Definitions for Pocket Knives and Fixed Blade Knives (Part 1)

When shopping for pocket knives and fixed blade knives, it’s helpful to understand the terms used when reading a knife’s description. I did some research on knife terms and came up with a list that should be useful when purchasing a knife.

Ability to Take an Edge

The steel of some pocket knives and fixed blade knives are able to hold a sharper edge than others knives. Blade material such as fine-grained steel is able to be sharpened better than coarse-grain steel.

Blade Alloy

This is a combination of two or more metals that are mixed together which causes the molecular structure to become denser. The combination of the different metals makes the steel stronger and harder to break.

Ambidextrous Knife

This term describes pocket knives or fixed blade knives that are designed to be handled with both the left and right hands.


This term describes the bottom curvature of the blade. Pocket knives or fixed blade knives that have a deeply convex-curved blade are usually found in knives designed for skinning and/or multitasking.


The bolster is the section on a pocket knife or fixed blade knife that is located between the handle and the knife’s blade. A large bolster helps protect your hand from slipping onto the blade and it helps with the balance of the knife. Large bolsters are used on clam knives to protect you from  wholesale knives injury.


This term is used for describing the steel made from compacted carbon. Carbide is also used for manufacturing metal-cutting tools and glass cutting tools.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is a type of material made of a strong, lightweight carbon weave. This type of material is sometimes used in the production of pocket knife and fixed blade knife handles. Carbon fiber knife handles are considered to be a premium type of material.


This term is used to describe the top or back side of the blade. It’s the unsharpened part of the blade that is sometimes decorated with manufacturer’s name. The choil is the start of the cutting edge on pocket knives or fixed blade knives.


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