Knife Sharpening, Advanced, Retaining the "Belly of the Blade," or "Slicing Edge."  DL Tips

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Retaining The "Slicing Edge." 

Or: Loose Your Belly, Ruin your Knife!

DL Sharpening Tips 001.


The Formal Name for what we have called the slicing edge, is the "Belly of a Blade."


"The belly of a blade is the curving section under the point....The belly increases the knife's ability to both slice and slash. It presents an ever-changing angle to the material being cut, and this means slicing efficiency is preserved across the cut."



I was working with my Swiss Army Knife, on the Construction Site, when DL told me that I had reduced the front "slicing edge,"  by "flat sharpening" my working blade.  I had never heard of this before, so he explained it to me.  I will use many pictures, which you will need to allow time to load, and what he said, to explain.

Note that DL works mostly with files to sharpen his knives, and he was taught by his father and grandfather, their Finnish method of sharpening.  (DL is a "made up" set of initials, that has no bearing on any real person's initials or name.)

You might want to open your browsers to "Full Screen".  (F 11)

To begin, the Guillotine has a forward slanted blade.

It is slanted forward to give a "slicing action."  If you have ever sliced meat, or tried to chop it with a cleaver, you can see why the slicing motion is easer, and more efficient.


The  Kukri  knife gives you the action of a "slice" with the power of a chop.  The following picture is a Military Kukri. 

(There is an entire section about the Kukri on my web site.)


   Bear with me, I am making a point.

The "Becker Brute" has a curve at the front.  The curve is there because it gives the knife a  slicing action similar to both the Guillotine, and the Kukri.


The Ka-Bar Camp Knife has a similar curve,


and so does the Ka Bar Machete Cutlass.


Now lets look at what I had been doing wrong.

The following picture details how I first discovered the sharpening error I had been making, with the Swiss Army knife.  Please open your browser to Full Screen,  F 11.

A similar action had taken place with my Guthook Skinner.

Again, with an older Ka-Bar I had removed the useful forward, slicing edge. 

This blowup of the blades of my Case Folding Hunter, 189 (6265SS) shows two front edge "slicing edge" angles.

Two other blades, and their "slicing edges."

Upon continued sharpening, and use of my knives, I want to retain the front "slicing edge" similar to what it was when I first bought them.  Prior to this, I had no idea that this point was important.  Thanks again, DL. 


addenda: note the slicing edge of the Parang:

Page from:

John Wiseman SAS Survival Guide; ISBN 0 00 470 1674 (abridged, pocket sized)

John "Lofty" Wiseman; The SAS Survival Handbook; ISBN 0 00 26531407, (unabridged)


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