Parts of the Karambit


When you look at a dog, there are some traits you automatically recognize that define the creature in question asscreenshot-2014-03-13-13.30.05.png a member of the "canine" family. Dogs have four legs, two ears, some kind of tail, a nose somewhere in the middle of their muzzle and at least four pointed, sharp teeth. Some dogs are massive and some are miniscule. Some have long corded hair, some have short sleek hair and some have no hair. Some have ears that stand up and some have ears so floppy they trail the ground. Dogs come in every imaginable color, shape and size but at the end of the day, no matter how "unique" a critter looks, if it has the right genetic structure, it's recognizeable as a dog.

Karambit knives are the same way. Every karambit shares several core identifiable parts and in order to be considered a karambit, a knife must meet the basic "anatomy" requirements. New styles and variations of karambits pop up all the time and custom karambit knife makers prize creative, but functional, designs. Some karambits appear quite exotic but regardless of the precise design or appearance, these 5 features form the foundation of the karambit's anatomy:

  1. Curved Blade
  2. Point
  3. Inside Edge (Concave Edge)
  4. Outside Edge (Convex Edge)
  5. Ergonomic Handle


Without each of the above features and parts, a knife cannot be considered a karambit. The design is simple, to the point and time-tested. Many traditional karambits, particularly southern Filipino karambits, meet only the above requirements - they lack a safety ring or other attributes commonly associated with this curved Southeast Asian blade. Modern karambits typically have at least a few (but more often all) of the following parts:

  1. Safety Ring (Retention Ring)
  2. Back Blade
  3. Front Brake
  4. Rear Brake
  5. Thumb Rise


Those 10 basic parts of the karambit form the structure of the blade. Everything else is just details. By changing the grind, handle/blade materials, serrations, gut hooks, ring talons/points, blade belly, finger grooves, bevel, filework/edgework or any other design feature, a karambit's design can be endlessly tweaked and changed to suit specific tastes, preferences or uses. Need a karambit custom designed or want to know more about karambit basics? Contact us!

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