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Knives and blades have been designed and made since hundreds of years and modernization is taking place every year. Each era had its own trends and designs. History has thus given us different variations of the humble knives according to the different uses they were put to, and the owner itself.
There were astounding designs and shapes of blades that were incorporated in the Knives around the world many of which are still being produced till date. But mostly they have undergone modifications but one fact is clear that knives have stood the test of time. Knives and daggers were the survival kits for people in the early ages. Now, let’s see what were the thoughts that went behind the designs of blade in ancient history?
DIFFERENT ICONIC BLADES IN HISTORY AND WHY THEY WERE DESIGNED SO
- KUKRI: This is the symbol of the Nepalese Nation and looked much like the machete which is a chopping weapon. It had a length of 16 to 18 inches and evolved from a simple farming tool. It was designed in such a way that it had a notch near the grip which directed the blood away so that it wouldn’t wet the handle.
- PARRYING DAGGER: During 16th and 17th centuries, large swords and shield were replaced by lighter swords and daggers in Europe. This was done so as to achieve quick defence and to have handy weapons. There were different designs that were aimed to trap the opponent’s sword for a moment to give a crucial unguarded second to strike his opponent. Also there were guards on the daggers to protect the incoming attacks thus saving a lot of time for defense.
- SAI: These originated in China having a round or hexagonal length with a sharpened tip. Its pronged shape was designed so as to deflect blows and they were used in pairs, one would trap the opponent’s sword with the other ready to strike.
- MISERICORDE: Widely used by the French in the 14th Century, these were large but thin stiletto-type knives so that it could easily slip though the joints in an armour.
- TURKANA WRIST KNIFE: These were used by the Turkana people of Africa, and the steel or iron was hammered with the help of stones and made into a shape that could be worn into wrists. As it was forbidden for them to kill one with a spear, they used these knives.
POINTS TO NOTE WHILE DESIGNING A BLADE IN MODERN DAY
Designing a blade is not an easy task and a lot of contemplations and calculations go into it. It mainly depends upon the purpose of the knife and for that the designs differ. For instance, the design will be different for a damascus chef knife as compared to a hunting knife or even a stabbing knife design will be a lot different that a slashing knife. There are differences in the point type, edge type and grind designs and you get a different designed blade for a different job.
POINT TYPE KNIFE DESIGNS AND THEIR USES :
- Drop-Point: This point has a convex curve dropping from the spine to the curve. This design gives the knife strength and easy sheathing.
- Clip-Point: Here, the curve is concave and this blade design is generally used in survival knives.
- Spear-Point: This have symmetrical convex curves and like the name suggests is designed for spearing.
- Tanto-point: This design features one or more straight edges to the point and is apt for fighting and tactical purposes.
EDGE TYPE DESIGNS AND THEIR USES –
- Straight: This blade design has an edge that usually has small curves and a belly. It’s used for smooth cutting such as in cases of slicing or push cuts or skinning an animal. This is mostly used in shaving, skinning an apple or even skinning off a deer.
- Partially Serrated: These blades have a portion of serrations or scallops near the handle. Used mainly for cutting harder materials or surfaces. A hard tree truck or a tough rope would not require more than a second to be ripped apart.
- Serrated: The blades have a saw teeth design and cut through most fibrous things such as ropes and straps which are otherwise difficult using a plain edge. The serrations tend to grab the cutting surface and easily chop it off the root.
GRIND DESIGNS –
- Hollow: Extremely sharp grind but relatively fragile generally the design of razor blades and skinning knives.
- Full Convex: This design has a lot of metal behind the edge that adds to the strength and found in axe blades used for the purposes of splitting.
- Scandinavian or Sabre: It’s a straight taper grind having a metal support and a sharp edge. This grind makes the blade easier to sharpen and hence is used in most survival knives.
Other Tips –
- Tough– It should be tough so as cracks and chips are prevented. So, harder steel should be avoided.
- Flexibility– It should be flexible enough so that you can make the required movements without breaking it.
- Resistance: The blade should be such that it can resist wear from cutting, resist corrosion and withstand the damage from water or corrosive materials like salt.
- Edge Retention– The blade should be such that it retains its sharpness even after daily use. Though sharpening of a blade is inevitable but the frequency needed should be low.
So, now that we have come to the end of this article, you know what things were kept in mind or what were the reasons the knives were made like that back then; and how the blades that are designed today.Choosing the best knife with an artistically crafted blade design requires an eye of a perfectionist. In the end, it all depends upon the purpose the knives are going to be used for, and the design speaks for it.