Types of Blade and Cutting Edges

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Types of Blade and Cutting Edges

Blade Edges

Hollow ground edge: A hollow ground blade is a knife blade that has been ground down to create a characteristic concave and bevelled edge along the cutting edge of the knife. This effect is accomplished by starting the grind below the midpoint of the knife, creating a small wedge with concave sides that are extremely sharp and very easy to care for. Many mass-produced knives are made with such blades, as they are easily created in a factory environment and consumers like knives that can be readily sharpened. Excellent for slicing due to its sharp edge, it is however less suited for chopping activities since the higher impact of the chopping action dulls or may chip the thinner blade.

Tapered ground edge: Typically Asian in design and made with a harder steel so that the blade can take on a longer, thinner and sharper edge.  The blade is manufactured from a single sheet of metal and has been ground on one side or two sides of the surface so that it tapers smoothly from the spine to the cutting edge without creating a bevel. These blades will require less frequent but more thorough sharpening. Unlike the hollow ground blade that has a either a bevelled or fluted edge, the tapered ground blade is a more stable knife blade due to the rigid structure of a finely tapered, sheet of metal. Thus, the tapered ground blade is made to withstand more cutting action as it cuts cleanly through a variety of foods and food textures when slicing or chopping.

Bevelled edge: The blade is tapered from the back of the knife then bevelled on the edge and ground to an angle of 20-25°.  The sharp edge and tapering blade helps the knife to chop easily through food. This type of edge is often seen in European knives.

Cutting Edges

Straight edges: This is most commonly found on preparation knives.  A straight edge is ideal for chopping and slicing through food.

Fluted edges: The dimples create both a thinner blade and little air pockets between the blade and the food, this helps to slice through food more easily. Fluted blades are particularly useful as slicing and carving knives especially for cold meats and smoked salmon.

Serrated edges: Tears through food and are ideal for certain tasks.  A bread knife always has a serrated or scalloped blade that can cut more easily through the crust. Smaller knives with a serrated edge make it easy to slice on hard skins such as those of cucumbers, tomatoes and lemons.

Scalloped edges: Similar to an enlarged serration as the points have clearly defined crescents separating them.  The points will cut through a hard, outer crust or skin. These knives can be used for the same foods as serrated knives and they are also suitable for slicing cold meats. Both serrated and scalloped edge knives are difficult to sharpen. However, they retain their edge for a long time.