Kitchen Knife Tang Types Demystified: How to Shop for the Perfect Knife

As a professional with advanced knowledge of knives and metal processing, I understand the importance of choosing the right knife for any task. One crucial aspect to consider when selecting a knife is its tang – the part of the blade that extends into the handle. This blog post will delve into two types of tangs: full tang and partial tang.

We’ll start by defining what each type means and how they differ from one another. From there, we’ll explore why full-tang knives are often considered superior to partial-tang knives in strength and durability.

You’ll also learn about variations within these categories, such as push tangs, tapered tangs, hidden tangs, and skeletonized tangs. We’ll discuss their unique features and benefits so you can make an informed decision when selecting your next blade.

Kitchen Knife Tang Types
Full Tang Knife by Feder Knives

In addition to examining various types of knife tans, we will also look at other factors that impact overall quality, such as grip material, pommel thickness or thinness, lanyard holes, and handle materials.

By understanding all aspects related to full vs. partial tans in detail and other factors impacting knife selection, you can select a reliable tool that suits your needs perfectly without worrying about handle breaking or any issues regarding agility during use.

Take a few moments now to read on and gain an in-depth understanding of full vs. partial tans and other factors impacting knife selection – you won’t regret it! You won’t regret it!

Understanding Kitchen Knife Tang Types

Understanding kitchen knife tang types is vital in selecting the right tool for your culinary needs. There are several varieties, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Full tang knives have a single piece of metal that runs from the blade to the handle, creating a solid construction that won’t break easily. This type of knife is excellent for heavier tasks like chopping or slicing thick cuts of meat. Though they can be cumbersome, full-tang knives may prove tricky to wield in confined spaces.

Partial tang knives feature two pieces of metal connected by rivets or screws at either end—one near the blade and one near the handle—for increased stability during use. These knives are often lighter than full-tang models but still provide excellent control over delicate tasks such as peeling fruits and vegetables or filleting fish.

Encapsulated/push-through-tang knives have a single piece of metal running through both sides of the handle instead of just one side, making them stronger than partial tangs while still being lightweight enough for more precise cutting tasks like mincing herbs or julienning carrots. The material used in this type of construction is typically stainless steel, making it resistant to corrosion and wear over time. It also provides a superior grip when wet compared to other materials, such as wood or plastic handles on some full-tang blades.

Rat-tail tang knives boast a thin pommel, enabling them to remain lightweight while still boasting strength due to their extended length compared to traditional full-tang designs. However, this slender shape can make the knife lack balance. It thus may be better suited for small tasks rather than larger ones, such as carving roasts or chopping vegetables into uniform sizes quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, rat tail designs usually don’t include a lanyard hole, so they’re not ideal if you plan on carrying your knife outdoors, often without extra modifications made after purchase (such as drilling holes) to secure it safely against your body when not in use.

In conclusion, understanding kitchen knife tang types is essential to finding the right tool for your culinary needs. Moving on from full-tang knives, let’s explore the pros and cons of partial-tang knives.

Full Tang Knives

Full-tang knives are a popular choice among professional chefs and home cooks alike. This type of knife is heavier than partial-tang knives but offers better balance due to its weight distribution throughout the entire blade and handle length. They feature blades extending entirely through the handle, revealing or hiding steel. As such, full-tang knives require less effort from your wrist muscles when cutting through tougher materials like bone or dense vegetables such as squash – making them ideal for prolonged chopping sessions.

When it comes to the pros of full-tang knives, one of the most apparent benefits is their superior strength compared to other types of construction. The metal processing required for this type of design creates an agile tool that won’t easily break under pressure – so you can use it confidently in any kitchen task without fear of damage or injury. Plus, these designs often have thin pommels and lanyard holes at the end, so they can be used as makeshift hammers if needed.

On the flip side, however, some cons are associated with full tangs, too, namely their weight and size relative to partial tangs. While many people find this extra heft beneficial for specific tasks (such as cleaving), others may find it cumbersome when performing more delicate jobs like filleting fish or carving fruits/vegetables into intricate shapes. Additionally, since these designs feature handles made from a single piece of material (often stainless steel), they don’t offer much grip comfort compared to models with ergonomic handles crafted from wood or plastic composite materials.

Full tangs remain one of the most popular choices amongst kitchen knife fans due to their durability and versatility in performing different tasks. Whether you’re an amateur cook looking for something sturdy enough for everyday use or a professional chef who needs reliable performance during long shifts in busy kitchens, full tangs will meet your needs.

Full tang knives offer superior balance and durability, making them an excellent choice for professional chefs. However, partial tang construction offers unique design elements that can also benefit home cooks.

Partial Tang Knives

Partial-tang knives are a unique type of kitchen knife that offer certain design elements not found in full-tang or other types of construction. These knives have a tang that only extends partway into the handle, making them lighter and more agile tools than their full-tang counterparts. The partial tang also allows for greater flexibility in metal processing and handle material selection.

The most common type of partial tang is the push-through tang, where the blade passes through two pieces of handle material before being secured with pins or rivets. With a full-tang knife, this method makes thin pommels, lanyard holes, and other features impossible. However, this construction can be vulnerable to breaking if too much force is applied to the entire handle rather than just at the stress points near joints between parts within the handles themselves.

Another variation on partial tangs is skeletonized tangs which feature an open-back design allowing for greater flexibility when selecting materials and improved balance due to reduced weight from fewer materials used during manufacturing processes. Skeletonized designs are often made from stainless steel but can also include composite grip materials like wood or G10, depending on user preference and intended use case scenarios.

Having your cake and eating it too, rat tail tang knives boast a tapered shape that reduces weight and provides ample strength and agility when cutting tough foods such as meat or vegetables. These blades come equipped with an extended bolster section at one end to prevent accidental cuts; however, due to their thinner profile compared to traditional bolsters found on full-tanged models, extra care must be taken when sharpening them. Keywords: Strength, Agility, Tapered Shape, Extended Bolster Section

Partial tang knives offer a unique construction that can provide superb balance and weight for the user but are not as durable or long-lasting as other types of knife constructions. Encapsulated/push-through tang knives feature an innovative design that provides superior strength and durability compared to partial tang designs.

Encapsulated/Push-through-Tang Knives

Encapsulated/push-through tang knives are becoming increasingly popular among hunters and home cooks due to their superior strength and durability. This style of the knife features a metal piece that passes through the handle, forming an integral bond between the blade and grip. The benefits of this design include increased strength, improved balance, and better control when using the knife.

One of the main advantages of encapsulated/push-through tangs is that they provide superior strength compared to other types of knife constructions, such as full or partial tangs. This is because these knives have strong metals like stainless steel, which help to mitigate stress points where blades meet handles. Additionally, since all parts are connected in one piece, there’s less chance for breakage than with separate pieces held together by rivets or screws. Furthermore, this type of construction offers greater stability and balance while using it and more control over cutting motions due to its thin pommel, which helps keep your hand from slipping off during use.

The materials used in encapsulated/push-through tang construction vary depending on what kind of knife you’re looking for but typically consist of either stainless steel or composite material like carbon fiber or titanium alloy. The materials employed in this type of knife construction are chosen for their durability and immunity to rust, making them perfect for activities such as hunting or camping trips where wetness could be a problem. Some models may even feature a lanyard hole so you can attach it securely to your belt loop if needed.

Encapsulated/Push-through-Tang Knives balance durability and flexibility, making them ideal for home cooks who want to upgrade their kitchen skills. Moving on from this type of construction, Rat-Tail Tang Knives provide an alternative option that may be better suited to certain tasks.

Rat-Tail Tang Knives

Rat-tail tangs offer several advantages, making them popular among home cooks and professional chefs. Rat-tail tang knives are a type of kitchen knife with a slim, long tail extending from the handle. This design provides more control over grip placement than partial tang constructions, which can be prone to structural integrity issues.

One significant benefit of rat-tail tang construction is the thin pommel at the end of the handle. This makes it easier to maneuver in tight spaces or when making precise cuts and provides extra balance for larger knives. Additionally, many rat-tailed knives have a lanyard hole near the pommel for attaching accessories like knife guards or finger rings for added security and stability during use.

The materials used in rat-tailing also play an essential role in its popularity among users. Stainless steel is the most common material in rat-tailing due to its robustness and endurance relative to other metals regularly used for metal fabrication, such as aluminum or brass alloys. The entire handle may also be constructed out of one piece instead of multiple pieces glued together, reducing the chances of breaking due to weak joints between components over time.

A lightweight and convenient knife can be an ideal option for those seeking a reliable blade, such as the rat-tail tang. However, extended tangs provide additional stability and strength for kitchen knives, making them the preferred option of professional chefs.

Extended Tang Knives

Extended tang knives are a type of knife with blades that extend beyond the handle. This design feature is most commonly found in carving knives, boning knives, and filleting knives. It can be used for different purposes, such as scraping or piercing.

There are several types of extended tangs available on the market today. The blade of a full-tang design stretches completely to the handle’s end and sometimes even features a slim pommel at its tip for enhanced stability and control. Partial tangs also exist but do not extend to either end of the handle like their full-tang counterparts do. Tapered tangs are thinner at one end than at another, while hidden tangs cannot be seen from outside because they’re tucked away inside an ergonomic grip material like wood or rubberized plastic.

The applications of extended tangs in kitchen knives depend on the task at hand. For instance, fillet knives capitalize on this feature to make precise incisions through fish flesh without causing any disruption. In contrast, boning knives leverage extended tanged designs’ long handles and extra power to efficiently separate meat from bone or fat from muscle tissue. Additionally, carving knives often use this design element since they require longer blades that can penetrate deeper into food items while providing adequate control to not mar delicate surfaces like cake frostings or other baked goods during cutting operations. Keywords: Applications, Task At Hand, Precise Incisions, Leverage, Long Handles Extra Leverage, Adequate Control

Finally, some manufacturers now offer integral construction fixed blades featuring an extension running down partway along both sides of its blade before ending in a lanyard hole near its base. These models provide additional support against bending forces caused by heavy chopping motions, which could otherwise cause the entire handle to break off if done incorrectly with weaker materials such as those used in rat-tail or skeletonized designs instead.

Extended tang knives offer excellent balance and durability, making them ideal for everyday use in the kitchen. Skeletonized tangs are becoming increasingly popular due to their lightweight construction and improved maneuverability.

Skeletonized Tang Knives

Skeletonized tang knives are a unique type of kitchen knife designed to reduce weight while still providing strength where it’s needed most. This is accomplished by hollowing out sections within the handle, creating a “skeleton” strong yet lightweight structure. The materials used in skeletonized tang construction vary depending on the manufacturer and knife’s intended use. Still, stainless steel is often used for its superior durability and resistance to corrosion.

The benefits of skeletonized tang construction include improved agility when using the tool and enhanced control due to reduced overall weight. Additionally, this design allows for more intricate metal processing techniques, such as thinning pommels or adding lanyard holes, which can further improve grip comfort. It should be noted, however, that with skeletonized handles, there may be less material between your hand and blade, so care must be taken when handling these types of knives.

Another advantage of skeletonized tang construction is that because the entire handle isn’t made from one piece, it makes them less likely to break if dropped or mishandled compared to full-tang blades, which rely solely on their single piece of metal for strength. This makes them an ideal choice for those who need an agile tool they can trust not to fail under pressure.

Skeletonized tang knives offer many advantages over other kitchen knives thanks to their lightweight yet durable design features. Their slim yet sturdy construction makes them an excellent pick for those who want dependable performance with increased maneuverability and accuracy, making them suitable for novices and experienced cooks.

Skeletonized tang knives are a great choice for those looking to upgrade their kitchen skills, as they offer improved balance and strength. Fixed-blade knives may present certain benefits when selecting the optimal blade type for your culinary needs.


In conclusion, when it comes to kitchen knife tang type, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each tang type has advantages and disadvantages in terms of balance, weight, feel, and durability. Ultimately, it all boils down to your requirements as a cook; by understanding the different tang types of kitchen knives, you can make an informed decision that will aid in achieving successful cooking results.

Upgrade your kitchen skills with Choppn’ Knives, a blog dedicated to helping you learn about the different types of knife tangs and how they can improve your cooking. Join us today for an educational journey into the world of culinary excellence!

What The FAQ

What Is The Tang Of A Kitchen Knife?

The tang of a kitchen knife is the portion of the blade that extends into the handle. The tang gives the knife stability and accuracy when slicing or dicing, ensuring it is robust enough to withstand regular use. A well-crafted kitchen knife will have a full tang, meaning that metal from the blade runs through its handle. This ensures durability and reduces the risk of breakage during use. Quality knives should also feature rivets or pins in their handles, further reinforcing their structure while adding an aesthetic appeal.

What Does A Knife Tang Do?

A knife tang is part of a blade that extends into the handle. It provides balance, strength, and durability to the knife and an ergonomic grip for the better cutting control. A full tang runs through the entire length of the handle, while a partial tang only goes part way down. Quality knives will have either type of tang depending on their intended use; some kitchen tasks require more stability than others. Regardless, having a quality knife with proper construction is essential for any chef or home cook looking to improve their cooking skills.

What are the Four Main Types Of Knife Tangs?

Full, partial, rat-tail, and half. A full tang is the most common tang on kitchen knives. It extends from the handle to the end of the blade for maximum strength and balance. Partial tangs extend only part way into the handle providing a lighter-weight option with less control over precision cutting tasks. Rat-tail or hidden tangs feature a narrow metal rod that runs through a hollowed-out handle, giving it an aesthetically pleasing look while offering adequate support and stability. Half Tang knives have their handles attached directly to one side of their blades, making them more lightweight but sacrificing some durability compared to other styles.

Should Knives Be Full Tang?

Full tang knives are generally considered the most durable and well-balanced kitchen knives. They have a single metal piece from the tip to end, with the blade extending through the handle. This makes them more resistant to bending or breaking when used for demanding tasks such as cutting thick meats or hard vegetables. Full tang knives also provide superior balance, which can help improve precision in delicate cuts and make chopping easier on your hands. Full tang is often considered an ideal choice for professional chefs and serious home cooks who want top-quality performance from their tools.