Why Choose a Full Tang Knife

Recently, we received an email from an avid reader concerning a full tang knife. His email reads: “I keep on encountering the term ‘full tang’ when looking for a survival knife. What does this term mean and what benefit could I get from a full tang knife?”

What is a Full Tang Knife?

In weaponry, the tang is also known as a shank. According to Wikipedia, it is the back portion of a tool which extends down to the handle. In the case of a knife, it is the opposite part of its metal’s sharp edge. The two main designs used by self defense weapon manufacturers are the full and partial tang.

When you say “full tang knife”, it means that the metal or the blade of the knife goes all the way down to the butt of its handle. Here are some illustrations of a full tang knife from various sites:

full tang knife
Notice how the metal blade extends to the tip of the handle.
full tang knife for kitchen
A kitchen knife with a full tang.

On the other hand, a partial tang knife has a blade that does not go all the way down to the opposite tip of the handle. Below is an image of a knife with partial tang:


partial tang knife
Take a look at how the metal extension of the blade does not go all the way to the butt of the handle.

The Benefits of a Full Tang Knife

The benefit of a full tang knife against a partial tang knife mainly lies on its durability and ability to absorb force. A partial tang knife’s handle has the tendency to break or wiggle when struck against a very hard object or when its blade absorbs too much force from an impact. However, a full tang knife is more resilient because its metal that extends up to the end of the handle is capable of absorbing more pressure.

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References and Photo Sources: Wikipedia, Google, Zwilling and WoodTrekker

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