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The Anatomy of a Chef's Knife

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Chef's Knife: The Tang
Chef's Knife Tang

Chef's Knife: The Tang

Photo © Danilo Alfaro

Chef's Knife Tang

As mentioned earlier, the best knives are forged from a single piece of steel that runs the entire length of the knife. That means the steel extends all the way into the handle. The section of steel inside the handle is called the tang, and if it goes all the way to the end of the handle, it's called a "full tang."

In addition to providing strength, full-tang construction offers better balance, making a knife easier to use. "Partial-tang" or "half-tang" knives are barely worth talking about, let alone buying. I wouldn't use one if it was given to me for free.

This picture shows the tang sandwiched between the two halves of the wooden handle. In knives with synthetic handles, the tang may not be visible. Next page >>
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