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Why have a RICASSO?

Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
21
"The flat area directly in front of the handle is called the RICASSO, and is the space between the end of the bevels/cutting edge and the handle."

I am very new at making a knife. I have seen the ricasso as part of many knife designs. But I am thinking about make a small utility knife as one of my first efforts without this feature.

Please tell me what is the purpose of the ricasso. I assume it have a time proven purpose or it wouldn't be in so many designs.

Thanks in advance...

LDB
 
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Joined
Feb 29, 2008
Messages
187
Seems to me it makes the edge more accessible to the whetstone without bitching up the end of the guard or the handle bolsters, plates.
 

Fred.Rowe

Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
6,788
Its the place where transition happens; both forward to the point and back along the handle or tang. If a knife is made that incorporates a ricasso; the ricasso is finished first while the blade and tang are ground relative to the ricasso. If its not done in this order you will struggle from beginning to end.

There are many ways to grind a blade and they do not all involve the use of a ricasso.

Good luck with the knife.:thumbup:
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
15,288
With swords and daggers the fingers were often wrapped around the guard .The ricasso permitted this [ where the fingers gripped the blade] without danger of cutting the fingers .
 

S.Grosvenor

Fulltime KnifeMaker
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
665
Good stuff Mete, thanks for the explanation.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
878
With swords and daggers the fingers were often wrapped around the guard .The ricasso permitted this [ where the fingers gripped the blade] without danger of cutting the fingers .

I have read this and heard this many times, but why not make the ricasso part of the handle?

I like ricassos because they show off my beautiful plunge lines....
I hate ricassos because they force me to make beautiful plunge lines...
 

DanGraves

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
2,578
Lots of knives dont have riccasso's. For example, the Searles Bowie and many frontier style knives dont have them as well as daggers. I have a client who likes knives without a guard or riccasso. There are also chef knives of French origin and then you get into intragal knives. I think it is up to the creator of the knife. In not having one, the maker has to be aware of symetry (spelling?). Anyway, do what is comfortable for you and mainly, have fun.:)
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
Messages
2,738
It's a great pick up line....Come on up and check out my Ricasso.....
 

james terrio

Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
22,618
On utility knives I like the edge to come as close to the guard or handle as possible. It's useful for paring, whittling and so forth.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
878
On utility knives I like the edge to come as close to the guard or handle as possible. It's useful for paring, whittling and so forth.

for sure, whenever the edge starts far away from the index finger a great deal of leverage is lost
 
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
902
I agree that it is useful when sharpening a blade. I'm also a proponent of choils, but that's another issue.

A ricasso can push the cutting portion forward extending the cutting depth of an otherwise short knife. I may be wrong, but isn't the LEGAL definition of blade length from the point to the handle? Some Randall knives have sort of long ricassos.

I understand how minimizing it can help for in whittling, carving, or some such detail type work, but for an EDC or knife for woods work it would be a seldom used feature. A small pocket knife would do better for detail work.


I think there are safety reasons for ricassos.

I've noticed that many scandinavian blades transition from handle directly to cutting edge without a ricasso area (or finger guard or even a finger notch). This seems to me like a an accident waiting to happen when a wet slippery hand slides forward and onto the blade as you're trying to shove it into something.

- LonePine
AKA Paul Meske, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2013
Messages
3,652
Zombie thread found while researching ricassos and why have one?

I've been trying to find out why the Japanese routinely push a blade edge out from the handle a centimeter or more. It's understood their purchase technique requires a choke grip. But a puukko has an opposite design approach. And a similar symmetrical handle design. Is there a use advantage? I find the Finnish approach cleaner.

No modern folders I know of have a deep ricasso.

H2yLcdt.jpg
oczCa0N.jpg
UHZVf5T.jpg
Zmx9SPy.jpg
The Effective Ricasso
 
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HSC ///

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
4,401
Zombie thread found while researching ricassos and why have one?

I've been trying to find out why the Japanese routinely push a blade edge out from the handle a centimeter or more. It's understood their purchase technique requires a choke grip. But a puukko has an opposite design approach. And a similar symmetrical handle design. Is there a use advantage? I find the Finnish approach cleaner.

No modern folders I know of have a deep ricasso.

H2yLcdt.jpg
oczCa0N.jpg
UHZVf5T.jpg
Zmx9SPy.jpg
The Effective Ricasso

you have compared a japanese kitchen knife to an outdoor knife... they don't have the same purpose or anything common except they cut.

A ricasso can be considered the foundation of the knife, for example on a hunter or bowie or ABS style knife.
The ricasso is used a a base to keep everything else flat, square and centered.

Both the japanese kitchen knife and pukko have something similar (foundation or reference point), you just aren't seeing it as plainly.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2013
Messages
3,652
The olive wood one is a parer. It is not an outdoor knife.
 
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