I was recently shopping for knives because a knife is a useful tool in so many situations: camping…cutting things…you name it! In the beginning of my shopping I came across a trait that said “Grind: Hollow”. I did not know what this meant, until I Wiki’d it.
[Are you catching a simple theme of the blog now? Going about my business --> Question posed when intrigued after interacting with curious scenario --> Google & Wikipedia. Yup. More to come!]
I wanted to get the 85-function Giant Swiss Army Knife from Wenger, but I didn't have $1,000. Source: Wenger
There are some important stats to consider when buying a knife: Blade length, blade thickness, blade material, blade shape, knife construction/design, and blade grind.
All this is self explanatory except for construction and blade grind. Construction talks about how the blade is assembled. Full tang means that the metal that makes up the blade continues all the way down through the handle to the end of the knife. There’s also half tang, stub tang (just a little bit of metal goes into the handle), etc.
The blade grind types are pretty interesting.
Here are 6 of the most common blade grinds. Source: Wiki
1. Hollow: The concave shape gives this grind the sharpest edge. But, it is also the weakest and requires lots of maintenance to stay sharp. Straight-Razor blades (Old-timey shaving razors) are notorious for being super sharp with a paper-thin hollow grind blade.
2. Flat: This grind starts at the top and tapers all the way down to the edge. It takes a lot of time to make and produces a somewhat weaker blade, so these are a bit more rare.
3. Sabre: This is like the flat grind, but it starts closer to the edge so that it is pretty sharp, but is also a lot stronger. This is probably the most common blade grind.
4. Chisel: The chisel grind is only tapered on 1 side, so the other side is completely flat. This is cool if you are using it to carve wood or want a little more control. It’s also used in Japanese kitchen knifes because the single sided bevel is thought to be more precise.
5. Double/Compound bevel: This puts a spin on the saber grind because at the tip of the edge it cuts in at a more extreme angle to give the cutting edge more strength (though this sacrifices sharpness). It is a useful balance, but can be tricky to resharpen yourself. You might not need to though, as it is very popular among Western kitchen knives.
6. Convex: Common on swords and axes, this blade grind needs all the toughness it can get, so the outside edges give lots of strength to the cutting edge. It can be hard to sharpen though because it needs to be an even curve all the way down.
A lot of these edges can be mixed with different results.