The blade of the knife is the most important feature when it is purchased. Today it is made of many different materials. The carbon steel knife is generally very sharp and can retain that feature. A stainless steel blade is not as sharp as the carbon version but it can withstand rust much better that the carbon steel knife. The high carbon stainless steel knife has the positive attributes of the carbon for sharpness and the stainless steel for resistance to rust. Another blade material is the laminate blade which incorporates layers of different metals with each layer providing the best characteristics of the specific metal. The titanium blade has become a favorite since it is most resistant to wear and is much more flexible than steel.
Blades generally come in three formats, the fixed blade, the folding blade and the sliding blade. As expected, the fixed blade does not fold or slide but remains set. Because of this feature, it is considered much stronger. The folding blade pivots with the blade folding into the handle. Generally, there is a locking device so the blade will not close unexpectedly on the user’s hand. There are a number of locking devices that can be selected. The sliding knife is uniquely opened by sliding the knife from the front of the handle and then it is locked into place. A release lever is normally pressed to get the knife sliding back into the handle.
The Knife Handle
The handle of the knife can come in a multitude of materials, sizes, shapes and styles. It is usually textured for ease of gripping. Some of the more popular types of handle materials include: wood, plastic, injection molded, rubber, leather and stainless steel. Knife collectors also look for handle materials of stone, bone, walrus tusk, antler, sheep horn and mother of pearl.
As mentioned previously, many people are collectors of knives and there are many types of knives: some used for weapons, sports, tools or religious rituals. These knives will always be a part of culture in their many forms.