Please, help us prevent you getting ripped off because someone got their account compromised by reusing their email & password. Read the new best practices for using the Exchange FAQ page.

any advantages to chisel grind?

Oct 11, 2000
i recently got a CRKT M16-14 and was suprised to find it had a chisel grind on the blade. i never noticed this grind described in any of the ads for the knife.
while i have no real problem with the grind,
(blade was shaving sharp out of the box
i was wondering if there were any inherent advantages or disadvantages to a chisel grind. thanks in advance for any info
Hey stubellos! I live in Columbia, MD. We are almost neighbors. I hope you are coming to the Timonium Custom Knife show in December.

I sharpened a friend's CRKT M16-14 recently. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the knife. I liked it a lot and think it is a very good value. I am normally not fond of chisel grinds however. But they are easy to sharpen and maintain.

Chisel grinds are efficient cutters, but tend to cut in one direction. They are not good whittling knives, but for general purpose heavy duty cutting, a chisel grind is a good choice. Enjoy your new knife!

Properly sharpened, they are as sharp as any other knife. A chisel grind with the bevel on the left side of the knife with the bevel facing down, will cut to the right. For general duty, it doesn't much matter. The tips are excellent for cutting out newpaper articles like an Xacto-knife. I feel the greatest advantage is the strength of the tip for piercing. However, if I am going to rough it in South Dakota for a prairie dog hunt (and I don't want to sharpen during a 2 week vacation), I'll pack a chisel grind and not think about it.--OKG
I prefer my chisel grind on the right (I am right handed). This allows me to take advantage of the blade asymmetry when slicing thin sections off the right side of an object. The asymmetry causes the blade to want to cut to the left as I slice and this compensates for the blade wanting to cut towards the outside of the material (right) due to less support on that side.

For other applications I prefer a symmetrical grind. This cuts straighter. A symmetrical grind also supports the edge better. If you hit something hard a chisel grind has a tendency to bend towards the flat side.
thanks for the input everyone

paracelsus i hope i will be able to make it to the custom knife show too my car is not on the road right now so it might be difficult to get to the show without my car
They offer a lower drag profile than a dual grind, and the ones that just have the one primary grind right to the edge are about the limit in terms of cutting performance. However they, as noted above, will pull to the side. You can compensate for this by adjusting how you apply force to the knife.

As for whittling, precise carving blades are often chisel ground, as are of course chisels. Ground so that the bevel is on the opposite side of the wood they allow a much cleaner cut that a dual ground blade as the edge facing the wood is a high pressure point that causes drag and can marr the surface.

Chisle ground knives aren´t that good fro general purpose knives, though they will do (like anything else, if it is all you have, for that matter).
For fighters, though, they are avery good choice - they allow you to have a thick, strong and sharp blade, able to reach the most dramatical effect for what the knife was designed - cut and thrust someone else´s body.
As I make only fighters - they are, in fact, like mini-swords in concepts as they are very single-purposed - I use only this grind in my knives.

Ivan Campos
Full-time knifemaker...finally!
They are a little easier to sharpen in my opinion. The flat side can be an advantage for slicing sushi. I vastly prefer a double ground blade for all around utility. It is much more intuitive to apply the cutting edge in the exact direction you want.

Can anybody explain the lower drag rumor to me, either theoretically or otherwise? I can't feel it with my hand.
I can only speculate why (or if) there can be less drag with a chisel ground blade. My experience is with cutting slices off a block of cheese. The cheese is tacky and creates a lot of friction on a blade. Using a narrow chisel ground blade seems to push cut through the cheese easier. The flat side is parallel to my cut against the larger mass of the cheese. The friction is minimised on that side. The opposite side is pushing the cheese slice away from the block and causes friction. Since the slice bends away fairly easily the pressure (and consequently friction) on the right hand bevel is reduced.

Using a symmetrical ground blade there is friction on both sides. I have to rotate the edge to the left and apply some extra force to the left to keep my cut straight. This extra force against the main bulk of the cheese causes higher friction.

Some of these same effects should be observable to a lesser degree when cutting other materials.
Hey thanks Jeff. That makes pretty good sense. But only if the flat side of the blade is facing the big piece of cheese.
My cheese knife is beveled on the right, flat on the left; just right for a right hander.
Steve Harvey :

explain the lower drag

It removes one of the high pressure points made by the intersection of the primary and edge grinds. Its significance is determined by the extend at which the material you are cutting exerts binding or drag forces on the blade.

This can be done to an extent in dual ground blades by graduating the transition from edge to primary grind. I have only have a few makers bring this up in conversation about cutting performance, and not surprising, all of them are known for producing very high performance cutting blades.

Chisel ground blades have a repuation for low cutting performance as they often have thick edges and obtuse edge bevels, as well as very thick stock width to blade length ratios. These factors will make any grind, chisel, convex, flat or hollow cut very poorly.

If you look at the cross-section amount of metal, a chisel grind leaves you with more overall steel than other grinds. There's "less metal removed to form the edge". That in turn can give you more "prybar strength".

On a full-sized fixed blade of 3/16ths stock or greater, I doubt it's a factor. But on a "skinny little folder blade", it could be.

That said, given a good steel and heat-treat, I'm not going to worry much about carrying a 1/8th stock folder blade with a conventional grind versus chisel.

Jim March:

a chisel grind leaves you with more overall steel than other grinds

A chisel grind produces the same area cross section as a flat grind. For example, on a piece of stock, 1/4" thick and 2" wide, both grinds done from top to the bottom will have an area of 1/8 square inches, exactly half the area of the unground stock.

A hollow grind will have significantly more metal removed, how much depends on the curvature of the grind. A convex grind will leave much more metal on the blade, again how much of a difference from a flat grind will depend on the curvature of the grind.

The reason that chisel grinds are thought of as prybar class blades with low cutting performance is simply because many are made from stock that has a very high width to height ratio and have very thick and obtuse edges. It is not because of low performance qualities inherent in the type of grind.