A Complete Guide to Blade Grinds

A knife on a chopping board

A knife is an amazing tool- whether you use kitchen knives or utility knives for any other use, it is a tool that you can always rely on.

The type of knife is determined by the type of blade grinds that are used. If you want to get the best knife you need to understand how the blade grinds work and how it can affect the cutting performance.

But what exactly is blade grind?

What is Blade Grind?

Blade grind refers to the cross sectional area of the blade from the perspective of somebody looking side on at the blade.

Its easier to think of the blade grind as the general shape of the knife right at the edge, or point of cutting.

The Types of Blade Grinds

Based on the kind of cut needed, the blade grind can be of various types. Below are the different types of blade grinds that are most used by knife manufacturers across the world.

Blade grind is one subject that can often get confusing , so be sure to carefully read on as we take you through each type and what they are used for!

Hollow Grind

If you are looking for a knife with a razor-sharp edge, a hollow grind is helpful.

A blade with a hollow grind features a concave curve starting from the spine running down the edge and the point of the knife. This is usually done on a blade that is thin and the grind is made to make it a little more thinner. Thinner edges are weaker but they are better slicers than the thick edges.

If a thin edge, a deep knife belly, and a hollow grind are combined together, it will make the best slicing knife.

Advantages

  • Blade thickness remains the same as the edge is sharpened and does not increase with time.
  • Sharpening of a hollow grind knife is easier.

Disadvantages

  • Since the edge is very thin, it is extremely fragile and the blade can break if used on hard surfaces.
  • Hollow Grind knives cannot be used for chopping.

Hollow Ground Knife TypesHunting Knives, Everyday carry knives or blades, and straight razors.

Full Flat

In the full flat grind, the grind runs down from the spine right to the edge in a bevel shape and in a linear slope. This grind is known to be a versatile kind of grind.

It can be made for the knife to be either sharp and thin, or heavy and thick. Or it can be made as a blend of the two. Most of the flat grinds are a good balance between both.

Flat grind knives are made thickest at the spine to add the required strength to the knife. However, towards the edge, it tapers into a thin edge that makes the knife excellent for slicing applications.

Full flat ground knives are stronger than the hollow ground ones and cut better than most of the other grind types. The gradual slope of the full flat grind makes the blade easy to cut through surfaces.

Advantages

  • Good for slicing applications as cuts through surfaces easily.
  • Good for chopping as well as this grind adds good strength to the knives.

Disadvantages

  • The slicing is not as sharp as that of hollow ground.
  • The handling is not so robust.

Full Flat Ground Knife Types – Kitchen knives, EDC knives, Hunting knives.

Sabre Grind

It is either a hollow or a flat grind, with a difference that the grind does cover the whole width of the steel blade thereby leaving some of the portion ungrounded.

A Sabre ground means the grinding on the blade starts somewhere midway down the length of the blade. The line that separates the bevel and the unground portion is what is known as Sabre Line.

This grind is commonly used when a stronger blade is needed. The stock or the spine of the blade is usually kept thicker to ensure the blade can be used for applications that need hard usage. Since the stock of the blade is thicker, these blades do not slice too well.

Advantages

  • Sabre grind knives have excellent strength and durability.
  • Can be used for penetration and chopping applications.

Disadvantages

  • Cutting performance is not that impressive.
  • Not good for slicing operations.

Sabre Ground Knife Types – Camp Knives, Self Defence knives, Military and Tactical Warfare Knives.

Scandi Grind

The Scandi ground is the short form for the Scandinavian grind. In this grind type, there is a short and flat convex grind on a thin blade. There is no secondary edge grind which means that there is only one edge that is ground to zero.

This grind therefore has a lot of steel left on the body thereby making the knife pretty strong.

Advantages

  • Knives with Scandi grind have a single edge to be sharpened.
  • The edges are strong and hence there is no danger of chipping the blade.

Disadvantages

  • Not a good option for slicing applications.
  • Sharpening can be a herculean task as a lot of steel may need to be removed to sharpen it.

Scandi Grind Knife Types – Hunting and Survival knives, Camp knives, etc.

Chisel Grind

 In this grind type the blade is not grounded at all on one of the sides which means it is left completely flat on one side.

In this grind, there may not be a secondary bevel on the edge and the bevelling is done towards the down part of the blade. If you are looking for a full chisel ground the bevel will extend to the spine.

Chisel grind knives are rare and are not used too often. These knives are made for special purposes only and as such can be termed to be a specialized grind.

Advantages

  • Chisel grind is easy to make as only one side has to be grounded.
  • Easy to sharpen as there is only one side that is the edge.

Disadvantages

  • Accurate cuts cannot be obtained with chisel ground knives.
  • May not be fit for applications such as chopping and slicing.
  • Can only be used for special purposes.

Chisel Ground Knife Types – Machetes and Bushcraft knives, Japanese Handmade Kitchen knives.

Convex Grind

To make a convex grind, a belt grinder is used. It is commonly known by names such as Moran or Appleseed Grind.

The convex grind arcs out towards the edge of the knife. It is similar to Sabre as even after the grind, the blade still has enough steel left on it, thereby making it one of the thickest and the strongest. Since there is extra steel just behind the edge, a lot of reinforcement and strength gets added to the blade.

Advantages

  • Extremely strong and durable cutting edge.
  • Used in axes and other heavy-duty chopping applications.

Disadvantages

  • Not too easy to maintain or sharpen.
  • Is not the best tool for slicing.

Convex Ground Knife Types – Machetes, Choppers, Axes, and Bushcraft knives.

There are other factors that can affect your knife’s cutting quality as well such as the blade length, blade type and blade steel. Blade grind as a factor is certainly the most important of all to define and determine the performance of the knife you are about to use.

Conclusion

Having seen the various grind types it is evident that different blade grinds are meant for different applications. To decide on which blade grind to choose, think about the purpose for which you need the knife. Make use of this guide to check what grind type will suit your purpose and accordingly choose the knife.

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