Full Tang Vs Half Tang

Knife, fruits and vegetables

Surely in your life, you happened to look for a kitchen knife and come across different adjectives that at first glance may not be very clear.

The description of the type of blade is one of the main characteristics when it comes to knives and is usually divided into two categories: Full Tang vs Half Tang. 

What are the differences between a full tang knife and a half tang knife? Let’s find out together…

What Does Full Tang Mean?

Full Tang Knife

In a full tang knife, the blade has a length from the tip of the knife to the end of the handle. in terms of width, however, the blade can be as wide as the handle or slightly narrower. In practice, the part of the handle of the knife consists of two sheets of material ( rubber, wood, and many others…. ) which are fixed with resin and rivets. For this reason, it is sometimes possible to see the part of the blade ( not sharpened ) in the upper or lower part of the handle. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to deduce whether a blade is a full tang or half tang as it is not always visible in the handle.

By the way, this structure makes the knife very resistant to the force that is applied when cutting the ingredients to be used.

In a full tang knife, the amount of metal used is obviously greater and therefore the weight of the whole knife increases. This makes the knife more balanced as there is less difference between the weight of the handle and the weight of the blade.

What About Half Tang?

Half Tang Knife

At this point, it is easy to guess what is meant by a half tang knife. In this case, only a part of the blade is inserted inside the handle and fixed with glue or in some cases by one or more rivets.

The part inside the handle where the blade ends is the least resistant part of the knife. In fact, these types of knives sometimes break if greater force is applied and the first part is to give in is precisely the one in which the handle and blade merge.

The main disadvantage of this type of knife is that it is not very simple to understand how long the part of the blade that is inside the handle is. Certainly, in the vast majority of cases, it is not visible to the naked eye and manufacturers rarely report this type of information on packaging.


As you have just seen, the difference is very simple to understand. The choice of a full tang blade or a half tang blade depends on your needs and preferences. Before moving on to the conclusions, however, we have collected the main questions that are on the net and that can sometimes be confusing. Feel free to check it out to eliminate any further doubts.

What Part Of A Knife Is The Tang?

As you may have guessed, it is the part of the blade, “the tail”, which fits inside the handle. Based on the length shared with the handle, the knives are classified into partial tang, narrowing tang and other names which in any case always refer to the amount of blade in the handle. Obviously, this part of the blade is not sharp.

What Is The Purpose Of The Tang?

The purpose is to allow greater force towards the material that is cut through the handle. This facilitates the processing of the hardest materials and when the blade starts to dull.

Is Full Tang Better?

It cannot be said a priori that a full tang knife is better. But what can certainly be said is that if we talk in terms of resistance to the applied force and balance, then yes, a full tang blade is better.


As you can see, it is important to know the meaning of half tang and full tang to better choose the knife that best suits your needs.

Keep in mind, however, that this difference is not the only characteristic that indicates that a knife is of quality. There are poor quality full tang knives, as it is easy to find half tang knives made with excellent materials that offer the same benefits as full tang knives. Surely the construction of the knife is an important property but it is not the only one to consider.

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Robert is the frontman of this platform who can't resist good food. He manages KitchenCuriously to make it an unbiased alternative resource for all aspects related to cooking.

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