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A Guide To Knife Grind Types

As well as the key elements of a knife, such as the handle and blade, one of the important and often overlooked aspects of a knife is the grind. A grind is essentially the shape of the cross-section of the blade. Alternatively it can be viewed as the shape in which the blade is thinned to achieve a cutting edge.

The type of grind depends on the purpose of it or what look you are trying to achieve. The type of grind you have on a knife is important as it will help you to understand your knife better and also to help care for it over time.


What are the knife grind types?

Here we look at some common types of knife grinds, and their strengths and weaknesses:


Hollow Grind

The Hollow Grind is particularly popular in the hunting community. This grind is concave in shape, meaning the sides curve inward until they meet. The advantage of this shape is that it is ideal for skinning and the curved sides meet at a very sharp edge but the grind is not very durable and can dull over a short period of time.


Full Flat Grind

The flat grind is one of the simplest types of grind and it comes in 3 forms. The first is called the Full Flat Grind. The Full Flat Grind tapers to the edge from the spine of the knife evenly on both sides. This creates a very sharp but not very durable blade. This style of grind is best used when the knife is required to be pushed down completely into something, which is why chefs use this style of knife.


High Flat Grind

The second type of flat grind is the High Flat Grind. The difference between this and the Full Flat Grind is that the Full Flat Grind begins tapering toward the edge of the knife from the spine, whereas a High Flat Grind means a small portion of the blade is the same thickness as the spine before it begins tapering toward the edge. The High Flat Grind has a bevel that begins close to the spine.


Scandinavian Grind

The third type of flat grind is the Scandinavian Grind, which is also known as the V Grind. Unlike the High Flat Grind, the Scandinavian Grind begins tapering much closer to the edge of the blade. This means that much more of the blade is the same thickness as the spine. 

The beauty of the Scandinavian and the High Flat Grinds are that they are perfect as a survival knife because they are easy to sharpen when out in the wild. This is because you can tell the angle of the grind by simply laying the knife on its side. However one of the major negatives of this type of knife grind is that it dulls fairly easily.

This type of grind is good for whittling wood because you can judge the edge in relation to the wood grain much better.


Chisel Grind

A Chisel Grind is as the name suggests: one side is flat from the spine to the edge, and the other side has a single bevel from the middle of the blade. The normal angle of a Chisel Grind is about 25 degrees.

Chisel Grinds are usually found on chisels, but they can also be found on chef's knives. The advantage of a Chisel Grind is that they are very sharp and therefore great for woodworking or cooking. However, due to its shape, it requires constant maintenance to maintain its chisel like shape.


Convex Grind

A Convex Grind is a type of grind that features a rounded curve that comes to a point. Essentially similar to a Scandinavian grind but curved rather than flat. Convex Grinds can be very durable and are ideal for chopping. The nature of the grind however makes it extremely difficult to produce and also to sharpen, so it’s not a highly commonly used knife grind.


Compound Bevel Grind

A Compound Bevel Grind becomes quite complex as it adds another bevel to the existing grind. However this type of grind is probably the most common type of grind used in knives. 

The benefit of having two bevels is that cutting is easier and there is less likelihood that chipping will occur. Additional durability however means that the knife can be less sharp than those with other types of grinds.


Asymmetrical Grind

An Asymmetrical Grind is one that employs two different grind styles on the same blade. For example, a Convex Grind could be on one side of the blade and a Scandinavian Grind used on the other side. Each combination of grinds has their own advantages and disadvantages.


What is the best grind for knives?

The best grind for your knife is likely to depend on its purpose. Each type of grind has different advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking for a knife that is going to be used for practical purposes then you will want durability. If you need the knife to be sharp then you might have to forsake some durability.

Once you have created your knife, you will need to fire your steel to harden it. That’s where Soul Ceramics comes in! We have a fantastic range of heat treating ovens to fire your knife project, whether for a knife making business venture or personal use.

Additional resources on knife making