The History Of Knives

From Flint to Stainless Steel

Man has a special bond with hunting tools especially the knife. Even during pre-historic times, the knife was man’s special tool used not only for hunting but also for survival. Later on, knives became essential for construction and food preparation. Knives started out as sharpened tools and slowly evolved into the modern knife we know today.

Flint Knives was a favorite material of our early ancestors. A soft kind stone, flint can easily be shaped and reshaped as the pointed end dulls. When men discovered metallurgy, knives made from bronze and copper. As technology developed, so did the knife. Iron was discovered and the knife we know today was born.

The Knife as a Weapon of War

Roman military dagger path is included

In Medieval Europe, knives became bigger, longer and evolved into the sword. Later on, other weapons such as spears and axes began to appear, and so the knife became a weapon of war.

Knives has widely used in food preparation too. During the 15th century, the wealthy began to carry knives that had a double purpose: protection and for eating. In these times, hosts were not obliged to provide their guests with eating utensils or cutlery. Wealthy males began to carry knives with them so that they can cut their meals and the meals of nearby females. As of the 17th century, the use of knives in meals became widespread.

The Birth of the Kitchen Knife

history of the kitchen knife

It was through a decree made by French Cardinal Richelieu in late 1630s that changed the shape of the table knife. The cardinal detested the use of sharp pointed knives to be used when dining. He was successful in convincing King Louis XIV to ban the use of double bladed knives in the whole country. This act gave birth to blunt tipped single bladed knives that became the standard dining knife throughout Europe.

Mass Production with the Advent of New Technology

The blunt tipped knife also gave way to blunt tipped 4-tined forks which later became the standard in Europe including the United States which was one of the last territories to embraced blunt-tipped eating utensils.

The knife and the eating utensils that we know today were standardized when men discovered stainless steel in the 20th century. This made knives along with spoons and forks easy to manufacture and maintain.

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Avatar of Ben North

Ben started a twenty year commercial photography career after a blurry stint in the navy. He spent a lot of time losing and breaking knives and other EDC gear on location shoots before starting Nothing But Knives. He has reviewed and tested hundreds of both outdoor and kitchen knives over the course of the last six years, and he was mostly sober while testing and reviewing.

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