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Type Of Knife Edges: How Do They Work?

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From the bevel to the grind and the edge angle, there are so many things to consider with the type of knife edges you use in the kitchen. This article will cover all these features and more while providing valuable advice for which type of knife edge works best.

Type of knife edges

What are the different types of knife edges?

There are so many types of knife edges out there that it would be near impossible to know them all by heart. To make matters more complex, each type of edge has many different names that people use to refer to them. As such, we’ve categorized them into eight main types of knife edges: single bevel, double bevel, convex, hollow, high flat, and Scandinavian (1).


What is a knife edge?

what is a knife edge

A knife edge essentially encompasses the parts of a knife that are involved in cutting ingredients. It includes the pointed tip and bevel grind that extends through the side of the blade. This goes right down to where the tang meets the handle.

Typically, a steeper edge angle gives the knife a more sharp edge, though it compromises its edge retention and overall durability as a trade-off.

The knife’s edge needs to be maintained by the user for lasting results and to ensure the cutting abilities do not diminish. As such, it is important to sharpen your knife regularly through constant maintenance, such as multiple sharpenings per month.

Different knife grinds require different sharpening techniques, so know your knife’s existing grind and recommended maintenance method.


What is a bevel grind?

what is a bevel grind type of knife

Commonly used, the terms “bevel” and “grind” have slightly different meanings and overlapping definitions. The bevel essentially refers to the part of the knife edge that encompasses the tip. This typically referring to a quantity, i.e., single or double bevel.

On the other hand, the grind refers to the shape of the bevel (hence the term “bevel grind”). It can come in many styles, such as chisel, V-edge, and hollow grinds. While most chef’s knives come in a double-bevel design, many Japanese kitchen knives come in a single bevel with a flat edge.

Ultimately, single-bevel blade grinds require more technique to use as they provide greater accuracy and precision in cuts. As such, these types of bevels are common among professional chefs and restaurant owners, especially sushi chefs that handle delicate cutting tasks.


Types of knife edges explained



v edge knife edges

Also known as a high flat grind, full flat grind, or Scandinavian grind, the V-edge typically has the pointed tip of the blade in a symmetrical V-shape design. This ultimately makes it a double bevel by definition, though high flat grinds are defined more by their triangular shape rather than their symmetry.

The simplicity of the design makes the Scandi grind easy to sharpen and longer lasting than most other knife edge types.


Single Bevel Grind

single bevel knife edge

Also called a chisel grind, this type of grind style involves a single bevel that extends straight across the blade. It has no symmetrical counterpart on the other side. Unlike the V-edge angle, the single bevel is made for more intricate cutting tasks and is quite common among Japanese-style knives.

You can achieve precise and accurate results with chisel grinds are better than with a double-bevel blade grind. However, the skill requirement is much higher. The chisel edge grind is commonly seen on santoku and nakiri knives, featuring one side of the blade with an angle and the other side flat.

These types of knives are much sharper than typical Western-style knives. They are great for delicate cutting tasks such as slicing sashimi and chopping chilis. It is important to consider your dominant hand before purchasing a single bevel chisel grind. It is the only knife with different designs for left or right-handers.


Compound Bevel Grind

compound bevel knife design

Also called a double bevel grind, the compound grind is essentially a “bevel within bevel,” that is, there are layers to the bevel. There is an additional angle per side of the blade as the edge bends in a different direction, creating obtuse angles on either end of the pointed tip.

The compound bevel promotes durability and flexibility, offering additional protection for the pointed tip while enabling more precise cutting tasks.


Convex Edge

convex edge knife

The convex grind is similar to the V-edge design but incorporates curved edges along the blade’s pointed tip. These arcs make the knife less sharp but more durable and long-lasting. As you sharpen it over time, it can transform into a V-edge knife.

From a top view, the convex grind edge resembles an airplane or bullet’s cross-section, giving it an easily identifiable look (2).


Hollow Edge

hollow edge knife

Also known as the concave grind or the hollow ground, the hollow grind is essentially the opposite of the convex grind. This means the edges are curved inward rather than outward. Hollow grind styles make great hunting knives and butcher knives as they have an extremely sharp tip and the concave edges are great for reducing friction.

I’d recommend a full hollow grind for tough ingredients like thick meats or hard shells that a standard chef’s knife cannot penetrate.

Related: Best Chef Knife Under $100: The Top 10 Chef Knives


Asymmetrical Grind

asymmetrical grind knife

Asymmetrical grinds encompass many different styles and can even be used to describe a chisel grind in some instances. More commonly, however, the asymmetrical grind has one half of the knife blade in a certain grind style and the other half in a different style.

For example, you can have one half in a convex grind and the other in a concave hollow grind, allowing for greater multi-purpose functionality.


Sabre Grind

sabre grind knife

The sabre grind is a variant of the hollow grind, but deserving of its own category. This is because the sabre grind is, by definition, a concaved bevel, but it is so subtle that the inward angle is hardly recognizable. A good way to think of the sabre grind is as somewhere in between a hollow grind and a V-grind.


Serrated Edge

serated edge knife

Perhaps most unique and standalone of all is the serrated edge grind. Usually found in bread knives, the serrated edge is a chisel grind with a “shark-teeth” blade design with multiple mini-arches that run along the blade’s edge.

On the downside, this unique blade grind design can be quite challenging to sharpen or hone. Many opt to purchase a new serrated edge blade when it goes dull.


Type of knife edges FAQ

Type of knife edges questions

What is the best edge for a knife?

There is no “best” edge for a knife as each grind style has its own unique benefits, and what you get out of your grind edge depends on your intended use. For instance, a chisel grind would suit skilled knife users or professional chefs who need to make precise cuts. An asymmetrical knife edge angle would suit someone performing more varied cutting tasks.


What are the edges of a blade called?

The edges of a blade are typically referred to as bevel, grind, or bevel grind, depending on the topic in discussion. Roughly speaking, the bevel refers to the number of angles produced at the knife’s tip. E.g., single and double bevel, while the grind refers to the shape of the edge, e.g., hollow and V-edge grind.


What is the cutting edge of a knife?

The cutting edge of a knife is the part of the blade that makes contact with the ingredient. This can encompass the entire width of the knife and the bevel grind. In some cases, it may even include the knife’s spine in the case of a double-sided cutting blade.


What is knife bevel?

A knife bevel is essentially the part of the knife’s edge where the edge meets the pointed tip. They typically come with a primary and secondary bevel. However, some designs, such as the chisel grind, feature a single bevel.

different knife edges

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