Resharp -- Automated Knife Sharpening Machine at Stores

Oh! I get it now. Why is it shaped that way? What purpose does it serve? I do recall someone mentioning removing the bolster before.

the dip in front of the bolster can also result from too aggressive / improper honing.
the theory that honing does not remove metal is false. it does.

found that ‘dip’ on my 10 inch chef’s knife; kept the bolster but reduced the height, and flattened the blade. lotta’ work.

a boning knife is designed to be very sturdy, but also flexible.
that’s why the blade goes from fat to thin.

a fish filet knife is also designed to be flexible - but you’ll find it an unsatisfactory option for deboning a big azz roast . . .

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The overall shape is that way to get into and around joints and bones. In modern times, you can buy this shape “pre-wornout” and it’s instantly useable. In older times, this shape resulted from THE household knife being worn away with use and sharpening.

Bolsters on boning knives are superfluous IMO. Having boned beef in my father’s packing plant, I can tell you no one used a knife with a bolster. Any such knife is plenty stiff (thick) enough to survive any torsional forces.

Fillet knives are thinner and flex–some more than others. But they don’t need a bolster, either. Frankly, if a user exerts enough force to snap a fillet laterally (torsion isn’t an issue), the blade will just crack in front of any bolster.

I believe makers put bolsters on fillet and boning knives for two reasons: (1) to match other pieces in the same line; and (2) because bolsters used to be a marker of a quality knife. #2 used to be true, especially in handmade pieces. However, modern robotic electrcial forging can knock out fancy-looking integral bolsters of the type pictured here at the rate of 50,000 knives/day.

I think the truth is that consumers expect their $$ boning and fillet knives will have bolsters. Nothing more.

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you don’t understand.

there’s a difference between a knife maker and a knife user.

the idiotic idea that a hone is used only to remove a wire edge is . . . (non-mentionable)
any sharpener who leaves the wire edge is , , , ah, not professional.

which further implies the only reason for a honing steel/rod is to remove a defectively left wire edge.

once the wire edge is removed no further use of a hone is needed and the knife never ever get dull again.

Thank you! And why the “dip” at the heel? This part;

Is it to accommodate the bolster?

I see it as a side effect/consequence. The bolster/heel is to help prevent the user’s hand to slip front in cutting the hand.

The dip happens due to the blade width being narrow and straight to provide a better job for insertion and for more maneuverable.

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IF you posit that you could break the knife in a twisting motion, the curved t.ransition area in front of the bolster would be marginally stronger.

If anything bolsters strengthen the handle scales and escutcheon surfaces more than the cutting edge.

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Thanks all!


Here are a couple bosterless boning knives, two Forschners and a Dexter. Veterans in fighting trim. Notice the the thickness difference.

Bonus: a siding knife and my dad’s scabbard.


Great tutorials!

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My Dexter boning knife too.

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Even though you replied to me, you appear to be reacting to Kaleo’s comments.
Was this response intended for him?
Or me?
Or, perhaps, both of us?

I recall being told this curve also helps cutting thru tendons and ligaments. I think this was from a local butcher for whom I was designing a custom butchering knife. Based on her collaboration (and how she actually used the knife), my knife looked a bit different from the traditional boning knife. Sadly, it never got beyond the design stage.

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This is news to me, and I doubt it. If you’re already in a joint with the tip, how would this help?

I think the curve is there because the tang is necessarily taller than the business part of the blade.


I dunno? :man_shrugging:
Maybe she was guessing?
Maybe I misunderstood?
Maybe I’m mis-remembering?
I’ve never butchered, so I have to rely on the input of others.
But yeah, if the tang is taller than the blade, then that explanation makes sense from a traditional manufacturing point of view. I notice Chem’s Dexter has a finger guard integrated into the handle and only a partial tang, so there’s no curve to the blade edge in front of the handle.
So then, the versions with bolsters simply exaggerated the curve by having the bolsters 2x taller than the tangs?

I must’ve missed the Chem photo showing a half tang.

You can do this finger swell either way: (1) bury a half or hidden tang; or (2) simply profile the blank to match the desired swell.

Yeah, pretty much, on integrals.

Compare. This old Zwilling line uses half tangs buried in good ebony to form the swell, even on 12" breaking and slicing knives. The salmon fillet takes the latter approach (not my work).
They just have wood in the grinder’s way instead of a metal bolster.

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