Don't know the meaning of some of the knife terms on our site? Don't feel bad. We've been making knives for over a hundred years - we oughtta use at least a couple words you've never heard of.

Here are some definitions that might help you out.

  • 1095 Cro-Van Steel

    Easy to sharpen, plain carbon steel used in knife making. Proven to be one of the most popular steels used in KA-BAR® knives.

  • 440A Steel

    A high-carbon stainless steel used in many American production knives.

  • American Hone

    Operated in the same building as Union Cutlery. R. Emerson Brown was president.

  • Blister Pack

    A cardboard backed clear-front packaging option that allows products to be hung on peg boards for retail merchandising.

  • Brown Brothers

    Brothers Wallace and R. Emerson Brown are considered the founders of KA-BAR®. Brown Bros. was their first cutlery business.

  • Clam Pack

    A clear plastic packaging option that allows products to be hung on peg boards for retail merchandising.

    Example of Clam Pack packaging.
  • Cryogenic Quenching (CR)

    The process of freezing blades to improve blade performance.

  • D2 Steel

    A high-carbon, high-chrome tool steel often used for blanking dies. This steel has excellent edge holding ability but is very difficult to process.

  • Danforth Brown

    Son of Wallace Brown. President of KA-BAR® most notably during WWII.

  • Epoxy Powder Coating

    A coating process that protects blades from corrosion and also makes them non-reflective.

  • Flat Ground

    A grind that tapers from the top of the blade down to the cutting edge. Also known as a "V" grind.

  • Full Tang

    A tang that shows all around the handle of the knife between two pieces of handle material.

  • Fuller or Blood Groove

    A longitudinal groove on the blade of a knife.

  • G10

    An extremely durable material made of woven fiberglass soaked in epoxy resin, then highly compressed and baked.

  • Game Hook

    Also known as a gut hook, this blade shape is best for opening the flesh of game.

    Example of Game Hook blade.
  • Glass-Filled Nylon

    Material used to make sheaths and handles. Nylon is reinforced with glass particles and other materials to provide strength and durability while still allowing some flexibility.

  • Grilamid FWA

    Food and water approved polymer (plastic).

  • Guard

    Also known as a hilt, is the piece of steel that separates the handle and the blade. Serves to keep the hand from slipping on the blade when cutting. Can be single or double.

    Example of blade guard.
  • Hollow Ground

    The ground surface of the blade is concave. Used to create a fine cutting edge.

  • Kraton G® Thermoplastic Elastomer

    Referred to simply as Kraton® or Kraton G®, is a man made material resembling rubber that can be molded into knife handles. Provides a non-slip grip. Trademark of Kraton Polymers Group of Companies.

  • Lockback

    A folding knife that has a lock release on the back of the handle.

    Example of lockback mechanism.
  • Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

    The price at which the manufacturer recommends retailers sell their product. Some sellers may sell above, at, or below this price. This is not determined by the manufacturer.

  • Micarta®

    A man made material, made by layering resin and cloth. Used to make very fine knife handles. Westinghouse trademark.

    Example of Micarta material in knife handle.

    An acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment.

  • NSN

    An acronym which stands for National Stock Number, a 13-digit number used to identify an item of material in the supply distribution system of the United States Government.

  • Powdered Metal

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

    Example of powdered metal in a product.
  • Rockwell Hardness (HRC)

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

  • S35VN Steel

    A high end stainless steel known for its edge retention and toughness.

  • Side Lock

    Also known as a linerlock. A locking mechanism that features a tab cut out of the liner which is used as a stop to lock the blade in an open position. To close, the liner tab is pushed back to its original position.

  • Swedge

    A faux double edge on the blade of a knife. Excellent for reducing the weight of the blade and balancing.

  • Tidioute Cutlery Company

    Was created out of other failed cutlery companies. Wallace Brown would become head of the company shortly after its creation.

  • TPR (Thermoplastic Resin)

    Thermoplastic Resin is used for making handles. On KA-BAR products like the Kukri #1249 it has a firm but still "giving" feel.

  • Ultramid®

    Trade name for hard plastic-like material used to make handles and other products requiring a more rigid stability.

  • Union Cutlery

    The name that replaced the former Tidioute Cutlery Company.

  • Union Razor

    The cutlery sales company of Wallace Brown.

  • Zytel®

    A glass-filled nylon material used in making handles for knives. DuPont trademark.

    Example of Zytel material.
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