Blade Length vs Cutting Edge Length

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by 7HillsBlade, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. 7HillsBlade


    Jul 21, 2016
    What matters most to you? The blade length as measured by AKTI methods or the overall cutting edge of the blade. This is just out of curiosity. In my current design (folder), I have a blade length of 3.32", but my cutting edge length is 4.03". Now I am not looking for what may or may not be legal in some states, that is blade length. Just want to know what you look for in a blade and what matters to you. Do you care about the ratio between blade length and handle? Have heard that above 70% is a solid ratio. Would you replace blade length with cutting edge length in that ratio? We are buying a knife, so am I crazy to think that cutting edge would matter the most??

  2. The Aflac Duck

    The Aflac Duck Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    For me, too much ricasso makes for an odd balance in ergonomics (i.e. Strider). Blade to handle ratio is important for me as well. Ideally, I like my knives to have no more than one inch of handle over blade, like a 3.5" blade and 4.5" handle.
  3. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    So many knives appeal to me greatly but have those stupid choils. I hold knives by the handle so having a 0.5-1" of unsharpened "choke up" space is just so much wasted cutting edge from my perspective - and, worse than that, an area of the blade I have to carefully avoid using because material will just bunch up and stop the cutting motion.

    If a knife has enough handle to be comfortably held -and- has a finger groove cut into the blade, I am displeased. Ironically, I could get just the same leverage and control a choil would provide... If only I could use the part of the blade they intentionally left dull for the sake of leverage and control.
  4. michaelm466


    Mar 5, 2009
    I highly prefer both the most blade to handle radio possible and cutting edge to blade length without recrurve (ie no giant could or any if possible) having the handle extend into what should be the cutting part of the knife doesn't make sense to me, if you're going to but a full finger choil into the blade, why not put a second so you can choke up even closer to the tip until you have a 4" blade with 3.5" of choil.
  5. custom33


    Jun 7, 2016
    I prefer a guard or half/invisible choil like on the Gayle Bradley 1. More control is useful but if you really need so much control then get a smaller knife and use a scalpel grip rather than ruin the edge length.
  6. Sosa


    Feb 6, 2014
    For even more control consider adding a 2nd finger choil.
  7. 7HillsBlade


    Jul 21, 2016
    Didn't see the choil conversation coming.. Interesting. Luckily for me, I have a very small sharpening choil designed into my blade and that is it. No finger choil like you guys are mentioning above. But still, no one really answered the question so far... Are you more concerned with Blade Length or Cutting Edge Length?? My handle is 5.25", so if the ratio is done with blade length, no bueno. If done with cutting edge length then the ratio is solid. That is why I am curious.
  8. Etna


    Jun 17, 2015
    Laws are concerned only about blade length and not cutting edge length, so I'll roll with the former.
  9. ATJ999

    ATJ999 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    I love the big finger choil in the blade! Helps bear down on the blade when cutting with a lot of pressure or fine delicate cutting. So cutting edge length is not a big deal at all. Comfort, utility, durability, and quality are more important for me.
  10. Goosey


    Mar 19, 2012
    I only like choils on certain folding knives, ie certain Spydercos, where the choil serves a dual function as the kick. That area will be taken up anyways (ie: Endura) so why not place a choil there?
  11. mtangent


    Dec 6, 2011
    Blade length.
  12. ATJ999

    ATJ999 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    I am more concerned with blade length. I don't like very big folding knives. A lot of people do like big folders though. Fixed blades, I really don't care about length. Folders, I really care if they fit in the pocket with lots of extra room, pocketable, pocket footprint, pocket friendly, whatever you want to call it. That is just my preference.
  13. Jordan@DLT

    [email protected] Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Jul 22, 2014
    I much prefer the cutting edge to go up to handle, I'm fine with choils on certain knives when designed and integrated well (Most Spyderco choils) but I really dislike the hinderer style choils. I'm not super concerned with the highest possible ratio, as long as it isnt an absurd difference between handle and blade.
  14. BladeCommander


    Nov 13, 2012
    I consider both equally. I have a variety of sizes of blades ranging from under 3" to 4" blades. Anything above 3.6" blade is considered a large knife for my needs. I do like most of my blades to have the most cutting edge for the blade length. I do own a few Spydercos with the choil that reduces the cutting edge length to about 3/8-1/2", becasue there is always room for variety. Strider as mentioned before losses too much cutting edge for the blade length in my opinion.

    I am also one to look very closely at blade-handle ratio. If I am carrying around a 5" handle in my pocket, I better be getting more than 3.5" of blade, otherwise I'll carry a smaller handled knife with the same blade length. Simply allows for maximum carry efficiency.
  15. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    Blade/handle ratio is more important for me than optimised blade/cutting length.

    The PM2 is the only knife I have with such a poor blade/handle ratio.

    I like to have a choil on the blades. IMHO it contributes to make the knife more versatile and gives more options on how ti use it.
    I can accept to loose some cutting length for that.

    The choil also act has some kind of a safety in case of locking failure, which I like also.

    But sometime it simply doesn't work.... Again PM2 is an exception for me but on the stats it has everything wrong blade/handle ratio is bad, cutting/blade length is also bad... but at the end I like the knife because it is so good in hand and in evey grip that... well... OK :)

    But the choil on the ZT0550 is much more optimised. I would like ZT to redesign the ZT0550 to make it lighter and a bit thiner.... it will be really interesting.
  16. 7HillsBlade


    Jul 21, 2016
    So it seems that the opinions are all over the board with this one. Still confused on how the choil continues to get brought in, but maybe I am just that much of a rookie.
  17. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    "Choil" is the point of transition between cutting edge and ricasso, basically where the plunge/grind terminates. It is necessarily (by definition) part of the blade and located where the cutting edge stops, so a difference in size/design between a choil-notch and a finger-choil and a "choil-less" (really a notch-less) transition necessarily impacts the length of the cutting edge. Similarly, the "ricasso" is the unbeveled part of the blade nearest the handle, so a large ricasso also impacts length of the cutting-edge. Many choil-notches are cut 50/50 into edge/ricasso, although some are cut entirely in the edge. A notch/groove cut only in the ricasso is not actually a choil-notch/groove at all since it does not touch the edge-grind. An excellent example of this is the Spyderco CalyIII, where the edge terminates at the ricasso (choil) without a notch, and then a finger-groove is cut in the ricasso such that there is an intergral guard before the choil and cutting edge.


    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  18. jmh33

    jmh33 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    I HATE choils or long ricassos.. Don't know about the choil definition above as I was always told it was the finger notch(??) between blade and handle... Takes away from blade cutting edge in my world!!! JMO!!! John
  19. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    It's a common confusion brought about by the relatively recent popularity of larger choils designed to accommodate a finger. Nowadays you'll hear folk call ANY groove ANYwhere on a knife (or even the sheath) a "choil", but "choil" has never meant "groove" or even "notch"

  20. Bigbluefish

    Bigbluefish Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    Most but not all. Connecticut's 4" blade length for legally carried knives refers specifically to "the edged portion of which" needing to be less than 4". Which still leaves the question of whether 4" is measured in a straight line from the forward margin of the ricasso to the tip of the blade, or along the length of the cutting edge. Honestly, I haven't delved that deep into the caselaw to see if that has even been decided. Here in CT, we all just look at a knife and think <4" good to go! I suppose in theory, you could have a blade with say a 3.9" "edged portion" measured in a straight line from the edge of the ricasso to the tip, but also having a wicked recurve and deep drop point, and have your actual cutting edge be something like 4.2".

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