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Table of content

Table of Contents

The knifeopedia is structured in different chapters and is best read in chronological order, since information in later chapters can be understood more easily when having read the earlier ones.


The chapter Knife Components covers the different elements that define the quality of a knife and consists of six sections.

In section Steel, we explain which chemical elements can typically be found in knife steel, how it's produced in a steel mill, how it's hardened, which properties it should have, how important the microstructure is, compares popular knife steels and briefly touches upon Ceramic knives.

Steel:  Production  -  Hardening  -  Properties  -  Microstructure  -  Types  -  Ceramic Knives

In section Blade, we explain about the importance of the blade geometry and profile, the different ways of grinding a blade, the difference between Western and Japanese blades, the surface finishing, the different ways how blades can be built, including Damascus blades, and blade profiles / shapes.

Blade:  Grinding  -  Western vs Japanese  -  Finish  -  Construction  -  Profile

In section Edge, we explain the difference between a straight and serrated edge, the importance of the angle on the cutting edge and its relation to hardness, the surface finishing of the edge and its relation to sharpness and the cutting feeling, and talk about sharpness and how to measure it.

Edge:  Straight vs Serrated  -  Angle  -  Finishing  -  Sharpness

In section Handle, we explain how the handle is attached to the blade, the difference between bolster and no-bolster knives, how bolster knives are produced, the different materials used for a handle, the different ways of gripping a knife/ handle and the most common handle shapes.

Handle:  Attachment  -  Bolster  -  Production  -  Material  -  Grip  -  Shapes

In section Fit & Finish, we explain how to distinguish the quality of a knife by its fit and finish, and what one should watch out for.

Fit & Finish

In section The Perfect Knife, we explain what we would like to see in a knife that would come close to perfection.

The Perfect Knife

The next chapter Blade Types covers the different blade types and their uses, broken down into the three most popular global knife cultures.

Western Blades  -  Japanese Blades  -  Chinese Blades

In the chapter Sharpening, we talk in depth about the re-sharpening of a knife after the factory edge becomes dull, starting with the different types of sharpening, which devices are out there for sharpening knives, focus on sharpening on whetstones as the best, but probably most difficult way of sharpening, explain how to maintain the sharpness by stropping or honing, and suggest a routine how to keep a blade permanently sharp in daily use.

Devices  -  Whetstones  -  Edge Maintenance  -  Routine

In the final chapter Use & Care, we explain how to maintain / take care of your knife, including cleaning, oiling of wooden handles and special care for Carbon steel knives. In this chapter, we also talk about cutting boards, their pros and cons and recommendations, as well as common ways to store knives.

Maintenance  -  Cutting Boards  -  Storage

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