Hunting Knife Anatomy

Bowie Knife

Bowie Knife

You may be able to properly wield a hunting knife, but do you know the different parts that make it up? Knowing how a knife is put together and the components that are involved can really help you both maintain your knife and recognize quality when shopping for hunting or sporting knives and accessories. Here are the different parts of a knife, what they do, and why they’re important.

The Parts:

Hunting or sporting knives are broken into two main parts: the blade and the handle. Each of these parts contains a number of components.


Point – The point of the knife is the tip. The type of tip you have on your blade determines the type of hunting knife you have. There are three main types: clip point, tanto, and drop point.

Grind – Sometimes called the bevel, the grind is the part where the knife starts to taper towards the cutting edge. The more dramatic the angle of the grind, the sharper the blade.

Spine – The spine is exactly what it sounds like – the back of the knife blade. If you’re looking for a strong hunting knife, find one with a thick spine.

Choil – Also called the bolster, the choil is the unsharpened section of the blade in front of the guard. It is often used to get a better grip on the knife when doing close-in work. When shopping for a hunting knife, look for one with a choil that fits your fingers.


Front Bolster – One of the most important parts of sporting knives is the bolster, a part of the hand guard that protects the fingers.

Finger Groove – This component is carved into the knife handle for a better grip. Like the choil, you should look for a hunting knife that has a groove that fits your fingers.

Handle Scales – Another grip-component, the handle scales should fit the fingers and grooves of the palm.

Tang – This is the part of the knife where the blade stops and the handle stops. The strength of hunting or sporting knives depends on the tang. The strongest hunting knife has the full tang – it has one piece of steel running the entire length of the blade and handle.

Knowing the different parts of a hunting knife can help you in the purchase process as well as with maintenance. Arm yourself with knowledge and you’ll find yourself with better, higher-quality knives.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply