Knife Terminology. Forged vs Stamped Knives – what is the difference?

There are many different types and styles of knives to choose from, but most will be either a stamped or forged construction. Here we explain the difference:

24 February 2017

There are many different types and styles of knives to choose from, but most will be either a stamped or forged construction. Here we explain the difference:

Forged knives

A forged knife is made from a single piece of steel. The metal is heated to a very high temperature, this ‘rearranges’ its molecular structure which helps to provide strength. The result of this is a cutting edge that generally stays sharper for longer and is easier to maintain.

In most cases a forged knife will have a bolster – this is the centre support piece between the start of the blade and the handle. This adds weight to the knife and the added benefit of protection for your fingers! Forged knives also feature a full tang – this is the portion of the knife that is enclosed by the handle.

It is almost always the case that forged knives are more expensive than stamped knives.

Stamped Knives

Stamped knives are cut from a sheet of steel, the blade is then tempered, sharpened and finished. This way of producing knives uses less steel and is more cost effective, as such it makes this knife cheaper than a forged version.

Stamped knives will also be lighter and thinner than forged versions. Given these characteristics, more downward force and cutting action may be required compared to heavier forged knives. As the steel is also a least one/two gauges thinner they may not take as sharp an edge and will also not keep an edge as long and as such will require more regular sharpening.