What is knife tang? This is a question that often comes up when people are looking to purchase their first knife, or even when they are simply curious about the inner workings of their favourite blade.
Knife tang is a critical part of any knife and it should be taken into consideration when making a purchase. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about knife tang. We will cover the different types of tangs, how they are constructed, and what makes them different from one another. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of knife tang and be able to make an informed decision the next time you are in the market for a new blade!
Tang is an odd-sounding word often mentioned in the knife community. For those who are unfamiliar with the world of knives, you may be confused as to what it is, what it stands for, and most importantly how it influences your knife's selection and usage. So let's get to the bottom of this burning issue!
The term refers to the lower part of the blade. It fits partially into the handle, runs along the entire length of the handle, or is barely inserted into the handle. These three options have both pros and cons, depending on how and where you use your knife. When it comes to full tang knives vs partial tang knives, there is no clear-cut answer. It all depends on your personal needs and preferences.
The full tang knife is the most popular option and for good reason. It offers a great deal of strength and durability because the metal from the blade extends through the entire handle.
When compared to other knives, the design of such a knife adds weight. Depending on your personal choice, this can be either a good or a bad quality.
The advantages? It's simple: ultra-strong construction and an incredibly long service life for your knife. Many tactical knives have this design.
Always use a full tang knife when you need to cut a material which is naturally tough and you need to apply extra force. Dense rubber, hard wood and cutting freshly killed game fall into this category. If you use a knife with a very small or almost non-existent tang, you run the risk of breaking the knife where the blade meets the handle. When you are in an emergency or survival situation, this is what you don't need!
The bottom line, if you're looking for a reliable knife that you can use for outdoor activities like camping or hunting, then a full tang is your best bet!
A partial tang knife has a blade that doesn't extend the entire length of the handle.
Instead, it is only partially inserted into the handle which can be made from a variety of materials such as metal, plastic or wood. It may also not fit the entire width of the handle.
In this case, some amount of tang is definitely better than no tang, but it does reduce knife strength to some extent. On the positive side, there is a reduction in the weight of the knife. For some users, this is worth the trade-off.
This style is designed for moderate use when you do not need excessive force to cut through material. Some hunting knives, fish cutters and some survival knives use this design. Because tang ends in the part of the handle that you grip, there is lesser chance of breakage than you might think, thanks to the fact that the powerful grip distributes all the stress points evenly.
This category of knife can be divided into three varieties. The half-tang is half the length of the handle. (This variant is easy to remember!) The elongated tang runs the entire length of the handle, but it is very thin. And finally, the tapered tang goes all the way to the end of the handle, but tapers strongly towards the end.
Short or Missing Tang
Why buy a knife of this design? It might seem like an accident just waiting to happen. Yes and no. If you attempt to force a blade through something that doesn't give, the outcome can be a broken blade as well as physical harm. However, if you buy a knife that matches your material, you'll get a lighter knife that allows you to make more precise cuts, which in turn reduces knife fatigue and wear and tear. Some inexpensive sirloin knives and other kitchen cutlery use blades with a very short tang for the aforementioned tasks.
As already mentioned, a large tang means more weight, and in situations where one has to cut for long periods of time, a heavy knife is a burden rather than a help. Such knives are usually much cheaper. Yes, you get what you pay for, but for people on a tight budget this may be the most suitable option.
Some knife designs can be made only with short tangs. For example, folding knives. The folding knife's tang is very short extending only as far as the pivot point at the top of the handle.