KNIFE GRINDS GUIDE
Written by Blade HQ Staff Writer Andrew Hamilton on 5/21/2019
When purchasing a knife, it's very important to understand how the grind of your blade affects your cutting performance. Knife guys love to obsess over everything from blade length, blade steel, blade type, and beyond. In actuality, blade grind is a much more important consideration to match your use case.
This article should stand to demystify What can be one of the most confusing topics for a new knife lover. Without wasting any more time, let's jump straight in.
Hollow grinds are great for getting razor sharp edges.
A hollow ground blade features a concave curve from the top of the spine down to the edge. Popularized by Chris Reeve, the hollow grind can now be found on knives from almost every brand. As you sharpen, the thickness at the edge of your knife stays consistently thin rather than getting thicker with every sharpening.
A popular knife with a hollow grind is the Desert Warrior Kalashnikov.
2. Full Flat
Flat grinds are great for whittling and general use.
The flat grind is the simplest grind pattern for any knife. Rather than being ground in a concave or convex curve, the grind of the blade is tapered consistently or in a flat manner from the spine to the edge of the blade.
A full flat grind goes from the spine of the blade to the edge. You will commonly see full flat grinds labeled FFG. A full flat grind can also be called a high flat grind.
Full flat grinds can often be found on Spyderco knives.
3. Scandi // Sabre // V-Grind
Scandi and Sabre/V-Grinds are often found on outdoor bushcraft knives.
The Scandinavian grind is popularly found on fixed blades and knives designed for whittling wood. Where all other grind styles feature an edge bevel, the Scandinavian grind goes all the way to the apex of the edge. This grind goes by various names, but the sabre/V-grind features a secondary bevel on the edge. A Scandi grind won't have the secondary bevel and can be easier to sharpen.
4. Convex // Hamagurl
Convex grinds have a strong edge due to the thicker steel behind them.
Conceptually, the convex grind is exactly like the hollow grind but opposite. Instead of a concave grind which minimizes the material close to the edge, the convex grind places the maximum amount of material at the edge. This style of grind is great for hard use fixed blades and a variety of folding knives as well.
Popular knives with convex grinds are the classic Opinels.
6. Compound Bevel
Compound bevels can be less prone to chipping than single bevel blades.
A compound grind features any two different grinds from this list. Utilizing a hollow ground top of the blade with a convex ground secondary bevel minimizes the material at the edge while maintaining edge rigidity. Many modern makers utilize compound grinds for both their functional and aesthetic merits.
You can find compound bevels on some Paragon Phoenix knives.
Asymmetrical grinds can combine the best of different angles to create a durable edge.
Asymmetrical grinds feature two different grinds on each side of the blade. in a world that values symmetry, it's no surprise that the asymmetrical grind is the rarest type that you might expect to see.
Asymmetrical knives are not very popular in production knives, but here's the unique CRKT Provoke. The Provoke features a chisel grind, which is technically asymmetrical.
There's no reason for confusion when it comes to the grind of your blade. I would recommend that every knife collector try every different type. Through that exploration, you will certainly learn a million new things about knives, edge geometry, steel, and material hardness.
You already know Blade HQ has all the knives. Make it happen, unbox your new knife with the lock of your choosing, and then email me a picture and a few words about what went into your decision (AHamilton at BladeHQ.com). We'll feature submissions on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you're yearnin' for some more learnin', check out our video below as Tyson and Mike dive more into knife grinds and show some popular models.
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