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What is a Convex Ground Blade?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2016
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A convex ground blade is a specific type of knife finish, or grind. Unlike many knife grinds such as a hollow grind, a convex grind curves outward rather than cutting inward along the edge of the knife. As a result, the knife is extremely solid and strong, ideally suited to heavy cutting and chopping tasks. Cleavers and axes are often produced with convex ground blades. A high quality convex ground blade can get expensive, as a good grind requires a skilled metalworker.

The finish on a knife is known as the grind. When a knife is ground, it is sharpened and also shaped for a lifetime of use. In many cases, a knife will need to be sharpened periodically over the time of its use, but it should only need to be ground once. Therefore, the grind needs to be solid and practical for the knife's intended application. There are numerous different types of grinds, all with strengths and weaknesses.

When a convex ground blade is viewed in cross-section, one can see the the blade has a curving taper, with the thickest part of the blade at the top and the most narrow section at the bottom, where the cutting edge of the knife is. The blade is not flat ground or angled, but is instead ground as two distinct curves on either side of the blade. Since the convex grind is often used to finish axes, some people refer to it as an axe grind.

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Because a convex ground blade is so thick, it requires more metal than other knife blades. It also needs a sturdy handle to support the weight of the blade. Care is required when maintaining the blade as well, as a convex ground blade calls for special sharpening skills. When well cared for, however, the knife will serve the owner well.

In the realm of kitchen knives, convex ground blades are usually associated with heavy, solid blades such as cleavers. In addition to being able to slice through thick material, a cleaver can also be used as a smashing tool when served sideways, and some cooks also use the flat broad opposite edge of the cleaver for specific tasks. Cooks should take care to store their knives in a safe place, using knife guards if they are kept in a drawer, and ensuring that the knives are out of the reach of curious pets and children. A heavy convex ground axe or cleaver can take off fingers with ease is mishandled.

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