Different Types of Pocket Knife Blade Shapes, Styles And Their Uses

There are many different types of pocket knives and knowing a bit about the shape and style of their blades can be really useful. The blades of the pocket knives will generally dictate what they are used for so figuring out the right one for you is essential when stocking your survival kit. 

It’s essential for preppers to feel reassured that their bug out bag is well equipped with the best pocket knife, and survivalists need to be sure they have the right equipment to cover their survival needs. 

You don’t want to spend money on buying the wrong blade style and potentially being unprepared in the event of an emergency. We’ve provided an extensive guide for you to understand the different uses for each blade shape on the market. 

Let’s jump straight into finding out more. 

What Are Drop Point Blades Used For?

Drop point blades are often used as hunting knives, however they also work well as tactical or survival knives. 

The lowered point on a drop point blade is very easy to control. This makes it ideal when doing detailed work as you’ll be able to avoid accidentally slicing internal organs or ruining meat. If you’re in a survival situation where food is sparse and you’re hunting animals, you need a blade that will help you avoid ruining meat and wasting precious food. 

The large belly area of a drop point blade makes it a good option if you want to slice meat efficiently. 

Schrade SCHF52 Frontier 13in

What Are Clip Point Blades Used For?

Traditionally, clip point blades have been the classic shape for hunting knives for many years. The point itself is an excellent shape for piercing the hide of an animal and starting the cut. 

The clip point blade style allows you to quickly make a deep puncture as these knives are thinner at the spine. It has a narrower and slightly weaker tip than the drop point blade but both are excellent hunting and survival options. 

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops

What Are Sheepsfoot Blades Used For?

As the name suggests, this type of knife blade has been used to help trim the hooves of sheep. Nowadays it’s a popular knife blade for rescue tools and survival knives. 

The sheepsfoot blade knives are efficient at slicing yet don’t carry the risk of piercing as their point isn’t sharp. There’s a good amount of leverage with the blades and it’s a good knife blade shape to cut fabric or other materials. 

Smith & Wesson Executive Barlow

What are Wharncliffe Blades Used For? 

The Wharncliffe Blade has a straight edge with a curved spine that extends from the handle to the tip. It’s a similar shape to a sheepsfoot blade which means the knives have similar uses and can be used in similar situations. 

Just like the sheepsfoot blade, the Wharncliffe blade shape is good for slicing situations when you want to minimize the danger of the tip puncturing anything. 

Hogue Folding Knife 3.25″ Modified

What Are Spear Point Blades Used For?

The name gives you a clue about the shape of this knife blade. A spear point knife has a strong point that is ideal for piercing and stabbing. 

Spear point blades tend to be strong, durable and long lasting so they can be a good investment for your emergency survival kit – whether you put them in a bug out bag or get home bag. 

The small belly of the knife means that it is easy to slice through objects with this knife. Generally if your main objective for a knife is for slicing then you’d usually choose a drop point, clip point or sheepsfoot instead of a spear point blade

Kershaw Kapsule Spear Point Pocket Knife

What Are Leaf Blades Used For?

Leaf blades are generally very small pocket knives making them ideal for carrying discreetly and using in an Every Day Carry bag. They are usually made of stainless steel. 

They are often attached to a keychain due to their size and they resemble the shape of a leaf of a plant or tree. 

Leaf shaped blades have a sharp edge that curves upwards. They also have a downward sloping spine which intersects the edge. 

Mini Pocket Knife

What Are Dagger Blades Used For?

Most people have heard of the word but do you know exactly what a dagger is? Generally it refers to a knife with a very sharp point and two sharp edges. 

As you’ve probably seen from history books and films, daggers have been widely used for combat. Useful for thrusting and stabbing they are generally a survival weapon that is used for self defense in extreme situations. 

Cold Steel Bushman Series Fixed Blade

What Are Serrated Blades Used For?

Serrated blades have a saw-like edge that is ground into the cutting surface. They are designed to be used with a back and forth motion similar to a saw. 

With a serrated blade you have a better chance of gripping the surface of the object that you’re cutting which helps to avoid accidents and slipping. Generally the tips of serrated blades are not as sharp as other knife blades. 

Many kitchen knives have serrated blades so they can be used for chopping food including meat and bread. You can also use serrated blades for cutting through thick materials such as ropes and fabrics. 

Shun Sora 9 inch Bread Knife

What Are Coping Blades Used For?

You’ll most commonly find a coping blade being used for woodwork or carpentry. For survivalists looking to build a long term survival shelter it can be a good type of blade to cut branches and create structures such as an A Frame or a Lean To Shelter. 

Coping blades are a type of bow saw that are good for carving and whittling pieces of wood. They can also be used to cut moldings for coped joints.

Klein Tools 1550-11 Pocket Knife


What Are Straight Back Blades Used For?

This is a knife blade that is good for piercing and skinning animals. The straight back pocket knife is also often used in bushcraft so it’s a good all round blade to have in your survival tool kit. 

There are lots of popular Scandinavian made straight back blades and they’re most commonly used for tasks in the woods or deep forests. They have a curved belly and a thin tip making them ideal for wood work. 

MTech USA MT-086 Series Fixed Blade Hunting Knife

What Are Harpoon Blades Used For?

It’s quite unusual to find harpoon style blades in a survival kit but they can be incredibly useful. These blades allow you to place your thumb on the ramp and apply extra force during tasks such as cutting. They can be ideal for cutting larger objects and tough surfaces. 

Becker KA-BAR Harpoon Fixed 

What Are Trailing Point Blades Used For?

A Trailing point blade is a knife blade where the spine curves upward. This then makes a point that is higher than the handle of the knife, to create a large belly area. 

This unique shape makes trailing point blades excellent for slicing and skinning meat. Many survivalists use them for detailed tasks that require precision such as skinning or fileting a fish. 

 provide a large curved cutting area (“belly”) and are optimized for slicing or skinning. They offer the sharpest point for fine, delicate, and small work, such as skinning and caping game or fish.

Rite Edge Wood Trailing Point Skinning Knife

Which Is The Right Survival Knife For You?

Ultimately the right survival knife for you will depend on how you want to use it. You need to consider whether it’s a knife that you’ll only use in extreme circumstances for self defense or whether you’ll be using it in your survival kit for day to day tasks. 

Some of the tasks you may need a survival knife could include: 

  • Cutting bandages and dressings for wounds 
  • Cutting wood to start a fire 
  • Cutting wood and branches to build a survival shelter
  • Skinning animals from a hunt
  • Fileting and gutting fish 
  • Opening cans of food and other types of packaging. 
  • Carving tools such as a fire stick

You need to check that your knife blade is legal. The laws will vary depending on the state and country you’re in so always check that you’re OK to carry a knife with you in your survival kit. 

Taking Care of Your Survival Knife

In order to make sure that your survival knife blade stays in good condition, it’s important that you maintain it well – even in the wild. This will mean that it will always function efficiently for you when you need it most. 

Some of the ways to take care of your knife blade include: 

  • Regular sharpening – keeping your knife blade sharp will save you time and energy long term as you won’t be battling a blunt knife when SHTF. 
  • Avoid moisture – try to always keep your knife blade dry, or dry it off properly if it does get wet. 
  • Keep it clean – for hygiene and maintenance reasons it’s important that you always clean your knife blade after each use. You don’t want to risk bacteria growing on your knife blade as this can spread to raw meat and food. Always dry it fully after cleaning. 
  • Oil your knife blade – this will help to minimize friction especially if you’re storing your knife in a sheath. You can use all types of household oil to keep your knife blade in good condition. 


We hope you feel as though you have a deep understanding of which knife blade will be most suitable to you.

Having the right knife blade shape at the right time could make the difference between life and death. 

You’ll want to make sure you’re always fully equipped to prepare food that you’ve hunted or fished for, defend yourself and your family in extreme situations and create survival shelters from tree branches. Keeping the right type of knife blade for you in your survival kit will help give you the peace of mind that you’re ready for any eventuality.

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