The Purpose of Knife Blade Shapes and Geometry:
1) To show how the blade shape affects the cutting power.
2) To provide useful information for knife design.
3) To explain why some blades are better than others when it comes to cutting tasks.
4) For those who want to learn more about blade shapes and geometry, then this article will help you out!
What Are The Purpose Of Knife Blades?
In simple words, the purpose of knife blade is to cut food. If you have ever used a sharpening stone or even a knife with a serrated edge, then you would understand what I mean. A sharpened blade cuts through tough foods like vegetables and meat, while the serrations allow them to go deeper into soft foods such as fruits and pasta.
Blade shapes and geometries have different purposes. Some blades are designed for slicing and some are intended for chopping. Chopping blades are usually made from a single piece of metal, whereas slicing blades tend to be two or three pieces of metal joined together. Both types of knives work well in certain situations, but there is no one type that works best for all kinds of jobs.
So which kind do you need?
If you like to cut your food into thin pieces before eating, then a slicing blade is what you need. They are made from a single piece of metal that has been folded multiple times until it is very thin. These blades are flexible enough to slice easily without crushing the food or breaking the blade. Slicers have thin blades with smooth curves and they come to a point. The narrow shape and sharp edge glide easily through food.
The thinness of the blade also makes it flexible so that it doesn’t break when you apply too much pressure.
Some slicers, like a Chef’s knife, have a curved edge that makes it easier to rock the blade back and forth when you are cutting. This makes it possible to cut very thin slices and is ideal for vegetables, but not for meats. A slicing knife with a straight edge is better for cutting meat or other soft foods. Slicers are the most versatile of all the knife shapes because they can be used for almost anything.
If you prefer to cut your food into smaller pieces before eating then you need a chopping knife. These are usually heavier and thicker than slicing knives and they are sometimes called cleavers. This is because they are not as easy to control and can be dangerous to the person holding them if not used properly. Used properly, they are very effective at hacking through bone and other hard materials.
The chopping knife has a thick blade with a blunt edge and it is usually rectangular or square in shape. Some chopping knives have a curved edge that makes it easier to cut through soft foods, but not quite as effective on hard materials.
The blade edge is thicker than the handle which allows you to put more force into the swing without cutting right through the handle. The thicker blade also absorbs some of the impact when chopping hard materials like bone. The blade edge comes to a point which helps it get through tough materials, but it’s not as flexible as a slicing blade.
Which One Do I Need?
As you can see both types of blades have their pros and cons, so the real question is which one do you need? This depends entirely on what you want to use the knife for. Slicers are good for everyday tasks and chopping blades are better for jobs like carving a chicken or cutting up a watermelon.
If you want one knife to do it all, then a slicer is what you need. They are very versatile and can be used for everyday kitchen tasks such as carving a roast or cutting up fruit and vegetables. A slicer is the best knife for the job if you are just starting out.
Slicers come in a wide range of prices so you can get the best knife for your budget. The more expensive knives are usually higher quality with better materials and manufacturing techniques. They will hold their edge longer and be more resistant to breaking, but cheaper ones will still get the job done. When you are just starting out, buy the highest quality knife you can afford until you are sure that you will get lots of use out of it.
There are also different types of slicers. French style knives are the most common and they look like a smaller version of a chef’s knife. It has a thin flexible blade with a curved edge that is ideal for slicing meat and other soft food. The Granton edge has indentations along the blade to keep foods, like cheese, from sticking to the blade. Serrated knives have wavy edges and are used for cutting bread and other hard foods without crushing or losing their shape.
Slicers can also come in different sizes, from small knives that can comfortably fit in your pocket to ones so large they are normally used in a table mount.
Regardless of the size you choose, it is important to pick one that feels comfortable in your hand. You will be using this tool often and an uncomfortable knife will become a nuisance rather than an aid in the kitchen.
Tips for Knife Safety
Cutting yourself while slicing an onion is one thing, but you really don’t want to make a habit of cutting yourself with a knife. It only takes a moment of not being careful to end up needing stitches or even a trip to the emergency room. Not only are you at risk, but anyone else in the area is also at risk of getting hurt too.
Make sure your knife is really sharp. A sharp knife is safer to use than a dull one because it requires less pressure to cut. This means there is less force involved and that leads to less of a chance of the knife slipping and cutting you.
Always cut away from your body, never towards it. Even if you have a sharp knife, if you cut towards your body then it doesn’t matter how sharp it is, you are going to get hurt.
Keep your other hand out of the way. Just like you should cut away from your body, you should also keep your other hand away from the cutting area. Hold the item you are cutting in your non-knife hand instead.
Don’t put your fingers near the knife edge. Even when cutting something that requires you to apply a lot of pressure, try to keep your fingers as far from the knife edge as possible. It is very easy for a knife to slip and end up cutting you. Also, be careful of where the knife is when you are not using it. Don’t just toss it on the counter.
Make sure it is stored away in a sheath or blade protector.
Make sure you use the right knife for the job. A smaller less dangerous knife will do the job just as well (and safer) than using a large knife that requires more force to cut something.
Types of Knives
Below are a few types of knives that you will find in a typical kitchen. It is not an inclusive list, but it does have the most common ones.
Bread knife: Also known as a serrated knife, this has a wavy edge and is used for cutting bread or cakes without crushing them.
Chef’s knife: Also known as a cook’s knife, this is the common kitchen knife. It can be used for a wide variety of foods and the edge is either smooth or serrated. This is the one you want if you can only have one kitchen knife.
Cleaver: A large heavy knife with a thick sharp edge that is used for cutting through thick skinned foods such as meats or through bones.
Cutter: A thin narrow blade knife with a short blade. This is used for detail work such as cutting herbs, garlic, or other small foods.
Paring knife: A smaller version of the cook’s knife, this is usually used for peeling and other small delicate work. Many cooks feel they can do anything a cook’s knife can do and more so they tend to be a bit on the flimsy side.
Utility knife: Also called a sandwich knife, this is larger than a paring knife but smaller than a cook’s knife. The width is generally between those of a paring knife and a cook’s knife. This is the one that I like because it is the most versatile. It is also the one I find myself using the most.
Always remember to keep your knives sharp. A dull knife is a dangerous knife because you have to use more force to cut something than you normally would with a sharp knife. This means that the knife is more likely to slip and end up cutting you. You can take them to a professional and have them sharpened or if you have moderate experience with grinding stones, you can do it yourself.
One thing I do want to address is the idea of using a knife as a weapon. Some people will recommend doing this because if you are close enough to an attacker that you need to use a knife to defend yourself then they will almost certainly be able to get the best of you in hand-to-hand combat and you are probably going to be injured quite severely or even killed. While this is true, if it ever becomes a life or death situation for you and you have a knife in your possession then by all means USE IT. It is better to have some sort of defense even if it isn’t ideal rather than doing nothing and hoping that something works in your favor.
If at all possible though try to avoid getting into that situation in the first place because as they say, God helps those who help themselves.
Here are some more specific tips when selecting your weapons:
When it comes to firearms, you want something more powerful than a handgun but not as bulky and difficult to maneuver as a rifle. You also want something that will not ruin your aim due to the kickback. The best choices for this are a shotgun or a rifle.
Once you have your firearm, you need to find out what type of shotgun ammunition or rifle ammunition you have available to you. Different types of ammunition are better for different situations so you want to get the right one for the job.
Shotgun shell types:
Buckshot: Good against a single target, spreads lead shot out over a large area resulting in large wound causing trauma.
Slug: The projectile is one large piece of metal so it is more likely to kill your target with one shot.
Buckshot is better for multiple targets due to the spread, but slugs can be just as effective (and a lot more deadly) if you hit your target in a vital area like the head or heart.
Rifle ammunition types:
The type of rifle ammunition you have access to depends on the type of rifle you have access to.
Sources & references used in this article:
- 3D fabrication of needle tip geometry and knife blade (SK Lee, CL Thomas – US Patent 8,250,729, 2012 – Google Patents)
- Methods of fabricating complex blade geometries from silicon wafers and strengthening blade geometries (VM Daskal, JF Keenan, JJ Hughes, AE Kiss… – US Patent …, 2008 – Google Patents)
- Stapling instrument having an anvil-carrying part of particular geometric shape (RL Conta, HN Wallach – US Patent 4,304,236, 1981 – Google Patents)