What Makes a Knife Full Tang?

The term gets tossed around a lot but what does it actually mean?

By Izzy Johnson
Oct 19, 2022
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When you’re shopping for knives, there’s a lot of information to take into account. Shape of the blade, handle material, and specialized purpose are all important, but what about the way the knife itself is constructed? You may have seen the terms “full tang” and “partial tang” but what do they mean? Here, we break down what the tang of a knife says about how it’s made and how to ensure you get the strongest, most balanced blade.

What is Tang?

While the blade of a knife is fully visible and easy to identify, the tang of a knife is the metal that you don’t necessarily see. Typically, the tang is contained within the handle of the knife. There are many variations of tang, but for kitchen knives, it’s broken into full or partial tang.

In a full tang knife, the metal runs all the way through, from the tip of the blade to the base of the handle. You can still see the steel in many full tang blades if you run your finger along the top of the knife. There should be an unbroken line of metal that goes through the handle as in the photo above. The wood or plastic of the handle is then attached with rivets. Partial tang knives do not have the same unbroken line because the blade and the handle are two separate pieces.

What Makes Full Tang Best?

When you’re working with a knife, you want it to be as stable and well-balanced as possible so it lasts for many years and is safe to use. Full tang knives are far more durable than their partial tang counterparts. This is because partial-tang knives have a built-in weak spot in their handles. Since there’s no steel running throughout, the two pieces can wear over time and eventually break apart.

However, a  full tang knife is exceptionally stable. It has an even weight and balance in your hand, and can withstand washing and all manner of cutting techniques without running the risk of snapping. When looking for a tool that you will likely use every day, we highly recommend investing in a full tang knife.

Ready to Shop?

All of our high-quality Knives are full tang and most are fully forged. A fully forged knife is hammered (or forged) from one piece of stainless steel instead of stamping out a knife shape from a sheet of steel. Not only does this honor the craft of metallurgy and traditional knife making skills, it also contributes to making a blade that is heavier and more balanced to work with.

When it comes to Cookware and kitchen tools, we’re committed to providing the very best to both home and professional cooks. All of our Knives are proudly made in Theirs, France—the knife making capital of the world. Upgrade your knife collection today with one of our in-line blades or join the waitlist for our re-release of four of our most popular Limited-Edition Knives coming Thursday October 20 at 10 AM EST.