When crafting knives, it’s important to consider the type of grind you will put onto each knife. The type you choose will depend on what the knife will be used for as well as the type of steel from which the knife is made. You may also want to consider how well the knife will be cared for, as some grinds will be easier to maintain than others. Here, we will look at some of the characteristics of six grinds.
Hollow grinds are shaped with a concave scoop on each side of the blade. They are only recently being used for knives. This grind used to be found exclusively in razors. The edge of a hollow grind is very thin which can make it weaker and more prone to chipping. This thin edge, however, is great for making nice, neat, shallow cuts. The quality of deep cuts will not be as good.
Flat grinds taper from the spine down both edges. Many people like a full flat grind knife for everyday use, as it strikes a balance between usage and strength. It’s stronger than the hollow grind. Flat grinds are, however, harder to make, as more steel must be ground (removed) than in other styles. Flat grinds are great for both chopping and slicing; many kitchen knives are made in this fashion.
Sabre grinds are not unlike flat grinds in shape, but the bevel starts further down the blade (around the middle). This grind creates a thicker edge, so while strong and good for chopping (also good for splitting wood), it will not be as fine a blade for slicing and more delicate use. The sabre grind is used on many tactical knives and military issue knives.
Chisel grinds are only ground on one side and thus usually come in both right and left hand versions. This one-sidedness makes this knife easier to make as well as to sharpen. The edge angle is generally less on this grind than others, creating a thin and sharp cutting edge.
Convex grinds arc in a convex curve and are often the grind found on axes. (This grind is sometimes called an axe grind as well as a Moran grind.) This grind has a lot of steel behind it and is therefore very strong. The points are also very sharp. Compared to other grinds, it can be harder to sharpen without the proper equipment.
Double or compound bevel grinds have a secondary bevel whose angle is greater than the primary bevel. This grind sacrifices sharpness for strength and durability. It can, however, create a stronger blade in a softer steal than other grinds would.
For some visual input on grind types, have a look at the video below. It will also help you decide which grind to use for which task.