The Sheepsfoot Blade Isn’t The Most Popular Style, But It Is Certainly Quite Useful. This Quartet Of Knives Show Why You Should Try A Sheepsfoot.
I promise there will be no butchering graphics in this article. The sheepsfoot blade is one of many blade styles out there today, but it isn’t as popular as say the drop point or clip point.
And that might be due to the shape of the blade. Instead of tapering down to a fine tip like a clip point, the sheepsfoot has a large belly and a smooth, usually curved, tip.
The name of the blade is a pretty literal one. It was named because it was made to trim the hooves of sheep. The shape of the blade looks nothing like a sheep’s foot. The use of the blade gave it its name, and it stuck.
Are Sheepsfoot Blades Only On Pocketknives?
Yes, most sheepsfoot blades are on pocketknives and other EDC knives, but that’s not all. The popular Santoku knife features a sheepsfoot blade. The long dull spine that leads to the curved tip makes the knife great for slicing and chopping, and the wide belly allows it to act as an excellent scoop to get food off the board.
What Are Sheepsfoot Blades Good For?
Thanks to its long, flat edge, a sheepsfoot blade is perfect for slicing and chopping. Need to cut lengths of rope? Grab a sheepsfoot. Have to chop hard vegetables like carrots to drop in the pot over a campfire? Grab a sheepsfoot.
Beyond slicing, a sheepsfoot is also great for tasks that involve longer knife strokes like opening boxes, slicing through sections of cardboard, and whittling wood. There’s countless uses for a sheepsfoot blade because it is such a basic, straightforward blade style.
Why Might You Want To Pass On A Sheepsfoot?
The long, straight edge that makes a sheepsfoot perfect for slicing makes it a liability for things like piercing and. There is no fine point like a dagger or a clip point because the dull spine curves down to meet the cutting edge. This means that things like poking and puncturing are difficult with a sheepsfoot. Sure, you could angle it to puncture through a bag or a case, but it’s much harder than if you used something like a drop point.
Best Sheepsfoot Blades
This guide will stick with pocketknives as that is where the sheepsfoot is most widely seen. Classic EDC blades, keychain knives, the sheepsfoot appears across the knife landscape.
Benchmade makes excellent knives, that is without question, and the Griptilian is one of their best. The knife features a 3.45-inch CPM S20CV steel blade with a flat grind and treated to a 59-61 HRC. The satin finish looks great on it.
The gray G-10 handle scales look clean and provide a great grip. The AXIS lock keeps everything secure and is ambidextrous. Everything about the knife is class all the way down to the deep-carry pocket clip. This knife is a prime example of what a sheepsfoot blade can be.
Kershaw Copper Cinder Keychain Knife
A tiny sheepsfoot is still a sheepsfoot, and this fun multi-tool form Kershaw is a blast to use. The 3Cr13MoV blade has a 1.13-inch cutting edge with a hollow grind. It looks exotic with the machined copper handle, but this knife is all about practicality.
The small blade is sharp and can easily handle the simple day-to-day tasks that life can throw at you. The large keychain hole lets you easily pop it onto your chain with ease, and the integrated bottle opener will easily crack open your next beer.
It’s not the biggest or the baddest, but the Copper Cinder performs exactly as advertised.
Kizer Vanguard Mini Sheepdog
A compact, cleaver-style knife, the Vanguard Mini from Kizer is a great blade for someone who spends time camping. Yes, this is a strong EDC blade, and the 2.5-inch straight edge makes it ideal for cutting rope or slicing food to prepare over the campfire. Its versatility helps sell the knife in a major way.
The blade is a satin-finished 154CM stainless meted to a micarta handle. The flipper mechanism makes the knife a blast to use, and everything stays in place thanks to a liner lock. Functional, classy, enjoyable. That’s what the Vanguard Mini is all about.
This folder from Spyderco is another excellent model from the company. The SpydieChef is an EDC folder designed to have the ergonomics and feel of a chef’s knife. The titanium handle is light yet robust in the hand, and the LC200N stainless blade is highly corrosion-resistant. That’s to be expected from a blade steel developed by NASA.
The SpydieChef is multiple things depending on how you look at it. Its size makes it firmly an EDC that is made from high-quality materials. However, the design philosophy makes it look more like the most company kitchen knife on the market. Regardless, it has a steep price but more than makes up for it with its construction.
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