What is a Curved Knife Called?

diverse knives serve diverse purposes. Curved knives are distinctive. Curved knives have unique blades. This page explores curved knives’ applications, variants, and names. A curved knife’s name? Find out!

What is a Curved Knife Called?

“Karambit” is a curved knife. This blade has a tiger claw-like curvature. The karambit originated in Southeast Asia as an agricultural and utilitarian implement. It became a popular self-defense and combat weapon as its design and utility evolved.

Martial artists, hunters, and knife lovers like the karambit because of its versatility and curved shape. The curved blade and ergonomic handle make slashing, hooking, and stabbing easy.

The History of Curved Knives

What is a Curved Knife Called?
History of Curved Knives

Curved blades’ intriguing history spans centuries and civilizations. Sickle-shaped or scythe-shaped knives have been used for farming, fighting, and cooking. Let’s examine curved knife history.

Ancient Origins

Curved knives are ancient. Agriculture in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley used sickle-shaped knives. Their curved form made grain harvesting efficient. Early forms were usually bone or stone.

Hunting and Combat:

Curved knives were used in battle as societies developed. In the Iron Age, the Celts utilised a “sickle-sword” or “Falcata” knife. Its powerful inward-curving blade sliced and hacked.

The Mongols, Turks, and Persians of Central Asia also created curved hunting and battle blades. These knives, called “yataghans” or “kilij,” had a characteristic shape that helped slashing and stabbing.

Food Use:

Cooking uses curved knives too. “Santoku” is a Japanese cooking knife. Its slightly curved blade slices, dices, and minces. The curvature enables for smooth rocking, improving food preparation efficiency.

Kukri Impact:

Nepalese kukris are well-known curved knives. The Gurkhas, a famous Nepalese military unit, use kukris with a peculiar curve and forward-facing edge. This design maximises cutting force for chopping, slicing, and digging.

The kukri has become a symbol of Nepalese culture and military use. Its religious and ceremonial uses demonstrate its tremendous significance.

Modern Uses:

Curved knives are still used today. Harvesting and pruning still use sickle-shaped knives in agriculture. Chefs and foodies love Santoku and chef’s knives’ curved shapes.

Bushcraft, wilderness survival, and outdoor activities use curved knives. These tools are useful due to their versatility and ability to cut a variety of materials.

Curved Knife Variations and Designs


Different curved knives serve different functions. Let’s examine popular curved knives:


Southeast Asian karambits are curved knives. Its trademark curved blade and ergonomic handle make it a superb self-defense and utility tool. Martial artists have embraced the karambit.

Skinning Knife

Game-skinning knives have curved blades. The curvature helps cut precisely and prevents hide punctures and meat damage. Butchers and hunters utilise skinning knives.

Hawkbill Knife

Hawkbill knives resemble hawk beaks. Woodworkers and others that need precise cutting and carving utilise this curved blade. Hawkbills are highly manoeuvrable.


Scythes, agricultural curved blades, are not knives. Its large, curving blade with a wooden handle cuts grasses and grains. Scythes sweep efficiently for harvesting.

Curved Knife FAQs

Curved knives—legal?

Curved knives are legal in several places. Know your local knife laws. Curved knives are forbidden or require permission in some areas. Carry a curved knife legally.

Curved knives: self-defense?

Curved knives are comfortable and versatile enough for self-defense. However, self-defense laws differ by jurisdiction, and any weapon, including a curved knife, should only be used in self-defense. Before using a curved knife for self-defense, learn the laws.

Curved knives—what materials?

Stainless steel, carbon steel, and high-quality alloys make curved knives. Durability, sharpness, and corrosion resistance vary by material. Material depends on knife use and personal desire.

Curved knife names?

Curved knives are called “karambit” in English, while other names are used in other cultures. The Philippines calls curved knives “balisongs,” whereas Malaysia calls them “kerambits.” These regional variations demonstrate curved knife design’s cultural diversity.


Karambits, curved knives, have an interesting history and many uses. The curved form improves cutting efficiency and control for martial artists, hunters, and knife enthusiasts. Knowing the numerous types, designs, and functions of curved knives might help you choose the correct one.

Always follow local laws and prioritise safety when using a curved knife. Curved knives last longer and perform better with proper care.

So the next time you see a curved knife, you’ll know what it is and enjoy its distinctive qualities.

I love knives and love reviewing them. Knives have been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. We grew up using knives in the kitchen and in outdoors.