Full Tang vs Half Tang

If the kitchen knife is a full-tang design can affect both its cost and performance, including the sturdiness and longevity of a knife.

If you are a knife beginner, when you make decisions about which type of kitchen knife to buy, you may have to wrap your head around some unfamiliar and professional term, like “Tang”. It means the part of the kitchen knife blade that extends into the handle. If the knife has a full or half tang depends on how far the knife blade extends into the handle.

You may also confuse about are full tang kitchen knives better than half tang kitchen knives?

Not only you, but many people have the same question as you, and this argument has always existed. The supporters of full-tang believe that a high-quality knife must be forged from a piece of high-carbon steel, which runs through the entire knife. This “full tang” ensures strength and balance. However, others believe that the knife does not need the full extension of this steel. “Half -tang” is fine. Today, we are going to tackle your question on this eternal dilemma. Ok, let’s begin with the definition of the tang.

What is full-Tang?

As we mentioned above, if the knife has a full or half tang depends on how far the knife blade extends into the handle. Thus, a full tang knife means the knife blade extends to the end of the knife handle.

Tapered tang

Tapered tang is one of the full-tang knives, in some knives, the tang may run through the full length to the end of the handle. But the tang tapers both in thickness and width, showing significantly narrower and diminished in height along the way. This design reduces weight while benefiting the advantages of the whole steel metal.

Full Tang vs Half Tang

What is half-Tang?

A half tang means the knife blade only extends part of the way into the handle. There are other terms that describe it referred to as partial tang or three-quarter tang kitchen knives.

It should be noted that because the half-tang knife only extends part of the way, different types of half-tang knives are distinguished according to the shape of the tail of the knife, such as rat-tail tang.

Rat-Tail Tang

Some half-tang knives can also be called a rat-tail or stick tang. The tail of the blade is significantly narrower than the front blade, which makes it looks like a rat’s tail. hence the name. Generally, this narrow extension will have a threaded pommel or cap at the very back of the handle, which helps keep the handle in place.

What’s advantages and disadvantages of full-tang kitchen knife?

Pros of full-tang

1. It’s not easy to snap

The most brittle part of many things is at a point of attachment, so is the kitchen knife. Why full-tang can stand so much pressure because the steel inside the handle runs the full length of the handle resulting in no point of attachment, thus, there’s no area of the potential brittle point and there’s no opportunity for much force. The construction of full tang allows more stress to be pushed to the blade without the risk of the knife snapping at the bolster, where the knife blade transitions to the knife handle.

2. Increase weight and well balance

A full tang can not only increase the overall weight of a knife. But also create well balance. If there’s no tang, there’s only the knife handle to compensate for the weight of the knife’s blade. Even though you hold the knife in hand firmly, the tip of the knife will tend towards the cutting board which is not good for handling cutting tasks.

Of course, you may think you can control the use and direction of the knife because it is in your hand. But, you should know, long time use of a kitchen knife will make you feel fatigued especially you should control the knife by your wrist if you use a no tang knife. Thus, a full-tang knife can make you have better control of the knife and feel less fatigue to protect your hands.

Moreover, a full tang can distribute weight more evenly along with the whole knife, good for better balance, which can make the knife easier to manipulate and increase your level of confidence.

What’s more, full tang knives often come with a bolster that contributes to the blade’s counterbalance and the bolster always tends to be close to the knife’s overall balance point. Resulting in a well-balanced knife.in another hand, in order to have a good pinch grip, you need to place your finger on the bolster, so, the booster is also important for you to choose a comfortable knife.

Cons of full tang knife

More expensive: It’s more expensive to make a full tang knife than a half tang knife because it requires more knife blade materials, whatever it is stainless steel or high carbon steel. expensive cost results in high sales prices.

What’s advantages and disadvantages of half-tang kitchen knife?

Cons of half tang knife

Easy to break off: Most half-tang knives fail because the handle separates or breaks off from the blade at the area where the tang stops. It cannot withstand much pressure. If you use your knife to cut harder things, a half tang knife will fail before a full tang knife.

Pros of half tang knife

Despite some of the disadvantages of half tangs, there are some advantages as following:

1. Less expensive

For knife-making manufacturers, half-tang knives can save money. You know, they don’t need to invest a whole piece of metal in making.

At the same time, less cost means less expensive sales price, you can have a half-tang knife at a lower price.

2. Lighter weight

If you just need a kitchen knife to chop tender ingredients, such as herbs, tofu, a whole bag of onions, the half-tang knife could be a good candidate. Because a half-tang knife is a lightweight knife that may cause less fatigue.

3. Good for using different knife handle

The half-tang knife allows using rare, oddly shaped, or characteristic material for the grip, such as crown stag.

4. Completely moisture-proof

Half tang also provides a complete seal against moisture and the reduction of varying coefficients of thermal expansion in the tang.

Full Tang vs Half Tang

In conclusion

Even though a half-tang knife is enough if you’re just going to chop herbs and tofu. We don’t recommend you having a half-tang chef knife. You have to acknowledge that a knife with a full tang is more durable, balanced, and has longer longevity.in reverse, an less expensive knife with a half tang is far more likely to have the handle break off.

A full tang kitchen knife will offer better performance and make cooking prep work easier. Plus high-quality blade materials and creative design, and you will find the perfect full tang knife for your kitchen.

Evan Riddle
I'm a cooking enthusiast, I enjoy making different dishes when I'm free. I've tried different recipes. And this blog is where I share my opinion on kitchen knives and cooking ideas.

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