What Is A Full Tang Knife? Why Choose It?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 03/16/21 •  8 min read

It’s always a good decision to go for a fully-tanged knife for several reasons. The very first, and the most important of all is because this is more durable than its partially-tanged version. Secondly, this adds to the knife’s balance and prevents wrist fatigue. Finally, you can expect optimal performance from this particular tool when you don’t worry about its handle coming off, especially while you’re doing heavy chopping board chores.

One of the most common features which you will find in top-notch and expensive knives is their full tangs.

The tang is the steel part of the knife that extends from the blade, usually completely sheathed in or sandwiched in between the handle.

A full tang is a must-have quality in high-quality knives, blade connoisseurs and top chefs always look for this attribute and either ignore or give those partially-tanged pieces two thumbs down.

Want to know why? Read on.


What is it?

As you can understand from the word, “Full Tang”, this tang extends throughout the length.

But do not worry, you will remain safe.

It does not cover the whole handle, instead, it will cover only some part of it.

This knife is strong enough to carry out tough cutting tasks due to the full tang that extends throughout the length.

In simple words, knife tang refers to the extension of the blade into a knife handle.

You may have not considered this feature before, but believe me, knowing tang is super important when you have to deal with a lot of different cutting tasks.

Nowadays, in the market, you can find a variety of tangs that are often beautifully incorporated in the knife till the whole length.

Is full tang better than half tang?

The knife can have two kinds of tangs: full and half.

Dealing with both kinds of tangs can be very different.

Initially, I did not find much difference on both ends of tangs, but with time my experience taught me that knowing tangs is very important.

The full tang means that you can enjoy a very strong and efficient night for a very long time.

Though half tang knives are also often strong enough, a big tang makes a bigger effect.

What manufacturers prefer it?

You may have noticed that manufacturers often advertise full tang knives.

Why is it so?

When the uncut blade extends throughout the length, the cutter not only looks exceptionally sharp but also carries characteristic strength.

A full tang means even if you remove the handle the tang does not end.

You might be wondering:

Why should I buy a full-tang one?

Let’s discuss the advantages.

Notable advantages

The longer the blade extends throughout the length of the plan, the more support your knife will have.

You can observe this efficiency when you will use it and see how it will give you the support.

It is due to this reason, all heavy-duty knives use full-tang knives.

No matter how hard the treatment is, the full-tang one will stay for longer in your kitchen.

It is the only one that can withstand the hard treatment.

Another big advantage that I observed every time while using the full-tang option is that the presence of extra steel prevents bending and keeps your night straight whenever you handle hard objects.

This feature works excellently with full-tang knives only and you cannot expect any kind of bending surety with half-tang knives.

When it comes to the working duration of these knives, they are often sharper than the half-tang knives and you can use them for the long-term.

The strength of the steel blade keeps these knives much more efficient than the half-tang knives.

It simply means if you have bought a high-quality half tang one, you should not worry about losing its strength and buying it again and again.

Nowadays, more and more companies have been offering various kinds of full-tang knives for the customers as it is something that has been getting immense popularity among knife-lovers, housewives, and chefs.

A common observation

When you see TV commercials, food channels, and cooking videos on Youtube, you may have noticed that 80% of the cooks and chefs use full-tang knives to cut meat, vegetables, and fruits.

In fact, these knives are becoming a crucial part of every kitchen and every cooking place.

But their popularity is not only due to the durability and strength only, but you will also notice a special kind of balance while dealing with full-tang knives.

You may have noticed this balance in the hands of the master chefs and cooks.

The handle

There can be several ways through which the full-tang is attached to the handle.

How to choose one?

Not every full-tang knife that comes in the market is of high quality.

You should always be very careful while buying the full-tang knife.

If the quality of the tang or handle is not good, you should go with that knife.

Low quality means you will be facing a lot of efficiency issues or even it can break while dealing with rough objects.

So it is better to check the quality before you blame the handle or manufacturing of the full-tang knife.

The handle itself

Another important aspect that you must consider while buying the full-tang knife is the comfortability factor.

You should figure out whether you are comfortable with a particular material or not.

Many women and cooks are not comfortable with knives that have plastic handles, while wooden full-tang knives have got more acceptance from the general people.

If you are in search of highly comfortable materials, then you should look for the full-tang knife with a handle made up of carbon fiber, fiberglass, or kevlar.

When you will go to the market, you will find more soft and comfortable full-tang knives, however, I suggest you avoid plastic handles.

The bottom end

The end of the full-tang knife handle is often called a pommel and it should have a powerful knob that you can use as a small hammer.

However, the main thing is whether or not it touches or hurts your hand while cutting.

You may have noticed a hole in the pommel region of the full-tang knife.

It is basically made to hang your knife on the belt while working.

Sometimes, we forget where we have kept the knife and start finding the lost knife during the cutting process.

When you hang it on the belt, you will not have to worry about losing it temporarily.

The presence of the knob has other benefits as well.

For example, you can use it to soften the meat, pinch something solid, and all that because it serves as a small hammer that you can use for small tasks.

If I share my own experience, I use the knob to break the ice or small glass pieces.

Well, hopefully now you can choose your favorite full-tang knife after reading the above guidelines carefully.

The types

There are various types of full-tang knives based on how the tang is inserted inside the handle.

It is just all about different shapes of the tang that change the appearance.

Some major types of full-tang knives include:

You can choose your favorite type of full-tang knife, based on your personal liking and disliking.

Final verdict

Now you have read all about what is a full-tang knife and why you should choose it, it is time to buy the one for your kitchen and all the cutting needs.

The pricing structure of this kind of knife is not too hard and you can easily go with it.

By the way, which of the above types of full-tang knives do you like the most?

Extended knives or the encapsulated ones?

Either way, share your thoughts and experiences with us.


Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.