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Daves Knife World - Knife Glossary of Terms

To help you in your understanding as you browse through all the knives, accessories and gift items on, we offer this glossary. Please note this is a “work in progress” and will continue to evolve with time.

If there is a particular word, phrase or anything that you don't understand here, please feel free to email us at and we'll try to explain what we can. If you feel that a term is not accurately or fully defined, we welcome you to send us your description of the term.


Back- The back of the blade is the opposite side of the belly, for single edged pocket or bowie knives this would be the unsharpened side. The back can contain lashing grommets, jimping, it's own edge or false edge, and serrations.

Belly- The belly is the curving part of the blade edge. Bellies enhance slicing and may be plain or serrated. One note, the point of the knife becomes less sharp the larger the belly is. When choosing a knife you should decide whether penetration or slicing is the most important, and keep the design of this part of the knife in mind.

Bevel- The bevel is the sloping area(s) that fall from the spine towards the edge and false edge of the blade.  

Blade- SeeBLADE STEELSbelow.

Blade Spine- This is the thickest part of a blade. On a single-edge, flat-ground bowie knife, the blade spine would be at the back of the blade. For double-edged blades, the blade spine would be found right down the middle.

Butt/Pommel- The butt, or the pommel is the very end of the bowie knife. The butt/pommel will be found in different shapes, depending on what features it was designed to implement. Some flat metal butts/pommels are good for hammering. There are pointed metal butts/pommels, known as bonecrusher pommels used on combat fighting knives, combat tactical knives, combat survival knives and large bowie knives. They can be decorative, or contain a lanyard hole. Some butt/pommels are designed to be removed to be able to store items in the handle or may contain an additional smaller blade or tool.

Butt Cap- A metal cap fitted over the pommel is referred to as a butt cap.

Choil- The choil is the unsharpened part of the blade. It is left at full thickness like the blade spine and is found where the blade becomes part of the handle. Sometimes the choil will be shaped (An indentation) to accept the index finger. It also allows the full edge of the blade to be sharpened.  

Crink- A crink is a bend at the beginning of the tang that keeps multi-bladed pocket knives from rubbing against each other.  

Edge- This is the sharpened side of the blade. Blades will have a single or double edge (or dagger style) depending on the design.

Escutcheon- this is a small pin or piece of metal attached to the handle for engraving, branding, or just decoration.

False Edge- Widely used on military and combat fighting knives, a false edge blade is an additional bevel on the back of the blade enhancing the blade's point. This edge can be sharpened or not. The false edge can also be used for heavier cutting that might be damaging to the cutting edge.

Guard- The guard is a separate piece of metal attached between the blade and the top of the handle to protect hands from the edge during cutting.

Hilt- The entire handle, including the butt/pommel and the guard.

Kick- The kick is found on a pocket knife, usually Boker pocket knives, and is the projection on the front edge of the tang, the blade rests here in the closed position and keep the front part the edge from hitting the spring.

Kydex - A hard plastic material used for very strong and durable sheaths. Chemical, corrosion and impact resistant.

Lanyard Hole- This is a hole to fit a lanyard, rope or carrying implement through.

Lashing Grommets/Jimping- These terms refer to notches that are designed into the back lower part of the blade for better thumb control.

Mark Side- This is another pocket knife term and is the side of the blade with the nail mark.

Nail Mark/Nail Nick- On a pocket knife blade the nail mark is a groove cut into the blade so that it can be opened using your fingernail. Most Case pocket knives use this method of opening the blade.

Obverse Side- The obverse side is the front or display section of a knife.

Point- The tip of the blade. For more information see Blade Shapes.

Pile Side- The reverse side of the blade, opposite of the obverse side.

Pocket Blade- This is the largest blade on a multi-bladed knife.

Powdered Metal– A process used to make shaped metal pieces. Fine metal particles are molded under pressure and then fused under high heat. Also referred to as sintered metal.

Pen Blade- The pen blade is the smallest blade on a multi-bladed knife.

Quillon- The quillon is the area of the guard that extends past the section surrounding the tang and is the most protective part of the guard.

Ricasso- The ricasso is the flat section of the blade between the guard and the start of the bevel. This is where you will most often find the tang stamp.

Rockwell Hardness (HRC)- An industry scale used for measuring the hardness of blade steels. The higher the reading, the harder the steel.  Written as HRC or RC followed by a range of numbers.

Scales- The scales are pieces that are attached to a full tang to form the handle.

Scrimshaw- Scrimshaw is the art of etching decorative designs into ivory or simulated ivory handles.

Serrated Edge- Serrations are a set of "e;teeth"e; or notches on the back or front of the blade to aid in cutting.

Swedge- A swedge is a bevel on the back of the blades.

Tang(Full vs Hidden etc.)

The tang is the part of the knife where the blade stops and the handle starts. There are many different terms used to describe what kind of tang a knife has, because the strength and other characteristics of the knife depend on the tang format. A full tang knife has a tang that goes the length of the handle at full width, and you can see the tang spine itself because the handle slabs are afixed to each side. This is the strongest tang format. To save weight, the maker can taper the tang so it gets thinner as it goes back into the handle; this is appropriately enough called a tapered tang. If the tang disappears into the handle itself, it's called a hidden tang. If the tang thins out considerably once it goes into the handle, it's called a stick tang.

Tang-Stamp- This is an imprinting that can show style number, collector's number, manufacturer's name. This is normally located on the Ricasso.


Derived from naturally shed deer antlers. When exposed to open flame, stag takes on that slightly burnt look. Very elegant material for pocket knives and gentlemen’s folding knives.

Derived from naturally deceased animals. Bone is usually given a surface texture, most commonly in the forms of pickbone and jigged bone. Bone can be dyed to achieve bright colors (e.g. green, blue, red and black). This is the most common handle material for pocket knives.

A fiberglass based laminate. Layers of fiberglass cloth are soaked in resin and are compressed and baked. The resulting material is very hard, lightweight, and strong. Surface texture is added in the form of checkering. G-10 is an ideal material for tactical folding knives or fighting knives because of its ruggedness and lightweight. It is usually available in black.

The most common form is linen micarta. Similar construction as G-10. The layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phoenolic resin. The end product is a material that is lightweight, strong, as well as having a touch of class (thus dressier than G-10). Micarta has no surface texture, it is extremely smooth to the touch. It is a material that requires hand labor, which translates into a higher priced knife. Micarta is a relatively soft material that can be scratched if not treated properly.

Composed of thin strands of carbon, tightly woven in a weave pattern, that are set in resin. It is a highly futuristic looking material with a definite "e;ahhhh"e; factor. Of all the lightweight synthetic handle materials, carbon fiber is perhaps the strongest. The main visual attraction of this material is the ability of the carbon strands to reflect light, making the weave pattern highly visible. Carbon fiber is also a labor-intensive material that results in a rather pricey knife such as case collectible knives.

Du Pont developed this thermoplastic material. Of all synthetic materials, ZYTEL® is the least expensive to produce, which explains the abundance of work or utility knives that have this material. It is unbreakable: resists impact and abrasions. ZYTEL® has a slight surface texture, but knife companies using this material will add additional, more aggressive surface texture to augment this slight texture. SOG Specialty Knives is common for using zytel.

A nonferrous metal alloy, the most common form of titanium is 6AL/4V: 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, and 90% pure titanium. This is a lightweight metal alloy that offers unsurpassed corrosion resistance of any metal. It has a warm "e;grip you back"e; feel and can be finished either by anodizing or bead blasting. Aside from handles, titanium is also used as liner materials for linerlock knives for it is a rather "e;springy"e; metal. Titanium is used usually on collectible pocket knives.

Just like titanium, aluminum is also a nonferrous metal. Commonly used as handles, aluminum gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight. The most common form of aluminum is T6-6061, a heat treatable grade. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing.


1) Stainless

The exact definition of when a steel becomes "e;stainless"e; is not rigidly defined, but most describe any steel with greater than 13% chromium in it as "e;stainless"e;. Of course, steels aren't completely stainless -- they will rust if given the chance -- but stainless steels resist rust much longer by virtue of their high chromium content.

Many stainless steels are used for cutlery. The low-carbon high-chromium steels, such as the 3xx series and 420 stainless are usually seen in applications such as dive knives, where rust resistance is much more important than edge holding. The next step up in edge holding is to go to steels with more carbon, such as 425M, 12C27, 440A, and AUS-6. As you go up in carbon, you are getting less rust resistance, but typically you're adding hardenability and thus edge holding. We can step up again to GIN-1, 440-B, 440-C, and AUS-8. AUS-10, ATS-34, ATS-55, VG-10 and 154-CM have better edge-holding still. Some steels that aren't seen as often but show great promise are BG-42 (close to ATS-34 but with added vanadium) and CPM's 440V and 420V steels. All those steels have excellent edge holding, with 440V and 420V being just incredible.AUS 8Ais a high carbon, low chromium stainless steel that has proven, over time, to be a very good compromise between toughness, strength, edge holding and resistance to corrosion.

ATS-34- premium grade of stainless steel used by most custom knife makers and upper echelon factory knives. Also common with the making of quality tactical folding knives or production collectible pocket knives. It is Japanese steel, owned by Hitachi Steels. The American made equivalent of ATS-34 is 154CM, a steel popularized by renowned maker Bob Loveless. Boker pocket knives are usually made of ATS-34.

GIN-1(formerly known as G2) - another low cost steel, but slightly softer than AUS-8.

CPM-T440V- currently touted as the "e;super steel"e;, it outlasts all stainless steels on the market today. It is, however, harder to re-sharpen (due to its unprecedented edge retention). But the tradeoff is that you do not have to sharpen as frequently. CPM-T440V is widely used by custom knife makers and is slowly finding its way into high-end or gentlemen's folding knives.

SAN MAI III- (text courtesy of Boker Knife Company) - An expensive, traditional style Japanese laminate. Hard, high carbon stainless forms the core and edge of the blade, while two layers of tough, spring tempered stainless support and strengthen it. The resulting blade possesses the best qualities of both types of steel. This laminate is 25% stronger than the incredibly tough AUS 8A stainless . The telltale sign of genuine San Mai III is a thin line near the edge that runs the entire length of the blade. This line is created in the grinding process as the layers of steel in the blade are exposed. The distance the line is from the edge varies from knife to knife because every piece of San Mai III steel is unique. Like AUS 8A stainless, San Mai III is treated in modern, precise conveyor furnaces and subjected to a sub zero post hardening process. This improves the microstructure of the steel by eliminating retained austenite. The resulting blades are more elastic and have better edge holding characteristics than standard stainless steels.

Sandvik 12C27- Stainless steel made in . Known as a premium steel for knives because of the lack of impurities.

420J2- (text courtesy of Boker Knife Company) - Due to its low carbon high chromium content this steel is an excellent choice for making tough (bends instead of breaking), shock absorbing knife blades with excel lent resistance to corrosion and moderate edge holding ability. It is an ideal candidate for knife blades that will be subject to a wide variety of environmental conditions including high temperature, humidity, and airborne corrosives such as salt in a marine environment. This extreme resistance to corrosion via its high chrome content also makes it a perfect choice for knife blades which are carried close to the body or in a pocket and blades which will receive little or no care or maintenance.

S30V Stainless Steel- S30V is a specialty stainless steel made by Crucible Steel in . Over the past year, Chris Reeve has worked with Crucible Steel pursuing the challenge of creating a new blade steel that is tough, corrosion resistant and readily workable. The product of their efforts is S30V, a stainless steel created with the knife market in mind, alloyed to accommodate specific capabilities and manufactured to ensure clean, uniform steel. Unlike traditionally cast and rolled steels, S30V is made using the powder metallurgy process, a process that reduces molten alloy components to minute balls - or powder - which results in every grain comprising the exact composition of alloy elements. The powder is compressed under significant force to a homogenous, solid state and the steel is rolled to required stock size. Molecules are uniform, inclusions of impurities are insignificant and the development of large chrome carbides is a thing of the past!

VG-10 Stainless Steel -VG-10 blade steel contains chromium for rust resistance and high carbon for superior edge retention and to facilitate ease of sharpening.  This "e;Super Steel"e; has become very popular with such manufacturers as Spyderco, Al Mar, Seki Cut, Knives Of Alaska and Fallkniven.  VG-10 is a step up in quality from AUS-8.

In recent years, advances in specialty steels have been incrementally small and every advance is more of a “tweaking” nature than a “great leap” nature. The blade steels that we have used in the past, ATS 34 and BG42, are excellent steels; the use of S30V is a move forward and represents an alliance of two dynamic companies. It is an advance that will again raise the standard of folding knife performance.

2) Non-Stainless (carbon and alloy steels)

There are a wide variety of non-stainless steels used in knife-making. These steels do not focus their alloy mix on being rust-resistant, which means they are instead focused on edge retention, superior toughness, or both. As a result, provided you're willing to put up with a little extra maintenance, you can see great performance results with these steels. Among the steels you'll see are the 10-series (1095 for knives, 1084, 1070, 1060, 1050 for swords), O-1, W-2, A-2, L-6, D-2, and 5160. You'll also see the great edge-holding 52100 steel, in knives made by those who forge their steel.

Premium High Carbon (from Cold Steel) - Cold Steel's Premium Carbon Steel is used in a variety of our low cost highly functional knives. Chemical content and microstructure from the mill is specified by Cold Steel and each lot is subjected to the same metallurgical examination before being used in production as our world famous Carbon V. The Steel is a very clean, fine grained material with a high carbon content for toughness and response to heat treatment. Cold Steel has designed a special heat treatment for this material which maximizes toughness in combination with more than acceptable edge holding ability, resulting in a blade which will satisfy even the most discriminating user.

Carbon V(From Cold Steel) - An exclusive carbon-alloy steel, formulated and extensively treated to achieve exceptional properties. Carbon V was developed and refined by using both metallurgical and performance testing. Blades were subjected to the "e;Cold Steel Challenge"e; as a practical test, and then they were sectioned, so that their microstructure could be examined. In this way we arrived at the optimum steel AND the optimum heat treatment sequence to bring out the best in the steel. Cold Steel buys large quantities of premium high carbon cutlery steel with small amounts of elemental alloys added in the smelting stage. These elements enhance the blade's performance in edge holding and elasticity. The steel is then rolled to their exact specifications to establish optimum grain refinement and blades are blanked to take full advantage of the grain direction in the steel.

The blanks are heated in molten salt, quenched in premium oil and tempered in controlled ovens. Then they are ground. The new blades are then subjected to expert heat treatment, involving rigidly controlled austenizing temperatures, precisely defined soak times, proper selection of quenching medium and carefully monitored tempering times and temperatures. This heat treatment sequence results in blades which duplicate and often exceed the properties of the most expensive custom forgings.

1095 Steel - Plain carbon steel which is easy to sharpen, typically used in working knives such as the Ka-Bar line of fixed-blade military knives.

D2 Tool Steel -A high-carbon, high chrome tool steel often used for blanking dies. This steel has excellent edge-holding abilities but is very difficult to work with.

Talonite- Talonite® is a Cobalt-Chromium alloy. When it is made the Chromium and Molybdenum combine chemically with the carbon to form Chromium carbide and Molybdenum carbide. The cobalt forms a soft and strong matrix that holds the carbide grains in place. This means that a Rockwell or other hardness tests will test the matrix and give relatively low readings however the hardness and wear resistance is in the carbide particles.

Why Talonite Cuts so Well - Lubricity

Talonite® is much slicker than steels so it wears much longer. Talonite® has outlasted 6K by 35% in wear tests. These were wear tests in a cereal manufacturing plant. The abrasive substance was organic fibers in corn and wheat. Talonite® rates much higher than steel and much closer to diamond or Teflon in slickness. Talonite® is slicker so it also cuts faster and easier. Machinery's Handbook, 24th Edition says that these alloys can be run 20% to 50% faster than high-speed steels when cutting.

Corrosion Resistance

The development of high speed and high temperature turbines for jet engines led to the development of a new Haynes alloy. A good way to understand the corrosion resistance of Talonite® is to think of a Navy fighter that sucks sand into the engine flying out of
and sucks seawater in landing on a carrier. Talonite® is used regularly in applications such as sawing green lumber in a sawmill. Highly corrosive organic acids, high heat from friction and cut lengths of millions of inches as well as interrupted cuts and intense thermal cycles, (extremely hot in the cut and out into flood coolant). Talonite® makes an excellent dive knife. It does not rust by the usual definitions, however it is technically susceptible to chemical attack. Generally it requires something on the order of boiling 20% acid solution such as hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid for weeks or months. Talonite® was developed for rough environments. If your instruments were really good you might detect corrosion in salt water after a thousand years.

Talonite Compared To Steel

Talonite® is an alloy that is primarily cobalt and chrome with only a very small percent of iron in it. Steel is iron with a very little bit of carbon in it. (Iron with .1 - .3% carbon and a maximum of about 2.5%). Talonite® is very different than steel and cannot be compared one to one with steels. Talonite® has a lower Rockwell than some steels but it contains carbide grains. It is softer on a Rockwell test but much more wear resistant than steels. In addition to the hardness of the carbides it also has about a 30% greater lubricity. Talonite® can be sharpened to a razor edge as well as any other material, however it will cut much better than other materials with an equivalent edge because it is much slicker. Steels have a greater tendency to grab in the cut. The grabbing creates more work and dulls the edge faster.

Catalytic Chemistry

The metals that go into an alloy are part of what determines its quality. Time, temperature, number of steps, kind of steps, and quality of ingredients also determine the quality. Talonite® is superior because it is made using more sophisticated chemistry. A catalytic additive can give an alloy smaller carbide grains, which makes it more wear resistant. A catalyst can alter the structure of the cobalt bonding mechanisms so they grow more slowly and more evenly, which gives a structure that is both softer (resists impact) and tougher (resists to tearing or rupture).

Talonite Is Expensive

It is a performance alloy first, last and always. It was developed to withstand tremendous abuse in jet engines and other applications. Jet engine turbine blades have to keep an exact edge no matter what gets sucked in. Even the wear from air passing over them is more than a knife will ever see. This alloy was designed without cost in mind. Fortunately it is such an excellent alloy that the demand has brought the price down but it is still about $200 a pound. Even though Talonite is 20, 50, 100 times as expensive as steel it is so popular that the big problem has been getting enough of it made. There is only one plant in the world that is precise enough to make alloy this good.

Talonite Is Hard To Work With

It takes more time and material to make a knife with Talonite as it does with other materials. Talonite is very wear resistant when being shaped to make a knife. Talonite knives sell for more than knives in lesser materials. However Talonite knives are so good that they are a bargain even at these prices.


is made from two or more metals welded together. Most has a striking beauty, obtained when the final product is acid etched. The two different metals in the etch at a different rate, leaving a striking pattern. Much is forged strictly with the objective of obtaining a beautiful pattern. However, there are many makers forging with an eye towards performance. Such might be made from O-1 and L-6, for example. Stainless has also become available, offering the natural beauty of , in addition to being stain resistant.

Clip Point- A clip point blade has a concave or straight cut-out at the tip (The "e;clip"e;). This brings the blade point lower for extra control and enhances the sharpness of the tip. You will often find a false edge with the clip point. These types of blades also often have an abundant belly for better slicing capabilities.

Dagger/Double Edge- A double edge blade is sharpened on both sides ending with the point aligned with the spine, in the middle of the blade.

Drop Point- The drop-point blade has lowered tip via a convex arc. This lowers the point for extra control and also leaves the strength. This type of blade also has a good-sized belly for better slicing.

Hook Blade- The edge of a hook blade curves in a concave manner. Hook Blades have long been popular as gardening knives, and have recently undergone resurgence in the tactical market as well. The format forces the material towards the sweet spot of the curve, where a lot of slicing power is available.

Santuko- This is the Japanese chef's knife. The spine curves downward to meet the edge and the belly curves slightly.

Scimitar- This is a curved blade with the edge on the convex side.

Sheepsfoot- The spine of this blade curves downward to meet the edge. This leaves virtually no point. This type of blade typically has little or virtually no belly and is used mainly for slicing applications.

Spear Point- The point of this blade is exactly in the center of the blade and both edges are sharpened. The point drops all the way down the center of the blade.

Tanto- The point to this style blade is in line with the spine of the blade. This leaves the point thick and strong. There are quite a few different variations of how tanto blades are designed. The way the front edge meets the bottom edge, whether at an obtuse angle or a curve is one difference. You will also find differences in the point being clipped or not and whether there is a chisel grind.

Trailing Point- The trailing point blade point is higher than the spine. This is typically engineered with an extended belly for slicing, with the point up and out of the way.

Balisong- Also known as Butterfly Knives. The handle to this style knife is in two separate pieces and pinned to the tang. A third pin fixes between both sides to lock the blade into an open position. offers a wide selection of Butterfly Knives for sale.

Block Lock- This folder lock has a spring loaded block located on the center pin. The block extends into a hole in the tang to lock the blade open.

Clasp- This style folding knife has no lock or backspring.

Lockback- This style of lock has a spring-loaded locking bar with a tooth at the end. The tooth falls into the notch cut into the blade tang and is held there under the spring tension. A cut out in the handle spine houses the release for the lock. These locks generally require 2 hands to unlock and close.

Locking Liner- (a.k.a. linerlocks) This particular locking system was refined by knife maker Michael Walker. The actual locking mechanism is incorporated in the liner of the handle, hence the name. If there is a metal sheet inside the handle material, it is called a liner. With a locking liner, opening the blade will allow this metal to flex over and butt against the base of the blade inside the handle, locking it open. Moving this liner aside will release this lock allowing the blade to close. Disengagement of the lock is performed with the thumb, allowing for one handed, hassle free action. Locking liners are commonly found on tactical folding knives, both production and custom.

Ringlock- This design has been around since the 1890's. The Ringlock is similar to the Slipjoint, but it has a rotating slipring instead of a backspring.

Rolling Lock- This design uses a sort of bearing that rolls into the locked position.

Sebenza Lock- The concept of this lock is comparable to the Liner Lock. A hollowed out section of the scale is fixed into the handle cavity to lock the blade open. Designed by Chris Reeve, this locking mechanism offers more strength than the standard Liner Lock. 

Slipjoint- The slipjoint is one of the more common designs for folding and pocket knives. Instead of a lock, the slipjoint utilizes a backspring to create resistance to hold the blade open.

Swinglock- There is one pivot pin and one locking pin used to design this style lock.

Wood Lock- This lock was designed by Barry Wood. The handles and blade are attached to a central pin and pivot independently. A second pin is fixed into the inside of one scale and extends into slot in the tang to lock the blade open.

The most common grind, found on the majority of custom and production pieces. Hollow ground blades have a thin edge that continues upwards, and is the grind is produced on both sides of the blade. Since the cutting edge is relatively thin, there is very little drag when cutting. Examples of knives with hollow ground blades: Spyderco Howard Viele C42 and Kershaw Ti-ATS-34.

Flat grinds are characterized by the tapering of the blade from the spine down to the cutting edge. This style of grind is also referred to as a "e;V"e; grind, since the cross section of this grind resembles that letter. The chisel grind, a popular style for tactical blades, is a variation of the flat grind. On a chisel round blade, it is ground on one side, and on the other it is not. These blades are easier to sharpen, because you sharpen one side only. Example of a knife with a chisel ground blade would be the Benchmade 970 Ernest Emerson CQC7. Examples of knives with a flat grind are the Benchmade Mel Pardue 850 and Spyderco's C36 Military model.

Similar to the flat grind in that the blade tapers from the spine to the cutting edge, except the taper lines are arcs instead of straight lines.

Similar to the flat grind in that the blade tapers from the spine to the cutting edge, except the taper lines are arcs extending outward instead of inward as in the convex grind above or straight lines. If you picture a pumpkin seed, you will get a good idea of what the cross sectional view of this grind is like. Noted custom knife maker Bill Moran is credited for bringing the convex grind into the focus of knife making.

The chisel grind is ground on only one side of the blade. It’s easy to produce and easy to sharpen. It is often ground at around 30 degrees which contributes to a thin and sharp edge.

The sabre grind has flat edge bevels that typically begin about the middle part of the blade and runs flatly to the edge. The edge is often left thick and thickens quickly past the edge. This is a great grind for chopping and other hard uses.

the Scandinavian single-bevel grind looks similar to a sabre grind. The difference between the two grinds is that the Scandinavian single-bevel grind has no secondary edge bevels. This grind has an extremely thin and incredibly sharp edge.


Annealing is the process of softening steel, usually done in preparation for working and grinding the steel. Annealing is done by heating up the steel past the critical temperature (the austenizing temperature) and then letting it cool slowly.


Hardenizing consists of two steps, austenizing and quenching. First, to austenize, the steel is heated to its critical temperature. To harden, the steel has to cool down more quickly than in the annealing step describe previously. So the steel is quenched -- allowed to cool -- in some medium such as oil, water, air, or molten salt, depending on the steel.


Once the blade has been hardened, tempering is done to reduce the hardness and relieve internal stresses in the steel.


Anodization - An electrochemical process which adds color to titanium, which is especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on the voltage used, colors can vary (high voltage = dark color, low voltage = light color).

Bead Blasting - A process by which steel, aluminum, and titanium are finished. Bead blasting is commonly found on tactical folding knives and fixed orknife blades, because it provides a 100% subdued, non-glare finish. 

Jeweled Metal or Engine Turned -Jeweling is often found on the interior frame of folders. Round patterns in the metal reflect light with eye-catching beauty. Lightly abrading the metal creates the jeweling.

File Work -Just as it sounds, file work is a decorative pattern usually filed into the metal of a knife by the maker. Typical places for filework are on the blade spine, and perhaps on the locking bar of a lockback folder.