Parts of the Karambit

Karambit Design and Parts of the Karambit

A karambit’s design set it apart from other kinds blades. More importantly, the design features provide the versatility and combative advantages karambits are known for. Every karambit shares several core identifiable parts. 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 since custom karambit knife makers prize creative designs. Functional design is just as important, if not more important, though. Some karambits look 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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