A lexicon of knife terminiology

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A lexicon of knife terminology: Section P
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Pakkawood:  Layers of wood veneers that have been sandwiched together using phenolic thermosetting resins.  See laminates.

Parang:  An Indonesia equivalent of the machete, normally designed to cut through heavier vegetation than a standard machete. The front are of the blade is normally heavier and sometimes upswept or simply wider.  The blade is also beveled more obtusely to prevent it from binding in the cut. (compare to kukri, machete, bolo)

Pattern Welding:  See Damascus Steel

Peanut: A traditional pattern folding knife; a small knife normally with two blades, a larger clip and smaller pen blade both located on the same end of the knife. Peanuts tend to be less than three inches long in the closed position. (Normally 2 7/8 inches) Peanuts normally have bolsters on both ends but this is not always the case. (See pen knife and jack knife for comparison)

Rough Rider Peanut
Rough Rider peanut with stag scales

Pearl: Pearl normally refers to Mother of Pearl.  A translucent material used for scale or handle material and  harvested  from pearl oysters (genus Pinctada).  It comes in a variety of colors.

Pen Blade: Originally A small spear point blade used on pen knives for sharpening quills, hence the name pen. They have become a popular secondary blade on many multi-blade traditional pattern folders. Today most pen blades have tip more inline with droppoint or almost a hybrid wharncliffe style blade because the point will usually drop well belown the center line of the blade.

Newer Style Pen Blade

Older Style Pen Blade

Penknife: A small traditional pattern folding knife normally with two blades, a small spear master and secondary pen blade. they are normally around  three inches or smaller when closed. Penknives were first used to sharpen writing quills, hence the name. They may or may not have bolsters and single blades penknives are also quite common. Also written as two words, pen knife.

An inexpensive penknife

Peoples Republic of China:   Mainland or Communist China.  A major manufacturer of both inexpensive and high-end cutlery. Knives made here are normally marked China or PRC.   Some knife companies tend to make this mark quite small so you will need to look carefully. The savvy buyer will buy from known and respected brand names and avoid unbranded knives or knives sold by unknown brands.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a contaminant which reduces the quality of the steel.

Picnic Knife: 1) A Laguiole style knife. 2) A melon knife.

Pig Sticker: Any large bladed knife that can be used for fighting

Pile Side:  The reverse side of a knife’s handle; the side without the mark or shield.

Pins: Small pins used to attach the scales to a knife’s liner/handle.

Plain Carbon Steel:  See Carbon Steel

Pocket Clip:  A clip placed on the side of a knife designed to keep the knife near the top of the pocket for easy access. Pocket clips are most common among tactical knives.

Pocketeze:  A line of knives made by Robeson that had the blade backs ground flush with the knife’s frame, eliminating sharp corners and reducing pocket wear. Most, but not all such knives have a nickel-silver “POCKETEZE” shield with a red background. (Later made Robeson’s from the Ontario factory are not made in this manner.)

Pocket Knife: And type of folding knife, often designed to be carried in a pocket.

1) The end cap on a fixed blade knife handle; also called a butt cap. 

2) The end of a folding knife that does not contain the main blade.

Pull: A groove cut in a blade to aid opening. Also called a nick, or nail nick.

Punch: Same as an awl. Used for making holes in a leather or wood.

PRC:  Peoples Republic of China or Mainland China

PROV. R.I.:  A tang stamp on knives made in Providence Rhode Island.  These were normally made by Imperial but sometimes do not list Imperial as the manufacturer.

Pruner:  A traditional pattern knife used for pruning bushes that normally has a hawkbill blade. Compare to Hawkbill and Rope Knife.  The knife may have a fixed or folding blade.

Pyralin: A Dupont trademark for a type of celluloid plastic used on knife handles in in the 1920-1960s. The name was often associated with Schrade and Western Cutlery. 

Pyrelite: A trademarked name for a celluloid type of plastic often used on Remington, Camillus, Camco and other knife brands from the 1920s-1960s.  

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