Full Tang vs Half Tang Knife – What Is The Right Choice?

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Knives are an indispensable tool for every household. Among them, a battle for the best quality takes place: Full tang vs half tang knives, based on their appearances. They have distinctive usage depending on their structures. 

Before finding out which is the ultimate choice for your kitchen, we will tell you what a knife tang is and its function.

What Is A Knife Tang? 

A knife tang is the lower part of the blade of the knife. It extends into the handle of the knife to provide support for the blade, which works as a backbone for the knife to hold the pressure.

Depending on the purpose of the knives, they are classified into many categories, such as tapered, encapsulated, or stick tangs. People mostly used advanced tang features for hunting, outdoor camping, or combat.

There are two types of tangs on the market, which are full tang and partial tang. Let’s go into deeper details about how they differentiate from each other!

Full Tang vs Partial Tang Knives

The showdown of full vs half tang knives will be analyzed in this part.

Full Tang

How is it made?

This type consists of a long metal backbone attached directly to the blade. This metal part extends to the end of the handle, providing full support to the whole knife upon receiving pressure from cutting or washing.

Some full tang knives may have the rear of the tang exposed on the edge of the handle for easy recognition. Occasionally, the metal backbone includes a round-shape butt to keep the parts together, with bolts attached firmly on both of the handle’s sides. 

However, the tang is coated entirely in the handle for heavy-duty tasks like butchering. This construction ensures that the blade can take more strength while chopping hard objects. These knives look similar to original half tang knives, but they are extremely durable.

The knife parts are carefully attached with machinery forces, forming into unique shapes as a piece of solid metal, with grip pieces fitting perfectly into the handle. It works as a tough tool in every circumstance.


Possessing formidable durability, knives with full tang can generate heavy force on the blade. The blade with a long backbone can easily pierce tough surfaces or materials, providing great comfort for users without using much strength.

The additional metal in the knife allows the user to keep balance while using, as the weight of the knife spreads evenly in the whole body. This is especially helpful for chefs or butchers – jobs that require much force concentration.

Additionally, a full tang knife is a good companion in outdoor camping, military training, or hunting, thanks to its high durability. It is indispensable for every experienced adventurer due to its reliability and effectiveness during urgent situations.


The disadvantage of the knives comes from the blade itself, as it may be heavy for new users. They may require some training to get used to their weight to use efficiently. Those who are not used to it may accidentally hurt themselves with the knife without careful handling.

Another drawback is that some models may cost more than others. The blade comprises heavy-duty and complicated components, such as multifunctional knives or daggers. Therefore, they are more expensive than half tang knives.

Partial Tang Knives (Half Tang)

How is it made?

These knives, as the name suggests, have their tang extended only halfway into the handle. Contradicting full tang blades, the backbone of the blade is rather short and covered by a plastic or wooden handle.

The tang’s length and shape can vary. It may be twisted into the handle of the knife or secured by a bolt into the inside, stabilizing the joint between the blade and the grip. However, it is not as strong as a full tang knife with a thorough metal backbone down the handle.

Due to its light nature, it comes in handy in most kitchens for slicing light and soft components. It can also appear in some throwing tasks in military training or hunting.


The most significant feature of a partial tang knife is that it is extremely light. The blade itself does not contain much metal as a full tang knife does. Therefore, it is very easy to use for everyday purposes. Everyone can easily use a half tang knife with few difficulties.

Another advantage of half tang blades is their reasonable price. These knives are much cheaper to manufacture and distribute due to the less material needed than full tang knives. You can get a decent one for your kitchen at a relatively low price.


The majority of half tang knives deliver lower quality than most full tang blades. The metal is not as strong, which can easily break or distort if using heavy force. Therefore, it can not pierce through tough objects such as bones, ribs, or wood.

The joint between the blade and the handle is considered the weakest point of the knife. After a long use, it can fall apart and make the knife unstable, easily breaking the blade in the process.

Should You Get A Full Or Partial Tang Knife?

Depending on your purpose, selecting the right type of knife can be tricky. If you are a regular student living in a dorm or a homeowner who wishes to find a good knife for cooking, a half tang kitchen knife is good enough at a decent price.

However, based on overall performance, a full tang blade outweighs a partial tang knife. With outstanding performance and durability, these knives prove themselves to be outstanding in every situation, from the kitchen to outdoor adventures.

Despite being a bit more expensive than normal partial tang knives, a full tang knife is definitely worth its price. This type of knife has proven itself useful in many circumstances; therefore, it is the ultimate choice for a true knife enthusiast.


Each type of knife has its own characteristics that specialize in different categories. A full tang knife is great overall, with superior durability and undeniable benefits to users. However, a half tang knife works efficiently as a substitute, providing capable assistance in simple tasks.

And that is our thorough comparison between full tang vs half tang knives. Thank you for reading!

Further Reading:

Design and Build a Full Tang Knife


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