A List of Common Knife Terms

Some of the terms used to describe knives may be unknown to the average consumer, or perhaps you simply forgot what something is called.

We are going to discuss some of the knife-related terms which you may come across on our website, which you may not know the meaning of.


If talking about a fixed-blade knife, the bolster refers to the band of metal which is placed between the blade and handle to support (or ‘bolster’) the connection between the blade and handle. Bolsters can also be placed for balance.


EDC is an acronym which stands for ‘Every Day Carry’. It is a term which refers to something you carry around everyday. So an example of an EDC knife would be your main pocket knife, which you keep on your belt loop, or something similar.


A ricasso is an unsharpened portion of a blade which is placed just above the guard or handle of the knife.

Tang / Full Tang

The tang of a blade refers to how far the blade goes into the handle. If it goes all the way through, then it is a full tang blade. If it goes half way through, then it is a half tang blade. Full tang blades are usually preferred, as they are typically higher quality and better balanced.

If there are any other knife terms which you would like to know about, or would like to suggest an addition to the list, then send me an email at richard@knifeanalyst.com and let me know.

The Knife Analyst

The Knife Analyst

The Knife Analyst is committed to bringing you the latest information and news on knives and survival gear. Our team of experts provide reviews, history, and educational advice on knives and survival gear so you can make educated choices while buying your outdoor merchandise.

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