A lexicon of knife terminiology

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A lexicon of knife terminology: Section A
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W Grade Tool Steel:  Carbon steel that is quenched with water. It is also called carbon steel or plain carbon steel. Carbon content should be at a minimum of 0.4% to qualify as plain carbon steel.  Other elements such as molybdenum and nickel are not specified.  It is considered a “high” carbon tool steel if the carbon content exceeds 0.6%.

 Waiter’s Knife:  Another term for bartender’s knife. The term is considered more soically acceptable. It is used by Victorinox and other knife companies. See bartender’s knife for details.

Walk & Talk: Walk: how smooth a knife opens and closes.  Talks: how clean the snap sound is when the blade opens or closes.   A knife that walks & talks opens and closes smoothly with a clear distinct snap; especially if it snaps in place at the half open position.

Wear Resistance: A blade’s ability to withstand abrasion.  The factors that make up a blade wear resistance is its hardness and its toughness. A blade that isn’t strong enough will bend or warp.  A blade that is too hard will become brittle.  A blade that is isn’t tough enough will chip and crack and dull easily. If it is too tough, it will not hold an edge.

Wenger: A Swiss based cutlery company currently owned by Victrorinox, Wenger is best known as the maker The Genuine Swiss Army Knife Wenger knives are also made in Switzerland.

Wharncliffe: A blade in whch the point of the knife is dropped, in a gentle curve from tang to tip, to a straight cutting edge. Compare to drop point, spear and sheepfoot. Often misspelled warncliff, and wharncliffe


Winterbottom Bone: (winterbottom, winter bottom jigged) Winterbottom bone refers to a particular style of jigged bone first used by the Winterbottom Cutlery Works or Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The company was founded by Samuel Winterbottom.

Samuel Winterbottom of Winterbottom Cutlery Works


White Pearl: Pearl from the white lipped pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima).

White Smooth Bone.  Domestic (American) cattle bone bleached white,  then sanded and polished smooth. It is used as a low cost and morally acceptable substitute and for genuine ivory.  Reputable dealers always market it as white smooth bone however some Asian and African  markets will attempt to pass it off as genuine ivory to the unsuspecting tourist trade.

White Turquoise:  Turquoise stone that appear white or light grey in color.  Compare to red and yellow turquoise.

Whittler: A traditional pattern folding knife; a three bladed knife with the main blade at the top and two smaller blades mounted on the bottom bolster.  The main blade is normally a clip or spear point. The secondary blades tend to be a small or pen blade and a coping blade.

Worm Groove or Worm Jig:  A jigging pattern that makes the handle appears to have termite tracks in the wood or bone.

W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.: An American manufacturer of quality pocket knives since 1889; located in Bradford, Pennsylvania.  Case knives are the benchmark used for comparison of just about any other knife sold in America, especially when it comes to traditional folding knives.  Case is currently owned by Zippo Lighters. Are they the best knives?  For avid Case collectors, the answer is yes. For the non-Case enthusiast, maybe not.  However they are a good place to start when comparing pocket knives.

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