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A tang or shank is the back portion of the blade component of a tool where it extends into stock material or connects to a handle – as on a knife, sword, spear, arrowhead, chisel, file, coulter, pike, scythe, screwdriver, etc.One can classify various tang designs by their appearance, by the manner in which they attach to a handle, and by their length in relation to the handle.
The nakago is the term in Japanese, used especially when referring to the tang of the katana or the wakizashi.
A full tang extends the full length of the grip-portion of a handle, versus a partial tang which does not. A full tang may or may not be as wide as the handle itself, but will still run the full length of the handle.
There are a wide variety of full and partial tang designs. In perhaps the most common design in full tang knives, the handle is cut in the shape of the tang and handle scales are then fastened to the tang by means of pins, screws, bolts, metal tubing, epoxy, etc. The tang is left exposed along the belly, butt, and spine of the handle, extending both the full length and width of the handle.
Partial tang designs include stub, half, and three-quarter tangs, describing how far the tang extends into the handle of the tool. The most common partial tang design found in commercial knives is on folding knives, where the tang extends only as far as the pivot-point in the handle. Scalpels, utility razor blades, and a number of other knives are commonly designed with short partial tangs that are easy to fasten and unfasten from the handle so that dull or contaminated blades may be quickly exchanged for fresh ones, or so that one style of blade may be exchanged for another style while maintaining the same handle. Hollow-handled knives also incorporate a partial tang. Many inexpensive knives and swords designed for decorative purposes incorporate partial tangs and are not intended to be used for cutting applications.
A full tang knife or sword generally allows for increased force leveraged through the handle against the resistance of material being cut by the blade, an advantage when used against harder materials or when the blade begins to dull. A full tang also increases the amount of stock metal in the handle of the tool which can be beneficial in altering the balance point of the tool since the blade of a knife or sword is often quite heavy compared to the handle. Adding weight to the handle of a knife or sword to offset the weight of the blade moves the rotational balance point back toward the hand where it can be more easily manipulated to great effect, making for a nimble, agile tool. In general, a forward-balanced blade excels at chopping but sacrifices agility and ease of manipulation; a centre or rear-balanced blade excels at agility but sacrifices raw chopping power. Knives and swords intended for specific purposes will usually incorporate whichever design is most suited to how the tool will be handled for that specific purpose.
A partial tang knife or sword is generally not able to leverage as much force against the resistance of material being cut as a full tang design would allow. This limits the amount of force which a user should apply to the handle of such a weapon. Such designs may be optimal in light-weight knives or swords designed to be kept extremely sharp and used to cut less-resistant materials. Scalpels and Japanese samurai swords are perhaps the most well-known examples of such tools.
Most of these design styles can be used with full or partial tangs and the use of one does not exclude the use of another. For example, a sword may have a hidden, encapsulated, rat-tail tang.
A utility knife, sometimes generically called a Stanley knife, is a knife used for general or utility purposes. The utility knife was originally a fixed blade knife with a cutting edge suitable for general work such as cutting hides and cordage, scraping hides, butchering animals, cleaning fish, and other tasks. Craft knives are tools mostly used for crafts. Today, the term "utility knife" also includes small folding or retractable-blade knives suited for use in the general workplace or in the construction industry.
A knife is a tool with a cutting edge or blade often attached to a handle or hilt. One of the earliest tools used by humanity, knives appeared at least two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools. Originally made of wood, bone, and stone, over the centuries, in step with improvements in both metallurgy and manufacturing, knife blades have been made from copper, bronze, iron, steel, ceramic, and titanium. Most modern knives have either fixed or folding blades; blade patterns and styles vary by maker and country of origin.
The kukri or khukuri is a type of machete, originating from the Indian subcontinent, associated with the Nepali speaking Gurkhas of Nepal and India. The knife has a distinct recurve in the blade. It is used as both a tool and as a weapon in the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, it was, and in many cases still is, the basic utility knife of the Gurkha. It is a characteristic weapon of the Nepalese Army, the Royal Gurkha Rifles of the British Army, the Assam Rifles, the Kumaon Regiment, the Garhwal Rifles, the Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army, and of all Gurkha regiments throughout the world, so much so that some English-speakers refer to the weapon as a "Gurkha blade" or "Gurkha knife". The kukri often appears in Nepalese and Indian Gorkha heraldry and is used in many traditional rites such as wedding ceremonies.
A blade is the portion of a tool, weapon, or machine with an edge that is designed to puncture, chop, slice or scrape surfaces or materials. Blades are typically made from materials that are harder than those they are to be used on. Historically, humans have made blades from flaking stones such as flint or obsidian, and from various metal such as copper, bronze and iron. Modern blades are often made of steel or ceramic. Blades are one of humanity's oldest tools, and continue to be used for combat, food preparation, and other purposes.
A Japanese kitchen knife is a type of a knife used for food preparation. These knives come in many different varieties and are often made using traditional Japanese blacksmithing techniques. They can be made from stainless steel, or hagane, which is the same kind of steel used to make Japanese swords. Most knives are referred to as hōchō or the variation -bōchō in compound words but can have other names including -kiri. There are four general categories used to distinguish the Japanese knife designs: handle, blade grind, steel, and construction.
A puukko is a small traditional Finnish general purpose belt knife with a single curved cutting edge, solid hidden tang and, usually, a flat spine. Typically, a puukko's blade is ground with the so-called Scandi Grind where the primary grind is also the edge bevel without any secondary edges.
A kitchen knife is any knife that is intended to be used in food preparation. While much of this work can be accomplished with a few general-purpose knives – notably a large chef's knife, a tough cleaver, a small paring knife and some sort of serrated blade – there are also many specialized knives that are designed for specific tasks. Kitchen knives can be made from several different materials.
In cooking, a chef's knife, also known as a cook's knife, is a cutting tool used in food preparation. The chef's knife was originally designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today it is the primary general-utility knife for most western cooks.
The Santoku bōchō or Bunka bōchō (文化包丁) is a general-purpose kitchen knife originating in Japan. Its blade is typically between 13 and 20 cm long, and has a flat edge and a sheepsfoot blade that curves down an angle approaching 60 degrees at the point. The term Santoku may refer to the wide variety of ingredients that the knife can handle: meat, fish and vegetables, or to the tasks it can perform: slicing, chopping and dicing, either interpretation indicating a multi-use, general-purpose kitchen knife. The Santoku's blade and handle are designed to work in harmony by matching the blade's width and weight to the weight of the tang and the handle.
Wüsthof is a knife-maker based in Solingen, Germany. Family owned for seven generations, the company's main products are mid-priced to high-end kitchen knives for domestic and professional use. Wüsthof is one of the leading manufacturers of chef's knives.
Survival knives are knives intended for survival purposes in a wilderness environment, often in an emergency when the user has lost most of his/her main equipment. Most military aviation units issue some kind of survival knife to their pilots in case their aircraft are shot down behind enemy lines and the crew needs tools to facilitate their survival, escape, and rescue. Survival knives can be used for trapping, skinning, wood cutting, wood carving, and other uses. Hunters, hikers, and outdoor sport enthusiasts use survival knives. Some survival knives are heavy-bladed and thick. Other survival knives are lightweight or fold in order to save weight and bulk as part of a larger survival kit. Their functions often include serving as a hunting knife. Features, such as hollow handles, that could be used as storage space for matches or similar small items, began gaining popularity in the 1980s. Custom or semi-custom makers such as Americans Jimmy Lile, Bo Randall, and Chris Reeve are often credited with inventing those features.
The parang is a type of knife used across the Malay archipelago. It is often mistakenly assumed to be a sword; however, there is no evidence that it has ever been used in a formal military conflict, nor that its intended purpose was to be used as a combat weapon. Although some may argue that it could be called a machete or a chopper as it is a direct variation of the modern machete, its academic status remains as a knife.
The Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife is a double-edged fighting knife resembling a dagger or poignard with a foil grip developed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes in Shanghai based on concepts which the two men initiated before World War II while serving on the Shanghai Municipal Police in China.
Knife making is the process of manufacturing a knife by any one or a combination of processes: stock removal, forging to shape, welded lamination or investment cast. Typical metals used come from the carbon steel, tool, or stainless steel families. Primitive knives have been made from bronze, copper, brass, iron, obsidian, and flint.
Robert Waldorf Loveless, a.k.a. Bob Loveless or RW Loveless, was an American knife maker who designed and popularized the hollowground drop point blade and the use of full tapered tangs and screw-type handle scale fasteners within the art of knifemaking. He is cited by other knifemakers and collectors as one of the most innovative custom knife makers in the world.
Ek Commando Knife Co. or Ek Knives is an American combat knife brand produced by several different companies since the original founded by John Ek in 1941. In May 2014 the Ek brand was purchased by Ka-Bar which began selling its versions of Ek knife designs in 2015. Although not officially issued gear, Ek Knives have seen use by US forces in six major conflicts: World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Ek Knives manufactures Bowie-style blades, daggers, and a Fairbairn-Sykes MkII. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Clark Gable, and General George S. Patton have been identified as Ek knife owners.
An OTF Knife, also known as an out-the-front knife, sliding knife, or telescoping knife, is a pocketknife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. Contrast this with the majority of knives, which are either standard folding knives or are "fixed blade" sheath knives.
Ka-Bar is the contemporary popular name for the combat knife first adopted by the United States Marine Corps in November 1942 as the 1219C2 combat knife, and subsequently adopted by the United States Navy as the U.S. Navy utility knife, Mark 2. Additionally, Ka-Bar is the name of a related knife manufacturing company, Ka-Bar Knives., Inc., of Olean, New York, a subsidiary of the Cutco Corporation.
A fillet knife is a kitchen knife used for filleting. It gives good control and aids in filleting. It is a very flexible member of the boning knife family that is used to filet and prepare fish. Fillet knife blades are typically 15 to 28 cm long. This allows them to move easily along the backbone and under the skin of meat.
The Sorocaban Knife is the name given to a type of knife or short sword developed in Brazil, more precisely the state of São Paulo, around the turn of 18th to the 19th century. Its defining characteristics are the long and slender single-edged blade, the distinctive handle profile, tapering to a rounded pommel, and the enterçado construction technique, in which the blade is inserted into a slit opened in the ricasso and then fixed in place by three rivets.