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What Is A Knife Bolster: Features And Benefits

what is a knife bolster

What is a knife bolster? It’s the thicker metal or metal cuff between the blade and the handle. A knife bolster helps ‘bolster’ the stability of the blade and keep it from breaking off at the handle. Let’s explore what else you should know about this type of kitchen utensil.

The bolster can also be used as a grip, especially if it is textured. This provides more control over the slicing and chopping motions.

Additionally, a bolster can help balance the weight of the knife, making it feel less cumbersome in your hand. If you are looking for a quality knife, be sure to check the bolster before making a purchase.

Read More: Types of Kitchen Knives: 11 Varieties For Home Chefs

What is the Purpose of a Knife Bolster?

The main purpose of a knife bolster is to add stability and strength to the blade. It does this by acting as a buffer between the blade and the handle. This prevents the blade from breaking off or snapping at the handle, which can be dangerous.

The bolster also gives you a better grip, which can result in more precise, controlled slicing and chopping motions. A bolster is an important part of any knife.

Here are the most important reasons for a knife bolster:

Provides Balance

A knife bolster gives the knife better balance by adding more weight. If the handle of the knife is heavy, then a bolster can help even out the weight and make it feel lighter.

It also increases the stability of the blade, allowing it to resist breaking off at the handle. This is especially important when you are chopping or slicing with your knives on a daily basis.

Protects Your Hands

Knives with bolsters can protect your hands since there is less chance for them to slip off while holding the knife. If they do accidentally slide down the blade, that extra distance will provide enough time for you to get out of harm’s way.

A bolster prevents injuries to your fingers because there is no place for them to get caught between the blade and handle. This can make a huge difference, especially when you are in a hurry and not paying attention to what you’re doing with your knives.

Adds Durability

A bolster can add durability to your knife because it adds stability and balance. A knife is only as strong as its weakest point, which often happens at the joint of where the blade meets the hilt or handle—a bolster prevents this from happening by adding extra support.

Adds Comfort And Style

Having a metal cuff between the handle and blade makes the knife more comfortable in your hand while providing an additional design feature that can complement its overall look.

If a bolster is textured, it gives you a better grip when in use. This means your hand won’t slip while trying to cut, slice or chop anything.

Protects the Handle

A bolster can protect the handle of your knife because it prevents it from snapping or breaking off. It extends the length of the handle and adds durability to prevent this problem, which can also happen when you are chopping with your knives on a daily basis.

Read More: How To Polish Knife Blade Scratches: 6 Simple Methods

What are the Types of Knife Bolsters?

Many different types of knives feature a bolster. The main difference is the material used for the fabric between the blade and handle. The three most common types are plastic, wood, and metal.


One type of bolster uses plastic instead of metal or wood to create its buffer between blade and handle. Plastic knife bolsters are often found in smaller pocket knives because they are lightweight and sturdy.

However, larger knives with a plastic bolster lack balance when compared with other models featuring bolsters made from harder materials like steel or wood.


Knife bolsters can also be made from wood, which is a popular choice for hunting and outdoor knives. Wood bolsters are often textured to provide a better grip. They also add some weight to the knife, which can help with balance.


The most common type of bolster is metal. Metal bolsters come in several different varieties, including brass, steel, and aluminum. They are usually either stamped or machined into shape. Metal bolsters are strong and durable and provide a good balance for the knife.

Why do Some Knives not have a Bolster?

There are several reasons why a knife might not have a bolster. Each type of handle is designed differently, and bolsters just aren’t needed for some types of knives.

A full tang knife does not need a bolster because the blade extends all the way through the handle to form one solid piece—no buffer between metal and wood is necessary.

Some handles also feature special coatings that can prevent or reduce slippage, making it unnecessary to have a fabric buffer between the blade and handle. Folding knives work this same way since they do not require any heavy chopping or slicing motions.

Knives with plastic handles often do not have bolsters because they are lightweight enough on their own to be balanced without them. However, these are not favorable for heavier tasks.

Sometimes a bolster can make a knife difficult to sharpen. If the blade needs to be sharpened all the way to the end of the knife, the bolster may get in the way. In this case, the bolster will be a lot smaller or left off completely.

Read More: How To Sharpen A Serrated Knife: A Simple Guide

What is the Price Range for Knives with Bolsters?

The price range for knives that include bolsters varies greatly depending on the material used and the craftsmanship involved in creating them. Generally, metal bolsters are the most expensive because they take more work to create.

The material used in the bolster might also affect its price, with wood and plastic bolsters being less expensive than bolsters made from metals like brass or steel.

What Makes a Knife with a Good Bolster?

When looking at knives for purchase, you will want to make sure it has a good bolster. The size of the bolster can vary depending on what it is made from, but typically there should be no gap between the blade and handle.

This sturdy grip provides balance while chopping and slicing food. When selecting your knife, look at different types to determine which one feels best in your hand while still providing you with the stability necessary for cooking success.

How Do I Care for My Knife Bolster?

Taking care of your knife bolster is easy. Just make sure to hand wash your knife after each use. A few quick wipe-downs will keep your knife in top condition for all of your kitchen adventures.

Do Pocket Knives have a Bolster?

Many pocket knives come with bolsters because they are lightweight and small in size. Pocket knives are easy to transport since they can easily fit in your pocket, so it’s important for them to be constructed out of durable material without too much weight.

A bolster also acts as part of the folding mechanism, adding stability to the knife when it is in use. Pocket knives can be constructed with or without bolsters, but if they are included they will most likely be made from aluminum since it is strong and lightweight.

Can You Sharpen a Knife with a Bolster?

Yes. You can sharpen any knife, but you have to be careful when doing so with knives with a bolster for the same reasons mentioned above. To avoid damaging or dulling your blade, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly sharpen it.

What is a Semi-Bolster?

A semi-bolster is a type of bolster that extends partially up the side of the knife for better stability and control but stops short of going all the way to the handle. This provides you with more comfort and control without sacrificing balance. It also makes it easier to sharpen the blade.

What is a Knife Bolster: Final Thoughts

Knife bolsters are a simple, yet important part of any kitchen knife. They provide stability and balance to the blade while also providing you with an easier grip for more controlled slicing and chopping motions.

The type of bolster will depend on what you’re looking for in your knife – some options include plastic or wood as well as metal. It is important to take good care of your knife by hand washing it after each use so that it can last a long time without breaking down prematurely.

With proper maintenance, a quality bolster should keep you cooking confidently for years.

Read More: How To Polish Knife Blade Scratches: 6 Simple Methods