Anatomy of a Knife – Understanding Pocket Knife & Fixed Blade Knife Parts and Terms

Anatomy of a Knife

We recently published a review of the SOG Vulcan Mini.   Understanding the parts of a knife and how a pocket folder or fixed blade knife works is vital.  Our good friends at SOG shared with us the anatomy of a knife and some popular knife terms.  Check your knowledge and see if can you name all the parts.   Do you know the difference between the bolster and the tang?  What’s a lock back? What’s SOG’s Arc-Lock technology?  Carducci Tactical’s got the answers for you to keep you informed and safe.

Let’s start below with the parts of a fixed blade knife.

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A. Edge – The sharpened part of the blade, from point to bolster (E to F). The edge can be either straight, serrated, or a combination of the two.

B.  Spine – The side opposite the sharpened edge is referred to as the spine.

C.  Handle – The handle envelops the tang (H) and is usually fastened by rivets or encased  in plastic or metal.

D.  Tip – The third of a blade’s tapered end, opposite the handle

E.  Point – Located at the tip of the knife, the point should be sharp and relatively thin. It is used for making incisions, cutting, and carving.

F.  Bolster/Guard – A thick piece of metal between the handle and the blade that is typically found on fixed blade knives.  It is made to add weight to the knife, provide it with better balance, and create a comfortable resting place in the hand.

G.  Butt or Pommel – The butt or pommel end of a knife is located opposite from the tip at the end of the handle.

H.  Tang (not pictured) – The part of the blade that runs from the bolster back into the handle is known as the tang. There are two types of tangs. A full tang runs the entire length of the handle while a half tang only runs a partial extent of the handle.  Higher end knives
generally have a full tang.

pocket knife, sog pocket knife, carducci tactical, sog knives, sog specialty knives, anatomy of a knife, parts of a knife, parts of pocket knife, parts of a fixed blade knifeNow Let’s take a look at the parts of a pocket knife or folding knife.

sog pocket knife, spring assist pocket knife, carducci tactical, parts of a pocket knife, how a pocket knife opens, parts of a knifePictured above is the Blink spring assisted pocket knife by SOG and here to the right is a  close up view of the patented S.A.T Spring Assist Technology made by SOG.   SOG’s pocket knives feature ambidextrous one-handed opening with a dual-sided thumb stub.  A reversible pocket clip and hard anodized machined aluminum handles complete the package.  For tactical efficiency SOG knives are one of the best.

parts of a pocket knife, anatomy of a knife, lock backs, sog knives, pocket knives, carducci tactical, sog blink, sog vulcan mini, sog mini vulcan, parts of a folder knife, folder knives, folding knives, best pocket knife, what are the parts of a knife, sog knife descriptions, tang, lock backsThe lock back uses a lever on the back edge of the handle to catch in the tang of the blade and lock it.  To unlock, one simply presses the back of the lever.  Lock Backs are one of the oldest locks used today.  Ambidextrous and safe to operate!


sog knives, arc lock system, arc-lock system, sog, pocket knives, folding knives, folder knives, carducci tactical, parts of a pocket knife, parts of a knife, knife diagram, best pocket knife, best sog knifeCam Locks or Arc Locks use a pivotal block to lock the blade in place.  Considered one of the finest locks available.  The Arc-Lock far surpasses conventional lock strength.  It provides lightning-quick, one-handed opening and closing capability.  Spring-action securely retains the blade closed. When unlocking, the fingers are safely kept clear.  It is self-adjusting over time and can be easily cleaned for long-term optimal performance.

pocket knife, thumb studs, folder knife, sog, sog specialty knives, best pocket knife, carducci tactical, parts of a knife, anatomy of a knifeThumb studs are used in many folding knives to open the blade with one hand.  Many times they are  mounted on both sides of the blade for the right and left-handed.  On certain knives thumb holes can be used in place of the thumb stud to allow for easy one-handed opening.


carducci tactical, sog, sog knives, sog knife, nail nick, tang, bluster, best pocket knife, best knives, best sog knife, tactical knife, tactical efficiency, parts of a pocket knife, anatomy of a knife, parts of a fixed blade knife, blade, sog blade, arc-lock, spring assist knifeNail Nicks are a notch carved out of the blade used to open the knife.
It is the original system for opening folders.  Today it is not as popular or easy to use as a thumb stud.


carducci tactical, sog knives, sog knife, parts of a knife, anatomy of a knife, best pocket knife, how to choose best pocket knife, parts of a fixed blade knife, flipper of a pocket knife, arc-lock, spring assist pocket knife, tactical knife, best sog knifeKicks or Flippers are an extended tang which passes through the handle of the knife when closed.  When pressed, this feature
“kicks” the blade open.



We’ve only just begun to cover parts of knives.  Look for part  two of our post later this week.  We have edges, steel types, handle materials, sheaths and more to cover.  Understanding terms and parts of a knife are integral.  With the knowledge you will be able to select the perfect knife for your needs.  As I stated in our review I believe in carrying a pocket knife everyday and never leave home without one.   Hey to borrow from the commerical…What’s in your pocket?  I would love to hear your favorite pocket knife.  What do you carry?  Post a comment or email me at

See you on the range!


About Carducci Tactical

Danny & Amy Carducci have a blog dedicated to the shooting sports and hunting. Unbiased information - condensed and precise!
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2 Responses to Anatomy of a Knife – Understanding Pocket Knife & Fixed Blade Knife Parts and Terms

  1. Pingback: BUCK KNIVES VANTAGE FORCE SERIES | Guns Optics Competition &Tactical Gear

  2. Pingback: Wide Open Watch: SOG Knives | Wide Open Spaces Blog

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