Jimping. Why?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by HoosierQ, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    I know what it is. but why? The reason I ask is that some people seem to have very strong preferences about how it is done etc.

    What is the specific purpose of jimping? Maybe that answer will help with my second question: Why are some folks so particular about it?

    It seems to me, being ignorant in this particular subject, that it would just be some grippy little grips not unlike checkering on a gunstock. Please educate me. Thanks.
  2. zyhano

    zyhano Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2009
    hey hoosierq, it's about grip, to prevent sliding forward when piercing and for overall better control. that's a good thing.

    people who say that it's good for tactical reasons when stabbing with your thumb on the jimping obviously have never tried that. a fast and sure way for a weak stab with damage to the hand/thumb as a potential result.
  3. wnease


    Apr 22, 2004
    yeah, I agree with zyhano about the "fast and sure way for a weak stab with damage to the hand/thumb as a potential result."

    It's a fast and sure way to wear a hole in yer gloves too, and wet skin.

    I like to put jimping in so I can predict where the blade will fail under lateral impacts! It's just like the break-away points on the levers of my sportbike!

    THey often look cool, and maybe feel good at a show table or at a sales counter, but people who use knives a lot will often smooth the jimping off as much as possible. Ever see jimping on a butcher's knife, a chef's knife, or a trapper's skinner?
  4. unit


    Nov 22, 2009
    WOW! I thought I was the only one.

    I really do not agree with the (seemingly unanimous) preference for jimping and knurling all over a knife. I do not mind a roughened area, but these saw-teeth that are getting put all over knives these days are not my thing.

    Jimping exists on a few of my tools for fine control where space limitations prevent use of better ergonomic design (adjustment barrel on a crescent wrench, shafts of micro-screwdrivers, and electronic control knobs). By contrast, my slide hammer has no jimping and this is a hard use thrusting, and pulling tool. Better to have ergos for hard use IMO!
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  5. DocNightfall


    Nov 20, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  6. Phydeaux


    Mar 4, 2006
    I removed most of the jimping on my Sage I CF. I find them annoying for the way I use my knives.

    I also removed all the jimping on my Tenacious. I have a Spyderco Cat on the way, which I will most likely remove some of the jimping like my Sage.

  7. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    I like jimping on some knives, but not others. It all depends on what you're using the knife for.
  8. Marvin8


    Jan 18, 2010
    I only use jimping for striking against a fire steel.
    I do like the thumb on top of spine for fine detail or carving work, but never for regular cutting.
  9. 1066vik

    1066vik Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    there are 2 reasons that I know of for jimping, and I'm not sure which came first.
    one is for traction/and index mark for control when doing fine cutting, or to help you bear down when doing heavy cutting.
    the other is for purely decorative purposes.
  10. DocNightfall


    Nov 20, 2006
    Putting the thumb on the blade spine makes for a weak and unstable grip.

    For whittling, use the chest-lever, straight-arm or knee grips. If you're cutting downwards, use a chef's pinch grip. For fine tip work, use a modified foil grip with the index finger laid along the spine of the blade.. All these grips give much better control and power than a thumbs-up.
  11. BryFry


    Jul 29, 2009
    I like the "thumbs up" grip when whittling or making intricate notches or cuts, it works great for me. The chest-lever method may be a good and safe way to do it, but it just feels awkward to me. So for now I think I'll stick with what I'm more comfortable with, as long as it works. And I happen to like a little exrta grip on the spine.

    Pluss I think it adds some visual appeal, for me at least. :)
  12. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    I love jimping. Especially aggressive deep jimping like this:


    doesn't hurt my hands/fingers in use either...no idea where that came from???? maybe some have soft hands?

    my next Becker/kabar BK2 is getting FULL spine jimping, with 1/4" jimps.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  13. mndart

    mndart OH! Dog walker Platinum Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    I prefer jimping. I like checkered patterns as well. The profile is very clean and the effect of sensing where you
    are on the top of the blade plus providing a positive grip is nearly as good as the deep and wide jimped slots.
    My Korth Amazonas is checkered where you thumb the side to open it, and on the spine.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  14. Lavan


    Nov 8, 2000
    Just yesterday I rounded the jimping on my stainless Endura. I carry it tip down for less exposure above the pocket, but the jimping scraped my hand when reaching in the pocket for my PLAIN edge knife.
    Rounding it off and dulling the points made it far more comfortable and the jimping is still useful for all the stuff I don't use it for.

  15. FlaMtnBkr


    Oct 20, 2004
    I think it may have been hinted at but not said?. Another reason is for tactile feedback. You can grab the knife and know how it is laying in your hand without looking, by where the jimping is. When changing grips it can help you know where it is in your hand and that you aren't dangerously close to the blade.

    That and an increase in grip like most things that are textured. Of course some also find it good looking as well.
  16. Dorito Monk

    Dorito Monk

    Nov 17, 2008
    Why jimping? Because if not, nutnfancy will whine about it!

  17. zyhano

    zyhano Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2009
    good point
  18. singularity35


    Mar 1, 2010
    Hey Doc, can you post pics of the kinds of grips that you mentioned? thanks.
  19. FlaMtnBkr


    Oct 20, 2004

    Do you know what the clip is made of on the second knife? Is that just some sort of coating? And who makes that one? Those are some awesome knives.
  20. DocNightfall


    Nov 20, 2006
    Straight-arm, chest-lever and knee grips are demonstrated here:

    Pinch grip and modified pinch/foil with extended index finger here:

    Strictly speaking, the kitchen knife grips are supposed to be very loose, as this gives you maximum speed when chopping or mincing. But if you tighten the grip, you can really lock the knife parallel to your forearm and put a tremendous amount of controlled power into your cuts. On the "pointing" grips used for precise tip work, the index finger is used as a guide so you can always feel exactly how your knife is oriented in three dimensions, maximizing hand-eye coordination.

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