The smooth lines of a fixed-blade knife speak to the essence of outdoor competence. Fixed blade knives consist of a blade, a handle and a tang, which is the extension of the blade that is carried in the handle. They are easy to clean and quick to set up, with no moving parts to break or destroy. A solid fixed-blade knife can be stabbed (stabbed into the spine) through the wood. It can be twisted and rotated. Its strength comes from its apparent simplicity – although a cheaply made fixed blade is far from cheap. No fixed blade knife is built with all the elements listed here, and many of them are also found in folding knives. How designers choose from such a wide menu of options is what makes knives so endlessly fascinating.
- POINT: It is also called yeast. The sharper the point, the better the knife’s piercing ability—albeit at the expense of tip strength.
- SWEDGE: A ground edge to spine near top. A sharpened bladder increases piercing ability. Most are blunt and purely decorative.
- STOMACH: Curved edge section. A multi-serrated knife is useful for long, sweeping cuts such as those used to skin animals.
- page: The side of the blade, also called the face.
- EDGE: Sharpened cutting surface.
- BACK: The blunt back of the blade.
- FULLER: Often called a blood groove, this canal runs parallel to the spine. Fuller works like an I-beam, reducing weight and adding strength.
- DIVE LINE: Where the face grind meets the edge bevel.
- Dance: Ground cuts on the spine of the blade, and sometimes on the handle, that provide traction for the user’s finger.
- heel: A general term for the section of the blade where it meets the handle or guard.
- COLD: An unsharpened, scratched hole where the blade meets the handle. A large holster can be useful as a finger grip. Smaller ovens serve as a stop for sharpening equipment to protect the guard or handle.
- RECALL: The short, blunt part of the blade between the bevel of the edge and the handle or guard. Rikaso allows the full blade to be sharpened without the risk of damaging the handle.
- QUILON: An elongated point on the guard that provides additional protection. Combat and tactical knives often have double hilts, one on each side of the blade.
- GUARD: Designed to prevent the hand from slipping on the blade. Guards vary in size, although many modern models lack them.
- SUPPORT: A thick metal shoulder on the front of the handle, or separate pieces that wrap around the color. The supports can be either separate pieces of metal or part of the blade and tang.
- POMMEL: Also called the butt, this is the end of the handle. A hard shell can be used to drive the pins.
This article is adapted from Field & Stream’s Total Camping Handbook.