be used in hand-to-hand combat.
A trademarked named by Spyderco for a knife edge that is partially SpyderEdged. (See: SpyderEdge)
COMMEMORATIVE & LIMITED EDITION KNIFE
A small piece of metal that is inserted, from the side, in between the blade tang and the stop pin (or anvil pin)
A steel-forming process whereby molten metal is solidified into a semi-finished billet, bloom, or slab for subsequent rolling in the finishing mills.
See: Chef’s Knife
Increases corrosion resistance. The main element used in brass, bronze, and nickel silver.
Very similar to Teak and is occasionally used as a substitute for Teak in shipbuilding.
A DuPont brand name for a heavy-duty woven nylon product line. The Cordura brand has set the standard for what durable, long-lasting fabrics should be for over 45 years. Known for its resistance to abrasions, tears and scuffs, this fabric is a primary ingredient in high-performance products, from luggage, upholstery and backpacks to footwear, military equipment and tactical gear.
Corrosion is the deterioration of a metal as a result of chemical reactions between it and the surrounding environment. Both the type of metal and the environmental conditions that are in contact with the metal, determine the form and rate of deterioration.
The ability of a material to resist deterioration as a result of a reaction to its environment. Provided by the elements Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo) and Nitrogen (N).
The material covering the liner between the bolsters.
Crucible Particle Metallurgy. The proprietary process has been used for the commercial production of high speed steels and other high alloy tool steels since 1970 by Crucible Industries. The process lends itself not only to the production of superior quality tool steels, but to the production of higher alloyed grades which cannot be produced by conventional steelmaking. For most applications the CPM process offers many benefits over conventionally ingot-cast tool steels.
The first in the family of high vanadium tool steels made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. Crucible engineers optimized the vanadium content to provide superior wear resistance while maintaining toughness and fabrication characteristics comparable to D2 and M2. Since its introduction in 1978, CPM 10V has become recognized worldwide and sets the standard for highly wear resistant industrial tooling.
CPM 154 is an improved CPM-manufactured version of Crucible’s standard 154 CM. The CPM manufacturing process produces a uniform distribution of the carbides in this grade, giving this CPM 154 easier grinding and polishing, plus better toughness, than conventional 154 CM, while retaining similar heat treat response and wear properties. CPM 154 offers better corrosion resistance, better wear resistance and better hot-hardness than 440C, plus higher toughness. For knifemakers, it offers better edge retention and chipping resistance than 440C. (See: 154 CM, ATS-34)
Intended for applications requiring exceptional wear resistance. It has more vanadium carbides in its microstructure than CPM 10V and provides more wear resistance and longer tool life in those applications where 10V has proven to be successful. CPM 15V also offers an alternative to solid carbide where carbide fails by fracture or where intricate tool design makes carbide difficult or risky to fabricate.Carbon-3.4%, Manganese-0.5%, Chromium-5.25%, Vanadium-14.5%, Molybdenum-1.3% Rockwell-59-62
A medium carbon, high alloy tool steel which exhibits high toughness combined with high heat resistance. It is suited for hot or cold applications demanding high impact toughness that also requires moderate wear resistance.
A highly wear resistant, powder metallurgy stainless tool steel. CPM 20CV is unique in that it contains a high volume of vanadium carbides and the highest amount of chromium of any high-vanadium stainless steel currently available. This potent combination of elements gives it a remarkable combination of high wear resistance, superior corrosion resistance, good impact toughness, and excellent polishability. These properties are maximized by the powder metallurgy process, which ensures an extremely clean steel with small carbides and a very fine grain size. CPM 20CV excels as an advanced alloy that offers outstanding potential in high-performance cutlery applications. Originally developed by Latrobe as DuraTech 20CV.
Crucible Steel in NY created CPM S30V as a steel developed specifically to be used for knife blades. A first, and the knife industry appreciates such purpose built efforts. Shortly after the introduction of CPM S30V, Chris Reeve (of Chris Reeve Knives) began working with Dick Barber, a metallurgist at Crucible Steel (at the time). The goal was to create an even better version of the steel that had better machinability and finish. After several years of testing and development, the result was CPM S35VN. Chemically the same as S30V, but with the additional of Niobium (also referred to as Columbium). High Chromium ferritic steels containing Niobium exhibit increased temperature stability and refined grain structure which is important when working hard steels used in items like jet and rocket engines, welding and knife blades. It increases a blade’s strength and ability to take and retain sharpness.
A high toughness, wear-resistant tool steel made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. It is designed to provide maximum resistance to breakage and chipping in high wear-resistance steel. CPM 3V is intended to be used at 58/60 HRC in applications where chronic breakage and chipping are encountered in other tool steels, but where the wear properties of high alloy steel are required.
See: CPM S60V
Crucible CPM 4V blade steel is a powder metallurgy tool steel that offers high impact toughness and very good wear resistance. Developed for demanding industrial applications where a combination of strength, wear resistance and toughness is required, CPM 4V has significantly more carbon, vanadium, and molybdenum than CPM 3V. The result is a steel that is capable of a higher attainable hardness and even greater abrasion resistance than CPM 3V and significantly better toughness and wear resistance than D2. Despite these advanced performance qualities, CPM 4V has only 5% chromium–below the threshold of stainless steel–and therefore must be properly maintained to protect it from corrosion. Like conventional steels, particle metallurgy steels begin with a homogeneous bath of molten high-alloy steel. However, instead of being poured into ingot molds, the molten steel is forced through a nozzle under high pressure to create a spray of small spherical droplets that quickly solidify into powder particles. The small size of the particles forms micro-ingots, drastically reducing the alloy segregation in the steel and ensuring an extremely fine, uniform carbide structure. This enhances the steel’s edge retention, as well as its grinding and polishing characteristics.
CPM 9V is designed for use in tooling that encounters severe wear. Its toughness, or cracking resistance, is higher than other high-wear resistant cold work tool steels permitting it to be used in some applications where CPM 10V, D2 or high-speed steels do not have sufficient resistance to cracking. It is usually limited in hardness to about 56 HRC or lower, and is therefore not intended for applications requiring high compressive strength.
CPM M4 is a high-speed, wear resistant, tool steel. It is non-stainless steel. Its high content of Molybdenum and Tungsten gives it a fine grain size, greater strength, hardness and toughness. It is a triple temper heat treat to make it as tough as possible without brittleness. CPM M4 will provide high edge retention and impact resistance with an Rc of 58-63, yet relatively easy to sharpen.
CPM S110V is a vanadium-rich (9.0%) and niobium-rich (3.0%) alloys which classify it as a martensitic stainless tool steel. Crucible’s powdered metal process creates uniform carbide distribution of the steel’s components throughout the blade for superior wear resistance, toughness and corrosion protection. These are positive performance characteristics highly desired in state-of-the-art exotic blade steels.
Introduced by Crucible in 2002 and developed premium grade stainless steel created especially for knives. It is a powder made steel with uniform structure and clean steel properties. It is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance.
Originally called CPM 440V, CPM S60V is a unique tool steel made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. It is designed from a 440C stainless base analysis with added high carbon and vanadium for exceptionally good wear resistance. The exceptional wear resistance and good corrosion resistance of CPM S60V make it an excellent candidate to replace 440C and other corrosion and wear resistant materials, particularly where increased wear resistance is a primary concern. One of the first CPM steels used for cutlery, but it proved to have performance issues, principally edge chipping, at 60HRC and was subsequently discontinued, modified and relaunched by Crucible as CPM S30V. (See: CPM S30V)
The new name for CPM420V. CPM S90V is not commonly used in the knife industry. It is a high carbon stainless steel formerly known as CPM 420V. With 2.3% carbon it offers wicked edge retention and higher tensile strength. It has more than twice the vanadium than CPM S30V, providing greater wear resistance. CPM S90V may be uncommon in our industry due to its strength, hardness and toughness; all things that can prove to be difficult in a production atmosphere. Given the extreme wear resistance, it proved to be difficult to grind, the steel didn’t want to “give” or “let go” of molecules. Although frustrating in production, this characteristic speaks to what can be expected in edge retention.
CREDIT CARD KNIFE
A bend at the beginning of the tang of a multi-blade knife that prevents the blades from rubbing one another.
A temperature range in which an internal change takes place within a metal. Also referred to as transformation range.
The temperature at which steel changes its structure to austenite in preparation for hardening.
Crucible Steel manufacturers CRU-WEAR which is very similar to Vascowear, a steel used by Gerber Legendary Blades in several of their past production knives. CRU-WEAR is a high-performance “V” tool steel that is difficult to process making it challenging for knife manufacturers to work with. It follows the same high-alloy, metallurgical tool-steel recipe used to produce D2, but with greater levels of vanadium, tungsten, and molybdenum. It is air-hardened and worked in a cold state. Cru-Wear exhibits exceptional toughness, impact resistance, and hardness for exceptional edge retention. (See: Vascowear)
A ceramic pot or receptacle made of graphite and clay, or clay or other refractory material, and used in the melting of metal. The term is sometimes applied to pots made of cast iron, cast steel, or wrought steel.
A modern addition to heat treating tool steels. After the normal heat treat the steel is lowered in temperature very low. Before it became widely available with heat-treating firms many makers were using liquid nitrogen and doing it at home.
Carpenter Technology name for their powder metal alloys. It stands for CarTech (Carpenter Technology) Sintered. (See: Micro Melt, CPM, Powder Metal Steel)
Made by Carpenter Technology of Reading, PA., CTS 75P is comparable in elemental composition to BG42, but is produced using a powdered steel manufacturing process rather cast steel construction. Powdered steel manufacturing renders the ingredients and carbides making up the steel’s structure, more consistent in grain size to each other and homogenize the steel. For the knife user this translates into a high-performance knife steel with exceptional wear and corrosion resistance and long term edge retention. CTS B75P’s hard vanadium carbides further augment its wear resistance and edge retention making it the new knife steel that production knife companies and custom knifemakers are excited to use. (See: BG42)
Made by Carpenter Technology, CTS B70P is a high-chromium, air-hardening steel alloyed with molybdenum, vanadium and niobium. Like conventional steels, the particle metallurgy process begins with a homogenous molten bath of high-alloy steel. However, rather than being poured into ingot molds, the molten steel is forced through a nozzle under high pressure to create a spray of small spherical droplets that quickly solidify into powder particles. The small size of the particles forms micro-ingots, drastically reducing the alloy segregation in the steel and ensuring an extremely fine, uniform carbide structure. This enhances the steel’s edge retention, as well as its grinding and polishing characteristics. CTS B70P is a powder metallurgy derivative of Carpenter’s CRB-7 alloy, but offers improved wear resistance and hardness capability. Its corrosion resistance is very comparable to 440C stainless steel. Collectively, these qualities make it an excellent candidate for cutlery applications.
CTS BD1 is Carpenter Technology’s version of Gingami I (also known as G2), the gold-standard for Japanese cutlers. Its superior edge retention and surface finish are machined to a fine edge and it heat-treats consistently.
CTS XHP powdered steel is produced exclusively by Carpenter Steel Corporation of Reading, PA. CTS XHP is air hardened, high carbon, high chromium, corrosion resistant blade steel. It exhibits exceptional hardness similar to that found in tool steels such as D2, but also offers corrosion resistance on par with high chromium stainless steels like Type-440C. The powdered steel manufacturing process renders the steel’s ingredients and its carbides with a more consistent grain size. When grains are similar sized, the result is a more homogenized steel structure. For the person cutting with the blade this translates into higher-performing knife steel that has exceptional wear and corrosion resistance and long lasting edge retention. CTS XHP contains hard vanadium carbides further augmenting its hardness level to produce a keenly sharp cutting edge and surface finish. Even exposed to moisture, petroleum products and organic materials it exhibits exceptional corrosion resistance.
The following paragraph is the correct meaning of Custom Knife, however in today’s knife world it means a knife not made in a factory, it can be handmade or assembled from mass produced parts.. Today the term is totally without meaning. A Custom Knife is one in which the customer has either designed all or part of the knife –OR- a knife in which the customer has specified the materials in a makers own design. Selecting one of the listed handle materials in a makers catalog to be put on a blade of the makers design does not make a custom knife.
Swedge (alternate spelling) v/s ÔCommon Swedge (long tapered)
A curved blade sword sharp on one edge with a strong cover for the hand used on naval vessels in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
All steel-bladed scissors, razors, knives, and forks.
D2 is an air-hardening, high carbon, high chromium tool steel that is often called semi-stainless. It offers excellent abrasion resistance, due to a large volume of carbides in the microstructure. D2 is commercially used for stamping dies, blanking dies, shear blades due to its high wear resistance.
Double edged sheath knife with a symmetrical blade intended for stabbing. A grind down the center of a blade equally dividing it into halves. On the SpyderFly only the bottom edge is sharpened and the top of the dagger grind is left unsharpened creating a false edge. A knife with two or more sharp edges that is designed primarily for stabbing.
Inlaying steel with gold and silver wire. See: Koftgari.
Laminated steel showing ‘grain’ made up of alternating layers of harder and softer alloys, made commercially in India, France, and Germany at least since the 17th century, and in the U.S. since the 1970s. In original unlaminated Wootz or ‘natural’ damascus, the grain results from the method of heat treatment.
A martensitic, stainless Damascus steel with superior strength and durability usually with RWL34 as one of the two grades used. It is manufactured using modern powder metallurgy with a patented technique.
David Boye Dent or Indent
Custom knifemaker David Boye ground a small arc or dent from the lock bar lever of his knives. This modification, adopted by Spyderco, reduces the possibility of gripping the handle hard enough to depress the lock bar and accidentally unlock the blade during use.
A temper of nonferrous alloys and some ferrous alloys corresponding to the condition of minimum hardness and tensile strength produced by full annealing.
Removal of carbon from the outer surface of iron or steel, usually by heating in an oxidizing or reducing atmosphere. Water vapor, oxygen and carbon dioxide are strong decarburizers. Reheating with adhering scale is also strongly decarburizing in action.
A lightweight and durable engineered polymer with low wear properties. Used throughout the auto industry. Molded to form.
A crystal that has a treelike branching pattern most evident in cast metals (dendritic steel) that are slowly cooled through the solidification range. From the Greek Dendron = tree, Greek Dendritēs = treelike. (See: Dendritic Cobalt, Dendritic Steel)
Created by Boye Knives, this blade material is a super-performing, investment cast non-rusting cobalt alloy. The process used to produce it transforms the original alloy into one infused with microscopic crystals which create tiny serrations along the blade edge. Not a steel, it cuts aggressively and keeps cutting, is completely impervious to seawater corrosion, and is non-magnetic. Named for the tree-like crystal patterns in the steel (from the Greek Dendron = tree, Greek Dendritēs = treelike).
A term first used by knifemaker David Boye to describe the cast 440C stainless steel he developed in 1981. The process used to produce it, investment casting, transforms the original steel into one infused with microscopic crystals which create tiny serrations along the blade edge. Named for the tree-like crystal patterns in the steel (from the Greek Dendron = tree, Greek Dendritēs = treelike).
Comes from Arizona and Northern Mexico, from the lower reaches of the Sonoran desert. It is very hard, very dense, and is one of a handful of woods that sinks in water. Ironwood also features some of the highest contrast and striking patterns of any wood in the world. Once used by the Seri Native Americans of Mexico for tool handles. Native to the Sonoran desert (Northern Sonora Mexico and southern Arizona) it is a very dense tight grained wood, takes a very high polish, tends to darken with use and age.
See: Ball Detent.
The mechanical entrapment of diamond crystals onto a metal substrate. This process operates by depositing metal, layer by layer, from a plating solution until enough metal is built up around the diamond crystals to hold them in place.
Diamond Cross Section Blade
Most often found in a stiletto or rapier blade.
The Scottish Dirk is single edged and is a descendent of the Kidney Dagger and was basically used as a left hand knife while fighting with the broadsword. There were also the Dirks carried by midshipmen in the early years of the United States Navy, those usually had slim, curved, single edged blades. This was more a badge of office than a tool. Today the term dirk is obsolete, these are made only for people who want to dress up in antique clothing for plays and reenactments. 1) a small dagger.2) A Scottish knife intended as a sidearm.
Distal taper refers to the change in thickness from the base of the blade to the tip, usually in reference to a sword blade. Greatly affects the handling characteristics and performance of the blade.
DIVOT FORK (TOOL)
Diamond-Like Carbon coating, and is a nano-composite coating that has unique properties of natural diamond low friction, high hardness, and high corrosion resistance. (See: Tungsten DLC)
DOUBLE BIT AXE
Double Eged blade
A blade with a sharpened edge on both the bottom and spine of the blade.
A blade that is ground flat on both sides of the blade, tapering to an edge with no radius.
DOUBLE shear steel
A treatment in which a quench-hardened ferrous metal is subjected to two complete tempering cycles, usually at substantially the same temperature, for the purpose of ensuring completion of the tempering reaction and promoting stability of the resulting microstructure.
An older name and common term used interchangeably with tempering. From “drawing the temper”, as in reheating to reduce the hardness or drawing down to the degree required. (See: Tempering)
DRESSMAKING & SEWING SCISSORS & SHEARS
Also called closed die forging, the form of the finished item is built into the die, the steel is heated and the hammer forms the plastic steel into the recesses of the die.
A style of hunting knife blade designed by Robert W. Loveless, based on an old New England pattern.
Drop Point Blade
A design popularized by the hunting knives made by Bob Loveless and Bo Randall. The tip of the blade is lowered through a convex arc from the spine. A slow convex-curved drop in the point characterizes a drop-point blade. The drop-point format lowers the point for control but adds strength to the tip. Usually coupled with plenty of belly for slicing, this format is often used for hunting knives. It is also a fantastic all-around blade format. This blade shape can be found on a wide array of knives.
The ability of a material to be stretched or drawn, plastically deform appreciably before fracturing. Provided by the element Manganese (Mn).
Also called duraluminum, duraluminium, duralum, duralium or dural. It is the trade name of one of the earliest types of age-hardenable aluminum alloys. Its use as a specific alloy name is obsolete, and today the term is mainly used to describe aluminum–copper alloys, designated as the 2000 series. These alloys were developed for aircraft manufacture. Used by Buck Knives for the hunting knife guards and pommels.
EAR & NOSE HAIR SCISSORS
EAR & NOSE HAIR TRIMMERS
Originating in Venice from Oriental predecessors the Eared Dagger was distinguished by two round plates set an angle to each other at the pommel.
This is a style of knife handle that has a curve shaped cut out that exposes enough of the blade for the operator to grasp the blades between two fingers for easy opening.
An acronym for ‘Everyday Carry’. Meaning a knife that is carried and used daily.
The cutting portion of the blade. The sharp part(s) of a knife blade.
The honed part of the blade that starts after the blade bevel and continues to the cutting edge.
The ability of a blade’s cutting edge to resist abrasion and wear. Provided by the elements Carbon (C), Chromium (Cr), Manganese (Mn), Nitrogen (N) and Vanadium (V).
Electrophoretically Deposited Paint. Also known as E-Coat. (See: Powdercoat)
Also called flexibility, this is the ability to deform, bend, compress, or stretch and return to the original shape once the external stress is removed.
Electric Arc Furnace
A furnace that heats charged material by means of an electric arc.
Uddeholm Elmax SuperClean is a third generation powder metal technology. Noted for its fine carbide distribution with extremely low inclusion content for virtually no chip-out. An excellent balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. It contains elevated levels of chromium, vanadium-molybdenum that deem it a well-tailored fit for making knife blades. These elements translate into resistance to wear and corrosion and it has a homogenous grain structure making it malleable when grinding.
Acronym for End-Line User. Coined by Spyderco as the consumer who uses Spyderco knives and sharpeners.
Term used to describe personalized engraving or additional ornamentation added to a knife after it is manufactured.
The severe loss of ductility or toughness or both, of a material, usually a metal or alloy, making it brittle. (See: Ductility, Hydrogen Embrittlement)
Emerson Patented Blade Opening Feature
A blade opening feature invented and patented by Ernest Emerson. It is a hook protruding from the bladeÕs spine that opens the knifeÕs blade when drawing it from a pocket by catching on the pocketÕs edge.
Acronym for Emergency Medical Technician.
One of the most recognized and exacting adornments on metal. Decoration cut into a surface.
A knife designed for scraping ink from paper or vellum.
An applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use to maximize safety and efficiency. Knives that are designed to be comfortable and less fatiguing to use are considered ergonomic. Making knife shapes that work with the structure of the human hand. Claimed by many, achieved by few.
A small metal inlay on the handle of the knife to place the initials of the owner or the trademark of the maker or just for decoration, often shaped as shields, hence the name, but, can be of any shape. Onlayed, not inlayed.Often held in place by escutcheon pins (round headed nails).
1) Etching is traditionally the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio (incised) in the metal. In traditional pure etching, a metal (usually copper, zinc or steel) plate is covered with a wax which is resistant to acid. The artist then scratches off the ground with a needle or pointed stylus where he/she wants a line to appear in the finished piece, so exposing the bare metal to the acid. 2) Damascus steel is usually etched, that is subjected to an acid bath to etch the carbon steel layers to create and enhance the laminations and show the pattern. The darker the color of a layer the higher to carbon content.
EUROPEAN GUTTING BLADE
Antler from the Red Deer, a large elk like animal found throughout Europe. Has been used for knife handles for at least as long as there have been knives of metal, and probably long before that. This stag has never been a substitute for the antler of the axis and sambar deer of India and Southeast Asia. The European Red Deer has a very coarse and open center, much like the American elk. Because of the large amount of pith in the center, it mostly has to be used as handle scales. The antler of the Red Deer is a limited substitute for the antler of both the Axis and the Sambar, that have both been embargoed by the Indian government.
(1) An isothermal reversible reaction in which a liquid solution is converted into two or more intimately mixed solids on cooling, the number of solids formed being the same as the number of components in the system. (2) An alloy having the composition indicated by the eutectic point on an equilibrium diagram. (3) An alloy structure of intermixed solid constituents formed by eutectic reaction.
An eutectic mixture(also simply eutectic) is a mixture at such proportions that the melting point is a local temperature minimum, and all the components crystallize simultaneously at this temperature from molten liquid mixture. For steel(Iron and Carbon mix), it means crystallization of the Carbon. See also Eutectoid Point.
Temperature at which eutectic transformation occurs in molten steel. Speaking more metallurgical, this can be described as the austenite phase undergoing an eutectoid transformation to produce ferrite(solution with Iron as its main component) and cementite (iron carbide). For steel this point is at 727¡C (1340.6¡F), when Carbon content is about 0.83%. This is more accurate, metallurgical definition of High Carbon steel, C >= 0.83%, not more widespread marketing definition with 0.5% or more Carbon.
Face Centered Cubic (FCC) Lattice
An arrangement of atoms in crystals in which the atomic centers are disposed in space in such a way that one atom is located at each of the corners of the cube and one at the center of each face. Steel in the face-centered cubic arrangement is termed austenite.
A sharpened area on the back of the point of some large knives. A partially sharpened area on the backs of some knife blades. [False Edge & Swedge – Many times erroneously used interchangeably. A Swedge is a decorative bevel ground into the spine of the blade. A False Edge is a wide predominant swedge ground into the spine of the blade used to mimic a secondary sharpened grind, yet left with a small unsharpened flat, hence ÔfalseÕ edge.]
A short handled billhook or brush hook formerly used for cutting fasces, bundles of sticks used to reinforce earthworks and ditches.
A maker of extremely fine sword blades from the middle of the 16th Century his work was so celebrated that he was counterfeited in his own time and after. Many of his blades and copies were used in the basket hilted broadswords of Scotland.
The body-centered cubic crystalline phase of iron-based alloys.
Related to iron (derived from the Latin ferrum). Ferrous alloys are, therefore, iron-base alloys.
Fiber Glass (in plastic handles)
Many of todayÕs thermoplastic materials are improved by adding chopped glass fibers often as much as 40% of a product may be glass. Adds great strength.
A knife that is intended for killing sentries, for hand-to-hand fighting and little else.
A knife, usually a folder, with the handle formed in the shape of an object, animal, or person.
File & Wire
Before the Rockwell tester, the File & Wire mark was used to indicate that the hardness and toughness of a blade had passed the file and wire test. The test consisted of cutting the edge bevel with a new file to test the hardness and then tapping the blade edge through a piece of wire of a known hardness to test the toughness. If the edge was not blunted by the wire, it passed the test and was marked with “File & Wire Tested”. This method and mark was used by Schatt & Morgan for many years and evolved into a brand. Today, the Schatt & Morgan brand is produced by Queen Cutlery in the old Schatt & Morgan factory in Titusville, Pa.
A cutout, scallop, or finger groove in the profile of a knife at the juncture of the handle and blade (the choil) that provides a purchase for the finger when gripped. Name was coined by Sal Glesser of Spyderco.
FISH BONE TWEEZERS
A fillet knife is a very long and flexible boning knife that is used to fillet or prepare fish. Blades are longer and more flexible than traditional boning Knife so that they move easily along the backbone and ribs and under the skin of fish.
A knife that does not normally fold.
A knifes edge that tapers from the cutting edge all the way to the blades spine that is ground completely flat without a radius. A flat grind, leaving a completely flat surface ground from the bladeÕs edge all the way to itsÕ spine. A flat grind leaves a flat surface, that flat surface if ground from edge to spine is considered a full-flat grind. If that flat surface goes from the edge to somewhere in the middle of the blade it would be considered a flat saber grind. Spyderco uses both types of flat-grinds. Full-flat is found on our C36 Military Model, flat-saber-grind can be found on our C11 Delica and C10 Enduras.
The surface of the blade is flat from or near the back of the blade to the beginning of the sharpening bevel. Most production pocket knives are flat ground; most handmade hunting knives are hollow ground. Also referred to as a V grind, it results in a blade bevel that tapers in a uniform fashion from the spine to the edge bevel. Most pocket knives are flat ground.
A knifes edge, ground completely flat without a radius that tapers from the cutting edge to a grind line down the center of the blade. Unlike a Full Flat Grind, which tapers from the cutting edge all the way to the blades spine the Flat Saber only is flat ground just to the grind line.
Flat Saber Grind (Scandi)
An edge ground completely flat without a radius that tapers from the cutting edge to a grind line down the center of the blade.
A sharp pointed veterinary instrument used for phlebotomy (blood letting) on livestock (compare lancet).
Any knife that allows the blade to be folded into the handle. Pocket knives, Folding hunters etc.
FOLDING KNIFE or FOLDER
Any knife with a pivoting or folding blade. Smaller folders are also called pocket knives.
FORGED BLADE: A blade that was hammered to shape from a red hot bar of steel. Compare blanked blade.
A form of hot working whereby metal is heated and formed into a desirable shape by pressing or hammering.
Fossil Walrus Ivory
Ranges from 6,000 to 10,000 years old, and is harvested from underground and underwater in Alaska and Siberia. William Henry works directly with Native Americans in Alaska who search for this exotic material during the 2-3 warmest months of the year. Minerals will seep into the material over time, creating colors from cream through the spectrum to blue/black in the exterior layers.
FRANKFURTER / SAUSAGE KNIFE
FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon)
A nylon polymer mixed with glass fiber then injection molded into formed and textured lightweight high-strength knife handles. GRN?
It is the side of the knife with the company logo or the side that the master blade folds to.
A lockback where the locking release lever’s (rocker arm) actuating cut-out is located past the middle of the handle (frame) in the front (pivot) half of said handle. (See: Lockback, Mid-Lock, and Rear-Lock)
FROZEN FOOD KNIFE
FRUIT KNIFE, FOLDING
A small fancy knife used for eating fruit, with blade of gold, silver, silver plate, ivory, or stainless.
Full Length Tang
A tang that runs through the hilt, handle and pommel.
A tang which shows all around the handle of the knife between two pieces of handle material.
A groove that lightens and stiffens the blade. Also known as a blood groove, though the term is inaccurate. Lengthwise groove forged or cut into a blade to reduce its weight; sometimes mistakenly called ‘blood groove.’
A high-pressure, glass-epoxy laminate, composite material specified for its extremely high strength and high dimensional stability over temperature. It is created by stacking multiple layers of glass cloth, soaking in epoxy resin, and compressing the resulting material under heat until the epoxy cures. It is manufactured in flat sheets. Most commonly black, but is also available in various colors. (See: Micarta)
When seen on the blade of an older Spyderco knife it means one thing, used today it means a Gingami (Japan) steel of very high quality.
An adjustable thermoplastic clip, in profile looks like the letter ‘G’, affixed to fixed-blade sheaths to support a variety of carry positions on the belt, waistband, or other locations.
Any decorative motif consisting of convex curves in a series. Used especially in silverwork, embellished with fluting, reeding, or another continuous pattern.
Coating steel with zinc and tin (principally zinc) for rust proofing purposes.
GARLIC PRESS & SLICER
GARNISHING & DECORATING TOOLS
The thickness of sheet metal is in the USA commonly specified by a traditional, non-linear measure known as its gauge. The larger the gauge number, the thinner the metal. Commonly used steel sheet metal ranges from 30 gauge to about 7 gauge.
Any knife that is trim and elegant in form. Something that could be carried without embarrassment anywhere.
A alloy of copper, zinc and nickel. also known as Nickel Silver.
Gold leaf, but specifically fire-gilting vs electroplatingÉ.
See: Push Dagger. Pocket Dirk.
A stainless steel with slightly less Carbon, slightly more Chromium, and much less Molybdenum than ATS-34. GIN-1 has no Nickel, Tungsten or Vanadium. Slightly softer than AUS-8. Also known as Gingami-1.
The short stabbing sword of the Roman Legions. The blade was 18-24 inches long.
GLASS FIBER (G-10?!?)
Glass fiber manufacturing is part chemical, part mechanical. Strands of glass and carbon are drawn into fibers then heated to high temperatures to expel the majority of non-carbon atoms in a process called carbonization. The process creates filament-like fibers composed of tightly woven chains of glass/carbon that when laminated into sheets makes exceptional knife handles that are lightweight, visually pleasing and wear-resistant.
A coarse blade finish.
Glazing is done with walrus hide covered wood wheels. Crocus polish is done with felt wheels. Makers do as fine a polish as customers are willing to pay for. “Crocus of iron” = powdered red iron oxide, got its name because it looks like the spice, saffron, which is the pollen of a type of crocus flower.
Another, even more complex, rendition of a classic art form. This involves creating a fine engraving with deep relief, then inlaying 24K gold into select portions of the engraving.
Goldlip Mother of Pearl
Scientifically the same as White Mother of Pearl only that Gold is taken from the reverse side of the shell. Good quality dark Gold shells come from the waters surrounding the Philippines and parts of Indonesia. The gold section is a thin lip Ñ like a veneer Ñ of natural color that is carefully selected and worked to yield the deepest possible gold tones.
Goose Wing Axe
The most beautiful of the Bearded Axes, most often seen as a Northern European axe sharpened one side only for squaring timbers.
The divisions within different types of steel based on carbon content or mechanical properties.
The individual crystal units in metals. A solid polyhedral (or many sided crystal) consisting of groups of atoms bound together in a regular geometric pattern.
The average grain diameter from a random cross-section of material.
A small fork with two or three tines primarily used for turning in a sauté pan. From an advertising perspective a name used to evoke maternal, old-fashioned products like your grandmother would have used.
Another name for a paring knife. From an advertising perspective a name used to evoke maternal, old-fashioned products like your grandmother would have used. (See: Paring Knife)
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. A CUTTING EDGE WITH ALTERNATING HOLLOWED-OUT GROOVES (OR KULLENS FRENCH TERM?) ON THE SIDE OF THE BLADE. THESES GROOVES ALLOW, FAT AND JUICES FROM THE PRODUCT BEING CUT, AND AIR TO REDUCE THE RESISTANCE (BREAK THE SUCTION) OF THE BLADE, ALLOWING FOR ULTRA-THIN TO UNIFORMLY THICK AND EVEN SLICES WITHOUT TEARING OR SHREDDING THAT WOULD BE UNATTAINABLE WITH THE SAME BLADE WITHOUT A GRANTON EDGE. ALSO KNOWN AS A KULLENSCHLIFF EDGE. The kullen edge is a modification of theGranton Edge originally designed and patented in 1928 by Granton Ragg Ltd. The Granton edge has semi-circulare scallops ground into either side of the blade. A similar design called kullen (from kullenschliff, meaning sharpened hill) followed, using oval scallops hollowed-out on one or both sides of the blade, just above the edge.
The grapefruit knife has a small, slender, curved blade that is used to separate the flesh of a grapefruit from the peel and inner membranes. The blade is usually serrated with a blunt tip.
An amorphous combination of a semi-crystalline Polyamide (nylon copolymer) and special glass fibers. Characterized by high stiffness and increased strength over a wide temperature range, low moisture absorption, and very good dimensional stability. Developed for precision injection.
A metal fitting or projection at the junction of a knife’s blade and its handle designed primarily to prevent the user’s hand from sliding on to the blade. Guards are used mainly on hunting knives, butcher knives, bowie knives, daggers and combat knives. Guards that project both top and bottom are often called crossguards. (See: Hilt)
Or Engine Turning (misnomer), is a very fine geometric engraving on metal. William Henry owns a rare set of original Guilloche machines, built in the 1920’s in Switzerland and used for decorating very high-grade timepieces. Completely rebuilt, these tools are now in service in our studio and used to create very small editions of beautifully decorated metal components in our knives and pens. Nearly a lost art, less than 30 such machines still in commercial operation in the world today.
ANOTHER TERM FOR BRONZE. A TYPE OF BRONZE USED FOR PARTS SUBJECT TO WEAR OR CORROSION (ESPECIALLY CORROSION BY SEA WATER) WORDNET.PRINCETON.EDU/PERL/WEBWN IS A KIND OF BRONZE, AN ALLOY OF COPPER, TIN, AND SOME ZINC, ORIGINALLY USED CHIEFLY FOR MAKING GUNS, BUT LATER SUPERSEDED BY STEEL. IT IS ALSO CALLED RED BRASS IN AMERICA AN ALLOY OF 90% COPPER AND 10% TIN THAT WAS VERY POPULAR IN THE 1890ÕS. EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/GUNMETAL
A sharpened hook which lies on the spine of a hunting knife blade. This design allows the hunter to field dress the animal without puncturing the animals intestine.
H1 steel is a stainless steel that is precipitation-hardened and contains nitrogen instead of carbon, which cannot rust.
In pocket knife language, to have the handle put on the knife. In general English it means to have put on a handle of a tool, including knives.
Also called an Appleseed or Moran grind. ItÕs a convex grind made on a slacked belt sander.
Self explanatory, a hammer has beaten (forged) hot steel into shape.
A finish typically done only by custom knife makers, it is similar to a scotchbrite finish with the main exception being that the graining goes from tang to tip.
Protrusion/expansion on the knifes handle proximal to the blade keeping the hand safely positioned on the handle inhibiting sliding forward.
The handle of a pocket knife serves several purposes. It serves as a sheath, handle, and spring mechanism. Materials used in constructing handles range from deer antler to bone, hardwoods, synthetics, and various metals.
The blade and handle are shaped by hand, either the blade or handle is held in the hand and applied to the cutting medium, i.e. the grinder, etc. or the knife is fixed in a vise (or otherwise held) and the cutting medium (files, abrasive strips, portable grinder) is held in the hand and applied to the knife.
Hard chromium plating
Under specific conditions increases the surface hardness significantly, achieving values of up to 68Rc. It is especially suitable when tapping structural grade steels, carbon steels, Copper, Brass, etc.
The ability of a steel to be hardened by a heat treating process. Provided by the elements Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo) and Tungsten (W).
The ability of a steel to be hardened by a heat treating process. Provided by the elements Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo) and Tungsten (W).
A property of a material that enables it to resist plastic deformation, usually by penetration. However, the term hardness may also refer to resistance to bending, scratching, abrasion or cutting. (See: Hardness Test)
Hardness is not an intrinsic material property dictated by precise definitions in terms of fundamental units of mass, length and time. A hardness property value is the result of a defined measurement procedure. There are three principal standard test methods for expressing hardness, these being Brinell, Vickers, and Rockwell.
A sharply curved blade with a sharpened inside edge. Designed for cutting while reaching out and pulling downward, it is commonly used by commercial fishermen for cutting line, webbing and netting. [NOT HAWKSBILL!!]
Done with a precision digital kiln in our studio, using heat to create surface oxidization that shows as a variety of colors on the surface of steel and other alloys. With our exotic damascus, the multiple different alloys in each billet react differentially to the heat, creating a range of as many as four separate colors in each piece of steel, woven thru the fabric of the damascus.
Heat Treating (Heat Treatment)
A process that provides an efficient way to alter the crystalline structure and mechanical properties of a steel alloy, manipulating properties such as the hardness, strength, toughness, ductility, and elasticity.
High Alumina Ceramic
The compound used for Spyderco sharpening stones. Its a ceramic-bonding agent mixed with alumina particles (synthetic sapphires), shaped then kiln fired at temperatures in excess of 3000 degrees F.
Any stainless steel used to make a knife blade must be high carbon to make a decent knife. Any high carbon Stainless steel will stain. It stains less than other steels but it will stain.
High Carbon Steel
More widespread definition and as mostly used in knives, defines high carbon steel as the steel with the Carbon content above 0.5%. However, correct metallurgical definition would be C above 0.83%, i.e. Eutectoid. A steel with .5 Carbon or more, the term high carbon steel is often used to mean a non stainless steel; this is not a proper use as all stainless knife steel is also high carbon.
High Speed Steel
Family of steels designed to hold an edge even when heated red hot by friction. While this is less likely to happen to your knife in everyday use, some of these steels have very high wear resistance. M2 tool steel or M4 tool steel for example. Though high speed tools at high hardness become rather brittle, thus not appropriate for large blades. However, when heat treatede properly M4 performs very well in large, heavy duty blades. Steels designed to machine other steels. These machine tools will hold an edge even when heated red hot by friction.
To a sword collector the hilt encompasses the entire handle and guard; to the modern knife world, hilt and quillon mean the same thing: the guard, single or double, between the handle and the blade. Made of brass, nickel silver or stainless steel, sometimes of damascus steel.
HIP (HIGH ISOSTATIC PRESSURE)
The high temperature/high pressure consolidation of a powder metallurgy component or thermally sprayed coating. Density is greatly increased and metallurgical changes provide enhanced corrosion and wear properties.
Hitachi Super Blue Steel
The term “blue steel” actually refers to the color of the paper wrapper in which the raw bar stock is shipped. This is significantly more carbon than is found in most U.S. steels which tend to have about 1.0% carbon. This added carbon allows the blades to be hardened in the mid-60s Rc. allowing for a thin razor edge.
The surface of the blade is concave; if properly ground to a thin edge this is a very effective way of making a knife, is done by grinding the blade on a round surface (face of a wheel) and forming a hollow above the cutting edge and below the top edge of the blade. A thin or shallow edge that is ground with a radius, leaving a concave shape above the cutting surface.
HOLLOW GROUND BLADE
A blade ground with radically concave surfaces, used first on small swords in the 18th century, then on straight razors in the late 19th century, then on disposable cannery and packing house knives since the 1950s. Hollow grinding is now popular both on low-priced kitchen knives and on high-priced hand-made knives.
Holding at high temperature to eliminate or decrease chemical segregation by diffusion.
Used as a noun it means a fine stone used to put a finished edge on a knife or razor. Used as a verb it is the action of finishing the edge of a knife. [See: Whet]
A light oil used to keep the surface of a sharpening stone free of steel deposits and debris.
From cattle buffalo sheep and goats; not the same as stag (antlers).
A style of sheath knife. Used for hunting, camping and skinning.
A knife used for skinning and butchering large and small game. Originally a kitchen knife carried into the field, now very special knives are designed every year. Today it usually means a knife with a blade of 3 to 6 inches with a guard between the blade and the handle.
The phenomenon by which brittleness is induced in steel alloys due to the introduction and subsequent diffusion of hydrogen into the metal. Hydrogen ions act upon the crystalline structure induced cracking or severe loss of ductility. This is often a result of accidental introduction of hydrogen during forming and finishing operations.
In an alloy system exhibiting a eutectic, any alloy whose composition has an excess of alloying element compared with the eutectic composition, and whose equilibrium microstructure contains some eutectic structure
Usually synonymous with high-strength toughness, it is the ability resist shock-loading with minimal deformation.
The ability of a material to resist cracking due to a sudden force.
An element unintentionally allowed in a metal or alloy. Some impurities have little effect on properties; others will grossly damage the alloy. (Slag Content?!?)
If alloy is “in solution” that means it is part of the steel and not currently tied up in carbides. This can also be called the matrix, e.g. there is 13% chromium in solution (the matrix).
Usually non-metallic particles contained in metal. In steel they may consist of simple or complex oxides, sulphides, silicates and sometimes nitrides of iron, manganese, silicon, aluminum and other elements. In general they are detrimental to mechanical properties but much depends on the number, their size, shape and distribution. Particles of impurities (usually oxides, sulphides, silicates and such) which separate from the liquid steel and are mechanically held during solidification. In some grades of steel, inclusions are made intentionally high to aid machinability.
Locating mark also used for controlled rotation of the open knife while gripped in the palm from one hand-hold to another. e.g. rotating from a forward grip to a reverse grip. rotating from a forward grip to a reverse grip.
An initial cast form that results from a molten alloy being poured into an ingot mold. Remelted alloys also are called ingots.
Objects of metal or other material inlaid into the handles of a knife or it could be the handled material inlaid into an interframe knife.
The hilt and blade are machined or forged from the same piece of metal; the term “full integral” means that the blade, hilt, tang and pommel are all from the same piece of steel.
Integral Pocket Clip
Pocket clip molded as part of (integral to) the handle rather than a separate component attached with screws.
Ron Lake, another folding knife maker who achieved world prominence about 1972; invented the Interframe method of inlaying handle material in solid metal handle frames.
The term iron, as used in the chemical or scientific sense of the word, refers to the chemical element iron or pure iron and is the chief constituent of all commercial iron and steel.
Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, deep purple, to rusty red. The iron itself is usually found in the form of magnetite (Fe3O4), hematite (Fe2O3), goethite, limonite or siderite. Iron ore is the raw material used to make pig iron, which is one of the main raw materials to make steel. 98% of the mined iron ore is used to make steel.
Tusks of elephants, also walruses and sperm whales.
A pendulum-type single-blow impact test in which the specimen, usually notched, is fixed at one end and broken by a falling pendulum. The energy absorbed, as measured by the subsequent rise of the pendulum, is a measure of impact strength or notch toughness. Contrast with Charpy test.
A class of folding knives.
The Arab knife, found in every country the Arabs have lived in. Strongly curved blade, double edged with a rib in the middle. Each country has a somewhat different version.
Instead of naming the different blades separately I have decided to list them all here. Jin Tachi, the longest, from about 33 inches. Katana and Tachi 24 to 30 inches. Wakizashi 16 to 20 inches, the Tanto and Aikuchi with lengths of 11 to 16 inches and the Yoroi Toshi having blades of 9-12 inches and the Kwaiken with blades of 3 to 6 inches. A really good understanding of the blades of Japan requires more study than that of all other knives combined. We can only offer the simplest terms.
Carved or routed in imitation of stag bark.
Bone that has been given a textured finish. This is done for better grip. It also adds to a knife’s look. It was first used to imitate genuine stag scales. (Stagged bone, bone stag, pick bone,É.) from deceased animals, generally the chin bone of a cow. The bone is generally dyed and surface texture is obtained by cutting grooves into the bone. BONE. Note the Haversian canals. Bone that has had the surface cut to give a textured finish. Originally done to imitate deer antler, then in many different textures just for beauty and to give a better grip.
Small serrations or texturing found on a blade’s spine and/or in a finger choil where the thumb and/or fingers grip the knife. It creates tactile resistance and improves grip traction.
See: A11 and CPM 10V.
K390 is a powdered metallurgy, cold work tool steel with 9% vanadium and added tungsten and cobalt for excellent wear resistance and high compressive strength that is a workhorse in even the most severe applications. The carbides in the K390 mix are fine in textured and the steel’s remaining components are uniformly sized and distributed evenly throughout the matrix. This equal distribution of elements adds to the overall strength and cutting capacity when the blade is finished and sharpened.
Kukri maker, or kukri-smith in other words.
Persian knife with straight blade and handle and with no guard, often has an armor piercing point.
Small companion knife for the kukri.
The most common of Hindu India’s knives double edge blade ranges from a few inches to sword length. The handle is made up of two bars extending from the back of the blade in line with two or more cross bars that make up the handle at right angle to the blade.
A material of great strength used to make bullet proof garments and used to reinforce thermoplastic material sometime used in knife handles. The formed synthetic reinforcing fibers and provides stiffness, high tensile strength, light weight, and high abrasion resistance.
Kevlar Reinforced Zytel (ST-801)
Arabic for knife, this is generally used for the Persian version, a double edged dagger with a curved or even double curved blade and a handle pistol grip shaped, often of jade or other stone.
The knife of the Afridis and other tribes living in or near the Khyber Pass between Afghanistan and India. With a long straight back that is heavily ribbed on the back and that tapers to a fine point this knife has no guard and the sheath encloses the handle and is worn slid under the sash.
A projection at the bottom of the tang at the end of the edge, by resting on the spring this projection controls the distance of the edge from the back spring when the knife is closed. The unsharpened portion along the underside of the knife blade where the edge begins. Keeps the blade kicked out so the edge does not hit the back spacer.
Also called the Ballock Dagger, carried in Northern Europe and England in the 14th and 15th century generally across the back for left hand use. It got it’s name from the wooden handle with it’s carved guard of two lobes.
Like the Persian Shamshir this Turkish Saber is often included in the category Scimetar. The Turkish Kilij generally has the same curved edge intended for the draw cut but the curve stops for the last 8 or 10 inches of the back to the point. None of this class can be used for thrusting.
A horn or protuberance on the top portion of a knife blade by which the blade may be opened when leveraged against something solid, i.e. an opponents body. Similar to the opening devices found on straight razors.
A tool with a blade and a handle. The blade will have at least one sharp edge. The first blade could have been of bone or stone, the first handle may have been a piece of hide used to protect the hand from sharp edges of chipped or broken stone.
Koa is a fabled tree, and wood, from the Hawaiian islands. It is reddish brown in color, takes a beautiful polish, and can occasionally offer very fine figuring/curl and chattoyance.
The name for fine gold (and silver) patterns inlayed into parkerized steel. This process, done entirely by hand, involves creating a very fine cross-hatch grid in the steel and then burnishing 24K gold into a pattern that is bound by the cross-hatch. Parkerizing involves soaking the steel in a boiling solution of salts to oxidize the steel a deep brown/blue. Beautiful and timeless, nearly a lost art.
The forward curved knife or sword of Egypt, carried by Alexander to much of the ancient world.
A high-performance elastomer manufactured by Kraton Polymers used as a synthetic replacement for rubber. Kraton provides the flexibility, high traction, and sealing abilities of natural rubber, but with increased resistance to heat, weathering, and chemicals. Kraton is used in the manufacture of knife handles to provide a comfortable, secure grip.
The knife of the Malay Peninsula, the blade is usually of Damascus with layers of nickel-iron between layers of steel. Offers a unique appearance.
The knife of Nepal and the Gurkha troops from that country. This knife is believed to be descended from the Kopis of Alexander’s army. Very heavy point and light handle combined with the forward curve make it very effective in combat or the jungle.
See Granton Edge
It is an acrylic-polyvinyl chloride composite engineered for thermoforming fabrication, and combines properties of both the acrylic and the polyvinyl chloride components. From acrylic, it obtains rigidity and formability; from PVC, toughness, chemical resistance and good interior finish ratings. It has a wide variety of applications, including firearm holsters and knife sheaths. Kydex was originally produced in 1965 by Rohm and Haas, having been designed for use in aircraft interiors. In 1987, the product line was purchased by Kydex, LLC, formerly Kleerdex Company, LLC, which manufactures the material under the name Sekisui SPI.
A high carbon, band saw steel that is very tough and holds an edge well, but rusts easily. It is, like O-1, forgiving steel for the forger. If you’re willing to put up with the maintenance, this may be one of the very best steels available for cutlery, especially where toughness is desired.
Very hard tool steel core, the outer sides are of softer material that gives great strength. Harry Morseth began the use of this material in the U.S. about 1946. It had been used for centuries in Scandinavia and in Japan.
A sharp pointed medical instrument used for phlebotomy (blood letting) on people (compare fleam).
A piece of leather attached to the butt of a knife used for carrying or holding or hanging from the belt, neck, or wrist. Sometimes referred to as a thong. Sometimes used to attach a knife to clothing or belt.
A small hole in a knife’s handle through which a cord or lanyard may be threaded. Lanyards provide additional security during the use of a knife and help prevent dropping or loss, especially around water.
A high nitrogen alloyed tool steel that offers extreme corrosion resistance. This extraordinary material is produced by a combination of the PESR (Pressurized Electric Slag Remelting) process and “smart forging” technology to yield an amazing increase in the steel’s purity and a very fine and homogenous microstructure. LC200N is also a true martensitic steel that achieves its hardness through traditional heat treating, so its hardness level can be precisely controlled to meet the demands of specific uses. Regarded as the material of choice for applications that involve high static and dynamic loads in corrosive environments, LC200N is widely used in the food, chemical, recycling, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in mirror-polished dies used in the plastics industry. It is best known, however, as NASA’s preferred material for the ball bearings used in their high-performance aerospace equipment. When this advanced alloy recipe is translated to knife blades, LC200N provides an exceptional blend of toughness, edge holding, and corrosion resistance.
Leaf Shaped Blade
A blade shape coined by Spyderco who has been developing and refining it since the mid 1990s. A modified drop point.
A natural material dating back to humans’ earliest beginnings in the knife world. The skin of an animal, with the hair removed, prepared for use by tanning or a similar process designed to preserve it against decay and make it pliable or supple when dry. It offers traditionally accepted levels of performance and design capability.
The ability of a knife clip to be attached to either side of the handle to support mirror image carry on both the left and right sides of the body. (See: Ambidextrous)
Acronym for Law Enforcement Officer.
A patented Benchmade exclusive, the knife handle scale/liner is cut to create a spring system which is used to leverage a lock-pin in and out of a notch in the tang of the blade. This spring/pin system effectively locks the blade both in the open and closed positions.
An interior part of a knife frame located between the handle and blade edge (when closed) used to prevent damage, usually made of a soft metal that resists corrosion. Thin sheets of metal between the blade and the handle material of folding knives.
Locking system developed by custom knifemaker Michael Walker. The blade of a knife is locked open by a leaf-like spring that butts up against the tang of the blade. Michael Walker modernized the old use of the center liner for locking a blade open. Never successful outside of linemen’s knives until Walker developed a knife with easy moving blade and positive lock and a detent to keep the blade closed.
Little Big Knife
A term coined by Spyderco to describe a small-bladed knife (generally under three inches) that is manufactured using features and materials that allow the knife to be used for strenuous cutting tasks normally only performed with larger, heavier tools.
A folding knife that has a lock release at the rear of the back of the handle. A basic functional lock that is relatively simple and low cost to manufacture. In practice the lock design positions a stop bar parallel to and in direct line with the blade at the upper back or rear tang of the blade to lock the blade open. Basically, as the blade is rotated open, the spring tensioned, center pivoted stop bar tracks around the circular portion of the blade tang until it drops or locks into the notched out tang. And to release the lock, the exposed portion of the stop bar in the handle back is depressed into the handle, pivoting the stop bar out, releasing the locked blade. This style of locking mechanism requires two hands to safely close the blade although you may still easily open the blade single-handed if desired. Design of knife that has a locking mechanism located on the back of a folding knife. The mechanism keeps the blade open in a safely locked position when open. A folding knife with a locking blade, the lock of which is released by pressure on the rocker bar or spring at or near the end of the back of the handle.
Material used to keep screws from unscrewing.
This term refers to an extra long nail mark that runs the length of the back of the blade; from the tang to the swedge.
Low Carbon Steel
A more ductile and malleable type of steel (with carbon content from 0.005 to 0.3 percent, and less than 0.6 percent manganese) that can be made into thin sheets suitable for sheet metal work.
Any substance interposed between two surfaces for the purpose of reducing the friction or wear between them.
High-Speed Steel that works well between 62-66 Rc. First used in American Cutlery in kitchen knives and folders by Gerber Blades in the 1960s
A high speed steel, very hard to work but makes a great knife blade that is very difficult to sharpen.
The Austrian’s Böhler Group merged with Sweden’s Uddeholm Steel Works in 1991, creating the world’s largest tool steel manufacturer, Böhler Uddeholm. Specializing in aviation/aerospace and automotive steels, they also produce tool steels used in the manufacture of consumer goods including electronics and cutlery. Through a powdered metallurgy processes, they produce M390 Microclean steel which is highly sought and well suited to today’s high-performance cutlery. M390 is a martensitic chromium steel highly resistant to corrosion. The powdered granules of Chromium and Vanadium in the steel are small, consistently sized, and finely dispersed in the steel’s matrix (mix) making it exceptionally homogenous. This means for the consumer cutting with M390 will experience a high-level wear and corrosion resistance and the blade steel can be polished to a mirror-like finish.
A magnetic alloy is a combination of various metals from the periodic table that contains at least one of the three main magnetic elements: iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), and cobalt (Co). Such an alloy must contain but is not limited to one or more of these metals.
The largest blade in a knife with two or more blades.
Left hand dagger used with a rapier about 17th Century. Very fancy guard around the hand with long quillons.
MAKIE is Japanese lacquer sprinkled with gold or silver powder as a decoration using a makizutsu or a kebo brush. To create different colours and textures, maki-e artists use a variety of metal powders including gold, silver, copper, brass, lead, aluminum, platinum, pewter, as well as their alloys.
A similar property to ductility, it is a material’s ability to deform under compressive stress by hammering or rolling. Both of these mechanical properties (ductility and malleability) are aspects of plasticity, the extent to which a solid material can be plastically deformed without fracture.
Defines the TUSK of wooly mammoth (and/or mastodon), occasionally found in Alaska and Siberia. Protected for millennia by the severe cold, this material makes beautiful handles and grips. The outer layer, called bark ivory, often has mineral deposits that create a range of colors; the interior is generally beige to cream color with fine grain patterns.
The cross-section cut from the molar tooth of a wooly mammoth. Striations that alternate between quartz-like material and softer layers make mammoth tooth very challenging to work with.
Increases hardenability, wear resistance, and tensile strength. Deoxidizes and degasifies to remove oxygen from molten metal. In larger quantities, increases hardness and brittleness.
The short crescent shaped groove commonly seen on pocket knife blades.
A Long Mark with short marks pressed into the steel at the bottom of the mark that looks like the top of a castle wall. Match Striker
The long straight groove often seen on the main blade of stock knives
The side of a blade carrying the mark. Also known as the obverse side. It is the side of the blade with the nail slot and company logo.
A tool for working with rope. Often attached to the handles of sailors knives.
A body-centered tetragonal form of iron in which some carbon is dissolved. Martensite forms during quenching, when the face centered cubic lattice of austenite is distored into the body centered tetragonal structure without the loss of its contained carbon atoms into cementite and ferrite.
Martensitic Stainless Steel
A stainless steel composed primarily of martensite, a crystalline structure created when the steel in subjected to a heat-treating process in which it is heated to critical temperature and rapidly cooled or quenched to harden it.
A reaction that takes place in some metals on cooling, with the formation of an acicular structure called martensite.
This is the largest blade in a multi-blade pocket knife also known as the pocket blade.
See: In Solution.
A brushed or satin finish, term usually applied to all metal pocket knife handles.
Carpenter steel’s Micro-Melt Maxamet alloy is a super-hard, high-speed powdered tool steel possessing properties that transcend conventional high-speed tool steels approach those of cemented carbides, the ultra-hard materials used to machine other steels. When Carpenter developed this amazing alloy, they sent samples to various companies in the knife industry to evaluate as a blade material. Although many tried, Spyderco was one of only a handful of companies to successfully develop the specialized methods necessary to machine, heat treat, and grind this demanding material to yield reliable, high-performance knife blades. This sophisticated mix of elements, combined with the advantages of powdered metal technology, give it an extraordinary balance of wear resistance and toughness at high hardness levels.
An acronym for Martial Blade Craft.
Medium Carbon Steel
Two definitions as with High Carbon Steel. In the knife marketing world it is a steel with C content between 0.3% and 0.5%. In metallurgy that would be the steel with C content below Eutectoid point – 0.83%. Steel with a Carbon content of .08% to .30%.
The science and technology of metals and alloys. Process metallurgy is concerned with the extraction of metals from their ores and with refining of metals; physical metallurgy, with the physical and mechanical properties of metals as affected by composition, processing, and environmental conditions; and mechanical metallurgy, with the response of metals to applied forces. The science or procedures of extracting metals from their ores, or purifying metals and of casting useful items form the metals. It involves knowledge and study of metals and their phases and properties at bulk and atomic levels.
MEZZALUNA / MINCING KNIFE
Micarta is a brand name for composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic. Developed in 1911 by Westinghouse Electric Corporation as an industrial thermo-set laminate for electrical insulation, using phenolic resins invented by Leo Baekeland. These resins were used to impregnate paper and cotton fabric which were cured under pressure and high temperature to produce laminates. In later years this manufacturing method included the use of fiberglass fabric and other resin types were also used. Today, Micarta high pressure industrial laminates are produced with a wide variety of resins and fibers. The term has been used generically for most resin impregnated fiber compounds. Available in a wide variety of colors, commonly see in black, burgundy, green, and white.
Carpenter Technology’s trade name for their powder metal tool steels.
The hardness of a material as determined by forcing an indenter such as a Vickers or Knoop indenter into the surface of a material under very light load; usually, the indentations are so small that they must be measured with a microscope. Capable of determining harnesses of different microconstituents within a structure or of measuring steep hardness gradients such as those encountered in case hardening.
A unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre (0.001mm).
The investigation of the microstructure of a metal or material using some type of microscope.
Segregation within a grain, crystal or small particle.
The structure of a metal as revealed at high magnification, usually at 100x and higher. The structure that is observed when a polished and etched specimen of metal is viewed in an optical microscope at magnifications in range of approximately x 25 to x 1500
A lockback where the locking release lever’s (rocker arm) actuating cut-out is located in the middle of the handle (frame). (See: Lockback, Front Lock, and Rear Lock)
Generally refers to unhardenable steel, with very low Carbon content.
The heavy oxide layer formed during hot fabrication or heat treatment of metals. An oxide layer that forms during the heat treatment or thermal processing of metals.
MIM (Metal Injection Molding)
Sometimes called Powdered Injection Molding (PIM), is an advance metal forming technique that uses injection molding equipment for manufacturing both simple and complex metal parts to tight tolerances. The process involves combining metal with a binder that is injected as a liquid into a mold. The molded or “green part” is cooled and ejected from the mold. The molded part is then sintered (heated) to temperatures near the melting point in a protective atmosphere furnace to densify the particles using capillary forces in a process called Sintering. If performed in vacuum, it is common to reach 96-99% solid density. The end-product metal has comparable mechanical and physical properties with annealed parts made using classic metalworking methods. Post sintering heat treatments for MIM are the same as with other manufacturing processes.
A tiny knife made as a novelty or an item of jewelry.
In brand new original condition, exactly as made.
Modified Clip Point Blade
A blade ground on the top (spine) in an angled or sweeping line downward. The underside (where the sharpened edge is located) is ground upward. The two angles meet at the tip determining the depth of the bladeÕs belly.
The basic principle is an integral locking bar within the knife liner being stress bent, enabling it to spring into position behind the rear tang of the blade when the blade is opened. The locking bar wedges against the rear of the blade, locking it open until you physically push it clear and close the blade. With little practice, the process of opening and closing the blade can be done single-handed (locking-liners are made either right or left hand specific). And with a Benchmade modified locking-liner you get a patented feature, which helps to enhance the lock function. The function success and function failure of a locking liner depends greatly on how well it is made and also the quality of the materials used. With Benchmade, you get the best of both, and we offer it in a variety of knives.
Mokume Gane. Mokume Gane (translated as ‘wood-grain metal’) was originally developed in Japan as decorative fittings on fine tools. Today, some of the finest mokume in the world is made here in the USA, and we’re proud to offer a range of this material on our knives and pens. Our mokume is generally made with copper, brass, and nickel silver in either a 45 or 89 layer billet, forged and patterned by hand. Mike Sakmar, aided by Tim Zowada, provides all our hand-made mokume in a variety of elegant patterns that include Twist, Reverse Twist, and Raindrop (shown).
Increases strength, hardness, hardenability, and toughness. Improves machinability and resistance to corrosion.
Monel is a trademark of Special Metals Corporation for a series of nickel alloys, primarily composed of nickel (up to 67%) and copper, with some iron and other trace elements. Monel was created by David H. Browne, chief metallurgist for International Nickel Co. Monel alloy 400 is binary alloy of the same proportions of nickel and copper as is found naturally in the nickel ore from the Sudbury (Ontario) mines. Monel was named after company president Ambrose Monell, and patented in 1906
MONEY CLIP KNIFE
Benchmade’s name for a Frame Lock.
A method of applying scales to a narrow tang. Used by Marble’s and the Swedes in the early part of this Century and by D. E. Henry in handmade knives. Half the thickness of the tang is removed from the inner surface of each scale.
Mosaic Damascus. Chris Marks forges mosaic damascus, the most complex form of this art, using very exotic alloys that color beautifully when heated or salt-blued. This steel is made from intricate tiles of multiple metals that are forged together into a matrix of color, texture, and pattern.
Mother of Pearl
The common name for iridescent nacre, a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells. We use premium mother of pearl material sourced directly from suppliers in Australia, selected for maximum color and figure. The shell of the pearl oyster from the South Pacific, a popular knife handle material; Nacre
Bohler A chromium-molybdenum conventionally produced stainless steel with the addition of vanadium and nitrogen. Excellent corrosion resistance properties, especially in salt water. Good hardenability and high obtainable hardness. High wear resistance and ability to preserve keenness.
A pin that holds the knife together.
Nail Mark or Nail Nick
Located on pocket knife blades. It is a semi curved slot cut into the steel used for opening with a thumb nail. . A groove cut or pressed into the back of the blade for the thumb nail to easily open the knife.
see Nail Mark
A Benchmade innovation built from the framework of the linerlock combined with a lockback. The lock engages using tensile strength, compared to the compression hold of more traditional locking-liners.
NECK & ALTERNATIVE CARRY KNIFE
The practice of machining a recess into G-10 or other handle scale material to inlay the liners and lock mechanism. Nesting increases structural strength while reducing the overall thickness of the handle.
Adds strength and toughness.
Copper base alloys that contain 10-45% Zinc and 5-30% Nickel. Nickel silver, also known as German silver, Argentann, paktong, new silver, nickel brass, or alpacca (or alpaca), is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. Invented around 1810.
NICKEL SILVER or German silver
An alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel
Also known as Columbium. Improves strength and toughness. Provides corrosion resistance. Improves grain refinement and precipitation hardening
Used in place of carbon for the steel matrix. The Nitrogen atom will function in a similar manner to the carbon atom, but offers unusual advantages in corrosion resistance.
A Benchmade patented assisted opening mechanism. As the blade is closed the two torsion arms which run the length of the handle liners are secured in place and make contact with the blade tang. As tensioned against the blade tang, the user rotates the blade open to a 30-degree angle, the torsion arms take over and continue the blade opening process on its own.ol.
Non-iron based metal, including copper, aluminum and their alloys (e.g., brass, bronze, nickel silver, etc.).so.
The process of heating steel to a temperature above its transformation range, followed by air cooling. The purpose of normalizing may be to refine grain structure prior to hardening the steel, to harden the steel slightly, or to reduce segregation in castings or forgings.
A modern engineered plastic offering high-strength, minimal flex and optimally lightweight properties. Molded to form.
A non-locking blade held open by a spring acting against it, providing resistance to itsÕ opening and closing as it pivots within the handle.
See: Arkansas Stone.
Probably the most popular knife steel of the 20th Century. The first choice of almost all beginning knife makers and still the primary steel for the famous Randall Knives. O-1 is a simple and basic tool steel that can be hardened to well over 60 Rc. It is a great general purpose tool steel and is very forgiving to the inexperienced knifemaker. This oil-hardening tool steel can be used by both the blacksmith and the stock removal makers.
Volcanic glass: whenever it could be found it was much preferred to the more common forms of chert. Glass was much easier to work and worked cleaner than any of the other materials available to primitives.
The front side of a knife, with the point of the knife to the left and the edge down, you are looking at the obverse (front) side of a knife.
Quench-hardening treatment involving cooling in oil.
Hardening of carbon steel in an oil bath. Oils are categorized as conventional, fast, martempering, or hot quenching.
ONE-ARMED MAN'S KNIFE
Walrus, dogs, bears and raccoons and probably whales and seals have a bone in their penis, this bone is called an oosic. The walrus oosic is large enough to make into knife handles and is more popular than pretty.
Another patented Benchmade exclusive, which “optimizes” the knife mechanism if the user chooses to do so… A steel torsion bar running the length of the inside handle spine is secured in place and contacts a surface area of the blade tang. As the blade is closed the spring is tensioned against the blade tang, then as the user rotates the blade open to a 30-degree angle the spring-bar is engaged and continues the blade to its full, locked open position. The huge advantage to the Optimiser design over similar concepts is that the blade must be rotated open beyond a 30-degree angle, which offers added user control. And even more amazing, the Optimiser can be added or removed at the discretion of the user and the knife mechanism still functions normally. The choice is yours.
A finish resembling the dimpled appearance of an orange peel.
An iron-containing material used primarily in the melting furnace.
Heating a metal or alloy to such a high temperature that its properties are impaired. When the original properties cannot be restored by further heat treating, by mechanical working, or by a combination of working and heat treating, the overheating is known as burning.
Metal oxidation takes place when an ionic chemical reaction occurs on a metal’s surface while oxygen is present. The chemical process involves the movement of electrons from the metal to the oxygen molecules. Then, negative oxygen ions generate and enter the metal. This leads to the creation of an oxide surface, i.e., rust or tarnish. Oxidation is a form of metal corrosion.
An oyster or clam knife has a short, thick blade that is used for prying open shellfish and separating the meat from the shell.
Pallette / Ink Knife
A palette knife is blunt with an extremely flexible blade and no sharpened cutting edge. It is primarily used for mixing paint colors. The “palette” in the name is a reference to an artist’s palette which is used for mixing oil paints. Certain artistic techniques call for painting with a palette knife. Art palette Knife come primarily in two types: a symmetric knife resembling a putty knife with a rounded tip, suited for mixing paints on the palette; an asymmetric knife with a lowered, pointed tip, like a trowel, for painting on canvas. Palette Knife are also used in cooking where their flexibility allows them to easily slide underneath pastries or similar items.
Malay for Jungle knife, many versions.
PARING (PARER) KNIFE
A paring knife is designed to be an all purpose knife, like a chef’s knife, but much smaller. The plain or serrated edge is perfect for peeling and intricate work such as deveining shrimp, removing seeds or cutting small garnishes. Four styles of paring Knife are most commonÉcurved, spear, sharp, and clip point. Delicate pepper rings finely sliced or slivered olives or cherries, can be done with a curved or sharp point paring knife to dress up fancy salads. A cook’s paring, or spear point knife, can be used to remove corn from the cob, break up heads of lettuce or cabbage, peel fruit or vegetables, cut beans, etc. The clip point is used for eyeing potatoes, seeding, peeling, and pitting. The tourneÕ knife (sometimes called a bird’s beak or peeling knife) is a peeling knife with a pointed tip that curves downward, towards the blade. The tourneÕ knife is used for many of the same tasks as paring Knife. They can be used to cut decorative garnishes like rosettes or flutes, slice soft fruits or peel skins or blemishes. They are also used to make football shaped cuts (known as tourneÕ cuts) when preparing vegetable garnishes.
Immersion of stainless steel in a solution of nitric acid, or of nitric acid plus oxidizing salts, which restores the original corrosion resistant surface by forming a thin transparent oxide film. The treatment also dissolves any embedded or smeared iron picked up on the surface during processing.
A characteristic condition of stainless steels which impedes normal corrosion tendencies to the point where the metal remains virtually un-attacked — hence passive to its environment.
A two-phased, lamellar (or layered) structure composed of alternating layers of ferrite and cementite that occurs in some steels formed by the cooling of austenite. Pearlite is a common microstructure occurring in many grades of steels. It is hard as well as strong because of the layered structure, and is used in a variety of applications. It is wear resistant because of a strong lamellar network of ferrite and cementite.
Peel Ply Carbon Fiber
A carbon fiber filled, epoxy resin lay-up that has textured material placed on the surface to protect the material during manufacturing. After manufacture the material is removed and it leaves a grippy texture in the epoxy making a non-slip handle material.
A small pocketknife cutting blade, originally designed for sharpening quill pens.
Used for trimming the points of quill pens, now a style of knife carried by men who want a very small and unobtrusive knife for dress wear. A class of folding knives.
Originally an alloy of tin & lead, now pewter dishes are made lead free. Pewter is a tin-based metal alloyed with varying amounts of other metals such as lead, antimony, bismuth, copper or zinc to make it stronger and harder. The metal generally has a dull grey finish. The tin content of most pewter exceeds 90%, although there are exceptions. The metal possesses a low enough melting point to make it easy for casting.
A screwdriver meant to fit the philips screw with its cross slot.
An alloy of copper, tin and phosphorus. The tin increases the corrosion resistance and strength of the alloy. The phosphorus increases the wear resistance and stiffness of the alloy. These alloys are notable for their toughness, strength, low coefficient of friction, and fine grain.
Phosphor Bronze Washers
Washers placed over a knife’s pivot pin between the between the scales or liners and the blade. They are made of phosphor bronze alloy, which provides a low-friction bearing surface for smooth operation.
Improves strength, machinability, and hardness. Creates brittleness in high concentrations.
Physical Vapor Deposition
Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)É is the deposition of ceramic layers by evaporation of metals in a vacuum process, using evaporation techniques to create a highly ionized plasma. The melting point of the materials being vaporized is much higher than the temperature inside the PVD vacuum chamber. Therefore, all vapor atoms will condense on the available surfaces, forming a thin, hard coating. In this way it is possible to engineer the PVD coating to be applied. Properties: PVD coatings have a high hardness, in general above 2000 HV. This implies that the wear resistance is excellent. For decorative purposes, many appealing colors can be applied. For functional applications, PVD coatings definitely prolong the lifetime of the product. Physical Vapor Deposition. A type of vacuum deposition process where a material is vaporized in a vacuum chamber, transported atom by atom across the chamber to the substrate, and condensed into a film at the substrate’s surface. The concept has been stretched to include reactive processes that form a coating compound by bombardment of different species on the substrate’s surface, and processes that rely on low pressure plasma interactions for greater energy levels and film density. There are actually several different PVD processes, including: thermal evaporation, electron beam gun, ion plating, sputtering, cathodic arc, and laser ablation.
The side of a blade, opposite to that carrying the mark. It is the side where the iron of the tang is piled up on the steel of the blade. That thumb print sized puddle weld on the back of an older Sheffield table or carving knife blade was called the pile, and hence that side was the pile side. Also known as the reverse side. The opposite side to the front or mark side. Also called the reverse side.
Meant to be by the bedside as the name implies.
metal pieces used to hold a pocket knife’s parts together. They are usually made of brass or nickel silver.
The formation of small cavities on a metal surface resulting from localized corrosion.
A trademarked named by Spyderco for a knife edge without serrations or teeth sometimes referred to as a “straight edge”.
The ability to mold, bend or deform in a manner that does not spontaneously return to its original shape. This is proportional to the ductility or malleability of the substance.
An alloy of copper with zinc, nickel, and sometimes tungsten, used for its high electrical resistance. Now we are getting somewhere. If I see Òan alloy of copper with zinc [and] nickel…,Ó my first thought is, Ònickel silver,Ó originally called white brass, back in the early 19th century when it was invented (circa 1810). So… PLA TIN OID turns out to be a £2 word for nickel silver. Even though the word PLATINOID has the word TIN in the middle, there is no tin in the alloy (or silver or platinum either).
PMMA (Polymethyl methacrylate)
This is the largest blade in a multi-blade pocket knife also known as the master blade. See Main Blade
A clip intended to keep a knife or other tool at the top of the pocket for easy access. Invented by Sal Glasser of Spyderco. The most commonly used clip on Spyderco knives. They can be stainless steel or titanium and vary, including chrome or black plated clips, with or without holes, in several shapes and sizes. Our metal clips attach to the knifeÕs handle in a triangle pattern with barrel bolts or three-screws. Most adjust to customize carry positions and vary on different models.
Pocket Knife [POCKETKNIFE]
Any knife that can be comfortably carried in a pocket, may have several blades, almost always a folding knife. A folding knife small enough to carry in a pocket.
The extreme end of the blade where the line of the back and the line of the edge come together.
can be defined as any highly-reflective or glossy finish that refines and smoothes the metal surface. This finish aids in corrosion resistance as microscopic peaks and valleys of the blade surface are smoothed out leaving less surface area exposed.
1) Smoothing metal surfaces, often to a high luster, by rubbing the surface with a fine abrasive, usually contained in a cloth or other soft lap. Results in microscopic flow of some surface metal together with actual removal of a small amount of surface metal. (2) Removal of material by the action of abrasive grains carried to the work by a flexible support, generally either a wheel or a coated abrasive belt. (3) A mechanical, chemical, or electrolytic process or combination thereof used to prepare a smooth, reflective surface suitable for microstructural examination that is free of artifacts or damage introduced during prior sectioning or grinding.
A Middle English word for the butt end of a sword or knife handle. A handle butt. It’s an old English word.
A small dagger with a blade of triangular, round or square cross section cannot cut. Fit only for thrusting or stabbing. Also poingard.
An improved sheath, the handle is half covered; friction holds the hilt and or the handle, keeping the knife safely in the sheath. The pouch sheath will not work with double hilted knives.
Powder Metallurgy (PM)
A term covering a wide range of ways in which materials or components are made from metal powders. PM processes can avoid, or greatly reduce, the need to use metal removal processes, thereby drastically reducing yield losses in manufacture and often resulting in lower costs.
Relatively scarce, highly corrosion resistant, valuable metals found in periods 5 and 6 (groups VIII and Ib) of the periodic table. They include ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, silver, asmium, iridium, platinum, and gold.
The separation of a substance that was previously dissolved in another substance.
A tool steel produced using the Spray Forming Process. Spray forming—also known as spray casting or spray deposition—begins by melting an alloy steel in an induction furnace. The molten steel is then poured through a ceramic nozzle and broken up into droplets by an array of gas jets. The droplets are accelerated by the jets to impact onto a collection surface while still in a semi-solid condition. There they build up to form a spray-formed billet, assuming the shape of the substrate surface. The small size and rapid cooling of the droplets minimizes alloy segregation to produce an extremely fine-grained homogenous steel. PSF27 combines the advantages of the Spray Forming Process with an alloy composition that is basically equivalent to D2 tool steel. The synergy of these alloys and the Spray Forming Process results in a steel that offers increased toughness, wear resistance, crack resistance, and higher hardness. It is also more predictable and dimensionally stable during the heat-treatment process.
See Mark, Long
Also: Gimlet knife: A T-Shaped dagger designed for concealed carry.
Putty Knife and Scrapers
Putty Knife and scrapers are made from extra heavy gauge, high grade tool steel, scientifically hardened tempered and ground to proper taper and flexibility according to professional specifications. The functional shapes and sizes are the results of working closely with tradesmen.
Physical Vapor Deposition coating, defines a variety of vacuum coating methods. These coating techniques are used to apply an extremely thin film to objects that require protective barriers, decorative colors, or various other functional benefits. PVD coating vaporizes specialized materials through a high tech vacuum process. The vaporized material is deposited as a thin layer on selected objects. When a reactive gas, such as nitrogen, oxygen or a hydrocarbon-based gas is introduced to the metallic vapor, it creates nitride, oxide, or carbide coatings as the metallic vapor stream chemically reacts with the gasses. PVD coating must be done in a specialized reaction chambers so that the vaporized material doesn’t react with any contaminants that would otherwise be present in the room.
During the process of PVD coating the process parameters are closely monitored and controlled so that the resulting film hardness, adhesion, chemical resistance, film structure, and other properties are repeatable run to run. Various PVD coatings are used to increase wear resistance, reduce friction, improve appearance, and achieve other performance enhancements. (See: Tungsten DLC, Titanium Nitride (TiN), and Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN))
The Georgian national knife, very like the Kindjals of the Cossacks.
Quench Hardening (Steel)
A process of hardening a ferrous alloy of suitable composition by heating within or above the transformation range and cooling at a rate sufficient to increase the hardness substantially. The process usually involves the formation of martensite.
Cooled from the critical temperature using water, oil, air or other means.
In the heat treating of steel that has reached a high temperature (above the recrystallization phase), the step of cooling metals rapidly in order to obtain desired properties; most commonly accomplished by immersing air, liquid, oil, or water to rapidly cool it. This rapid quenching creates martensite..
A handguard protruding from one or both sides of a knife or dagger at the juncture of the handle and blade. Its purpose is to prevent the hand from sliding forward onto the blade during use.
A long thin sword meant for thrusting, Early versions were double edged and could cut as well as thrust, later models were only for thrusting. The art of fence developed and the rapier followed, it got longer then shorter. It began with the “Broad Sword” of the 15th Century and ended as the “Small Sword” of the 18th Century and then the Epee of today.
“Re-cut stag” (called second-cut stag by collectors of Case knives) is what is left of stag (antler) after the outer ‘bark’ is slabbed off for making handle scales. It is hard and dense like bone (anatomically it IS bone, except being faster growing than bone, it has larger pores — the pores in bone are called Haversian canals). v
A lockback where the locking release lever’s (rocker arm) actuating cut-out is located past the middle of the handle (frame) in the back (rear) half of said handle. (See: Lockback, Front Lock, and Mid Lock)
(1) Formation of a new, stain-free grain structure from the existing in cold worked metal, usually accomplished by heating. (2) The change from one crystal structure to another, as occurs on heating or cooling through a critical temperature.
The approximate minimum temperature at which complete recrystallization of a cold-worked metal occurs within a specified time.
This is the opposite side of the knife than the obverse side. Knives are usually marked on the obverse rather than the reverse. The opposite to the side of the blade with the nail slot and company logo.
Reverse ÒSÓ Blade
Blade shape resembling a backward S with the tip curving downward. The thickest part of the blade (the belly) curves in the same direction as the tip.
An unsharpened section of the blade of many fixed blade knives, just in front of the handle; usually bears the maker’s mark.
Rockwell Hardness (Rc)
The C scale which is used for measuring the hardness of tool steels is measured by pressing a diamond a precisely measured distance into the steel. These measurements can be understood throughout the world.
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.
ROCKWELL HARDNESS TEST
An indentation hardness test based on the depth of penetration of a specified penetrator into the specimen under certain arbitrarily fixed conditions. Measurement of steel hardness based on the depth of penetration of a small diamond cone pressed into the steel under a constant load.
CANNEL, APPLE SEED, MORAN-STYLE, HAMAGURI, PARABOLIC,
ROLLING LOCK WITH INDRAFT
Another patented Benchmade exclusive, the Rolling Lock utilizes a sizable, notched lock-pin, which secures against the blade tang when engaged. To disengage, a spring actuated thumb button on the right handle side is drawn back to rotate the lock pin and free the blade. InDraft is a patented exclusive, which is a combination of a slotted liner and a pin in the blade tang working in tandem to generate an inward inertia when closing the blade. These results in one of the safest blade detents available today.
The handle is spool-like with a round disc as hilt and as pommel.
Man made material. that offers attractive appearance, great strength and durability. Phenolic resin and layers of cloth. A trademark of A. G. Russellª Knives
A visible corrosion product consisting of hydrated oxides of iron. Applied only to ferrous alloys.
A “rapidly solidified powder” (RSP) martensitic stainless steel made by the renowned Swedish firm Damasteel. RWL 34 is a variation of the 420 martensitic stainless family that contains 14% chromium, as well as molybdenum and vanadium for improved corrosion resistance, hardness, and strength. The performance of these alloys is further enhanced by the RSP process, which involves using high-pressure nitrogen gas to force the molten steel through a nozzle. Just as in the CPM process used by Crucible, this creates a spray of small spherical droplets that rapidly solidify into powder particles, drastically reducing the segregation, or settling, of the alloys in the steel to produce an extremely fine, uniform carbide structure. RWL 34 has long been a favorite of custom knifemakers because of its high-performance characteristics and the fact that it is capable of taking an extremely high polish. However, it has not been used in the production of factory-made knives because it was not available in large sheets. This advanced alloy makes it a very close equivalent of 154 CM and ATS-34 stainless steels, but since it has the additional advantages offered by the RSP process, it is actually closest to CPM 154—Crucible’s particle metallurgy version of 154 CM—with the addition of several trace elements.
SABER GROUND BLADE
A blade that is beveled for only part of its width, making it stouter than ordinary flat ground blades.
A sword with a slightly curved blade, single edge with a short back edge, most often a sword for use mounted.
Blades ground half to two thirds from the edge to the back and the top front third of the blade with a strong false edge or swedge. A grind that results in a blade bevel that is flat from the spine to about the middle of the blade where it then begins to taper toward the edge. Ideal for heavy chores.
Salt bath heat treatment
Heat treatment carried out in a bath of molten salt. (Lead Pot?!?!)
A very large, elk sized deer in India and S.E. Asia; the antler is used for knife handles and is commonly called stag or India stag.
The Santoku is an Asian chef’s utility knife that is suited to a variety of cutting tasks. The Santoku has a straighter edge than a chef’s knife, with a blunted blade. Generally from 5 to 7 inches long, a true Santoku is well balanced, flat ground and generally lighter and thinner than its Western counterparts. The construction allows the knife to easily slice thin-boned and boneless meats, fish, and vegetables. Some Santoku are ground with scallops in the sides of the blade to reduce the sticking of food and reduce cutting friction. A standard in Asian kitchens, the Santoku has become very popular with European and American chefs.Ê
A thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) are part of the thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) family of polymers, but are closest in elastomeric properties to EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) rubber), combining the characteristics of vulcanized rubber with the processing properties of thermoplastics. TPV is a dynamically vulcanized alloy consisting mostly of fully cured EPDM rubber particles encapsulated in a polypropylene matrix. Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) have proven to be dependable polymers for flexible engineered parts that require long-term performance. Santoprene is a manufactured by Exxon Mobil Corporation.
A finish that is not mirror polished; the lines from the fine abrasive gives a satin appearance.
To knife people the word scale refers to the handle parts on each side of a full tang hunting knife or the parts on the sides of a pocket knife or folder. Any material used to make the handle.
Surface oxidation, partially adherent layers of corrosion products, left on metals by heating or casting in air or in other oxidizing atmospheres.
A lightweight Indian trade knife with straight back, curved edge, keen point, dark red diamond cross-section handle.
Cross grain pattern found in the cross-section of tusks (ivory) of Proboscideans (Elephants, mammoth and mastodon).
Scimitar (Steak Knife)
SCISSORS & SHEARS
This finish softly blends the grinding lines on the blade leaving a pleasant “grained” or “brushed” look. Typically the graining pattern goes from spine to edge.
1) A utility-type folding knife.2) An ‘Official Knife’ of any style sanctioned by a scouting organization.
One who performs the art of scrimshaw.
Using a needle or knife point to scratch or cut designs on whalebone or ivory. Sailors on whaling ships made it popular in this country and it has been popular with knife people since the mid 1960s. Artwork carved or engraved in polished whale ivory or similar material, then usually highlighted with colored ink or dye. Popularized by JFK.
The knife or sword of the Saxon peoples.
See: Re-Cut Stag
A term applied to the concentration and partial separation of one or more elements from solution during solidification of liquid steel in an ingot mould. Sulphur and phosphorus tend to segregate to a greater extent than other elements which can have a particular adverse effect on machinability in high sulphur free- cutting steels. Modern steel making and continuous casting have largely overcome this problem.
Seki City, Japan
For 800 years, the center of Japanese sword making has been located in almost the exact center of the main island of Japan. Seki City of Gifu Prefecture, about half way between Tokyo and Osaka, was blessed with local sources of iron sand and plenty of timber for charcoal. The swords of Seki City have been highly valued from about 1200 AD until the present. The Japanese Katana, unknown to the west until about 1860, had by the 1920s grown a reputation of mythic proportions. It was widely believed that a Japanese Warrior of sufficient strength could, with a single blow, cut a machine gun barrel in half. It is true that Japanese swordsmanship was very advanced by the mid 19th Century, largely due to the suppression of firearms in Japan until that time. But the Samurai focus on the importance of the sword also had a major impact.
The sword of the Masai of East Africa, much wider near the point.
Used to describes the shape of a handle. Serpentine knives have an s curve, much like a snake or serpent (hence the name).
The serrations may vary from saw teeth to wide scallops in the edge; helps in the cutting of seat-belts and plastic rope.
Serrated blades have a wavy, scalloped or saw-like edge. Serrations make the blade ideal for cutting things that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside ( bread, tomatoes) that might otherwise be ruined with a plain, flat ground edge. They are particularly good on fibrous foods. The serrated edges cut much better than plain edges when dull because the tips of the serrations prevent the remainder of the blade edge from contacting the cutting surface. Because of this, they may go longer between sharpenings. Various serration patterns are often used to improve the cutting ability of less-expensive, soft stainless alloys. Most professional chefs recommend buying at least one serrated knife made of high carbon stainless steel. Some companies have names for their own serration patterns and apply them to their entire line of cutlery. Examples are Cutco’s Double-D edge, Henckel’s Eversharp Pro series and Dexter’s Great White Edge.
A small single edged knife with no guard that the Scots often carried in the stocking or the armpit.
A spring-loaded barrel clip with a release pin positioned near the Spyderco Round Hole letting you unhook and open the folder in one motion without needing to rotate the knife in hand. It snaps through a loop for attachment to a PFD, spray skirt, harness, buoyancy equipment or carabineer. Found on the C30BK2 Remote Release2.
The sabre of the Persian, the name probably led to the word Scimitar we use for all of the deeply curved eastern sabers.
A rod of smooth or slightly textured hardened steel, usually fitted with a handle, used to maintain the cutting edges of knives.
A block of natural or synthetic abrasive with a dressed face used to establish or restore the cutting edges of knives.
The sword of the Cossacks. straight or slightly curved without a guard.
A protective case, usually of leather, metal, or wood, for safely carrying a fixed blade or large folding knife ready to hand.
This blade shape has no point on the tip, very little to no belly and the spine of the blade curves down to meet the edge. It is used in applications where slicing is the main requirement, and a point is either not needed or would actively get in the way. Emergency rescue blades are usually of this design. The lack of a point prevents the rescuer from inadvertently injuring a victim who is being cut free from something restrictive. A blade with a round blunt tip without a traditional point. Being rounded lessens the chance of accidental puncturing around livestock, inflatable watercraft and during emergency cutting. NOT SHEEPSFOOT 😐
silver-copper alloy, which in Japan would be called
A metal inlay on the handle of a knife. It is often placed there as a trademark or decoration. Many times, it will have a name on it or a symbol that identifies the maker. A decorative escutcheon, usually of metal, inlaid in a knife’s handle.See also Escutcheon
A wide variety available with square, wide, round and curved high-carbon steel blades. Also used for other industrial functions.Ê
Increases strength. Deoxidizes and degasifies to remove oxygen from molten metal.
Single Bevel Grind
Also called a chisel grind. The edge is flat or hollow ground but on only one side.
The bonding of adjacent surfaces in a mass of particles by molecular or atomic attraction on heating at high temperatures below the melting temperature of any constituent in the material. Sintering strengthens a powder mass and normally produces densification and, in powdered metals, recrystallization.
A method of lightening a blade, handle, tang, or liners by removing material (holes, recesses, etc.) without compromising structural integrity.
Internal steel handle liners that feature a series of holes (skeletonizing) that reduces their weight while maintaining strength and rigidity.
A slicing knife is very similar to a carving knife except it is usually longer and narrower. Slicers are designed to cut thin, precise slices of meat and are normally more flexible. Many chefs find slicers to be better suited to slicing ham, roasts, fish, or barbecued beef and pork. They may have a plain edge, Granton edge or kullen edge. A ham slicer is a special type of slicer with a long blade and rounded tip. They are generally thinner and more flexible than a standard slicer.Ê
A term that is used for ordinary folding knives that do not lock. 😐 A term used for a folding knife that does not have a locking mechanism. These knives rely on a backspring for resistance in keeping the knife open
A term coined by Spyderco for their non-locking folding knives that are held open via a notch joint and a pocket clip. A ClipIt with a slip joint blade, thus SlipIt. (See: ClipIt)
The rapier evolved into the Small Sword and it remained in this form from the end of the 17th century until men no longer wore swords as part of their daily dress. It was still worn as part of diplomatic dress as late as the 1940s.
The name “snake wood” was clearly inspired by the snakeskin-like markings that decorate this exotic wood. Extremely hard and heavy, it is one of the most expensive woods in the world. We use only the finest snakewood, chosen for outstanding color and pattern.
Prolonged holding at a selected temperature to effect homogenization of structure or composition.
Material layered between the handle material and the hilt or guard of the knife. Generally of contrasting color.
Spear Point Blade
Blade shaped with an equal amount of curve on the spine and the cutting edge with a distinct separating grind line. The two curves meet, coming together at the point. SYMMETRICAL!!!
The unsharpened edge of a blade opposite to the cutting edge, also known as the back.
A ridge or crest above the Spyderco Round Hole that creates a shelf for the thumb to apply pressure during use.
Also called a false edge, itÕs an edge on the back of the bladeÕs spine that is chamfered or non-sharpened. The swedge removes weight from the blade adding balance and penetration performance.
A flat piece of steel kept under pressure by the rivet assembly that holds the blade in an open position. They can be one end springs or two end springs. One end springs hold a single blade open, while two end springs hold two blades open; one on each end. .
Any tool steel that will remain flexible when properly heat treated.
A temper of nonferrous alloys and some ferrous alloys characterized by tensile strength and hardness about two-thirds of the way from full hard to extra spring temper.
A term coined by Spyderco for a limited, one-time-only production of a specific knife design or variant. Production quantities of Sprint Runs are limited to less than 1500 pieces.
A one-handed opening method that involves grasping the closed blade of a folding knife near the pivot pin and swinging the handle down to open the knife. It is best accomplished with a Spyderco knife, using the Spyderco Round Hole to achieve a secure grip.
Spyderco Trademark Round Hole™
A round hole in a knife blade that is used for ambidextrous one-handed opening of the blade. In fixed-blade knives, it also serves as a forward-positioned lanyard hole. Originally patented by Sal Glesser in 1982 (4,347,665).
Spyderco’s two-step serration patterns consisting of one large and two small serrations. The pattern increases the cutting edge’s surface area by up to 24%.
: Select hardwood veneers are vacuum impregnated with special dyes and resins. Sheets are layered and combined under tremendous heat and pressure to adhere the veneers for a durable real wood medium.
Deer antler, generally from one of two deer native to India and S.E. Asia; the Sambar and the Chitel. Recently and historically the antler of American white-tail and mule deer. A natural material from deer antler, used as a handle material. Died Torched
An alloy of Iron with a minimum of 10.5% Chromium. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel known as the ‘passive layer’. This prevents any further corrosion of the surface. Increasing the amount of Chromium gives an increased resistance to corrosion.
An iron-based alloy, malleable in some temperature range as initially cast, containing manganese, usually carbon, and often-other alloying elements. In carbon steel and low alloy steel, the maximum carbon is about 2.0%; in high alloy steel, about 2.5%. The dividing line between low alloy and high alloy steels is generally regarded as being at 5% metallic alloying elements. Common name for large family of Iron based alloys with Carbon content. Steel is easily malleable after molten stage. See also steel classifications. As used in knife blades, an alloy of iron saturated with carbon, and now often including other elements to foster toughness or stain resistance.
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. Haynes
A dagger with a slim blade intended for stabbing. A slender dagger.
Three bladed knife with clip main blade, sheepfoot blade and spay blade.
The blade surface is refined using abrasive tumbling media or “stones” that leave a pronounced random “scratch pattern” on the blade. This finish tends to mask any scratches that may occur with use.
The unit of change in the size or shape of a body due to force.
Strength is a measure of how well a material can resist being deformed from its original shape. Typically, metals are specified for their tensile strength, or their resistance to being pulled apart, but compressive strength is also a legitimate material property describing resistance to being squeezed.
The intensity of the internally distributed forces or components of forces that resist a change in the volume or shape of a material that is or has been subjected to external forces. Stress is expressed in force per unit area and is calculated on the basis of the original dimensions of the cross section of the specimen.
Heating to a suitable temperature, holding long enough to reduce residual stresses and then cooling slowly to minimize the development of new residual stresses.
A second hilt behind the index finger on the lower edge of a fighting knife handle.
Improves machinability when added in minute quantities.
Super Blue Steel
If you take the recipe for #1 or #2 and tweak it a bit you can make Super Blue steel. It has all the benefits of #1 or #2 and many say it performs better. Using both on a regular basis I would say they are quite similar and a bit different. I’m unable to make a judgement call on which is better. I know that the patina each steel achives is slightly different in colour. Both are great knife steels.
Superconductor. As the name implies, this material is remnant conductive wire from the super-collider project abandoned by the US Government in the 90’s. Made from a matrix of niobium wires pulled thru a copper core, superconductor was (going to be) used to move electricity in the particle accelerator.
SUSHI / SASHIMI
Yanagiba – Tako
A bevel grind on the edge of the back of a blade. If it were sharp it would not be a swedge but would be a False Edge. An unsharpened bevel on the spine or back of the blade Usually toward the tip. See: False Edge
SWISS ARMY KNIFE
A folding knife whose blade or blades is opened automatically by a spring when a release is pressed. Switchblade knives are illegal in interstate commerce, and in most states.
A stainless steel, most likely a variation of 440C.
Steel bladed knives and forks used at table for eating.
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.
That part of the blade that is either fastened between scales to make the handle or goes through a hole in the handle material. Also the part of a pocket knife blade that is between the handles. The back portion of the blade that extends from where the blade attaches to the handle to the start of the edge. The unsharpened extension of a knife blade that is affixed to the handle.
Any markings located on the tang of a knife. Most often, the stamp will have the manufacturer’s name, date identification, or other informative markings. (Trend to Laser Etch!) A maker’s or distributor’s marking stamped on the tang of a pocketknife blade.
Most tantos seen on the American cutlery market are Americanized formats. Like the Japanese tanto, the Americanized tanto has a high point in-line with the pivot. A flat grind is applied to the point, leaving it very thick and extraordinarily strong. This thick area helps absorb the impact from piercing, as the tanto was originally designed for armor piercing. The front edge meets the bottom edge at an obtuse angle rather than curving to meet it as seen in the Japanese tanto. The only negative aspect of the tanto blade shape is the cutting surface area is sacrificed to gain tip strength.
A method of grinding a full tang to taper to the butt of the knife, improving balance as well as appearance. Brought to modern knife making by R. W. Loveless.
Tarnishing is a layer of corrosion that is formed on the surface of metals or alloys. Well-known is the tarnishing of silver and its alloys. It is mainly caused by degrading agents present in the atmosphere such as sulphur. It appears as a gray or black film over the metal.
A thin, tightly adhering oxide skin that forms when steel is tempered at a low temperature, or for a short time, in air or a mildly oxidizing atmosphere. The color, which ranges from straw to blue depending on the thickness of the oxide skin, varies with both tempering time and temperature. Before the use of instruments such as pyrometers, colours were used to judge temperatures when hardening and tempering. For example, on carbon tool steel where the tempering range may typically be from 200oC to 350oC, the colours change with the rise in temperature giving Light Straw at around 210oC, Purple at 275oC, and Grey at 330oC. The practice still continues in workshops where controlled heat treatment facilities are not available
A process of heat treating, which is used to increase the toughness of iron-based alloys, by reducing hardness, precipitating carbides, relieving stress, and to improve elasticity and plasticity. Tempering is performed after hardening and involves heating the metal to a precise temperature below the critical point, and is often done in air, vacuum or inert atmospheres. Hardened, but un-tempered steel is too hard and brittle for most applications. (See: Drawing)
The breaking strength of a material when subjected to a tensile (stretching) force and measuring the force necessary to break the test piece. Tensile strength is commonly expressed as pounds (or tons) per square inch of original cross section.
What it means is ANY hand made or limited production knife made during WWII. It includes some factory knives (Ek), small production shop knives (Randall, Ruana, Richtig, Moore, etc etc), school shop class knives, knives made by amateur knifemakers (Cole), knives made entire by servicemen, and knives re-handled by servicemen.
A manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape in a mold, and trimmed to create a usable product.
THINNING & TEXTURIZING
A hole at the butt of a knife handle intended for a wrist thong or lanyard.
THREAD SNIPS / NAIL WRAP SCISSORS
Titanium ALUMINUM Nitride (TiAlN)
A multi layer ceramic coating applied by PVD coating technology, which exhibits high toughness and oxidation stability. These properties make it ideal for higher speeds and feeds, whilst at the same time improving tool life. TiAlN is suitable for drilling and tapping. It is recommended to use TiAlN when machining dry.
Titanium Carbonitiride Coating (TiCN)
A ceramic film coating that is hard (92Rc) less than 3 microns thick. It provides high abrasion resistance and low friction coefficient. Titanium Carbo Nitride is a ceramic coating applied by PVD coating technology. TiCN is harder than TiN and has a lower coefficient of friction. Its hardness and toughness in combination with good wear resistance ensure that it finds its principal application in the field of milling to enhance the performance of milling cutters.
Titanium nitride (TiN)
Gold colored ceramic, typically applied as a thin coating by either PVD or CVD. Very hard (3500Hv). Used on cutting tools and forming tools and other surfaces requiring wear resistance. Titanium Nitride is a gold coloured ceramic coating applied by physical vapour deposition (PVD). High hardness combined with low friction properties ensure considerably longer tool life, or alternatively, better cutting performance from tools which have been coated. TiN coating is used mainly for drills and taps.
A non-ferrous metal that is lightweight, highly corrosion resistant, has a high degree of tensile strength, and superior strength-to-weight ratios. Approximately 40% lighter that steel.
The fighting ax of the American Indian, began as a club with wooden or stone head became a hatchet with the advent of iron heads from the Europeans.
Refers to a variety of carbon and alloy steels that are particularly well-suited to making tools. Tool steel is a particularly hard material that withstands heat and resists abrasion, and is available in a number of grades that are each suited to specific applications, such as punches, dies or cutting applications. (See: Alloy Steel, Carbon Steel)
Developed in 1967 by Camcar Textron, is the trademark for a type of socket screw head characterized by a 6-point star-shaped (hexalobular) pattern. An alternative to hex that is easier to align, more precise, and has less cam-out.
The ability of a material to resist fracturing when force is applied. Toughness requires strength as well as ductility, which allows a material to deform before fracturing. shock or impact.
A non-sharpened blade that is identical in weight and proportion to its live counterpart and used for training and practice purposes. Spyderco trainers are red handled denoting they are non-sharpened.
A two bladed knife, most commonly with both blades at the same end, the blades often a drop point and a long spey blade. The exception to the blades being at the same end is the Muskrat Trapper which always has a blade at each end. A jack knife with full-length clip and spey blades.
Any combat knife designed for trench warfare.
Tumbled or Vibed
similar to a stonewash finish; this finish leaves the blades bright and smooth with a faint random scratch pattern.
Advanced material that is very hard and wear resistant, making it suitable for severe service applications such as cutting and grinding tools. Sintered tungsten carbide cutting tools are very abrasion resistant and can also withstand higher temperatures than standard high-speed steel tools. Carbide cutting surfaces are often used for machining through materials such as carbon steel or stainless steel, and in situations where other tools would wear away, such as high-quantity production runs. Because carbide tools maintain a sharp cutting edge better than other tools, they generally produce a better finish on parts, and their temperature resistance allows faster machining.
Tungsten DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon)
Tungsten DLC coatings lower friction, offer high wear resistance, non-reflectivity, and enhance surface hardness. Tungsten DLC coating is applied in a process called Physical Vapor Disposition (PVD). During PVD, metals are instantly evaporated and ionized via a high-current, low-voltage arc. The metal ions are then accelerated into a vacuum chamber. A negative voltage is introduced, which permanently deposits a thin layer of carbon atoms that is slowly built up on the surface, providing a sleek black look, a hardness similar to natural diamond and excellent abrasion resistance.
Adds strength, toughness, and improves hardenability.
TURNERS & SPATULAS
A sharp 6Ó utility knife is most efficient for slicing non-solid fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes or squash. For acid fruits, a stainless steel blade is preferred. Useful for cutting large melon rings, cutting heads of lettuce into wedges, preparing cabbage for shredding, halving grapefruits and oranges, etc.
Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM)
A process in which raw materials are first melted within a vacuum using the heat from an induced magnetic field. The metal is often remelted again under a vacuum to produce very pure alloys. Together, these processes result in tighter control of a metal’s chemistry and greater consistency in structural properties such as toughness, ductility, and fatigue strength.
A reinforced resin with excellent stiffness, strength and dimensional stability. Molded to form.
Increases strength, wear resistance, and increases toughness.
A very hard to find steel, with a high vanadium content. It is extremely difficult to work and very wear resistant. Vascowear is/was a alloy steel manufactured by Teledyne Vasco.
Users report superior performance in edge holding. Presently available only in knives made in Japan.
Vickers Hardness Test
A testing method consists of indenting the test material with a diamond indenter, in the form of a right pyramid with a square base and an angle of 136 degrees between opposite faces subjected to a load. The full load is normally applied for 10 to 15 seconds. The two diagonals of the indentation left in the surface of the material after removal of the load are measured using a microscope and their average calculated. (See: Hardness Test)
Spyderco trademarked waffle texture found on several of their FRN handled knife models. It is a continuous pattern of small squares providing tactile resistance to slipping while gripped in the hand.
W1 is basically simple high carbon steel with no vanadium and is easily hardened by heating and quenching in water, just as with plain carbon steel alloys. W1 is commonly used for hand operated metal cutting tools, cold heading, embossing taps and reamers as well as cutlery.
A tool steel that is not stainless. Shallow hardening, rather weak, and makes durable knives only if held below 54 HRC. Rusts very easily due to the lack of chrome and vanadium. Only alloying elements are carbon and manganese.
Walk and Talk
This describes the actions of a pocket knife when opened and closed. The walk describes the feel of the tang as it moves along the spring when the blade is opened. The talk refers to the sound of the knife when the blade is closed. A well adjusted knife “walks and talks” (has a nice strong snap and has blades that slide smoothly across the springs).
Locking system developed by customer knifemaker Michael Walker. The blade is locked open by a leaf-like spring that comes in from the side, butting up against the tang of the blade.
A quench in which water is the quenching medium. The major disadvantage of water quenching is its poor efficiency at the beginning or hot stage of the quenching process.
A William Henry exclusive material (patent pending) that fuses traditional metal forging with modern fabricating technology. This alloy features copper, 430 stainless steel, and pure iron in a 55 layer billet patterned with our undulating Wave. When highly polished and heat colored, the iron layers take on deep browns, purples, or blues according to temperature and quenching technique.
Loss of material from a surface by means of relative motion between it and another body. Third bodies i.e. grit
The degree of resistance of a material to abrasion or wear. Wear resistance of a material is a function of its hardness and toughness.
Wedge Head Springs
Sheffield term for a tapered spring used in a pocketknife.
A blade in which the point of the knife drops downward from the spine meeting a straight cutting edge at the bladeÕs tip. James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe (1776Ð1845)
A stone for whetting, or sharpening edged tools.
With traditional Japanese “Shirogami” or “White Steel” blade and bamboo handle and sheath, he has created for us another traditional Japanese hunting knife. “White Steel” and “Blue Steel” are terms that have only recently come into use in the U. S. Created by Hatachi, the terms actually refer to the color of the paper wrapper in which the raw bar stock is shipped. This added carbon allows the blades to be hardened in the mid-60s Rc. allowing for a thin razor edge. With no chromium, this steel is definitely not stainless.
White Steel (Shiro-ko)
White steel is the purest of the Carbon steels. The ingredients are Iron and Carbon (up to 2.7%). This is the easiest steel to sharpen and is capable of achieving the most perfect mirror finished edge. This steel has the ability of being forged to incredible hardness which translates to exceptional edge retention. Why do you think sword makers love this steel? Special care must be taken with Shiro-ko knives as they are the most reactive, however after a nice strong patina has formed on the blade they are less likely to rust. Patina is your friend.
It is just a normal whittler with TWO springs. A split-spring whittler has ONE spring, split down half its length. Only made in Sheffield, well before 1850. Real split backspring construction was used on two blade jack knives, too. While we’re at it, the knives that ebay sellers mistakenly call three-backspring whittlers are really three-backspring cattle knives… with three blades. A real three backspring whittler has FIVE blades. A three-blade pen knife with the master blade bearing on two springs.A blade arrangement, large blade at one end and two smaller blades at the other, with the large blade working on both springs. That is not a split-spring whittler!!
Create scissor style category!!
A heat treated wire held in place on the scale by a screw or barrel bolt. Some wire clips are designed to carry deep in a pocket, some have a higher profile, positioning the knife higher and closer to the pocketÕs edge.
Wood Epoxy Laminate
This is an impregnated wood laminate, which is extremely hard and machines similar to Corian, aluminum and Micarta.
WOODCARVING KNIFE & TOOLS
Wooly Mammoth Bone
Fossilized (not petrified) bone material that ranges up to 10,000 years old. Natural colors range from tan to grey to occasional blues with a very fine grain, low porosity, and beautiful polishing characteristics.
Increase in resistance to deformation (i.e. in hardness) produced by cold working.
Wrought steel undergoes two operations. First, it is either poured into ingots or strand cast. Then, the metal is reheated and hot rolled into the finished, wrought form. Hot-rolled steel is characterized by a scaled surface and a decarburized skin. Hot-rolled bars may be subsequently finished in a two-part process. First, acid pickling or shot blasting removes scale. Then, cold drawing through a die and restraightening improves surface properties and strength. http://www.steelforge.com/ferrous/carbonsteel.htm
This French steel was developed for the aircraft industry for jet ball bearings, as well as the medical industry for scalpels. It has the ability to resist rust in the worst of conditions while maintaining ample edge retention. The capability behind this steel is in the way it is manufactured, resulting in the finest steel for use in harsh environments such as salt water. The edge on an X15 T.N blade is easier to maintain.
YACHTING / BOATING / SAILING
The most beautiful of all sabers, with it’s forward curved blade it would have been as fine to use as to look at. Said to be Turkish in origin made with out guard and always with eared pommel
point at which a steel becomes permanently deformed; the point at which the linear relationship of stress to strain changes on a Stress/Strain curve.
A clean high carbon stainless from Sweden. Higher in Nickel and Molybdenum than AUS-8, with a little less Carbon. Chosen for a balance between ease of sharpening and edge retention.
Hitachi’s hardest and highest performing Japanese knife steel in the knife industry. This Japanese manufactured powdered metal has phenomenal chemistry with 3% carbon and 20% chrome (unheard of chemistries twenty-years ago). As a result, ZDP-189’s hardness measures high on the Rockwell scale (65-67) and its edge retention is exceptional. At this time, Spyderco was one of a handful of cutlers around the world working with ZDP-189 blades.
Similar to a full-flat grind but without the secondary grind for the edge. The edge is the same grind as the primary creating a single flat side.
Zero Grind Saber (Scandi)
Zero Grind Saber (Scandi) Similar to a flat ground saber (Scandi) but without a secondary grind for the edge. The edge is the same grind as the primary grind.
Material of great hardness, (included in ceramic used in making ceramic blades) and used as grain on grinding belts for grinding knives.
Zirconium Nitride Coating (ZrN)
Zirconium Nitride is a ceramic coating applied by PVD coating technology. It exhibits a combination of properties which make it attractive when tapping Aluminium and Aluminium alloys. Zirconium nitride is a hard ceramic material similar to titanium nitride and is a cement like refractory material.Thus it is used in refractories, cermets and laboratory crucibles. When applied using the physical vapor deposition coating process it is commonly used for coating medical devices, industrial parts (notably drill bits), automotive and aerospace components and other parts subject to high wear and corrosive environments.
A thermoplastic material used in molding handles for knives, generally containing 25 to 50% chopped fiberglas or kevlar” fiber or carbon fiber. A lightweight glass filled nylon engineered for strength and durability. Widely used throughout the auto industry in engine related components. Molded to form. Du Pont developed this thermoplastic material. Of all synthetic materials, ZYTEL is the least expensive to produce, which explains the abundance of work or utility knives that have this material. It is unbreakable: resists impact and abrasions. ZYTEL has a slight surface texture, but knife companies using this material will add additional, more aggressive surface texture to augment this slight texture