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Bone Handled Missouri Knife
FB-037 Bone Handled Missouri Knife

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FK-040 Gamblers Dirk - Buffalo Horn
Home > Anatomy of a Pocket Knife

Anatomy of a Pocket Knife

Make Up of a Pocket Knife

Pocket Knife Nomenclature

Backspring - The spring in the back of a folding knife that applies pressure to the blade.

Bail - A small metal loop attached to the end of some knives for the purpose of wearing on a chain.

Blade - The main component of a knife, the cutting part.

Bolster - The metal ends of a pocketknife that are attached to the liners. Protects the handles and provides sturdiness.

Bone - A natural long wearing material that is used for handles, generally comes from cattle.

Cap - another term for bolster.

Clip Point Blade - A blade with a straight or concave shape along the backside of the blade. Typically the main blade of a pocketknife.

Covers - The outside covering of a pocketknife, also referred to as scales or handles.

Cutler - Knifemaker

Dogleg Jack - Serpentine shaped folding knife pattern with one end larger than the other, (swelled end).

Easy Opener Jack - Jack knife pattern featuring small half round cut-out in the handle.

Equal End Jack - Pocketknife pattern where both ends are of the same size.

Folding Knife or Folder - Any knife with a pivoting or folding blade, smaller of which are also called pocketknives. 

Frame - A folding knife's liners and bolsters, sometimes including the springs.

German Silver - An alloy of copper, zinc and nickel. Also called nickel silver. A whitish metal commonly used for bolsters, scales, liners, and shields.

Haft - Old term, refers to handles or scales, "Hafting" - refers to the operation of shaping of the handles or scales.

Jack Knife - A class of pocketknives, commonly used to describe folding knives with blades that pivot from only one bolster.

Jigged or Jigging - Small cuts made into bone or other handle material to provide a gripping surface or to imitate stag. 

Joint - Pivoting point of a folder.

Kick - Downward projection of a pocketknife blade tang. Prevents the cutting edge from making contact with the backspring while in the closed position. 

Liners - A flat piece of sheet metal, commonly brass or nickel silver that defines the shape of the knife, helps make up the frame, and provides attachment points for nails, pins, and scales. The center liner on multiple bladed knives provides space between the blades.

Main Blade - Master blade of a folding knife.

Nail - Small metal projection protruding through the scale, liners, springs, blades, and bolsters to join the parts of a pocketknife. 

Nail Pull - Small notch cut into the blade near the backside for ease of opening. Also called the nail nick or nail mark.

Pattern - The overall shape of a pocketknife, also can refer to the designed use.

Pen Knife - Class of pocketknives, usually refers to knives with blades that pivot from both bolsters.

Pin - Small metal projection used to attach the handle to a pocketknife.

Pivot Pin - The axle on which folding blades pivot, also called hinge pin.

Pocket Blade - The main blade of a pocketknife.

Pocketknife - Folding knife that is small enough to carry in the pocket.

Rivet - Same as pin or nail. 

Scale - Cover or handle.

Shield - A decorative small metal inlay found on many pocketknife handles.

Slope - The bevel of a bolster.

Spring - Also called backspring, this is what holds the blade in the open or closed position.

Swedge - The bevel on the back or top of a blade.

Swell End Jack - A class of pocketknives where one bolster is larger than the other. 

Tang - The unsharpened extension of a knife blade that attaches to the pivot pin.

Walk and Talk - The "walk" is the tension that is felt when opening and closing. The "talk" is the audible snap that is heard when opening and closing the blades of a pocketknife.

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