Knives Basics

The knife is a very old utensil used for thousands of years for various reasons. Since man was able to stand, walk and hold things properly with bare hands, knife-like things were made. Today, knives are commonly used in the kitchen while other knives are used for survival and even in combat.

Without the knife, man won’t be able to prosper as a society. Knives would help society create things from what they see, modify things to their preferences and even destroy things to pave the way for better things. It will help create anything that could be useful as well as artistic. Sculptures will never be possible if knives are not invented and buildings will never be built without the use of knives. The use of knives has helped everyone nourish life as food could be better prepared with the help of these utensils. Unfortunately, knives have been also used to destroy lives. Throughout history, weapons derived from knives have been created which could easily end anyone’s life with just one slashing.

But to a certain few, knives are not just utensils or hunting weapons. Knives are a hobby and that means those who are passionate with knives strive by collecting knives for the hobbyist’s sake or a chance to earn from the hobby.

History of Knives

No one can really say what year knives were invented. It was believed that the Homo Habilis were the first ones to develop knives although in a very crud manner. Stones, wood and other strong materials were shaped with pointed edges with cutting ability.

It was also believed that it was during the Bronze Age that knives became what it is today. This age marks the tremendous advancement in the use of metals. As a result, different types of knives were created for personal use and even in war. Knives are usually treated as an evolved form of daggers which is basically a sharp edge with a handle. The dagger was believed to have evolved and became swords in different cultures.

As knives continue to evolve, new types of knives were introduced and expanded into what they are today. It’s very challenging to pinpoint the exact date for older knives but the knives from the 20th century are basically used in the kitchen with a few exceptions. Knives have become an object for collection because the heritage of knives is remarkable that its roots could be traced back to the time when man is not even Homo Sapiens yet.

Basic Parts of Knives

A modern knife may have a lot of parts to consider but all knives are based on two very important parts – the blade and the handle. Everything else is just enhancements on these two basic parts.

The Blade

The blade is the most important part of the knife. Without it, all you have is a handle and could never be called a knife. On the other hand, a blade could be simply integrated to any available holder and still be called a knife. A blade could come in many forms such as serrated, double bladed or with a blunt edge instead of a pointed edge. But all blades have one thing in common: sharp edges. Although the grade of sharpness in each blade is different, the blade of the knife will always have sharp edges that could cut through things it was made for. For example, a bread knife is not as sharp as the kitchen knife because they were made for different purpose.

An important consideration for a particular knife is the material it was made of. Each material has their pros and cons which made them less desirable or better preferred by different individuals.

The following are the common materials used for the blade of knives:

  • Carbon Steel – sharp and easy to handle but susceptible to rust.
  • Stainless Steel – not as sharp compared to carbon steel but could withstand rust.
  • High Carbon Stainless Steel – has the sharpness of carbon and resistance to rust of the stainless but they are usually expensive.
  • Laminate – composed of different sheets of metals, it’s durable on the inside but the outer layer could easily be destroyed which are usually the sharp edges.
  • Pattern Welding – just like the laminated counterpart only a little bit softer on the outside for detailing.
  • Titanium – could perform much like the stainless steel only it could stand wear and tear longer.
  • Ceramic – very sturdy and will require little to no sharpening. But maintenance is difficult since it will require special equipment for proper sharpening.
  • Plastic – disposable knives that are not sharp. They only have serrated edges to cut through things.

The Handle

The knife handle could come in many forms and could be made of different materials. The common material used to make the handle is wood because they are easy to install to the blade and offers a firm grip to the user. However, it could be easily destroyed especially when in contact with water most of the time. Plastic and steel are also common materials used to create handle for knives. They could withstand rigorous use under different conditions and would offer a good protection for the blade. But they are very slippery without additional cushioning or curves for proper handling.

Other popular and the more efficient handle for knives are the following: leather (usually used in military), rubber (better cushioning) and micarta (very tough and highly durable).

Laws on Knives

Different countries have different laws regarding the possession of knives but generally, knives are treated dangerous weapons and should never be bought outside at home. They are treated as concealed weapons and could get you in trouble all the time. Knives that could be concealed such as switchblades and folding knives are also not allowed to be brought outside at home or be kept in your pocket while traveling. Airlines and airport security will never allow any form of knives to be transported for security purposes.

Knives are very useful but could also be dangerous. Proper care and consciousness of the law is important when handling knives in public and in private.

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