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False Edge
Many knives have bevels not just along the bottom edge of the knife, but along the top as well. When present, bevels on the top edge are referred to as a "false edge". The false edge can be either sharpened or not. Whether or not the false edge is sharp, it serves to take metal away from the point, and thus enhance penetration. But taking away metal at the point also weakens the point, so this is a compromise between penetration ability and strength.

The belly is the curving part of the edge. Bellies enhance slicing ability, and you'll often find yourself doing much of your cutting on the belly. When the belly gets larger, design considerations often dictate that the point become less sharp, so in looking at knife designs you'll often see a trade-off of belly or point depending on how important slicing vs. penetration is.

Imagine the knife when it's just a rectangular stock. The knifemaker puts the bar on the grinder at an angle and starts grinding in an edge. This is a bevel -- any plane taken out of the rectangular bar, along either side. Creating the primary grind, the edge itself, and the false edge are all often done with bevels.

The guard is a barrier between your hand and the sharp edge. It will project out of the handle, to stop forward motion of your hand. The guard can be a separate component that is soldered or pinned on the blade, or an "integral" guard can be formed by including a project on the blade blank itself. On some fighters, the guards are meant not just to protect your hand from sliding up on the blade, but also to provide protection from the opponent's blade sliding down your blade and onto your hand.

The choil is an unsharpened section of the blade. If a guard is present, the choil will be in front of the guard on the blade itself. The choil is often used as a way to choke up on the blade for close-in work. The index finger is placed in the choil, and this close proximity to the edge allows for greater control. In addition, the choil is just in front of where the blade itself becomes part of the handle, an area often prone to breakage due to the blade-handle juncture. The choil leaves this area at full thickness and thus stronger.

Tang (Full Vs Hidden etc.)
The tang is the part of the knife where the blade stops and the handle starts. There are many different terms used to describe what kind of tang a knife has, because the strength and other characteristics of the knife depend on the tang format. A full tang knife has a tang that goes the length of the handle at full width, and you can see the tang spine itself because the handle slabs are affixed to each side. This is the strongest tang format. To save weight, the maker can taper the tang so it gets thinner as it goes back into the handle; this is appropriately enough called a tapered tang. If the tang disappears into the handle itself, it's called a hidden tang. If the tang thins out considerably once it goes into the handle, it's called a stick tang.

Butt Cap/Pommel
The pommel refers to the end of the handle of a knife. Many knives have a metal cap over the pommel, called a butt cap. Often the pommel is interesting because of a decoration; however, there are different forms of working pommels. The classic kabar features a flat metal pommel, useful for hammering jobs such as pounding in tent pegs. Other knives have pointed metal pommels known as "bonecrusher pommels", ostensibly to hit someone during combat usage. Some of these working pommels can be uncomfortable when carried, so evaluate your needs here wisely.

Blade Spine
The blade spine typically refers to the full thickness portion of the blade. On a single-edge flat-ground knife, blade spine always refers to the outermost back of the blade. On a classic dagger, the spine refers to the fullest-thickness part of the blade running straight down the middle. On knives with false edges, the term "spine" is used inconsistently. Technically, the spine would be the fullest thickness part of the blade where the main bevel meets the false edge bevel; however, blade spine is often used to describe the back of the blade instead, right over the false edge.

The escutcheon is a medallion, often seen on the classic-style pocketknife handles to identify the brand or model of the knife, or to distinguish between model years.


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