What is a fuller on a knife

June 24, 2022
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At first glance, the design of any cutting tool has no difficulties, but in fact, each component – a recess, protrusion or notch – has a specific function. And if even an amateur can figure out the function of a knife part such as: a blade, a ricasso or a handle, then such an element as a fuller on a knife causes a huge amount of controversy and speculation.

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What is fuller and its purpose

Fuller or also known as groove — gutter, a longitudinal recess on the blade.

If we discard all sorts of fictions, then from the practical side this notch on the blade is necessary to solve a number of problems:

  • reducing the weight of the cutting product, for example, the fuller on the saber reduces its weight by almost 30%;
  • reduction of the friction surface;
  • aesthetics or even tradition – everyone will agree that this recess gives the knife a different look;
  • the possibility of correcting the balancing of the knife.

Fuller, contrary to many misconceptions, is performed on blades of various types and purposes. It can be seen everywhere, from kitchen knives to hunting and tourist survival knives. For the latter, a fuller is needed on the blade to provide the necessary strength, lightness and maneuverability.

The presence of this notch on kitchen or tourist knives indicates the narrow focus of these products. It is mainly required in models designed to work with solid material.

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Myths related to fuller

“Blood groove” was an extremely popular topic for discussion in many conversations related to knives on various forums.

This fundamentally erroneous term, as you know, means a special groove on a knife, or rather, on its blade. But be prepared for the fact that for mentioning the words “blood groove” on various knife forums. It is correct to call this furrow on the blade — “fuller” or just “groove”.

Hunters’ assumptions

It is believed that during the Middle Ages, the fuller on hunting knives carried the function of quickly exsanguinating the carcass of killed game. Hunters believed that with the help of such a tool, by sticking it into an animal, they act not only practically, but also humanely: all the blood will quickly flow through the wound along the valley, thereby allowing the animal to die faster, and improve the quality of meat.

This assumption is fundamentally wrong. The knife in this case closes almost the entire wound, blocking the hemorrhage, and too little red liquid will come out through a small furrow to quickly finish off the game. Any carver will agree with this.

Technical version

The main idea of this misconception lies in the fact that the fuller increases the rigidity of the knife, which is again an incorrect statement.

During the cutting of the notch on the blade, the cross-sectional area decreases, which, without increasing the thickness or width of the blade, leads to a decrease in stiffness and resistance. Simple calculations can prove this, which, with knowledge, can be carried out independently or found on the Internet.

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Aesthetic functions

This option is the most truthful, but also has some flaws. It is assumed that such a groove gives the product a great style. Many modern manufacturers even launch a trend for knives with a fuller.

Despite all the speculation, as mentioned earlier, the fuller has a purely practical function. And it consists only in two really truthful indicators: weight reduction and friction surface reduction. And also thanks to this notch on the blade, additional axes of the structure appear, increasing the bending strength.

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