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How to select a kitchen knife? And what is full tang?

a knife handle showing full tang
Full Tang Knives

How to select a kitchen knife? In the world of culinary craftsmanship, the knife reigns supreme as the essential tool that defines a chef's artistry. From the deft slice of a perfectly ripened tomato to the precise filleting of a delicate fish, a knife's performance can make or break a culinary masterpiece. While many factors contribute to a knife's performance, one crucial element stands out—the construction known as "Full Tang." Often regarded as the pinnacle of knife design, Full Tang knives offer a combination of strength, balance, and control that elevates the art of cutting to new heights. In this exploration of Full Tang knives, we will delve into their origins, their unparalleled attributes, and reveal why they are the preferred choice for professional chefs and culinary enthusiasts alike.

Origins of Full Tang Knives

The concept of Full Tang knives traces back to ancient times when blades were forged for battle and utility. The term "Tang" refers to the section of the blade that extends into the handle, providing structural integrity and stability. Early knife craftsmen recognized the significance of a solid Tang in ensuring the durability and functionality of their blades. As metalworking techniques evolved, the Full Tang construction became a hallmark of quality craftsmanship across various cultures and knife traditions.

Anatomy of a Full Tang Knife

A Full Tang knife is defined by its continuous metal construction, where the blade extends the entire length of the handle. This construction creates a robust and unbroken backbone that runs through the knife, ensuring it can handle rigorous cutting tasks without compromising structural integrity. Unlike partial Tang or rat-tail Tang knives, which may have a metal piece that tapers into the handle, Full Tang knives provide optimal balance and control.

comparing full tang, partial tang, and rat-tail tang
Comparing knife tangs

Unparalleled Strength and Durability

One of the most compelling aspects of Full Tang knives is their exceptional strength and durability. By incorporating a solid piece of metal throughout the knife's handle, the risk of breakage or separation between blade and handle is significantly minimized. This stability allows Full Tang knives to withstand heavy-duty cutting, chopping, and slicing, making them ideal choices for professional kitchens and culinary enthusiasts who demand reliable performance.

Perfect Balance and Control

A Full Tang construction offers another critical advantage—balance. With the blade extending into the handle, Full Tang knives achieve an optimal weight distribution, ensuring the knife feels natural and comfortable in hand. This balance enhances control during intricate cutting tasks, allowing chefs to execute precise cuts with ease. Whether it's a delicate julienne or a robust butcher's cut, Full Tang knives provide the stability and maneuverability needed for culinary excellence.

Enhanced Cutting Performance

The structural benefits of Full Tang knives directly translate into enhanced cutting performance. The continuous metal construction creates a seamless transition from blade to handle, eliminating any weak points that could impede the flow of energy during cutting. As a result, Full Tang knives effortlessly glide through ingredients, reducing hand fatigue and improving overall cutting efficiency.

Versatility and Adaptability

Full Tang construction is not limited to a specific type of knife. From chef's knives and santokus to utility knives and boning knives, this design can be applied across various knife styles. Whether it's a robust blade for heavy-duty tasks or a nimble blade for precision work, Full Tang knives offer versatility and adaptability to cater to a wide range of culinary needs.

The Preferred Choice of Professionals

Renowned chefs worldwide vouch for Full Tang knives, relying on their superior craftsmanship to elevate their culinary artistry. The seamless integration of strength, balance, and control has made Full Tang knives the preferred choice in professional kitchens, where precision and reliability are paramount.


In the world of knives, Full Tang stands as a testament to the timeless fusion of form and function. The integral construction brings together the blade and handle in harmony, creating a knife that embodies strength, balance, and control. From its ancient origins to its modern popularity, Full Tang knives have earned their place as the pinnacle of knife craftsmanship. Whether in the hands of a professional chef or a passionate home cook, Full Tang knives are poised to unleash the power of cutting and redefine the art of culinary perfection.


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