October 04, 2021

Knife Grinds

The grind of your knife will go a long way in determining its purpose and use. A more robust grind is useful for heavy duty tasks, like chopping and heavy cutting. While a finer, thinner grind is good for slicing.

Chisel Grind

Getting its name due to its resemblance to a chisel, the Chisel Grind is exactly what you might expect, flat on one side and ground on the obverse. Some believe that the Chisel Grind is stronger than other symmetrical grinds, but without the support of an opposite grind, the Chisel Grind is half of a grind (i.e. 15° is 15°, whereas a knife with a typical symmetrical grind 15° + 15° would equal a total edge angle of 30°). 

The Chisel Grind is typically found on some tactical knives – most notably those of Emerson Knives – but did not maintain popularity for long, due to the difficulty to cut straight. A Chisel Grind tends to veer off in an unwanted direction because of the asymmetrical grind.

Convex Grind

A Convex Grind is similar to a Hollow Grind except that instead of the grind curving inward to the center of the stock, it curves outward in a convex shape. A Convex Grind is typically stronger than other grinds because there is more meat behind the edge, thus not requiring a secondary bevel. Although, it is not uncommon to see a Convex Grind with a secondary bevel. The trade-off of the strength of the Convex Grind is that you cannot achieve the thin edge of most other grinds, so it is better suited for knives designed for harder use.

Flat Grind

Often called a Full Flat Grind (when the primary bevel runs all the way to the spine), the primary bevel on a Flat Grind runs almost all the way from the spine to the secondary bevel and, as the name implies, is flat. Like the Hollow Grind the Flat Grind always has a secondary bevel to ensure that the edge is not too brittle.

Hollow Grind

The Hollow Grind is achieved by a curved grinding wheel which causes the primary bevel to curve inwards, which thins out the stock and allows for a much keener secondary (edge) bevel. The Hollow Grind always has a secondary bevel because without one the edge would be too thin and as a result, very brittle.

Saber Grind

A fairly common grind, the Saber Grind is similar to the Flat Grind, in that the primary bevel is flat. Where a Flat Grind begins closer to the spine, the Saber Grind begins closer to the middle of the blade. The Saber Grind is very strong and allows for a more robust secondary bevel. However, because the primary bevel begins lower on the blade stock there is more thickness at the secondary bevel, which can affect the overall cutting ability and introduce more drag.

Scandi Grind

The Scandi grind is unique in that the primary bevel is also the edge bevel – there is no dedicated secondary (edge) bevel. The Scandi goes from the edge up to the middle of the blade. Due to the keen edge of a Scandi grind, the edge can tend to be a little brittle for harder chores. Most U.S. makers use what is known as a Modified Scandi; which is a traditional Scandi Grind with the addition of a slight secondary (edge) bevel, to add strength to the edge.