Clip: The clip blade is generally the most common blade found on American folding
knives. They have a concave curve from the back of the blade to the point,
and a cutting edge that slopes upward to the point. These features make them
extremely versatile and enable them to perform almost any cutting tasks.
Some of these blades have a longer concave curve on the top that generally makes
for a narrower blade. The narrower blade creates a sharper tip that is
better suited for detail work but is not as strong. The narrow clips are often called
California clips, muskrat clips, or Turkish clips.
Coping: These are narrow blades that have a sharp point. The edge
is flat like a sheepsfoot, but the back angles sharply from the spine.
They are ideal for cutting patterns on a flat surface. Also, their thin
size makes them handy when cutting in tight spaces.
Drop-Point: The drop-point style blade has a convex curve on the back that slopes
downward toward the point, and a cutting edge that slopes upward in a slightly
more dramatic fashion to the point.
These features create a wide tip that is very stout and ideal for heavier
tasks. The wider tip is not as handy for penetrating through an object as
the spear and clip blade.
Pen: This blade is very common on knives with two or more blades.
It is popular because of its versatility in performing smaller
tasks. The back and the edge of the blade generally slope evenly (at the
same degree) to the point. They are much like the spear blade but
are smaller. These blades were originally designed to sharpen quill
Pruner: These blades have an edge that curves in a concave fashion to
the point. The back of the blade curves in a convex type fashion to the
point. These characteristics result in a blade that resembles a hawk's
bill. Because of this, they are often called hawkbill blades. They
were originally used for pruning shrubs and fruit
trees, but are now handier for cutting sheetrock, carpet,
roofing paper and other such materials.
Sheepsfoot: This blade has a flat cutting edge, and a back that slopes
to the point. The blade looks much like the hoof of a sheep (imagine
that.....). This blade is ideal in yielding a clean cut on objects lying
on a flat surface.
Spear: This blade has a back and cutting edge that curves in the
same fashion or degree and meet at the point. Some spear blades are
thicker than others. The thinner blades are ideal for penetrating
through objects, while the thicker versions are slightly less handy for
penetration, and more handy for heavier tasks. The
blade tip is less likely to break than the thinner version.
Spey: This blade has a very blunt point that makes it unsuitable for
penetrating objects. This makes them ideal in skinning. They are
likely to be accidentally poked through a surface. These blades were originally
developed for use in castrating animals.
Wharncliff: These blades have a strongly curved back and a flat edge. This design
results in a needle type point that is ideal for cutting cleanly on flat surfaces and for
cutting meticulous designs.