Rounded spines

J. ROSA

Well-Known Member
I see some makers do this regularly and also round the choil area while others such as myself not so much. I've made one blade with a rounded spine and have owned another from a different maker. Aside from being an extra step in the process I didn't feel that the comfort level was far superior to just knocking of the edges of the spine and choil area, which I do regularly. My wife says it's because over the years with knife making my hands are now at 80 grit. Am I missing something? Does this feature make a knife more marketable/desirable? I would not mind doing this in the future if it makes my work more marketable. I'm interested to hear any experiences from makers and non makers.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
On a chef knife or paring knife a rounded spine is nice because you almost never hold the knife by the handle. (pinch grip). the fat pad of your first finger, or first two, ride the spine and a 90 degree angle spine bites after a while.

I agree with you on general purpose knives. I break the edges, but I don't round the spine unless someone requests it.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I've rounded the spines and choils for so long that my clients have come to expect it. The majority of positive comments I've received come from either daily users or hunters who say that the rounded areas "make it much nicer" to use the particular knife.

Personally, it's hard for me to sell a knife that doesn't have those features rounded.....earlier this year I built a high end Bowie, decked out in Mosaic, and fossil ivory, and just to be different, I left the spine and choil "sharp cornered" intentionally. After sending pics to several of my collectors, several of them decided against the knife, saying that they didn't like the fact that the spine and choil were not "rounded out" like most of my knives. So from that, I surmise that it comes down to what folks have come expect from individual makers.

I also am a user of what I make, and just speaking for myself, there is a notable comfort difference when seriously using a knife with a rounded spine/choil versus one with sharp corners. I think that "breaking the edges" falls somewhere in between....likely just fine for those who casually use a knife, but I would suspect someone seriously using the knife (or who has used a knife with a rounded spine) would not. I don't think it's a "right or wrong" issue....that's why there are so many makers, and so many knife buyers...... everybody has their own specific tastes. :)
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I also am a user of what I make, and just speaking for myself, there is a notable comfort difference when seriously using a knife with a rounded spine/choil versus one with sharp corners. I think that "breaking the edges" falls somewhere in between....likely just fine for those who casually use a knife, but I would suspect someone seriously using the knife (or who has used a knife with a rounded spine) would not. I don't think it's a "right or wrong" issue....that's why there are so many makers, and so many knife buyers...... everybody has their own specific tastes. :)
I completely agree with this. For any personal knife of mine, I want anything my hand touches to be rounded. I spend more time feeling the knife than looking at it. I think people who are accustomed to production knives think the rounded edges look odd because they assume what they are used to seeing is the "correct" way to do things. These are the same guys who put quad rails on their AR15 and then complain about their hands getting torn up and hot, so rather than move towards a more ergonomic common-sense solution they will just wear gloves to shoot. The best example of this in the knife world is the current trend on tactical folders. Angles, angles everywhere and lots of sharp corners and ridges. That's not me, but apparently there are tons of people who like it or those knives wouldn't be flying off the tables to the tune of many hundreds of dollars each. If that's what people want, then God bless 'em. Keep on buying them so makers can keep making them.

As I said in another post, horses for courses. People like what they like.
 
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csalt09

Well-Known Member
I think a lot of people like the sharp edge on the spine for fire steels but someone recently did a video of using them with a rounded spine and it worked just as good.
 
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